All our Hiring Harmoniums & American Organs were restored by myself.
I hope that the following information + photos enable you to see the quality of my work and thus feel confident that the instrument you hire is restored to a high standard for performance and enjoyment and therefore likely to meet your requirements.
At present I am no longer taking on any more Restoration projects.
I have been working with reed organs of every type – both pressure & suction, for over 30years now. Consequently I have a good deal of experience to bring to my restoration work.
I learned my craft from the last remaining reed organ builder in London (Mr Charles Foster of R F Stevens.)
I have restored harmoniums for professional world class players – some of whom have used their instrument for recording CDs and for many solo recitals + ensemble work.
I restored an experimental harmonium belonging to the Science Museum in London.
In the past I have also restored reed organs for those who treasure their inherited instrument – small or large. However due to the amount of work we have, I no longer do this as a general rule. During the 36years that we have been building our ‘Collection’ I have restored many of our own instruments to a high standard for performance & enjoyment.
A number of years ago (in response to many queries) – I put together a Restoration Guideline book which has sold many copies and is held in high regard by users who tell me that they consider the book to be one of the best ‘go to guides’ they own for restoration projects.
This has been reprinted many times. It is currently available us.
I always use materials & techniques as near to the original as is possible in my restoration work – not compromising the instrument. I have access to tools and materials in my workroom. I use lambskin tanned with salt & alum for harmoniums (pressure instruments) and rubber cloth from USA made to the original specifications for American Organs (suction instruments). I make any parts that need replacing.
When assessing the work required, I generally work in a sequence –
The Action – keys, stops & other mechanisms will need careful cleaning. Felt work needs replacing where damaged by moths. Leather work may be perished & worn and need replacing. Metal parts are often rusty
& seized and springs may be broken
or weak and need replacing.
The Reeds – the ‘voice’ of the instrument – usually need careful cleaning & tuning and silent ones brought back on speech.
This picture shows the reeds all cleaned and replaced.
The Case – often needs little work – just a clean and polish (TLC works wonders!)
Fabrics behind fretwork and on Forte boards may need changing; a new wheel or moulding maybe needed.