Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Roller Board


Recommended Posts

I have just been viewing a Dutch video of a Baroque organ, which has what must be a replacement tracker action. I would have expected each arm on a roller board to have a single hole through which the connection to the tracker would be threaded.

 

In this case the arms have two holes, so the tracker could be hooked to the one nearer to the roller, or the further one. This would obviously give a choice of leverage. However, surely the motion would have been designed from the start to hang the tracker in one of the positions.

 

Could these be arms put together from standard kit parts, or is there another explanation for the two holes?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have just been viewing a Dutch video of a Baroque organ, which has what must be a replacement tracker action. I would have expected each arm on a roller board to have a single hole through which the connection to the tracker would be threaded.

 

In this case the arms have two holes, so the tracker could be hooked to the one nearer to the roller, or the further one. This would obviously give a choice of leverage. However, surely the motion would have been designed from the start to hang the tracker in one of the positions.

 

Could these be arms put together from standard kit parts, or is there another explanation for the two holes?

 

And, presumably, pallet opening distance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have just been viewing a Dutch video of a Baroque organ, which has what must be a replacement tracker action. I would have expected each arm on a roller board to have a single hole through which the connection to the tracker would be threaded.

 

In this case the arms have two holes, so the tracker could be hooked to the one nearer to the roller, or the further one. This would obviously give a choice of leverage. However, surely the motion would have been designed from the start to hang the tracker in one of the positions.

 

Could these be arms put together from standard kit parts, or is there another explanation for the two holes?

 

Was it a pedal action you were looking at? By changing the hole would effect the ratio and as you said change the leverage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that perhaps I should have been clearer when I posed my question, so I have gone back and looked at the video more carefully - and now I am more confused. This is the magnificent DVD which comes with the multimedia pack about the organ in the Martinikerk in Groningen and the organs in surrounding towns and villages which throw light on it; see

http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...mp;hl=groningen

 

One of the "chapters" on the DVD is about the 1698 Arp Schnitger in the Nieuw Scheemda Hervormde Kerk. Bernhardt Edskes talks about Schnitger's design of the organ front, and interspersed between shots of the front pipes are pictures of a tracker action, illustrating how the roller boards shift the tracker movement sideways from the position of the key to the position of the pipe. Anyone who didn't pay careful attention (as I didn't, first time) might conclude that they are shots of the front and back of the same instrument.

 

At the end of the chapter, Edskes comments that all of the action is original; that after 300 years nothing has needed to be replaced and the touch is as good as anyone could wish.

 

So, the pictures of the trackers, rollers and and roller arms, which are obviously very new, are from another instrument altogether. These are all of bright clear new wood with bright brass links. It appears that the arms at each end of the roller all have two holes in the arm, at a very rough guess, about 3cm apart.

 

But why two holes?

Link to post
Share on other sites
So, the pictures of the trackers, rollers and and roller arms, which are obviously very new, are from another instrument altogether. These are all of bright clear new wood with bright brass links. It appears that the arms at each end of the roller all have two holes in the arm, at a very rough guess, about 3cm apart.

 

But why two holes?

 

Were they in a completed instrument or one under construction? Could the extra hole be used to work another roller via a sticker and thus onto another soundboard? Or could it be part of a coupler system that connects directly to the roller? Was the front or the back hole 'empty'? If the back hole was empty, and given the movement of a pedal key is more than that of a manual one, could the front hole come from a manual key, and the back hole come from a pedal?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are some pictures.

http://tinyurl.com/y85p399

Curious. The trackers, wires, arms and rollers all suggest this is a pedal action. The boring and countersinking of the back hole suggest that another wire could go through, so a further rollerboard arrangement might be a reasonable suggestion. But, this action looks finished and regulated. What we don't know is whether it is or not. The most logical answer to me is more than one pedal soundboard, and the links to the smaller one have not yet been installed. This might allow for different levels of pallet movement too. I wouldn't want to see the pedal trackers operating at an angle to line up with the back hole, and I would question their effectiveness in opening a single pallet if they did. As I said, curious.

 

AJS

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few thoughts...

 

1 I doubt it's a pedal action/soundboard we're looking at. The soundboard scale would be too narrow to accomodate large basses, some of which look to be in the centre.

 

2 Where does the action come from ? Well, (partly obscured by the text) at the bottom looks to be a set of action squares that would be at key scale.

 

3 The holes in the roller arms would only be about 1cm apart - not as much as 3cm. Look at the width of the tracker material.

 

4 The holes look like an organ builders option, to allow pallet opening or leverage ratio to be changed. Easy to provide this when making the action in the workshop - difficult if you find the touch is wrong when you're on site ! In this case, it looks like a 1:1 ratio was quite ok.

 

5 The trackers, brass wires, even the oak roller arms could be replacements for originals as part of a 'restoration'. Let's not discuss the rights and wrongs of that - opinions change and differ !

 

6 Ideally, the trackers should connect at 90 degrees to the arm. At rest the roller arm will be slightly above horizontal anyway, so that the roller arm arcs through horizontal and slightly below as it follows the key travel. If the back hole had been used, the tracker would only be a couple of degrees off vertical, which wouldn't be a disaster. The ratio of pallet opening to key movement is the critical thing.

 

H

Link to post
Share on other sites

What made me think it was a pedal action is that I counted 32 trackers going up from the roller board. Also it looks like a main pedal soundboard to the right, hence my suggestion of a small 'kleine' pedal. It does look like the basses are in the middle, but if it's a manual division, where's the rest of the action ? I suppose if I miscounted, it could be the action to a short compass manual division, certainly the square beam looks key scale.

 

Still don't get why when you make the action, you reckon you could be so far out with your measurements that you would need 2 sets of holes. If it's a fixed length action, this might in effect be the adjustment to prevent ciphers, but you would get a very uneven key touch as a consequence. However it could be a modern reconstruction of the original roller arms which had 2 holes, and to be faithful to that, this has been replicated.

 

AJS

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm wondering if this is the organ in the photographs.

 

Uithuizen, Hervormde Kerk

 

Have a look at www.arpschnitger.nl

I think that you are right. The description certainly fits, and it was restored recently by Edskes, the narrator on the DVD. I will be visiting that organ next year, and hope (a) that the action is visible and (:rolleyes: that there is someone knowledgeable who can explain this mystery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The surface of and the lettering on the trackers suggests

- modern material

- manual compass

(The Pedal pipework is visible with its reed resonators right below - a typical arrangement for smaller Schnitger style organs

 

The images might fit to Uithuizen (colour of wood etc.), and if you check http://www.arpschnitgerorgeluithuizen.nl/ and the history, you can see that actions and rollerboards have been reconstructed by Edskes/Metzler.

 

To have two holes might then be seen as a modern solution to have a choice of two slightly different actions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The surface of and the lettering on the trackers suggests

- modern material

- manual compass

(The Pedal pipework is visible with its reed resonators right below - a typical arrangement for smaller Schnitger style organs

 

The images might fit to Uithuizen (colour of wood etc.), and if you check http://www.arpschnitgerorgeluithuizen.nl/ and the history, you can see that actions and rollerboards have been reconstructed by Edskes/Metzler.

 

To have two holes might then be seen as a modern solution to have a choice of two slightly different actions.

 

I concur.

 

I presume that the two 'new' roller arm holes are a faithful reproduction of what previously existed and that the action is connected as before.

 

H

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...