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Cornell Baroque Organ

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Burning the rack to seal pipe from moisture

Building a Case

The organ case was created by local cabinet maker Christopher Lowe, who’d never before created anything of this magnitude. “It was a challenge just to get my mind around the scale of it at first,” says Lowe. “But I realized there was nothing that I didn’t know how to do, I just had to be ready to do a lot of it. The tolerances are really tight. We worked to about a thirty-second of an inch for all of our work, but that’s on a scale of 25 feet.”organ assembly

Challenges came from unexpected places, like the molding. “The points and polygons presented interesting geometric conundrums,” says Lowe. “Not only the cutting of the joints, but the gluing up of those. One of the things people don’t realize about putting furniture and cabinets together is that the clamping of the gluing joints is quite an art in itself. For some pieces there’d be just a forest of clamps trying to push these things into place and hold them.”

organ assemblyAll the nails Lowe used were hand-forged in Sweden. He recalls that it “took us a little while to get used to the aesthetic. You’re used to seeing the nail head holding something on, but in this case we would nail from the back and penetrate the surface, and then clench over the nail itself. It ends up looking like a staple but it’s a rod iron nail.”