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3D printing pipes


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Not actually 3D printing, but milling them out of a block of wood. 

Here aktuelle Projekte (o-h-r.com)  is a link to the Orgel- und Harmonium Werkstatt Thomas Reilich in southern Germany, not far from where I used to live. He does a lot of work with harmoniums, documenting almost everything on his picture-rich website, and one particular project is enlarging a John Holt harmonium with some real pipes. The pictures here show stages in making pipe feet, and some small flute pipes, from a composite block of wood using a milling machine. I read many years ago that small wooden pipes can be expensive to make. Perhaps this can cut some costs. I've seen milling machines in organ workshops before, of course, as well as pipes made from all sorts of materials, but hadn't seen this.

As an aside, during one visit to the Early Music Festival in Utrecht many years ago, we met an English lute maker who was displaying the heaviest lute I've ever held. He said it was an experiment with an old block of wood. He noticed that it was about the right size for a lute, so sculpted one from this solid block rather than go to the bother of sticking all those thin strips of wood together. Sounded nice as well, subtly but noticeably different from a normal lute, and presumably handy in a lutenists' duel when their notorious arguments about historically informed performance get out of hand 😉 

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