Friday, August 31, 2012

Magnus Chord Organ

About two months ago when Moncton had their annual spring clean day Melanie, Nate and I went (as they say in Ontario) "Junking". As we were driving by this one house Melanie saw an organ and exclaimed: "Hey, my friend had one of those and I've always wanted one." So I stopped and picked it off the side of the road and loaded it into our van

After having it sit around my shop for several months I finally worked up the courage to tackle this project. It ended up being a lot simpler than I thought.

First I wanted to figure out whether it even worked. I had tried it briefly a couple of months ago and it didn't seem to work so now that I had a closer look at it I realized that there was a small little switch on the side of the organ. Once I turned it on it started whirring and to my surprise it actually worked.

First thing I did was take it all apart. It was actually really easy. A couple of screws at the bottom and a few marretts to disconnect the chord and I could open it up. Then a few more screws, a little c-clip and I could slide out the plastic keys of the keyboard.

After grinding off some of the rust on a couple of brackets and a good "deep-clean" of all the plastic parts I put it all back together, sanded off the rust on the brass feet on the legs of the organ and put it all back together. After many long-lasting and sometimes frustrating projects, this was a nice and quick and enjoyable restoration project.

The Major and Minor Chord keys

The true ugly beauty. Just the way we found "her"

Close-up of the keys

Springs put pressure on the keys to keep the reed holes closed

Some water must have gotten into the organ and started rusting the brackets and the steel rods that allow the keys to pivot on

Side view after the main keys were all taken off.

The keys after they were all individually scrubbed with soap and water

All the parts that I had taken off, cleaned. The rusted brackets were wire brushed and painted black

Half-way through the re-assembly

Ready to put the shell back on

The finished produc


Screw driver, grinder, brushes

Some paint, soap and water




Very enjoyable unless Nate plays it, which he loves to do!