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Huggy

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Hi. I'm after a bit of help and guidance. I dismantled an old piano and am trying to turn some of the wood into a table.

The wood has a typical gloss mahogany style finish, however, with every cut, i expose just the plain wood. Can i please ask how i can go about getting the cut edges close to the original finish.

I'm thinking just a polyurethane finishwould give the gloss but not the matching wood effect. Maybe a glue on veneer?
Thanks for any assistance.

Gary
 

Ttrees

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Hello
A picture is worth a thousand words
Is there a solid part anywhere, or is it veneer everywhere?
You could make some lipping for the edges if you found a stick or two.
It could be stained beech, or veneered walnut or mahogany, and French polished with shellac.
You could score through the veneer before cutting the panels,
and not worry about the edges showing, and hide it within a frame if you have enough.
It would be a rather dainty table if its what I'm thinking as
I seem to only see veneered burl walnut upright pianos for free or dumped.
That's what immediately came to my mind, and might suit a bedside locker type sized table.

If you are intent on working on veneer
You could probably separate those veneers easily enough with a clothes iron and damp rag as it is hot hide glue.
Veneering is a bit unforgiving and a bit of a massive leap into the deep end.
Steve Latta is one of the big names regarding instruction for that craic.

I annoyingly gave away most of the piano stuff I had found skipped
Keep those ebony or other tropical very dense hardwood keys.
You might be able to cut some flat stock from that bronze if you're into tool making
Get some spring stock from the strings
Get some German spruce from the soundboard for luthiere
And hold onto a bag of ivory and not know what the hell to do with it :?

Good luck
Tom
 

LorraineHill

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As a precaution, I would detension the strings gradually, and simultaneously across the pin block. In other words, drop all strings a small amount, then go back and drop all strings another small amount, repeat as necessary. If you completely detension one string at a time, part way through the process, the few remaining strings might be bearing quite a bit more tension than normal, seriously raising the possibility of uncontrolled and unanticipated string breaking.

So, I would detune it gradually, and all strings at once, evenly.
 

sunnybob

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I think youre on an uphill challenge. Most pianos are veneered over cheaper wood and then french polished. That is a very labour intensive process. :shock:
Unless you have endless free time I suggest finding another project.

When I was young (well over a half century ago) there was a piano in most peoples houses. but us children were never allowed to touch, let alone play it. I always wanted to learn, but we were poor enough that we didnt have one, and later on when I could afford one, they had all been chopped up and passed through a car tyre at local fetes. I bemoan the loss of shiny black pianos. :roll: 8)
 

Huggy

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Just wanted to say thanks for the replies.
In answer to a few of the points. I've already dismantled the piano (and survived) without any issues as i did my homework first.

I took a load of photos to go with my post but when i tried to add them i found it would not allow new members to attach them or add links.

At least i'm off to a good start. Veneered burr walnut is what it is thanks to your responses. It isn't mahogany as i suggested. It is also veneer over cheap wood. Might try and get some of it off although it was glued on in 1880 so i'm not expecting a successful outcome. I'll do some more reading and post back.
 

AJB Temple

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My advice is upright (I assume) pianos over 100 years old, whether German or British are almost always veneer over pine. You have no chance of preserving the veneer finish perfectly and the work involved does not justify reclaiming the pine.

Stop now. Buy some good wood instead of wasting your time, and make something.
 

Huggy

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It's been in the wife's family for years, and has a lot of sentimental value. I get that it wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, but it means a lot to them.
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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Hi Gary.
A solution to the problem may be faux bois or graining. It is much easier to do than it may seem so with just a few cheap materials and a bit of imagination you could match in those raw edges and burr walnut is not only one of the most impressive but also one of the easiest to do.
A great book on the subject 'Woodgraining by Stuart Spencer' explains it all very well and can be had for under a tenner. I have attached a photo of the burr walnut page to give you an idea.

IMG_0343.JPG
 

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Huggy

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Thanks very much. I quite like the idea of giving this a go.
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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You dont have to invest in expensive specialist brushes to do it either, cheap paint brushes and even tooth brushes work well. In the book the walnut is quite dark but if you wanted a light golden walnut then just use the pallet for the burr oak but with the walnut figuring. If you do give it a go I would love to see your results.
 
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