Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
71 registered members (bSharp(C)yclist, Candywoman, cathryn999, 26 invisible), 1,874 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1958291 - 09/13/12 01:05 PM Piano Prospect  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
While I had pretty much backed off of my recent search for a small grand that might need some minor repairs in order to save a buck, the lines I cast around yielded a possible opportunity that I thought I would toss out here for opinions and comments:

1917 Story & Clark small (baby) grand. Case needs exterior refinishing, as finish is "alligatored" due to age. Pinblock and soundboard are in very good condition. I had a piano tech look it over, and they say it could use a set of treble hammers at minimum, and probably a complete set of hammers would be best. Otherwise it is in very good condition for its age.

I have some vintage stereo gear that is no longer appropriate for my home since I moved into a much smaller home. It has minimal value for me, for reasons I won't go into here.

Long story short, the owner would consider swapping me the piano for the stereo gear.

The case finishing work I can handle without issue, should I decide to undertake it. While I have read what is necessary to replace hammers, and would expect the expense of parts alone to be around $500 for a good quality set and required tools, I have some real concerns about the skill level required to do such a job and the potential for bodging it up. I do have very high level woodworking and mechanical skills, so I strongly believe it is well within my abilities. My concern is more a matter of doing it, then having to have a tech come in after me to get the action regulated without having to spend a small fortune doing so. I would expect to replace things like felts and the like while I was doing the hammers as well - sort of a "If you're there, you might as well do it" thing.

Ultimately, what sort of value would a piano of this age and vintage warrant, and even with the sweat equity I put into it, would it be worth it?

I am not doing this as a long term investment or to recover my costs - I am doing it to acquire a good quality piano that will last me a long time.

Thanks in advance for your comments and opinions.

Dan

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1958323 - 09/13/12 01:59 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,313
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,313
Georgia, USA
Hi Dan,

I'd suggest looking for something newer...

If you really want a challenge or something to tinker with, I wouldn't pay more than 3 to 5 hundred dollars for such a piano (if you think your stereo equipment is worth that).

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1958338 - 09/13/12 02:19 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: Rickster]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
Thanks, Rick.

I need to quiz my tech about it in more detail, as I'm not sure why he suggested hammer replacement unless the felt was really grooved or worn down to unacceptable levels.

I will see him on Saturday and find out lot more as far as details are concerned.

The equipment came to me though a number of venues, many of which involved some sort of barter arrangement, so I have maybe $200 of my own money in the equipment. Resale of vintage stereo gear is spotty at best in today's market unless you have something really desirable, which I don't. The likelyhood of me putting it on Craigslist and getting much of anything out of it is minimal at best.

I think my biggest concern is not value, but would a piano of this brand and vintage be worth the time and effort to get it going, or am I better off just holding off and buying something newer at a later date when I'm ready? Or, to maybe better phrase it, is a 1917 Story and Clark a quality piano (considering that it is almost 100 years old with the issues that come with a piano of that age and vintage?)

Thanks,

Dan

#1958355 - 09/13/12 02:34 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,313
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,313
Georgia, USA
Have you played the piano? What do you think about it?

Being somewhat of an adventurer and tinkerer myself, I'd trade with him and start tinkering. What have you got to lose? If the action plays well and it will hold a tuning, you got a musical instrument.

From what I’ve read, most of the American made pianos from the early 1900’s were decent, though some were better than others.

Good luck.

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#1958366 - 09/13/12 02:50 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: Rickster]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
I probably won't see it until next week. I'll see the tech that surveyed it on Saturday, and I know him and trust his judgement, so I'll put a lot of weight on that as I consider things.

I guess one of my concerns if it needs hammers is that it would need not just the hammers but the shanks and flanges as well. Then we're talking about a pretty significant expense, as well as messing with the action, which is something that I feel would require a serious time/$$ investment to make whole. I don't want to bother with investing $1000-$2000 into an old piano that is of marginal value to begin with...

Again, it comes back to "what kind of a quality instrument is a Story & Clark?"

Dan

#1958498 - 09/13/12 06:40 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
They are not high on the "worth it to rebuild" list. There are always exceptions made for individual reasons, such as a "family heirloom," but S&C is not a name of distinction.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#1958525 - 09/13/12 07:57 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
Now *that's* the sort of information I'm looking for!

Thanks, Marty!

Dan

#1958545 - 09/13/12 09:03 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
I'm pulling the plug on this, going shopping for a nice digital keyboard to start with, and saving my money so that as I become proficient I can buy something nice that doesn't require any work or repair..... common sense prevails!

Since I have no fireplace, I've no need for firewood!

Thanks to all,

Dan

#1958546 - 09/13/12 09:06 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Supply  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
The idea of replacing a partial set of hammers on a 100 year old piano is completely misguided. That is what was done in the 60s and 70s perhaps. I am not so sure of trusting the judgement of some one who would recommend and actually do that kind of "rebuilding" nowadays.

#1958569 - 09/13/12 10:07 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: MacDan]  
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
las Offline
Junior Member
las  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by MacDan
I'm pulling the plug on this, going shopping for a nice digital keyboard to start with, and saving my money so that as I become proficient I can buy something nice that doesn't require any work or repair..... common sense prevails!

Hi Dan,
I've been lurking here for awhile and following your stories. I really think you have made the right decision. I had to pass on a 1940's baby grand which I thought would be perfect for me. I had never considered a baby grand until I saw this one. It looked charmingly beat up to me, but best of all, it felt and sounded just like Grandpa's old upright. I was so excited - my budget is practically non-existent and I had been wanting to get back into piano after not playing for many years. Then I discovered PW and realized that sounding like Grandpa's piano was maybe not such a good thing, and started reading/learning about how pianos can wear out.

So I am going to let common sense prevail, too, and get one of the cheaper digitals recommended here and start playing. I live in an apartment and it makes sense. Even so, I can hardly wait until I can get a nice acoustic (and I still continue to check craigslist daily). :-)

#1958589 - 09/13/12 10:42 PM Re: Piano Prospect [Re: las]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
MacDan Offline
Full Member
MacDan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Tampa, FL
If it's any consolation I do the same - I check Craigslist several times a day. It never ceases to amaze me what interesting pianos come up, like the Steinway model "A" for $11,000 just today.

I did have one more in the wings that I have no expectation of hearing from - a local church in a somewhat economically depressed area had a Zimmermann (East German pre-unification) that had been pretty beat and needed a bunch of key tops (something I could definitely do!) A local piano tech I know and trust had been asked to come and give an estimate of repairs and a general survey told me about it. He said it was just as one would expect - an instrument similar to lower end Chinese imports, but that is was definitely solid and in good shape functionally. He told the owners he had a buyer for $300. They were going to think about it.

I'm not expecting a response, but....

Dan


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Ritmuller Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Sostenuto pedal
by Elysia.S. 10/21/17 10:52 PM
Impending issue with ABF Recital software
by Whizbang. 10/21/17 10:12 PM
Lee's Piano
by Piano*Dad. 10/21/17 09:18 PM
Cliché Pieces
by Qazsedcft. 10/21/17 06:06 PM
Which DP comes closest . . .
by peterws. 10/21/17 05:18 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,416
Posts2,666,315
Members89,015
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0