20-note Street Organ

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Introduction: 20-note Street Organ

This is a homemade 20 note street organ. It is completely enclosed in 1/4" plexiglass so all the mechnical movements can be observed while it is playing. Music is provided on a paper music roll. Motion is provided with a hand crank on the rear of the organ. The cart is hand made and has storage shelves inside the skirt.

Starting from scratch it would take about one month to build this organ assuming you still have to work for a living. All the parts are available at common home improvement centers except for the drapery blackout material found in fabric stores. It can be built using power tools found in most woodworking shops.

I would like to give some very basic instructions on how to build the whistles and then you can decide if you want to look deeper into the project.
You can use just about any kind of wood that you have laying around as long as it is clear and solid. I used plain carpenters glue for everything. The basic layout of the whistle is shown below. The dimensions for each whistle are also given.
The two longest whistles are bent as shown to fit onto the backside of the mounting panel. Windows are cut into the panel to allow the sound to come out the front.
The whistles are tuned using about 5 - 6 water column inches of pressure. A diagram of a homemade Manometer used to measure the water column inches is shown below.The whistles are almost a complete chromatic scale so you might be able to find another novel use for them.
Of course It would be nice to have a lot more detail on whistle construction but maybe this will be enough to get you started. There is a lot of information on the internet about "Home brew" street Organs.






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24 Comments

hello you still selling the book, I can't find it on eBay?

Is there a price or link to how to buy or do I just not see it? An e-book that maybe covers the cost of hosting the site would probably be a reasonable thing to do, at most.

I like instructables too, because people share, and don't sell. I'd like to give some of the pages of a book that I have, and swap from another. That way I can share the in the making of another 20-note organ, just for the pleasure of it, not for the money.

~I don't understand... I admire Instructables because people share, not sell. It seems this entry is in the wrong arena. Give something... perhaps the drawings only but share! I don't care how good the book or the results are - I do care that this muddies the clear beauty of my favourite site.

My apologies sir. You are correct in your thinking. My problem is the project is so big that it can't fit into the instructables but I did want to share something that was home made. However I did take your suggestion and at least added some instructions on how to make the whistle part of the organ which could possibly be put to use by creative thinkers.

So this is basically an advertisement to buy a book? Pretty useless as an instructable!

Fortunately its helped a few, including myself, to have a foundation to start on, to me that makes it a good instructable :)

I bought your ebook and the drawings and have been working on my street organ as time allows. So far the instructions have been very easy to follow and everything is going together nicely. I have made a few little changes to your plans but for the most part have followed them as you have outlined them. When I finish, I'll send pictures or a link to pictures and youtube videos. Thanks for making this easy......Jim


JIM - Thanks for the support on my book. If you have any questions along the way just let me know and I'll do what I can to help you out
Ken