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more antique 'pipe organ brass' tools -- "toe cones"

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the tool shed29 of 63more old pipe organ tools -"nicking tools"antique brass pipe organ tools - "tuning cones"
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    Posted 1 year ago

    (729 items)

    Please see yesterday's post of related tools for the backstory -- I don't wanna type all that again...? ;-) :-)

    Here's another handful of my antique work tools. Most of these (all the ones on the LH side of pics) are what we call "toe cones", in that they are intended to be used to make/adjust the pointy bottom ends (a.k.a. "toes") of organ pipes. (vs. the tuning cones, meant to adjust their top ends) The last pic included here shows the toe of a typical little pipe -- that small hole in it is just as critical (actually moreso) than the top opening for the end result of the musical note that any individual pipe 'plays' and is what these tools are used to adjust/close, by carefully knocking the cone against the bottom of the pipe. (other awl-like tools are used, should the hole need slightly enlarged instead)

    Unlike the tuning cones, these tools aren't so often used in the field, more usually being found in the shop -- specifically the 'pipe shop' (or 'voicing room') where organ pipes are crafted in the first place. The 3 cones seen on the LH side here are particularly notable as a set (with differing tapers inside each, though their exteriors are mostly the same) which can be used (in turn) to first form the overall pointy shape of the pipe toes.

    The three in the middle don't match, but are meant to perform the same general function. The smallest one of them is probably the most unusual due to its relatively tiny size/weight. [which also makes it particularly useful from time to time...when one is dealing with tiny pipes, one needs tiny tools...?]

    The two larger cones on the RH side are the exceptions to the rest shown here, being normally used for various shaping/rounding tasks while pipes are being made and voiced.

    Like the tuning cones, these tools are all made of solid brass, and I am no doubt only the current in a probably long series of 'former owners'. Gotta say that there *is* rather an interesting feeling of satisfaction when using these tools, with the thought of all those artist/craftsmen who have come before me -- all (including myself) simply endeavoring to create beautiful musical instruments. It's a pretty *good* feeling, actually... ;-) :-) :-) :-)

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    1. UncleRon UncleRon, 1 year ago
      And on the weekends you go to the Atlantic City boardwalk and scam the rubes with a Pea & Cup table.
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      I like your thinking UncleRon.
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      Makes me wonder how many sets of these still exists ? Do you have the complete set & how many in a set ?
    4. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 1 year ago
      Thanks SO VERY MUCH to blunderbuss2, Vynil33rpm, Brunswick, fortapache, ho2culcha, Toyrebel, Roycroftbooksfromme1, kwqd, iggy, and officialfuel for stopping by and leaving your comments and<love it>s!! :-) :-) :-)

      BB2, those are nearly impossible questions, as tools such as these weren't really *ever* mass produced in any typical sense, in 'sets' or otherwise. Also, in a practical sense, they aren't necessarily *used* that way -- the three cones on the far left here are an exception to that, but also have a specific usage (which I didn't go into, it not being terribly relevant to this) which could make those three the most unique of them all. Those three (and the two far RH side) more than likely were made for what we call a "pipe shop" where the actual organ pipes themselves are made (vs. the rest of the instrument that contains them, in a shop like ours) and wouldn't normally be found in a tuner/technician's tool chest -- nearly every tuner, OTOH, has one or two similar to those in the middle. (for 'general purpose usage') In fact, there are at least two other slightly larger 'odd cones' similar to the middle ones at the shop, I didn't include them in my pics here since they technically aren't my own property like the rest of all these. :-)

      In any event, it is just as likely as not that most of these could have been made by the first person who intended to use them. Even if sourced/purchased from a 'trade supplier' way back when, it is still logical to think they would have been produced as a 'small batch' or 'one off' item, as required by demand, which wouldn't have *ever* been much. They are most definitely "specialty tools", with NO particular other intended purpose or usage...

      Today, there's probably less than a couple dozen existing shops (USA) that potentially would still have an assortment like these. Less than one hand probably required to name the shops (of those) that might have a larger selection, and/or who might actually still USE them as intended. (vs. as 'display items' on the owner's office shelves, that is)

    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
      They're like tuning forks & one is close enough to tune more than one pipe ?
    6. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 1 year ago
      No, they aren't like tuning forks in that they don't make/provide any actual 'pitch reference'. Think of these more like very specialized hammers (sorta like auto body tools?) which are designed to form/shape metal in a specific way.

      Being solid brass and generally bell-shaped, they do actually have a kind of pleasant ring to 'em when tapped on or together, but it is just an accidental function of the material/form.

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