The most used and most critical material in pipe organ construction is wood. It is used for all of the major internal parts: the windchests, which house the mechanisms necessary to control the pipes, the bellows, and the wooden pipes.
Wood is always affected by humidity changes in the atmosphere, and this can potentially create severe damage to its structure, both aesthetically and regarding functionality: pipes can stop playing, or can play continuously, out of control. The risk of potential damage can be largely reduced by the proper choice and the proper treatment of woods.
All of the functional internal parts of a Fratelli Ruffatti organ are made from Sipo mahogany. Its contraction and expansion rate is less than half that of other woods commonly used in organbuilding, specifically oak. This means that Sipo is a more stable and reliable material. Also, its natural properties are emphasized by the way it is cut and seasoned.
Fratelli Ruffatti selects the Sipo mahogany logs as they come off the boat from Africa. It is the best among the several varieties of mahogany, and its origin is certified according to the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) rules and regulations, ensuring sustainable forestry. The wood is then cut with the “quarter sawing” or radial technique, and subsequently seasoned at our shop for five years.
Cutting of the logs is done to our strict specifications, utilizing the “quarter sawing”
The cut boards are placed on spacers to ensure air exposure for all surfaces. They are stored in the open, and then indoors for a total of five years to naturally stabilize and season the wood fibers.