Orgel- und
Thomas Reilich
Ensdorf, Germany:
Hinkel, Ulm, Built in 1922-23
There was apparently no room for this mighty Ernst Hinkel reed organ in a rectory in Mannheim and it was therefore given to Andreas Hoffmann, who is now its proud owner.
At first, the plan was only to clean the instrument and make it playable but, seeing that the bellows assembly was a bungled affair, we then decided to restore the mechanics.
Once Andreas Hoffmann saw a sample of part of the casing which had been renovated, he was enthralled, and what was to have been a simple cleaning job became a complete restoration.
Here is a photo of the instrument which has been completely disassembled. The oak case has been washed out with alcohol.
The new varnish was grain-enhanced to restore the original deep, warm colour.
By chance, I had worked on an instrument of the same model (with a shorter stop list) in my workshop during the previous autumn, so I was able to copy the missing wooden parts from this other instrument and then match the colour accordingly.
After the work on the casing was finished, we started on the restoration of the interior. This photo shows the instrument in “ruins”.
Only a “few hours” later, things were beginning to look a great deal better, although it sometimes felt as if the 5 1/2 octaves were sheer endless (e.g. when I was cleaning the valves).
Here, we see the bellows assembly with new cloth, shortly before completion of the work. It was necessary to reconstruct the cardboard folds of the feeder bellows as they had been removed during a previous renovation. This was why there had been an audible “plopping” sound which could also be felt through the pedals whenever the feeder bellows were pumped.
In the course of earlier restoration work, the full compass, super-octave coupler in the bass range had been transformed into a sub-octave coupler (without a separate drawstop). This transformation was now reversed. In the photograph, the bellows and the other interior parts are back in place, ready for fitting the keyboard.
Again, the restoration work included a rebuild: a heel release was connected to the extension (“prolongement”).
The black parts, which had been showing their age, no longer matched the fresh, new look of the instrument, so we re-drilled all the felt guides, retouched the shellac on the surface and polished it.
Of course, we did not only refurbish the visible parts. We renewed all felts, renewed the leather on all mechanical surfaces, removed the rust from the axles and applied a preservative fluid, etc...etc...etc.
Having completed the mechanical part of the work, I was then able to apply myself to the tuning. The photo shows the work nearly completed. The additional soundboards for sub bass and descant 16' have already been fitted at the back (clapped shut). At this stage, work on the rear actions is no longer possible.
The list of stops is very impressive indeed! Here, I would particularly like to point out the additional soundboards for the descant 16' and the shawm 8'. In the descant 16', one row of reeds is transformed into three stops – musette, French horn and bassoon – by opening an additional sound flap or wind flap. The reeds are screwed on flat (as in a reed organ with pressure bellows) and are not fitted in individual channels.
Subbass 16' C - c
Subbass dolce 16'
Aeolian harp 8'
Gamba 8'
Aeolian harp 2'
Viola 4'
Viola dolce 4'
Diapason 8'
Echo horn 8'
Octave coupler
Vox Humana
Hohl flute 8'
The shawm 8' is located in the lower part of the instrument, near the bellows, and speaks through holes drilled near to the right knee lever. However, the distinctive clear sound of this stop is attributed to the fact that the reeds are not made of the usual brass, but of nickel, and the free end is not located back in the channel, but at the front, near the stop flap.
Melodia 8'
Flute 4'
Shawm 8'
Vox Celestis 8'
Baryton 32'
Violine 8'
Aeolian harp 8'
Musette 16'
French horn 16'
Fagott 16'
Bifara 16' & 4'
Further information about Andreas Hoffmann, his work and this particular instrument can be found at (German only).
Descant forte
Heel release (new)
Knee lever left: Grand jeu
Knee lever right: Forte