My aunt and her family purchased her home back in 1974. The piano came with it. At the time the piano was said to be over 75 years old. I lived there for a while and remembered it being a desk in the basement for over 17 years. I thought the actual tree or trees that were used to make it had to be maybe 30 years old at the time, plus drying time would make the wood age around 1840 or so. She decided it was time to clean out her basement and there sat this piano, or what was a piano! A man offered to dispose of it for her and I took it upon myself to reclaim what i could. I enlisted my neighbor to assist with the deconstruction of the piano, but, this piece of art was not on the same note as we were.
I thought this piano was made of anything other than pine, but sadly to my surprise, it was made of spruce pine. I thought i’d stumbled on something good. Well after a few hours of trying to nicely dismantle the piano, my neighbor gave up, never to return. Still i persisted with coddling the deconstruction and soon became less kind. I’ll give it to the builders back then, this piano was beautifully crafted and very sturdy. So, with my crowbar in hand and a hammer i tried to take it apart. I just didn’t have the tools…lol. After repeatedly breaking away at it and slamming it on the concrete slab about 30+ times, I was able to disassemble it. All the wile i was in awe of its construction and learned a valuable lesson about German craftsmanship and craftsmanship back then. I was truly honored to do what i did and actually felt bad for such a work of art…but it didn’t last long!
I did become less attached to pieces I would have trouble using and kept the remainder. I originally thought the beams in the back were solid 4×4 beams, only to find out there were 3 peices of laminated spruce pine. There are 5 of these beams. My intention is to make a nice set of picture frames for my aunt when i have what i need to make it look good, in terms of tools. I will also make something for myself. There was plenty of old hardware that I kept like the old brass handles on the side and the old brass screws.
There is also about 225 pounds or more, of cast iron that i salvaged. I considered taking it to a metal salvage shop but i may not. The iron back them is far more “purer” then cast iron today and i dont want to overlook that. So maybe i can have it melted down to make a nice cast iron table or something that could be of use. In the meantime they make awesome weights!
-- Jerome, Marietta, GA