OK, time to disassemble upright piano - some ideas needed

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Right, well this is a first for me(!) ;O)
If anyone knows roughly which order an upright is assembled in then that would no doubt help.
Also it has cast iron frame which will need dealing with.
My hope it that it could be done with a grinder (SWMBO will go for a new toy if it's needed, but must be cheap)
I like screwfix, and I'm not adverse to Ferm. I see there is a 230mm Ferm and wondered what discs I would be best off using for it.
I've no experience of using a grinder at all, but have a fair bit of what I think is probably relevant safety gear; whether I have all I need for this job is another matter.
What I could also use some help with specifically is selecting a disc with the right properties and a rough guide as to whether I'm likely to need 5 discs or 20, I've no idea how much work to expect from a disc when using it in anger on cast iron or any other material.
I'm guessing a 115mm is probably too small for this job?
Does anyone happen to know what is added to piano keys to make the wood white, is it probable it's real ivory being a 1930-1940 era beast.
I hate having to do this at all, but they don't sell for much and buying that much seasoned wood along with other materials I can salvage, makes this option make sense when judged coldly (sad world isn't it!)
I need to get a move on too sadly as this is holding up a floor being laid - up until today I thought it was being disposed of in another way.
I'd be very grateful for any insight you may be able to cast on it all.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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All pretty obvious - removable panels above and below the keyboard, to allow tuning/string replacement access. Beyond that, keys and the rest of the action (hammers & felts, linking rods, and the like) will come out next, leaving a strung frame fixed to the wood. You'll want to release the tension in all those strings *gradually*, and I'd prefer not to work from just one end to the other but to take out every third (say) string at a time. For dismantling, I think I'd want a tool to slacken the strings, rather than try cutting through the (notoriously hard) piano wire; a "normal" small socket from a socket set may do the job. With the tension released, and after sawing away some bits of wood such as the keyboard frame, you'll have, as you say, the

Yup, but:

I'd consel strongly AGAINST the whopping 230mm size. Those are handy for cutting a larger quantity of slabs - and the bigger blade makes it easier to follow a straight line freehand over the width of a slab - but they're much heavier to wield in closer quarters, and discs are pricier. Especially as you say

you should go for the hand-hald 115mm geezer, which is much more controllable. You say you

The grinder is one of the few things I treat with particular respect: it's on with the welding gauntlets (rather than the little rigger gloves), and (for metal cutting) the cheapie face mask (which I find a lot more comfortable than goggles) - Screwfix call it a Brow Guard, and sell them for 7.59 as catnum 16142. Of the Affordable blades, I've found the Screwfix thin-wheel metal cut blades (54984) handier than the normal thickness ones (15309) - they take off less metal, so tend to be quicker and produce a smaller volume of sparks. But the normal ones will get the job done OK.
Practice on some (vice-held - *not* freehand!) scraps of iron/steel. Note the *substantial* volume of *hot* sparks produced - I've previously admitted to seeing a self-sustaining disconcertingly rapid glow (not quite a 'fire') in fine steel wool left carelessly on the bench in the path of such a stream of sparks. And cut with due attention to where those sparks are going - you want them *away* from you, and any flammables.

I'd be surprised if you went through more than a couple of discs unless you're trying to meet the "post widthways through a letterbox" challenge discussed when you were at the "just thinkin'" stage.

Not at all, in my experience (though I've never tackled a piano ;-). It's true you only have a practical depth of cut of between 20 and 30mm on the smaller size, but the frame on your upright is unlikely to be thicker than that. You'll want to be reasonably sure you keep the grinder in the same orientation through the cut - you don't want to be twisting it in the cut, as that'll slow the cutting substantially. Also, don't expect the blade to be entirely tight under the nut you screw down upon it - there's a deliberate bit of slack here which acts as a crude form of friction clutch should the blade bind!
Hope this helps - Stefek
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On 14 Sep 2003 23:14:18 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hp.com wrote:

Oh good!

OK
Ah, so that's "the action"!

Too right!

Sounds good, I think I heard once that's how they tune them too isn't it? Every third or similar.

Absolutely!
Ah, yes, I'll need to see if I an borrow one, not something I'd use normally.

BUT? Uh oh! ;O)

Yes, I'm seeing the trend in the other replies with this aspect too.

Ah, yes, I should think it would make it easier.

I see, yes, makes sense too.

Indeed, got it!

They're on the list now.

I think another suggested this too, and I have been pondering that anyway for some other work as well.

OK, I've got one of those on the list as well as a pack of the wider flat ones for general use.

Don't have any, but I may be able to blag from somewhere or other.

I can well imagine simply from observations of using my dremel with cut off disc over the weekend for floorboard nails holding skirting boards. Multiplying the effect up seems to give me the idea if not the experience!

That has to be a pretty dodgy thing to leave around while working like that, given how volatile steel wool can be in it's own right!

Quite so!

Well not quite, but in that vein, sure. I need to reduce it to smallish bits, certainly straightish ones plus corners if you see what I mean.

That was what was driving my thoughts, but have since realized thanks to replies that a "V" notch and heavy hammer is likely to get a good result.

Can't quite get in to measure it with ease yet, but it could well be borderline, although now it's a bit academic, and of no real use to know for sure.

I could imagine it doing even worse too!

Oh, right, that would have caught me for sure!

It has! Thanks.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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You are much better off getting rid of it intact if you can, but if your violent urges need satisfying:
Remove the action remove the keys remove the removable panels sledgehammer the keyboard mount remove what you can by unscrewing lie piano on it's back remove frame from woodwork (if possible) burn wood take sledgehammer to frame ( some think that this is dangerous, in my experience it isn't) pick up the pieces dispose of remains

--
geoff

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Exhausted that avenue now.

?! ;O)

I wonder what bit that is then?

OK
Is that a short cut or the only way? Can it be done with salvage in mind?

Tricky, but do-able, just, with some fore thought

Erm, that doesn't sound like any kind of salvaging wood that I know! ;O)

Think we got that covered already!

I think you may have missed the idea that I wanted to salvage as much as possible with a view to recycle some of it if at all possible. (respecting it's age and trying to do "the effort that's gone into it" so far some justice etc.) However if this turns into how to destroy it (and it could; "plans" are never something you get away with for long in this world!), then I am pretty sure this would be the way to do it!
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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wrote:

There was a thread a few months back where somebody nearly emasculated themselves with one of those when it caught fire or something.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
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wrote:

Thanks, and having now read it, I'm not too sure about the cheaper one from them now either. First time I have had reason to doubt the brand. Not the best feeling in the world! Ho hum......
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Hacksaw; cast saws lovely.
--
mark

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wrote:

Really?! I would have felt this was a bit heavy for a hackie! Learn something new every day! Thanks. Got a feeling I may be there a while; as it looks pretty hefty.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Try it b4 you buy an angle grinder. You might be surprised. And I *do* have the kit to cut it up :)

--
mark

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Just give it a whack with a sledgehammer from a safe vantage point
--
geoff

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As posted earlier in this thread, I am physically not able to use a sledgie any more. Thanks for the thought though.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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So I noticed after I posted
I really think that you should try and dispose of it intact - that way someone might take it off your hands without the problems you will encounter by half destroying it
--
geoff

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Always the way on usenet! ;O)

I went over that, and wondered how it might turn out; In a few years time, someone will say, "where's the piano gone?" and we will say "it was disposed of", and they will say, "why", and we will say "because SWMBO wanted trendy flooring", and at that point, I will justifiably hate myself for letting that happen.
However if I can do "the effort that's gone into the beast" justice, then there will be bits remaining in as nice a way as I can think of to mark it's existence and saying that it was appreciated. Making other nice things out of it is way better than it being in landfill, which, who knows, could happen any other way. Even trying and failing, isn't half as bad as just caving in for an easy ride!
OK, it's just me being a daft old sod, doing it all wrong and being awkward in a slick, disposable world, but to me it's worth having a value or two of that nature, letting go of it, isn't gong to make anything any better.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Go to your local off-licence car park and recruit a few Yoof. They'll probably pay up for the chance to demolish someone else's piano. 8-)
OTOH, finding one of today's Yoof that can lift a sledgeghammer may be tricky.
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wrote:

Sledgehammer.
Or angle grinder groove, then sledgehammer - much easier.

Whatever they sell as a metal cutting rigid disk. Then get a diamond blade too, because the most useful thing you can use a 9" for is as a stone saw.
Google in sci.engr.joining.welding for my name or "grinder wattage" for a recent thread on buying grinders.

Goggles / headshield (watch for bits going underneath)
Steel toecaps. Where is the cut-off chunk going to fall ?
Personally I wear anti-vibration gloves a lot when grinding.
Don't worry about sparks. Cast iron is pretty benign, and they're nothing like as hazardous as some make out.
Here's some of the Jarkman Posse making a workshop safety video
http://www.jarkman.co.uk/catalog/furnitur/anbed_beergrind.jpg
Actually we were making this: http://www.jarkman.co.uk/catalog/furnitur/anbed.htm I'm the guy welding in shorts and a T shirt.

Round. Hole in the middle. For 9" disks, that's pretty much all the choice you get. If you want posh disks, stick with 4 1/2"

1 should last you forever. Certainly on cast iron.

It's what I'd use. Fits in corners better.

They could equally well be ivory or wood. May even be celluloid or caesin plastics. Wood is usually just boxwood. If you think ivory, then look for a schreger pattern in the "end grain" http://aic.stanford.edu/jaic/articles/jaic32-03-003_5.html (I just love that graph !)
Don't bin the keys ! Especially if they are ivory, then the turners and ornametal lot will go for them (eBay)

You get bugger all timber by dismantling something. And good timber is still pretty cheap
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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 01:37:49 +0100, Andy Dingley

I am physically unable to wield a sledgie any more, but might I get by with multiple blows from a club or some such?

Ah, I see, or at least I'm starting to.

I did, and it was enlightening, thanks.

Blimey, sounds like a slippery customer!

Oh now that's one I'd forgotten, thanks.

Ah, right.

OK, might make some modest plan for it though - perhaps more about what clothing rather than too much else.

I've seen you guys "at it" before, great site(s), I had a feeling you might have some a view on the matter, and am glad you did.

;O)
!? never even noticed that so far, thanks.

Ah, that's good news (I'm still thinking "sander and the like" here I guess)

This is welcome news indeed, I tend to favour smaller more easily handled power tools. I was more concerned about depth of cut given I have no real idea yet. so I'm particularly pleased to know this, I'm quite warming to the idea of these things in general.

I was wondering about that, can be quite the fire risk from spontaneous combustion as I understand it.

Not familiar with them. AFAIK

He says casually, to me that's a find! ;O)

If it looks like it later I shall look closely at this, or anyway when times a bit more free, you don't half know some stuff don't you!? ;O)

Hmm, if they are I may just take that up myself, this would be a very sweet result indeed, as part of the deal over carefully breaking it, is to try and salvage as much as possible from it, and using that material, try to find some way to make a "so far undecided" souvenir for all those who have liked this instrument down the years and thereby they can remember it, it also continues to please beyond it's demise - how hard is it to turn pens? (first thought, but there may be better ones yet to come)

From what I've seen so far, there's loads in it, by my standards, however it'd be for small things not big things. I'd be more than chuffed if I got maybe as much as 75% out in useable form. There's a few thickish ones which look quite attractive even though they are not particularly "finished". I am not able to have a rummage and a haggle at timber yards either sadly. I really would enjoy that bit I suspect, probably half the fun to be honest! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Before you rush out to buy an angle grinder have you considered using a sledge hammer or even a club hammer? One of the properties of cast iron is that it can easily shatter when struck. A few well directed blows will soon reduce the frame to bite sized chunks.
Richard.
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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 09:58:52 +0000 (UTC), "Richard"

Well I am not physically able to use one any more, so I'll have to decline the doubtless therapy in this one!

Hmm... wondering if I can go at it with a club...... Thanks for the tip.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Hello Gnube

Sorry. My knowledge there is restricted to "If one needs moving, make sure you're not around."

TBH, for something as small as a piano (relatively) then a 110mm would be far better than that clunky girt thing. Angle grinders are seriously powerful tools, and even using a little one is hard work for any length of time. And the good news is that unlike some tools, the cheaper Angle grinders are very good value IME. I've got a 4.5" Power Devil that's run fine for about 4 years. Cost was 15, definately one of my better tool purchases.
As for discs, "metal cutting" (as opposed to "metal grinding"). I imagine a piano frame could be cut easily with 1-3 discs, but five should make sure. You don't need to cut all the way through with cast, even a tiny cut will make it very weak and a whack with a hammer will snap it cleanly.

Goggles essential. Ear plugs/defenders good idea. Boilersuit and gloves also very good idea. And don't do it inside your house, or near anything inflammable (tins of paint, petrol, woodchips etc)

Sadly true. I work for a charity and have had to turn two that were offered for free because the effort involved in collection wouldn't even cover the price given. I've been given prices of 500 for an upright, but only if it was in A1 condition.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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