Restoration

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David Wells Organ Builders Ltd is accredited for this work by the IBO.

An important part of our work is the Restoration of worthy organs.

Not all organs are worth restoring; age is no guarantee of quality or worth. The cost of proper restoration is second only to new construction. Only where the history and circumstances justify it do we offer true Restoration.

Where appropriate, we follow the current best practices as set out from time to time by recognised authorities. Each instrument is treated in accordance with its needs and merits. Where original methods are clear and still proper, they are used in the treatment. For example, hot glue is used for most 19th century and earlier woodwork, but some builders at the beginning of the 20th century used cold-water glue for flooding newly made soundboards. No anachronistic materials are introduced unless the original is no longer available or suitable. We do not necessarily discard the reed tongues of renowned voicers on the doubtful grounds of ‘fatigue’, and we certainly do not replace leather buttons or bedding with synthetic materials. Where an organ has survived without later interference we do not think it appropriate to obscure its roots by unnecessary repainting and repolishing woodwork; neither would we wash away the patina of front pipes in caustic solutions. In short, our aim is to preserve the sound of the organ and to present its appearance refreshed but intact.

Where doubt exists as to what was the original form, other extant examples of the builder’s work would be consulted. Where no conclusion can easily be drawn, a course would be adopted that is most useful to the player and does not run counter to the original builder’s known methods or the habits of that period.