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#1975045 - 10/18/12 07:17 AM My 'New" 1927 Bechstein  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Georgia, USA
[Linked Image]

It took me almost a year, but this is my rebuilt 1927 Bechstein Model 'L'.

It all started back in 1979, when for a couple of years I worked as a piano technician, trying to learn the craft, before I thought better of it, went back to school, and followed a totally different career path. A lot of pianos were saved by that decision! Fast forward 30+ years.

I am that guy in your neighborhood who builds a sailboat bigger than his house in his backyard. Or the guy building the hot rod in his garage who is up all night welding and banging away. Or the crazy guy building a replica of Devil's Tower out of mud in his living room. No, I'm not that guy, I hope!

So I bought an old piano from a local technician. It was unplayable, and had been stored for a few years awaiting restoration. A previous unknown technician had ruined it with a bad rebuild. The pinblock had failed. (The pinblock on the Bechstein is open face and mortised into the case - woodworking experience is a real plus). So I bought it without playing it or hearing it, although I did look at it...

Then I spent 10 months rebuilding it. I removed the old soundboard and sent it to Bolduc to be duplicated, and have new bridge caps made. I put in a new pinblock and restrung it. I did a bunch of action work, rebushing and adding new felt and new dampers. I put in new hammers and shanks with new knuckles and rebushed the keys. I didn't refinish it, but repaired some damage, cleaned it up and added a topcoat of black shellac. I managed to do it all without making too many mistakes.

So finally it is playable and I am having a great time with it. I enjoy playing it even more since I rebuilt it myself. There is still some voicing to be done, but I am fine-tuning things slowly. It really sounds good. A dark tone, with an edge to the treble. It's a nice size piano for the room, which is an ordinary living room.

If you are interested, here's an album of 164 photos from the rebuild job:
1927 Bechstein photos

And a few more finished photos - don't look too close, you'll see my mistakes!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Sam

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#1975054 - 10/18/12 07:49 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,810
wouter79 Online content
4000 Post Club Member
wouter79  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,810
Congratulations Sam on pulling off your own restoration project with good results! Thanks also for the pics and the history. Looks all nice. We're going to hear it in the next ABF recital?


[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
#1975067 - 10/18/12 08:22 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 472
Annitenth Offline
Full Member
Annitenth  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 472
Texas
It looks gorgeous! Congratulations.


Anne
B�sendorfer 225
Technics PCM Digital Ensemble PR307
#1975070 - 10/18/12 08:28 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
lilylady Offline
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lilylady  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
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boston north
I bet you are happy to now have it sitting in your living room all bright and shiny and ready to play!

Congrats. Will look at your photo album later today.

LL


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
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#1975074 - 10/18/12 08:36 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: wouter79]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by wouter79
Congratulations Sam on pulling off your own restoration project with good results! Thanks also for the pics and the history. Looks all nice. We're going to hear it in the next ABF recital?


Yes, the next ABF recital, it will make it's "debut".

Sam

#1975098 - 10/18/12 09:49 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,965
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,965
Georgia, USA
Wow, that is great Sam! Congratulations on completing your project!!

Just for the record, Sam is a fellow Georgian... And, he is likely my closest Piano World neighbor… smile

I hope to get to play that freshly rebuilt C Bechstein in a few weeks. smile

A great post, Sam, and a great blog and photos! Congratulations again!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1975117 - 10/18/12 11:16 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 918
BeccaBb Offline
500 Post Club Member
BeccaBb  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 918
Fort Frances, On Canada
Congrats Sam! That is very beautiful and I like your music corner! I hope you enjoy many hours of practice and play with her. smile


Becca
Began: 01-12-11
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Roland RD300NX
1947 Gulbranson spinet piano
#1975124 - 10/18/12 11:34 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,396
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Rich D.  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,396
Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Congratulations on your rebuild. I bet it sounds as great as it looks.

Rich


Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
#1975133 - 10/18/12 11:46 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 581
acortot Offline
500 Post Club Member
acortot  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 581
Italy
I would have re-ribbed the soundboard personally because of the difference in wood quality if it wasn't completely shot (don't know)

Otherwise good job!


rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario
#1975135 - 10/18/12 11:49 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Plowboy  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,855
SoCal
Wow! Great job, Sam.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#1975143 - 10/18/12 11:59 AM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,269
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013
FarmGirl  Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,269
Scottsdale, AZ
Omg! You are truly amazing. Do you have any plan to relocate to AZ? I wanna be your very best friend.


Pieces for this year to be decided soon.
#1975167 - 10/18/12 12:44 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
MaryBee Offline
1000 Post Club Member
MaryBee  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,273
Cleveland, OH
Wow, what a project, Sam! You must be very proud of that beautiful job. Can't wait to hear it next month.


Mary Bee
Current mantra: Play outside the box.
[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] XVI-XXXVI
#1975212 - 10/18/12 01:56 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Rickster]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Georgia, USA
Thanks everyone for your kind words - I get a lot of enjoyment out of projects like this.

Originally Posted by Rickster
Wow, that is great Sam! Congratulations on completing your project!!

Just for the record, Sam is a fellow Georgian... And, he is likely my closest Piano World neighbor… smile

I hope to get to play that freshly rebuilt C Bechstein in a few weeks. smile

A great post, Sam, and a great blog and photos! Congratulations again!

Rick


We're looking forward to it Rick - can't wait to hear you play in person! Bring your banjo too, a couple of my old bluegrass buddies will be there...

Sam

#1975265 - 10/18/12 03:41 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,217
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Pianolance  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,217
Nashville, TN
Well, I didn't know what an ABF recital was so I googled it and found out it is a term from the Piano World website and stands for Adult Beginners Forum. Yet another google search that brings up Piano World.


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
#1975277 - 10/18/12 04:02 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
pianonewb Offline
Full Member
pianonewb  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
No. Va.
Lovely piano, and you should be proud of the job you did. I hope you enjoy many years with your "new" piano. Can't wait to hear it at recital.
Oh, and I like the banjo, dulcimer and violin, also. I hear Bluegrass, lol.


Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.
[Linked Image]
#1975373 - 10/18/12 07:18 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Pianolance]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Sam S  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,256
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Pianolance
Well, I didn't know what an ABF recital was so I googled it and found out it is a term from the Piano World website and stands for Adult Beginners Forum. Yet another google search that brings up Piano World.


You've never heard of the ABF recitals? Where've you been? Four times a year the best Adult beginners in the world at Piano World give an online recital. The next one goes live November 15th.

Sam

#1975381 - 10/18/12 07:26 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,594
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member
jdw  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,594
Philadelphia, PA
How lovely! Congratulations! it's wonderful to see a great old piano restored to life!


1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Haydn, Sonata Hob. XVI: 19
Chopin, Waltz in E minor (op. posth.)
Schubert, Op. 90 no. 2
#1975389 - 10/18/12 07:50 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,313
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member
custard apple  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,313
Sydney
Congrats Sam on finding a great piano and making it even more beautiful.

#1975834 - 10/19/12 04:48 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 823
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member
Amaruk  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 823
New England, USA
Fantastic job Sam! I can't wait to hear it in the next recital!


My piano channel on YouTube: Link
#1975888 - 10/19/12 06:59 PM Re: My 'New" 1927 Bechstein [Re: Sam S]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 345
RickG1 Offline
Full Member
RickG1  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 345
TX
That looks terrific. Congrats!!


Mason-Hamlin "A" and Schlicker 2 manual and pedal pipe organ

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