Introduction: Turning an Organ Into a Coffee Bar

Picture of Turning an Organ Into a Coffee Bar

This antique organ was donated to my church.  Unfortunately, the organ was so old that the church received instructions not to use the organ, begging the question as to why have it at all.  Ultimately, it was decided that the organ would be used, but seeing as it no longer played very well, it would be repurposed as a "bar" to hold drinks and snacks in our coffee lounge.  Note, in the attached photo, that the panel of wood that covers the keyboard is currently "up" and pushed back into the organ itself.  When extended, it slopes at an angle and covers the keys.  This keyboard cover, when modified, will serve as the bar.

Step 1: Step 1- Disassembling Parts of the Organ

Picture of Step 1- Disassembling Parts of the Organ

First, I removed a smaller panel of wood that inhibits access to the fastenings of the main panel of wood (that is to say, the keyboard cover, which is currently extended).  This panel was affixed to the organ via two Philips' head screws at each end (three are shown having been removed).  With all four screws removed, the smaller panel was then taken off.  Then, the keyboard cover below the panel was removed.

Step 2: Step 2- Screwing L-Brackets Onto Keyboard Cover

Picture of Step 2- Screwing L-Brackets Onto Keyboard Cover

Next, I screwed an L-bracket onto the right side of the keyboard cover, using two slot-head screws.  I did the same on the left side.  The purpose of this will soon be made clear in a future step.

Step 3: Step 3- Screwing the Keyboard Cover Back on the Organ in a Horizontal Position

Picture of Step 3- Screwing the Keyboard Cover Back on the Organ in a Horizontal Position

Now, note the top edge of the partition with the words "Chicago Cottage" emblazoned on it.  I drove four Philips' head screws through the top long edge of the keyboard cover into the top of the "Chicago Cottage" partition, making it so that the keyboard cover extended out horizontally, rather than sloping downward.  Note that this will forever prevent the cover from being slid back into the organ, but seeing that the musical utility of the organ was pretty much non-existent, this was an acceptable sacrifice.  In such a horizontal position, the keyboard cover can serve as a table for snacks and drinks.  However, with only four screws at the top edge of the keyboard cover, the stability of the new platform was not satisfactory.

Step 4: Step 4- Screw L-Brackets Into "Walls" Along Keyboard

Picture of Step 4- Screw L-Brackets Into "Walls" Along Keyboard

With the keyboard cover screwed in so that it extends horizontally, the previously installed L-brackets now hung down like stalactites.  One of each L-brackets' "arms" were parallel lengthwise to the keyboard cover, attached to the bottom of the cover (the "ceiling" over the keys).  The other arms, without any screws, were parallel height-wise to the right and left walls at the right and left ends of the keyboard.  By screwing Philips' head screws through the holes in the L-bracket arms parallel to the walls, the keyboard cover bar was no longer simply hanging out into space, but had supports, and could thus support a reasonable amount of weight.

Step 5: Step 5- Reattach Small Wood Panel

Picture of Step 5- Reattach Small Wood Panel

Finally, I screwed the smaller wood panel back into its prior position on the organ for aesthetic purposes.  With that done, the organ was ready to serve as a new coffee bar!

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