Pathetic wood lust moment...

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So I'm sitting at the in-laws the other night in the living room. In one corner there's an old upright piano that apparently SWMBO and the BiL pounded around on when they were kids. The thing is at least a century old. Now it mostly does duty as a multi-level table on which the MIL displays pictures of the grandkids and family.
Did I mention it's made of quartersawn white oak? *Thick* QSWO. It's byootiful. The finish is all orange-peeled and crackly, too.
Then the MIL made some comment about how she should probably get rid of the thing, since no one's played it in ages. And all I could think was, "Yeah, give it to me, Mom...*I"ll* take care of that sumbitch..."
Jason
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Jason Quick wrote:

Sorry, but disassembling a functional musical instrument is a criminal offense. I'd be far better to give it to some kid who wants to play the pie-anner but can't afford one. (Those things are EXPENSIVE!)
Unless it's not playable, then it's a whole nother can o' fish. Or kettle o' worms. Or something.
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Silvan wrote:

If the piano case is extremely ornate, you might want to have an expert look at it. There is a very slight chance that it is worth something, especially if it is made in Europe (Germany) or is a Steinway or something similar.
Otherwise it is probably not worth repairing. I have an old, locally made piano, a Bell, which is good, but not worth anything. A local expert told me that it was worth about $300CDN and would cost more to restore than a new piano. (The expert is a large restorer of piano's)
So, QSWO might be $8bdft, and there might be 40bdft -50bdft in a piano case, so I figure it is lumber value only. (Hmmm, that's a good thought of what to do with my old piano!) The soundboards are clear spruce usually and flat, so that might be an extra few bdft too.
Rob
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wrote:

First, I must say that I agree with Silvan sentiment regarding the demolishing of a functional instrument. I did a lot of restoration work on pianos and reed organs back in the 70s and 80s.
If you are going to take the piano apart, please be warned that there is a tremendous amount of pressure in the harp. Do not cut the strings. If you cut them unevenly, there is a chance that the iron frame will stress out and the results could be very unpredictable. To safely remove the strings, ease the tuning pins out, one string at a time, moving from one note to the next, starting in the center and working evenly towards the ends. Work the strings down to one for each note before making the final pass. On the final pass, I would start in the middle and work out alternating notes.
If you decide not to destroy the piece, you will find that the original finish is some form of shellac. Do a test wipe with denatured alcohol. If the finish softens and re-amalgamates, it is "normal" soft shellac, the kind we are used to. If it does not, It is what was termed hard shellac. In either case, do not try to use heat to remove it.
The other problem that you will run into is hide glue. Many parts of a musical instrument were designed to be removed for ease of repair, but many of the case elements were glued with hot hide glue. Plain white vinegar can be used to break these joints, but it is a very slow process. If the larger pieces are veneered, the vinegar will break the bond of veneer as well.
Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
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wrote:

Fortunately (or un-), I agree. Thus the pie-anney won't be coming apart. *sniff*
Jason
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Jason Quick wrote:

Take some solace from the fact that the guy suggesting the thing is veneered is probably right. People have been using veneer for a long, long time, and I've found that anything made in the 20th century probably isn't solid wood unless the previous owners were robber barons or oil tycoons or something.
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On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:09:59 -0500, Silvan

Bagpipes.
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I'll see your bagpipes and raise you a banjo.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

--RC
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wrote:

And I'm going all-in with an accordian.
Joe C.
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Joe C. wrote:

--RC
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On Fri, 11 Feb 2005 01:44:41 GMT, Rick Cook

Dang! I like Bagpipes, Banjos *and* accordians.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Hm. Are you an Italian Scottish Hillbilly by genealogical makeup, I wonder?
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Well, Scottish hillbilly at least :-)
I also like Bassoons, Bari. Sax and Viola.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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--
be safe.
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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But, none of those would be worth tearing apart for the wood - not enough wood. Maybe the accordian keyboard, but what else could you use it for?
writes:

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A "stomach Steinway" ?? <snicker>

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On 11 Feb 2005 13:50:20 -0500, Philip Lewis

True musical instruments! :-)
[I actually do like ancient music]
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ The absence of accidents does not mean the presence of safety Army General Richard Cody +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 23:19:43 GMT, the inscrutable Rick Cook

I'll see your pipes and banjos and raise you $1.00 plastic recorders (Flute, Davey) and bongos from Dollar Tree.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I have to reject that submission, Larry. The key criterion here is "functional." That excludes everything from Dollar Tree, Target or Wal-Mart.
Although those crappy First Act recorders are playable after you clean up the mold lines and ream out a couple of the undersized holes. Barely.
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