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#2128581 - 08/05/13 04:46 PM 117 year old baldwin upright  
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Southerncross Offline
Junior Member
Southerncross  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Good afternoon. I am looking to restore a Baldwin upright puano that my great great grandmother bought new in 1896 or 7. It survived moving to Texas by way of a wagon in about 1905. It is in pretty good shape outside but needs a complete overhaul inside and I thought I might as well re finish the whole thing to like new condition. I'm getting cost estimates from $4000 up to about $10,000. My issue is this. Of everyone I have spoken with the guy who quoted $4,000 made me feel the most confident. He is the lowest by a huge margin so I'm obviously concerned. His website is http://pianorefurbishinghouston.com/
Has anyone ever heard of him and are there any specific questions I should ask?

It is a 52" upright. Not a small one.

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#2128584 - 08/05/13 05:01 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Southerncross]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,048
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,048
Oakland
I doubt that a good restoration could be done for that price. Ask for an itemized proposal of what parts will be replaced.


Semipro Tech
#2128610 - 08/05/13 06:26 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Southerncross]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Yes, what BDB said.

Ask for a detailed list of what work is to be performed and what parts will be replaced. Also ask what happens if they go over the estimated repair time/price. Sometimes things happen; problems can be hidden from the first assessment. But sometimes, a rebuilder will low-ball the price to get the work and the cost goes up after you're on the hook.

If he's not refinishing the case, that will save you some money, but $4K still seems a bit low.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2128618 - 08/05/13 07:05 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Southerncross]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Rod Verhnjak  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Looking at these photos from the site expains (to me) why it is only $4,000.00

Steinway upright rebuild


Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

www.pianoman.ca
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#2128619 - 08/05/13 07:12 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Rod Verhnjak]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 906
phacke Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014
phacke  Offline

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 906
CO, USA
Originally Posted by Rod Verhnjak
Looking at these photos from the site expains (to me) why it is only $4,000.00

Steinway upright rebuild

Good catch.


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014)
#2128665 - 08/05/13 09:12 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: phacke]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Rod Verhnjak
Looking at these photos from the site expains (to me) why it is only $4,000.00

Steinway upright rebuild

Good catch.


Yes, I noticed that, too.

I also noticed an interesting choice in words regarding what services are provided. "Refurbish" instead of "rebuild," or "restore." To me, that kind of semantics matters.

It seems to me that no one here is familiar with this tech.




Last edited by OperaTenor; 08/05/13 09:12 PM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2128681 - 08/05/13 09:39 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Southerncross]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member
Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Maybe he is like us with a 1 inch stack of legal documents that have to be signed to explain every single aspect of what we do. Used to be years ago people got it. Now you need a herd of lawyers with lots of documentation.

The trick to making money on restorations is NOT work on pianos you do NOT own period. Rebuild your inventory of cores, at your own pace, do not do it for others or take deposits as it promotes ill will and stress if a time line is missed.

There have been a slew of these restoration places gone bankrupt lately taking huge deposits and spending the money. Avoid headaches and work on your own stuff, when it's done put it up for sale and either the customer will like it and buy it or he wont. The process is painless that way and your business and health will last longer.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation
#2128697 - 08/05/13 10:28 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Southerncross]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,048
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,048
Oakland
By the way, Southerncross, I hope you read what I said about early Baldwin upright actions. Ask anyone who is making a quote if they know what is different about them. Get someone who does!


Semipro Tech
#2130488 - 08/09/13 05:08 PM Re: 117 year old baldwin upright [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Tunersteve Offline
Junior Member
Tunersteve  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
UK
Originally Posted by Nash. Piano Rescue

The trick to making money on restorations is NOT work on pianos you do NOT own period. Rebuild your inventory of cores, at your own pace, do not do it for others or take deposits as it promotes ill will and stress if a time line is missed.
Avoid headaches and work on your own stuff, when it's done put it up for sale and either the customer will like it and buy it or he wont. The process is painless that way and your business and health will last longer.


I like this comment - here in UK I am disgusted that companies charge £4,000 or £5000 to rebuild pianos that are 100 years old or more. The end result is always disappointing - the money would be better spent on a new piano.

Rebuilding old pianos seems to be more about keeping their workshops busy for a while and NOT about giving value to the customer! Yes, rebuild your own old piano if you have one, and then sell it!



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