Daddy? Can you make a flute for me?

And so the story starts. And before you know it you have to make more. While making them, your brains start thinking about to do more with the flutes you have made. A visit to te museum "Van speeldoos tot pierement" in Utrecht gave the ideas more body, especially when i got the crank organ plans of Johan de Vries....

There he was. After a year of tinkering. A 38 note book organ.

At the time that I have finished this organ, i met Geert Jacobs (see photogallery). He thought me about punch machines and the existence of Midiboek. I have written in that time in GW-Basic language a program for printing crank organ books. In a text file was defined, where the notes should be printed. Geert gave me a version of Midiboek and the source code of it. Midiboek translated midi files to a work file which could be read by Autocad for DOS. The time passed by and the end for DOS came. The Windows versions for Autocad read the whole file which gave a drawing of the complete book. This gave the result of a slow or sometimes motionless computer. I decided to write an own print routine for printing the drawing instructions which are in the work file. This resulted in a fast printing program. A new Midiboek version written in Visual Basic was born. I gave this version then to Piet Paardekam, the original writer of the program, who was very enthousiast of my result. Piet modified and extended the program to the nowadays version, an excellent piece of work.

In the beginning my children used the crank organ to obtain some extra pockety money on markets, but later when they grew up, the organ stood in a corner and a huge layer of dust came over it.

On a sunday afternoon I met Wim Vullers, who also has made an organ according the "De Vries" plans. After some visits I decided to promote our hobby by organising hobby meetings in a regional museum "De Locht" in Melderslo (NL). Also a start was made for this website and through both ways I came in contact withe more collegue hobbyists. Meanwhile I had build a second organ, but it did not play due some technical problems. One of the colleague hobbyists told me about the construction plans of the German Walter Höffle. I was very enthusiastic about this plan and decided to make an organ. Although my knowledge of the German language is sufficient, I had some trouble with the technical terms and I decided to translate the whole plan for myself. The result was a good playing crank organ with four registers. During several meetings the interests for the construction plan of Höffle increased and I decided to give my translation to Walter so that he could sell the translated plans.

After nine months working every evening in my hobby room I finishedmy 20 note organ.

Due to circumstances Walter stopped with delivery of his crank organ plans and after permission I decided to publish his plans. My first goal was to make an English version and after that even a Spanish version was made. From Walter I got several workplace notes. Some of them were from a 42 note organ. These notes were the start of my new project: a 42 note midi driven crank organ. On a separate page you will find the complete story of making this organ. The organ got the name of my wife because for the hours she had to miss me for my hobby...

After this "big" organ it was time for a smaller one. Hans Beijer had made a building description of a belly organ. Since a small organ makes high demands to the construction and especially the consumption of the available air, this organ has not yet been completed satisfactorily.

Ulrich Stille had completed a building description for a 31 key midi controlled barrel organ with 6 registers. A generous bellows that provides ample air and equipped with 6 registers makes it a pleasure to play on this organ. In total this organ has 116 pipes. Because there is one more on the midi interface channel was free, it gave me the opportunity to add a conductor who beats to the rhythm of the music. Around this time I decided to have all my organs to number it and to provide it with the French version of my first name.

I already had a building description of a barrel organ by John Boersma, a simple 20 key organ that played on a paper roll. In terms of housing, I deviated on a number of points, so that the whole became less heavy. Peasant painting became easier and better for me and so this organ also got the same decoration.

During this period I got to know Christian Dressel from Germany. He too was addicted to building barrel organs. After building his Höffle organ, he designed one own organ based on the building descriptions of Beijer and Höffle. It also became a midi-controlled organ, which is much more practical for a belly organ. My "number 6" had to have a little brother to have.

It's time for a summary. The photo was taken in mid-2019.

Well, and then came corona. So sitting at home. An ideal opportunity to build a new organ again. I actually missed my Höffle organ (number 3). One on paper roll playing organ with 4 registers. Since my favorite color is blue, this organ was based on this color. Furthermore, the organ had to be a tribute to Walter Höffle to give it a typical southern German character. Two famous castles were painted on the sides.

Christian Dressel had already designed and built a paper roll version of his Belly Organ, so this was the next project. For the construction of this organ using a computer controlled milling machine. Unfortunately, Christian passed away during the construction of my organ and did not live to see its completion. For the decoration I used a laser burner, which gave a very nice effect.

It is now 2023, my retirement is just around the corner and I am still bursting with ideas.