Raphi Giangiulio's Homemade Pipe Organ

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Prototypes and Experiments

My first experiments were with pipes. This is the first pipe I made before I knew too much but it did make a nice tone. The mouth is a little high so it sounds better stopped. Click here for a sound sample, first open then stopped.

My second pipe was designed to be a Tenor C when open. I designed it with exchangeable mouths. Two mouth heights allow it to make a nice tone when open or stopped.

After I made the Tenor C pipe, I quickly realized I needed a better source of air than my lungs. I could only make the pipe speak for a few seconds on a full breath. So then I made some bellows out of plywood, cardboard and duct tape. There is a one way valve that lets air in when the bellows are raised. I made several places to attached different size conveyance lines. The size of the bellows is 2 feet square with a total travel of about 7.5 inches. This gives ample wind supply even for my CCC Soubasse pipe.

Next I made a one note windchest to get a feel for key action and pallet construction.

Before I committed a 2 foot rank to my design, I wanted to see if I could make a tiny pipe. The pipe is made with an inverted mouth. The cap is held in place with the clamp. I was quite surprised when the pipe made a nice pure tone. Click here for a sound sample.

My next experiment was to see what effect the thickness of the windsheet had on the pipe. I made three A = 440 Hz pipes that were all identical except for the thickness of the windsheet. All three pipes made a nice tone, however the pipe with the thinnest windsheet made the sweetest tone. The thickest windsheet made a louder, more forceful and airy tone.

Just for grins, I wanted to see if I could make a piece of brass vibrate so I made a reed pipe without a resonator. The sound can best be described as sounding like those toys you blow at New Years Eve. Not pretty but I was satisfied that it made reliable noise. I used the following website as the reference for my design. Click here for a sound sample.