Most recently, our organ builders have been continuing work on the wind chests (bonus points if you remember what those are! If not, you can refer to my previous article. Toe holes have been drilled into the toe boards. The pipes will sit in these toe holes and the air will travel through them to make the pipe sound. Our organ will have approximately 1,066 pipes. That means that 1,066 toe holes must be precisely laid out, drilled, and sealed. Organ building is an amazing blend of truly exciting work that is also at times incredibly, incredibly repetitive.
The first set of pipes — the Viola and the Viola Celeste (two sets of strings that will be in the swell division) — have arrived recently from Shires Organ Pipes. Ortloff outsources his pipes from this company that specializes in pipe making. These string pipes are beautiful to look at — they are made of spotted metal, giving them a beautiful shine and a hammered surface for the sound to bounce off of.
You can stay up to date by following the Ortloff Organ Co. on Facebook. They update the page most Fridays with the latest pictures and detailed descriptions of what they’ve been up to. It’s amazing!