Picture of 20-note Street Organ
Air supply front view.jpg
Finished pump front view.jpg
Cart complete ready for sides.jpg
All whistles mounted.jpg
Whistle dimensions.jpg
Whistle dimensions.png
Big Pipe bends.jpg
Big whistles mounted.jpg
Whistle placement diagram.jpg
Tuning set-up.jpg
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. You can hear the actual sounds of the organ in the following youtube:

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.

Obviously I cannot include detailed instructions for the entire organ here because it is a 250 page book. However 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. 

pennyfar2 months ago

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.

I8mAll6 months ago

~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.

calliopeguy (author)  I8mAll6 months ago
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.
frikandel2 years ago
So this is basically an advertisement to buy a book? Pretty useless as an instructable!
Wario frikandel2 years ago
Fortunately its helped a few, including myself, to have a foundation to start on, to me that makes it a good instructable :)
jgray162 years ago
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

calliopeguy (author)  jgray162 years ago
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
This is amazing. And it is very well tuned.
You probably wouldn't want to publish something like a construction plan here?
I personally would not have the time to build an organ like this now... but when I get retired, this would be a very favourable projects (together with my grandchildren or so.)...
Kind regards,
calliopeguy (author)  chgeiselmann3 years ago
I do have a 250 page book of instructions on how I built this thing. Let me know if you are interested in building this really is not too difficult
i would like to have that 250 page book instructions on how to built this. i'm a living statue performer and i'd like to do a statue of a balerina in a music box. so it had to be constructed in large scale. i can i do that?
calliopeguy (author)  msilva123 years ago
To all that have inquired, I am very near completion of an ebook version of my construction plans for this organ. If you are interested, please email me at:

I would be interested in your plans to build the 20 note organ.


Belfast. Northern Ireland

calliopeguy (author)  Treeweeler2 years ago
Ray - The printed plans for the organ are available on ebay at:

or you can just do a search on ebay for:
"Street Organ Plans" without the quotes

Please let me know if you have any trouble locating the item
one question! can i large the actual size of this model? will it work?
Hi, I would like to get a copy of your book on building the Busker Organ. From watching your videos and seeing that you devoted 250 pages to your plans, I can tell it is worth having. I have purchased both the John Smith and Melvyn Wright plans, but they are both, in my opinion, unreadable. I have 35 years experience as a woodworker, and have never seen such a jumble of napkin scrawling. I would love to build one, and will be happy to pay for your plans. You can contact me through Instructables, or private message.
Hi may i plz have a copy of the 250 page instructions on how I built the Organ . thank you
That's fantastic!
I would love a copy of the instructions.
calliopeguy (author) 3 years ago
I now have a complete set of construction plans available for this organ. The ebook version is available on with the name "20-note Street Organ". The 254 page printed copy is available on ebay under the name "Street Organ plans". I do offer online help to anybody that buys the plans.
SANDBOX13 years ago
Great build!!! What do you plan to build next? I sent you a request for a copy of your ebook.
ksmith93 years ago

I can't believe you haven't gotten more comments from this!
rimar20003 years ago
AWESOME, I LOVE IT. You are a great maker.

But please, add captions to the video, so we non-anglophone can understand that you are saying. Hearing English, I can't understand a phrase!