Raphi Giangiulio's Homemade Pipe Organ

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Soubasse Pipes

The scale I used for the Soubasse pipes is from the Laukhuff catalog for a medium Bourdon. The scale halves on the 19th note. The basic pipe design is from the Audsley book. Here's a sketch showing a front and cross section view of a Soubasse pipe followed by a table of dimensions (inches) for the entire rank:

TWall Thickness PSPipe Size
CHCap Height IWInternal Width
BTBottom Thickness IDInternal Depth
WSTWindsheet Thickness LExternal Length
MHMouth Height

First I glued one side to the back:

I made the bottom block out of a long piece and made most of the detail cuts before parting it off. The small piece of mahogany is to give a nice clean edge on top of the languid.

For the largest 8 pipes (CCC-GGG) I used two separate pieces of wood to make the bottom of the pipe:

Then I glued the bottom block to the side and back:

I made spacers to hold the second side in the correct position while it was glued:

I made the mouth out of three separate pieces. This made cutting the bevel for the upper lip easier. Also the upper lip has a nice edge because that's the way the grain runs. Here's the jig I made for cutting the upper lip:

Here are some upper lipps with a 10 degree bevel:

Here's the mouth being glued:

Next I used a router to cut the windway into the languid:

Here's the windway:

Here are 6 pipes (GGG# thru CC#) ready for their fronts:

The mouth is joined to the front of the pipe with a biscuit:

The inside of the pipes have to be polyurethaned. I masked off the surfaces that need to be glued and then sprayed the inside surfaces of the pipe prior to assembly:

Again, I used spacers to hold the walls in the correct position while the fronts were glued. The spacers are designed to be easy to knock out when tapped on the right side:

Here's the front of a pipe being glued:

I made the pipes with the front and back intentionally too wide and too long. I went back with a flush trimming bit to clean up the pipes. Here's the before picture:

Here's the after picture:

Finally I glued the mouth to the pipe:

Here's the CCC# pipe being mitered:

I used standard copper pipe to connect the pipes to the windchest. The pipes sit directly on the windchest without the use of a rack board:

Here's a photo of some completed pipes:

The twelve lowest pipes form the facade on the ends of the organ. Here's how they are attached to the frame. This method provides a firm mount but also allows the pipes to be easily removed.