The Second Organ Move   

Just a little over a year from the time that I originally bought and moved the organ, I purchased a new home which was big enough for me and all my toys. So that meant that about 17 months after the original move of the organ, it was time to move it again. With the first move having happened a relatively short time previously, the second move was much more efficient and overall much faster, even though we were now moving it about four miles away, and not just across the street!

Pipes in the carMore pipes in the car

The views above are just of two of the carloads of items that had to be transported. These photos are primarily of the organ pipes, though other carloads included the console bench, and some of the access panels from both the console and the wind chest.

The major pieces of the wind chest and console were moved in a rented truck, and unfortunately I took no photos of the parts loaded up in that.


I started disassembly of the organ early on a Thursday afternoon in late July of 1999. On that Thursday I removed, boxed up and transported the pipes, organ bench, access panels, music rack and the main electrical cable that connects the console to the wind chest.

Over at the new house, the pipes were laid out in a nearby bedroom that fortunately didn't have much in the way of furniture yet, and are seen in the one photo below.

Once the parts that could be moved easily were taken care of, it was time to install the electrical cable. In the old house, the cable was routed around the perimeter of the room that the organ was in. At the new house, I planned to route it properly under the floor. The new house's cellar has an open ceiling and it was a fairly simple process to cut the necessary holes in the walls and the floor under the walls and the pull the cable into place. The cable can be seen exiting the wall just to the right of the one pedal pipe cabinet in the photo below.

Also, in the week before the organ move, I was trying valiantly to get the walls of the room where the organ was going to be placed papered. I had spent the late spring and early summer on this room getting the ceiling painted, old wallpaper stripped (my mom did most of that job) and ready for its new occupant.

I almost made it. The only wallpaper that was hung by the time of the organ move was on the walls behind the console and wind chest, but that was enough. That meant that we could install the organ and not have to move it again.

Pipes on the floorHalf of 16' Bourdon


The next day, a Friday, was the big day for the move. My college friend who helped with the first organ move flew up that morning to spend the weekend assisting with the move. After getting him from the airport, we headed off to get the rented truck and then to the old house to get the major organ pieces.

I decided in this move to replace the badly squashed casters on the wind chest that we discovered in the first move. See the reference to having to carry the wind chest across the street in the story of the first move.

I picked up some casters that "looked good" at Home Depot, and it turns out that they were an exact match, right down to the screw holes! Upon discovering this great stroke of luck, my friend commented to me, "You play a lot of hymns on this thing, don't you?"

With casters replaced, the various pieces of the wind chest, swell box, and console were loaded on the truck and secured. A short trip to the new house and we were ready to start unloading and reassembling.

Complicating the unloading at the new house is the tiny first floor hallway that goes from the foyer to the back of the house where the family room is located, and the new home of the organ. The hall is just barely 27" wide, so it was a tight fit for most of the parts. The wind chest was the most "fun" since it would not make the swing at the end of the hall into the family room doorway. We ended up having to stand the wind chest on end and scoot it around that way.

The console was a similar tight squeeze. The console is an extremely heavy piece of equipment and we slid it down the hallway on old throw rugs -- thank goodness the new house has lots of hardwood floors! The fit of the console was snug, though. We did scuff up the "cheeks" of the manuals slightly, but in all that was the only damage to speak of. Remembering that this is just a bunch of amateurs doing this, I think we did pretty well.

Empty chestMark racks pipes
The windchest and swell box are all reassembled and ready for pipes. Mark racks some of the Fugara pipes

Yrs truly with the RohrfloetesAll done
Yrs Trly racking the Rohrfloetes.All done.

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Updated March 14, 2010