Piano Reconstruction...

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Blog entry by jeth posted 01-20-2012 03:43 PM 5085 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all..

I have recently been working on some wooden parts for a rather worse for wear Yamaha upright Piano.. My work was all but done, just left with the assembly and final polish ahead. Unfortunately, the client at this stage has now decided they don’t want to pay the price and offered me, well, an insult, so at some point I guess I will be putting some piano shaped shelving together :) I have lost a substantial amount of time on this job, the first time I have done any lamination work and without a fully equipped workshop there was a lot of time invested in set up and preparation… but I learnt a great deal and enjoyed a good part of it so all was not lost… Just a little concerned about how I am going to eat this month :)

I will post a few pics up here, but there are a lot more of the process up on my facebook page if anyone wants to see more..

It all started with a rough chunk of Cedar..

The boards eventually became two glued up panels..

And then they got sliced up..

..and sent through the planer to bring them down to almost their final thickness.. this was done with great care to avoid ruining the thin pieces with tearout, wetting down before each light pass..

The laminations were laid up over an MDF core, the edge banding ended up being a bit thicker than the norm due to the dimensions of the MDF I had laying around.. Unfortunately down here economy often takes priority over the ideal..
I had to make the handscrew clamps for the glue up as I didn’t have enough, I also built a torsion box style platten to keep things straight…

Edging clamp up..

Edged and tidied up..


Clamp up (practise run)..

Laminated panel end detail..

As this is a little photo heavy I will continue in a second part I think..

4 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3738 days

#1 posted 02-03-2012 04:46 PM

That looks like a lot of work, and some clever solutions. I hope the customer has a change of heart and pays up. If not can you sell the piano to recover (some?) of your money?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2719 days

#2 posted 02-03-2012 04:48 PM

That’s too bad about the client bailing. Pretty unsportsmanlike. This is a lot of nice work you’ve done.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View a1Jim's profile


117119 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 02-03-2012 04:56 PM

Lots of good work ,I always get a 50% or more deposit depending on material cost this helps customers to want to follow up with the final payment or they feel like they are losing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jeth's profile


262 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 02-03-2012 05:30 PM

Thanks for the comments.. yeah, I would normally get 50% upfront too, but this was all a big mistake, the client was a close acquaintance (ex family member in fact) and the whole deal was very casual.. I got asked if I could do it, said I’d investigate, got back to her to say it would be a complex and costly project and got told to do it whatever the cost.. A lesson learnt, work is work, stick to the protocol ;)

I don’t think I’ll have much luck selling it, I don’t have the piano itself, the iron framed chassis with all the workings is still with the client, I just produced the replacement woodwork. here pianos are expensive and very few people own one, chances of finbding a buyer for these specific pieces are slim. I think I will turn the side panels into a desk, shelving unit, or bureau at some point… Just last night my mind wandered off thinking about how to use those keyboard support pieces in a piece of furniture…

Anyway, not a total loss, I enjoyed an interesting job and the challenges it presented, and I learnt a great deal – my first attempt at lamination work.
Hopefully a decent job will come up soon to get me out of this rather deep dark financial hole!

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