Float On It: A Creative Community

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

DIY pipe organ

David Pescovitz: When Matthias Wandel took an introductory music class in college, he was inspired to learn piano. He couldn't afford to buy a Casio keyboard to practice on, so instead he built his own pipe organ from scratch. He started by building two wooden pipes in his dad's workshop and mounted those on a vacuum cleaner motor as the pump. He had to insulate the motor in a foam-paced box to make the noise tolerable. Eventually, the vacuum motor burned out and he replaced it with a much more durable precision blower from a surplus auto part shop. From Wandel's build notes:

 ~Mwandel Organ Organ TodayAfter the vacuum cleaner motor died, I was very lucky to find a 1/12'th Hp motor and precision blower at Princes Auto (A surplus store), for a grand total of $20. I used a scroundged O-ring as a belt, and adapted the paper feed pulley from an old teletype by sanding an indentation into it for the O-ring to run in. The pulley on the blower also needed modifications, so I removed the shaft and cut a groove for the O-ring into it on a metal lathe in the student machine shop at the University.

This combination I placed in the box I had built of 2" planks. The combination was so quiet that its noise became a total non-issue. At about the same time the real vacuum cleaner we were using in the house died, and I was able to reuse the bearings from that motor to fix our actual vacuum cleaner. ::VIA
/VIA boing boing