Take it away Ashley!!
Hello Lindsay's readers! I recently worked on a very cool project that Lindsay asked me to guest post about, and I'm so excited to be doing this! I have to begin with a few disclaimers though....
*My pictures are nowhere NEAR as nice as Lindsay's (or any other blogger's for that matter)*
*No working, salvageable piano was harmed in the making of this post (this is especially important to me since I am a pianist and would never purposely dismember a working instrument)*
*I can't spell*
So, now that that's out of the way, we can begin!
I began this project on accident... I was actively looking for a used piano to call my own, and we have this fantastic local website with used listings. I found a beautiful old piano for free, and was fully planning on restoring it to working order...
I somehow got the beast home (seriously, it weighed probably upwards of 800 lbs. Funny side note, it took 2 adult men, 7 teenage boys, and 2 women to lift this monster into the back of my dad's truck... no kidding) and upon closer inspection realized the soundboard (what the strings are attached to and where the sound resonates) was cracked in several places, and while the basic mechanics where all in tact, it wasn't worth the time, effort and money it would take to restore it.
Sooo.... I decided to use the keyboard and platform to make a shelf for my house!
I love the antiqued look this piano has, so I decided not to stain it or paint it, but to just leave the natural wearing.
I took it apart piece by piece, and discovered much about the piano along the way... All I left behind the "shell", if you will.
Once I had the keyboard off, I took off all of the keys (88 in case you were wondering) and began cleaning. This poor guy had been stored in a barn for upwards of 15 years, and had been sorely abused by its previous owners. It was COVERED in spider webs and dirt, and underneath all of that was a lot of crayon, scratches and carvings.
*I shake my fist in the air at the injustice*
Ultimately, I was able to get it looking reasonable again.
What you see above is the keyboard base after the keys are off... each of the 88 keys uses two of those pins you see. The green felt circles there are originally to keep the keys protected against landing on bare wood and chipping or denting as you played.
I used those and a strip of green felt from the back to prop up the keys. When they aren't attached to the hammers anymore (the felt things that smack the strings and make sound), they fall forward and can't be seen from the front, so I re-purposed some material there.
I used my dad's circular saw to cut down the base board right behind that second row of pins, taking off about 7 inches or so. You can see in the picture some lone pieces of silver hardware in the very back... Those are gone too :)
I also have to give a shout out to my good friend Jill... She let me borrow her husband's miter saw. *drool*. This one even has a draw on it!
One day... One day I tell you... I will OWN all of these tools!
I used the miter saw to begin the hair-cutting process of the keys. Each of the keys (after being scrubbed and sanded) was trimmed down to a size that would be manageable on my wall. You can see below how I cut the keys... those five on the right are un-cut and pretty darn long.
So with all the pieces cleaned and cut, I put the keyboard back together.
Below is a view from the back side of the piece, since I'm sure you all wanted to know how the back of a piano's keyboard looked... But be impressed readers! This is something you may never see again!
The keyboard cover is 'up', and the final top piece isn't on yet, but I wanted to show off my nice even cuts using equipment way above my pay grade. And I wanted you all to admire my beautiful plastic counters.