Most of the organ’s wood is quarter-sawn domestic white oak, from the
Ohio River Valley. But Chris Lowe, case builder, couldn’t find quarter
sawn white oak domestically that was long enough for the 18-foot long
petal tower frames or for the main big timbers by the keyboard. He
finally found the right oak from a forest in Germany that’s been
sustainably harvested for 300 years.
The big timbers for the balcony frame and the bellows frame are recycled timbers from old mill buildings.
Researchers looked around the globe for the perfect color to stain the organ’s wooden surfaces and found it not ten mile away in Trumansburg, New York. Caput mortem, a red pigment in linseed oil, is an all-natural stain that matches precisely the color of the balcony wood. But after
it was applied, Munetaka Yokata, organ designer, felt the wood of the
case had become too dry. So Chris Lowe, builder of the case, put a layer
of wax over the entire surface of the organ. By hand, of course.