Reply by Lee Barker

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Posted on Harvesting a piano

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 11-30-2012 04:57 PM

Here’s a few pics. This will end up being a blog, but I wanted to add to the knowledge base here.

I’m told that one of the effects of the tragedy of TS Sandy was a large number of pianos that go to the dump. Some are worth saving I hear, but most aren’t.

A piano is a heavy object (recommended book) but it is made to come apart. Not always easily, but apart anyway.

As I looked at the beautiful veneered wood for potential salvage, I always ended up wondering how one would treat the cut edges to match. Or contrast maybe?

Just a couple of comments about disassembly:

1. If it’s older, be prepared for lots of slotted head screws.

2. The tuning pins were a challenge. They go through the cast iron frame and must be removed in order to get the iron out. A professional tuning wrench? A silly effort unless you have an apprentice.

Finally: a 1/4” drive deep socket, size 5/16. The drive side fits on the pins. I put a piece of 5/16 hex material in the nut side and chucked that in a drill. The 12v units: not enough torque. 3/8 Makita corded: still not enough. Porter Cable 1/2” corded: success! The result? exactly 9 lbs. of tuning pins!

3. Some of the parts were glued on the soundboard, which is 3/8 thick spruce. That is glued into the box.

As for my idea of putting a TV lift in it (Auton is one brand), I think that’s absolutely doable and would be way cool. I just have to find a commission. My house is not large enough for it.

Other interesting possibilities emerged, and I’ll deal with those in the blog.

The cast iron piece is quite interesting. Son Joe hefted one end and said, “About 100 lbs.” I put it on the scale, no, we did. 105. I took it home. That may have been a mistake.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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