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#2154717 - 09/20/13 07:41 PM Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
TechRx Offline
Junior Member
TechRx  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Hello!

For whatever reason (insanity) I am rebuilding a 5'0" Marshall & Wendell. This piano was previously "restored" by someone and I am having a bit of difficulty descerning original from "let's saw and glue whatever we can." Wondering if anyone out there has seen this brand before, and might be able to shed some light on making this "old gal" play well again. (or at least ... be worth playing on again.)

Link to Flickr Photos of Piano is the pile of photos.

I'm trying specifically to find out if the pinblock shelf is 'native' factory, or it was modified after the fact. also, trying to find out of the pinblock to strecher spacing is suppose to be that large of a gap. Thank you for any assistance.


Jason Davies, Associate PTG member.
TechRx Inc.
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#2155370 - 09/22/13 05:00 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
Conway, AR USA
I owned one of these for a short time. Not long enough to really dig into it. It was ca.1920s. Cannot speak to your primary question, but no doubt you've noticed the doped block. Looks like you are replacing it. Wise choice. Best wishes in your endeavor.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2155491 - 09/22/13 11:18 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by TechRx
For whatever reason (insanity) I am rebuilding a 5'0" Marshall & Wendell. This piano was previously "restored" by someone and I am having a bit of difficulty descerning original from "let's saw and glue whatever we can." Wondering if anyone out there has seen this brand before, and might be able to shed some light on making this "old gal" play well again. (or at least ... be worth playing on again.)

Link to Flickr Photos of Piano is the pile of photos.

I'm trying specifically to find out if the pinblock shelf is 'native' factory, or it was modified after the fact. also, trying to find out of the pinblock to strecher spacing is suppose to be that large of a gap. Thank you for any assistance.

Except for some sloppy finishing residue and that little wood bar behind the bridge (presumably to keep a crack from buzzing) I don't see much that is not original. The gap between the pinblock and the stretcher is normal.

Check around the perimeter of the soundboard to see if there was once a gap (5 or 6 mm) between the edge of the soundboard (and inner rim) and the outer rim. This little feature showed up on a number of M&W pianos and it tends to get filled up with creeping crud over the years. Especially when they have been refinished with the plate still in the piano. This gap doesn't do much good in the treble area but does seem to be beneficial around the bass. If it is there you might want to clean it out.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2155556 - 09/22/13 02:08 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 531
S. Phillips Offline
500 Post Club Member
S. Phillips  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 531
Columbus, GA
One really great thing about getting old is that your remember seemingly useless facts that you rarely get to apply. However deep in my vague memory about M&W grands is that the action brackets were made of a "pot" metal that sagged as it aged, making the action regulation virtually impossible. While you might dig up some specs on these actions somewhere, they really aren't very useful until you replace the brackets. (Actually probably the only real use for action measurements from a M&W is for use as passwords or pins for your bank card).

Anyway this will be a great learning experience for you.


Sally Phillips
Owner
Piano Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
www.pianoperfectllc.com
One can always find something to improve.
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
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#2156117 - 09/23/13 11:44 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: S. Phillips]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by S. Phillips
One really great thing about getting old is that your remember seemingly useless facts that you rarely get to apply. However deep in my vague memory about M&W grands is that the action brackets were made of a "pot" metal that sagged as it aged, making the action regulation virtually impossible. While you might dig up some specs on these actions somewhere, they really aren't very useful until you replace the brackets. (Actually probably the only real use for action measurements from a M&W is for use as passwords or pins for your bank card).

Interesting. With all of the M&W grands I've serviced (including a couple of rebuilds) I've never encountered this particular problem. At least not that I remember....

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2156221 - 09/23/13 02:58 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 531
S. Phillips Offline
500 Post Club Member
S. Phillips  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 531
Columbus, GA
The ones I saw were pretty easy to spot. The metal had a whitish grey color and in some cases the metal flaked off in layers. It almost looked like exfoliated flagstone with the small cracks occurring parallel with the surface of the metal. Perhaps they figured this out and stopped using their supplier.


Sally Phillips
Owner
Piano Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
www.pianoperfectllc.com
One can always find something to improve.
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
#2159150 - 09/28/13 03:36 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
TechRx Offline
Junior Member
TechRx  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Thank you everyone for the input so far. Did some "scratch" tests on the brackets, so far so good. Can't "seperate" or get much to come off. Delwin, did find a bunch of finish residue in the treble section (it's gone now.) Soundboard was "scraped" this week, going to use some CA to seal up the hairline cracks. Also seal up where the previous rebuilder put screws through the board and grind flush.

** Impressions on M&W. **
To me (the inexperienced eye) this piano looks like a "Chickering knock off." .. Does anyone out there know more about the history of these pianos? They seem to have a charming sound.

Last edited by TechRx; 09/28/13 03:38 PM.

Jason Davies, Associate PTG member.
TechRx Inc.
#2159249 - 09/28/13 06:22 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,523
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by TechRx
** Impressions on M&W. **
To me (the inexperienced eye) this piano looks like a "Chickering knock off." .. Does anyone out there know more about the history of these pianos? They seem to have a charming sound.

If memory serves the M&W grands I have rebuilt all had decals on the plate saying something like, "Designed by Chickering."

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2159261 - 09/28/13 06:30 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,045
Conway, AR USA
[Linked Image]

They do indeed!

Last edited by bkw58; 09/28/13 06:31 PM.

Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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