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White Paint


Guest Cynic
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A few days ago, I was chatting about a little organ that once came to me in bits. It had been professionally installed for a friend who had since moved on. The curiosity that amused me was that instead of the bellows being releathered when it was installed, the organbuilder [who worked for a non-Mander firm who shall remain nameless] had painted the old leather white. Why? you ask.

 

Now, at any distance, the effect of painting the leather white is to make it look as if it has been newly re-leathered. Mind you, one would imagine that a coat of paint upon leather would be more likely to cause trouble in the future. That and, let's be honest, this is a shoddy trick. I could be called a bodge-artist when it comes to cheap and cheerful patch-up jobs but this is ridiculous.

 

The reason I mention this, apart from telling you all what some of the official trade can get up to, is to say has anyone else met this? My friend says one firm does/did it all the time!

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  • 1 month later...
Yes this trick went on quite often. A certain firm, sadly no longer with us, was fond of it - even doing it at an historic North West Cathedral. I don't think it was paint, rather a whitening mixture which didn't crack too much when the bellows rose.

 

 

Really?

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Do you dispute 'sadly' or are you thinking of a firm which is still traiding?

 

I was trying to be kind - they did loose their way somewhat during the last 'few' years!! Their pneumatic jobs of yesteryear were of the highest quality and even when they started to get bogged down in extension organs they still had some excellent bench hands and reed voicers.

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Do you dispute 'sadly' or are you thinking of a firm which is still traiding?

 

I was trying to be kind - they did loose their way somewhat during the last 'few' years!! Their pneumatic jobs of yesteryear were of the highest quality and even when they started to get bogged down in extension organs they still had some excellent bench hands and reed voicers.

 

 

I think we're talking about the same firm, though it was your mention of a historic North West cathedral that had me worried. Surely they wouldn't have tried this trick there? Actually, more than one 'major' firm used this 'white paint trick', but (coincidence or not?) both ceased trading not very long ago. I agree with what you say about some excellent workmen. Unfortunately, good workmanship at the bench is somtimes matched neither by fine tuners/maintainers outside nor approachable and concientious managament attitudes to top the firm off.

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