A young lady contacted me about wanting to convert an old pump organ into a computer desk for her fiancé’s birthday. I asked her if she didn’t want to have the organ repaired but she informed me that the organ was not working and had not worked in a long time. It would be very costly to repair the organ and she wanted to repurpose the instrument. I asked her about the organ, where it came from and if it was in her family for a long time. She told me that her grandfather found it in a farm in Iowa years ago. He went up in his station wagon to get it but it was to big to fit in the back of the car so he tied the organ to the roof of the car and drove back to St. Louis. By the time he got back home, it was late and he did not have any help to get the organ off the roof of the car and into the house. Not wanting to leave the organ outside, her grandfather slept on the front porch. In the morning, he got some help getting the organ off the roof of the car and into the house.
Once I got the organ into the shop, I proceeded to dismantle the organ and remove the “guts”. The area at the base of the organ where the bellows were originally located was converted into storage areas with doors. The sheet music stand was modified to support a computer monitor. The keyboard was removed and used as the back of a shelf at the to of the organ with the shelf being the original keyboard cover of the organ, A rollout desktop was installed in place of the keyboard and the Area under the keyboard was converted into a pencil drawer.
The original finish of the organ was in good shape, so we decided to clean it up and leave it as is. All the new wood was finished in lacquer.
The “desk” was a hit with the young ladies’ fiancé’.