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My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! #2749673
07/06/18 06:23 AM
07/06/18 06:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
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LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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I was looking for a good used piano for my kid to take lessons and myself to resume learning. For more than 3 months, we went to various piano stores nearby. We saw a lot of spinets, consoles, studios, and even some "gray market" uprights. We were also introduced to electric keyboards and hybrid pianos. Some salespeople told me, "A practical choice for you is a used electric piano"!! Some others said, "Your price range won't buy anything acoustic but very small used spinets or mediocre used consoles". OK! Thanks for the advice! Nothing wrong with an electric piano, but it just does not have the right touch for me! I know I have the budget for a spinet but a desire for the tone of an "almost-grand" piano! Dream on!

Someone told me about private sellers, thrift stores, eBay, and even Craigslist... where prices may be unreal but where junkie pianos may be real! I've never been much of a gambler. Most I've ever gambled is $1 / week for a lottery ticket. Should I roll the dice now on a possibly junkie piano?

Sunday June 17th, 2018 - I was browsing the Internet for a piano! Desperately wishing for some magic luck! Seek and you shall find! A private seller – 3.5 miles from me - listed a Baldwin Hamilton vertical, but did not disclose its model or its age (the Ad). The Ad's price was within my budget, but I did not know anything about Baldwin Hamilton pianos! Google and Internet are God-sent tools. There it is, on LivingPianos.com, Robert Estrin did a fabulous introduction of a Baldwin Hamilton 243, which, except for a darker color, looked just like the one I saw in the Ad. OK, my potential piano is a Baldwin Hamilton 243, not bad, huh?

Wednesday June 20th, 2018 - I requested a technician (to whom I got acquainted during my shopping trips) to check out the Ad's piano. He immediately seriously warned me, "No warranty?!", "Most of piano sold by private sellers have lot of issues", "You will be wasting your time and money". He did not come, saying he was busy. I brought my kid with me to see the piano regardless!

My initial shock: In the Ad's pictures, the piano was depicted as sitting in a room near other instruments, but in reality, it sat in an "Outhouse" PVC plastic Tent among piles of old clothes and misfits! Though the Tent was fully wrapped around by thick PVC plastic sheets and carefully clammed up, the sun light was shining through and the enclosure did not have air conditioning. The heat was 90 plus degrees; the air was humid; and the rain and storms have come and gone for several weeks! The piano did not get wet, but I was sure it had been slowly steamed / baked in such an oven! It was also FILTHY, covered in thick layers of black dust, grimes, and God-knows-what icky stuffs! The DIRTIEST piano I'd ever seen! Seemed like someone had abandoned it!

Abandoned it was, indeed! A conversation with the private seller revealed that he worked for a non-profit organization and he picked up this piano in a house that had been sold and its original owner had moved on and left it behind...along with other music instruments!

I don't know much about pianos, but I knew that humidity and heat are serious destroyers for acoustic pianos (or any wood music instruments). The thought of getting a junkie piano home was more alarming than ever, now that this piano literally had been baked inside a plastic Tent for "quite a while", according to the seller, who honestly admitted so.

I literally felt sorry for the piano. I did not think I'd buy it. It was 4:30 PM - still very bright for a summer afternoon. Rain was drizzling outside the Tent, so I sat down on the piano bench for a while looking at its dirty keys. Somehow, I found myself playing a short piece of music that I still managed to remember (from my childhood's lesson time). I was expecting sticky keys or sluggish keys or a bad tone or anything one could possible imagine, playing on such an abandoned piano, in the 90 degree sweltering heat and humidity. But to my surprise, except for being somewhat out of tune, the piano produced a melodious tone - mesmerizing but vigorous - somewhat unreal! What was more unreal, it had no sticky or sluggish keys, its action was swift, and its key touch felt nice!

Nonetheless, I took my kid home. The warnings about getting a junkie piano hovered around in my mind! I dare not buy it right away!

Friday June 22th, 2018 - Another drizzling humid and sweltering hot afternoon. I stopped by a piano store on my way back home from picking up the kid. The store's salesperson introduced me to another piano, which in his words, a "legendary beloved studio" that most schools and churches love (or at least, used to love). His price tag showed several thousand dollars - way more than what I could spend! Still, strange as the odd might seem, he showed me a Baldwin Hamilton 243 - same exact model (but in a darker oak color). Wow, really? The piano I saw in the Tent the other day was a "legendary beloved studio" model?

With that new knowledge, I called the private seller and requested to see the piano in the Tent again! For all it might be worth, it is a Baldwin Hamilton 243; a legendary Studio piano that someone had once beloved but somewhat abandoned at the end! The afternoon heat was relentless, and the mugginess of humidity and the smell of dirty dust made me and my kid feel exhausted in the Tent. There, like a crazy person, in the 90 degree heat, I seriously checked out its soundboard, ribs, harp (iron plate), hammers, action system, cabinetry, etc.... any that I could possibly "check it out" according to what I had learned from various piano forums and YouTube videos! The soundboard, the ribs, the plate, all looked intact. The hammers had very minor wear and in good shape. The action appeared in uniform. No cracks seen on the pin block area. The 3 pedals appeared working. The cabinet and keys were - yes - filthy, but surely, no keys were sticky and no keys were sluggish! Amazing results for a piano that had been abandoned and baked in the heat of a plastic Tent!

I knew such amazing results were sort of "miracles" and probably would not last forever if the piano were to continue staying where it was - in that sweltering hot and humid plastic Tent!! I played another short tune on it! I bargained for the price; the seller agreed to reduce the price so that I could afford the moving cost! Perhaps, he was nice, seeing that I'd been so "insanely" checking out the piano. Perhaps, he was tired of its taking up space in the Tent. Whatever the reason, at 5:00 PM on Jun 22th, 2018, I found myself buying the Baldwin Hamilton 243 piano. For once, against my personality, I decided to gamble with this piano purchase! There is a chance that it could cause long-term troubles for me! Risks will inherently be there, but its purchase price was within my budget. And, best of all, my BH243 is a really nicely sounding instrument with the tone of an "almost-grand" piano! (My imagination?)

Saturday June 23th, 2018 - Morning: The technician finally decided to come - to the Tent - as a courtesy - to check out the Baldwin Hamilton 243. (As said, I bought the piano the evening before, but I did not tell him about my purchase). He came and looked at it for a while; in his words, "it looked well and better than most junk pianos I've seen", but lamented on how badly out of tune it was. He said its pins might have bad tensions and it might not hold a tune! He told me if I really wanted to buy it, he could help me fix it later. The cost would be from $600 to $800 for his fees! I simply thanked him for his courtesy and advice.

Saturday June 23th, 2018 - Afternoon: I brought my vacuum, brooms, rags, Windex, and right in that Tent, I started the initial cleaning up for my newly found BH243! I spent 2 hours cleaning its external cabinet, the back posts etc... at the same time waiting for the mover!

Saturday June 23th, 2018 - Evening: My BH243 was moved to my home now! I began doing a "detail" clean for its keys and key bed, vacuuming out thick layers of dirt on its keys and action parts. Slowly and miraculously - my BH243 - transformed from a dirty abandoned piano to a "look-like-new" piano!


BEFORE: [img]https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aghdS6d8xMwV2T5P42DAbTvIyIM-mUa6[/img]

AFTER: [img]https://drive.google.com/open?id=17Oyxw2Dcrp1ZwGdJKhhm6tq5LPRxvNXe[/img]


BEFORE: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oh35KIEt_CgPHyeg1uc1FTA_luUZd7s0

AFTER: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1x6SsJYnl5HOVK4-6sCVk2qcDDO3R_W0a


AFTER all cleaning up (side view): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rta8ZXWzjyJCbk4pGeaT0DPy3pSXe7dP

AFTER all cleaning up (front view): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RQ3zxNHraPO9aKqpIw1cM9vrNkf8nXZW

Here is how it sounds in my home, on Jun 26th, 2018, a few days after it arrived home but NOT YET tuned!
(Please note, I am not a professional artist; just a music / piano learner).
1) Fur Elise - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2uRwgVvcVA
2) Tumbalaika - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHoTkkLqQGg


I know I will have to get it tuned. Maybe I need to get its strings raised to the right A440 pitch? Melodious as it sounds – despite all of its abandonment ordeal - I don’t anticipate it would not hold a tune! Crossing my fingers, once again!

No one knows how the future holds. For now, I love my new Baldwin Hamilton 243 (circa in the 1970's). It is an old instrument that was so well-made, and it makes music with a "SOUL”!

I believe I have found a diamond in the rough!



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Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2749770
07/06/18 01:02 PM
07/06/18 01:02 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 184
Chicago
J
John305 Online content
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John305  Online Content
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J
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 184
Chicago
Thanks for sharing your quest with us. I love your enthusiasm. Please post another video after it’s tuned, I would love to hear it again when in tune.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2749892
07/07/18 01:04 AM
07/07/18 01:04 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,499
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Florida
I loved your story.... and believe in finding ‘diamonds in the rough’ if you have the patience, perserversnce, and only a wee bit of the gambling spirit, I’m glad that you were not dissuaded from your quest.

You may or may not know this, but you should let the piano acclimate in your house for a few weeks before you get it tuned for the first time, and it may need a few, periodic tunings in the first year. Please do post a Recording after the first tuning...... enjoy!


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: John305] #2750155
07/08/18 02:48 AM
07/08/18 02:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
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LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by John305
Thanks for sharing your quest with us. I love your enthusiasm. Please post another video after it’s tuned, I would love to hear it again when in tune.


Thank you. I will do so once it's tuned. Currently, trying to practice as much as possible on another song.

Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: dogperson] #2750157
07/08/18 02:57 AM
07/08/18 02:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
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LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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Posts: 71
Originally Posted by dogperson
I loved your story.... and believe in finding ‘diamonds in the rough’ if you have the patience, perseverance, and only a wee bit of the gambling spirit, I’m glad that you were not dissuaded from your quest.

You may or may not know this, but you should let the piano acclimate in your house for a few weeks before you get it tuned for the first time, and it may need a few, periodic tunings in the first year. Please do post a Recording after the first tuning...... enjoy!


Thanks for the advice. I don't have it tuned right away, but plan to do so in a few weeks (or maybe in a month or two, depending on how expensive a tuning service costs). I will post another recording once it is in tune. Even though it's somewhat out of tune, it still sounds very nice and quite pleasant for me to practice on it. Hopefully, I will have learned another song by the time I get it tuned.


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750161
07/08/18 03:37 AM
07/08/18 03:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Cookeville, Tennessee
J
JasonInTN Offline
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JasonInTN  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Cookeville, Tennessee
I think you found a diamond in the rough too. It's not that far out of tune and I would bet it holds a tuning just fine. The upper octaves are more out of tune but that would be expected. I have a walnut 243 from the '70s and they are great pianos. I do think your oak model is from around 1964. You can check it yourself with the serial number at http://bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html#HAMILTON Be sure to look under Hamilton and not Baldwin. The serial number is stamped in the oval cutout in the harp, in front of the lamp in your videos. A '60s 243 may be preferable because in many of the '70s models they used a synthetic leather call Corfam. Hamilton 243s were the most popular piano ever built, and are still used in many schools and churches. They hold their value quite nicely. Looks like you found one that is low mileage and avoided a lot of abuse that many of them see. Congrats on your bravery and a great find.


Some of my keyboards:
1912 Ritmuller Art Case Grand, 1976 Baldwin Hamilton 243, 1973 Hammond C3, 1987 Yamaha HX-1, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-130, 3 Older Clavinovas, 2 pump organs, and an assortment of other toys.
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: JasonInTN] #2750316
07/09/18 02:18 AM
07/09/18 02:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
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LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by JasonInTN
I think you found a diamond in the rough too. It's not that far out of tune and I would bet it holds a tuning just fine. The upper octaves are more out of tune but that would be expected. I have a walnut 243 from the '70s and they are great pianos. I do think your oak model is from around 1964. You can check it yourself with the serial number at http://bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html#HAMILTON Be sure to look under Hamilton and not Baldwin. The serial number is stamped in the oval cutout in the harp, in front of the lamp in your videos. A '60s 243 may be preferable because in many of the '70s models they used a synthetic leather call Corfam. Hamilton 243s were the most popular piano ever built, and are still used in many schools and churches. They hold their value quite nicely. Looks like you found one that is low mileage and avoided a lot of abuse that many of them see. Congrats on your bravery and a great find.


Thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words. Serial number under Hamilton confirms that my piano was made in 1974; hopefully, it was not the year of bad synthetic leather like you mentioned? Where is the leather Corfam on the piano? I don't see anything of leather... Most of everything on the piano is wood (except the strings, the harp, and the outside caps of the 3 pedals, of course), but probably I don't know where to look at. Also, why is the Corfam something bad?


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750438
07/09/18 01:26 PM
07/09/18 01:26 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
Congrats on your find. After listening to the video, the piano will DEFINITELY need a major pitch raise and tuning, (if it is tunable) after the toll of years of use and being kept outdoors. I’d do it sooner than later, so whomever is taking lessons in your household will be experiencing pianos that are at least relatively tuned to the same pitch.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750450
07/09/18 02:25 PM
07/09/18 02:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Cookeville, Tennessee
J
JasonInTN Offline
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JasonInTN  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
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Cookeville, Tennessee
Really impressed how nice your piano looks inside. The hammers are so white. Nice job filling that wood gouge on the left side arm. When I said 243s were the most popular piano, I should have clarified and said there were more of them built than any other model piano. Thought your piano was from the '60s as there were many blonde oak ones built then. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

Corfam was an experiment Baldwin did. It was made by DuPont and was being used in the shoe industry. I can't tell you exactly what years it was used but my '76 has it and from what I have read it was used throughout the decade. Baldwin used it in the action in place of buckskin. On my piano it has a white colored core where buckskin is tan. It was used on the hammer butts and catchers. Numbers 17 and 21 in this diagram http://www.concertpitchpiano.com/UprightActionModel.html The problem with it is it shrinks over time and comes unglued. Some say it makes the action noisy. As I mentioned mine has it, and several ends have come loose. The piano still plays great, and if you didn't know where to look you would never notice it, or feel any difference. I may eventually reglue those loose ends, or replace it all, but it may not be necessary. I would think as fresh as yours is, if there is Corfam in there, there's a good chance it may still be all intact, although life in a hot tent probably wouldn't help it. Your piano plays and sounds nice, that's the main thing. I would have bought your piano in your situation too, Corfam or not.

It would be an extensive job to replace all the Corfam on the hammer butts and catchers. It would involve disassembling the action. I have read estimates of 4-6 hours of labor. Baldwin used to supply a kit to do it up into the '90s. I have an excellent piano technician friend who is a Piano Technician Guild member and services all the pianos at the local college. He tunes the pianos I get paid to play. He knows I am a do it yourself kinda guy and he tells me that would be a good project for me. What would take him 4-6 hours would take me 4-6 days and a sore back. I'm not about to tear into a piano that plays excellent, besides I have a more recent project that requires my time. It can be seen here: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2714156.html I need to start a thread about that one with new pictures....oh well. Other projects are more pressing.

Enjoy that piano, you did the right thing. Watch that Windex, you don't want a blue piano...hehehe. I liked reading your original post and seeing your videos. As dogperson requested, please post more video after the tuning. The same songs would be fine.

Jason

Last edited by JasonInTN; 07/09/18 02:29 PM.

Some of my keyboards:
1912 Ritmuller Art Case Grand, 1976 Baldwin Hamilton 243, 1973 Hammond C3, 1987 Yamaha HX-1, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-130, 3 Older Clavinovas, 2 pump organs, and an assortment of other toys.
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750475
07/09/18 06:56 PM
07/09/18 06:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 67
Middle Atlantic
J
Joe302 Offline
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Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 67
Middle Atlantic
Dear Learn,
You did a great job cleaning the piano up and it appears you got a great deal as well.
Good luck with the continuing rehab efforts.
Joe


Proud owner of a Kawai KU-5D 52 inch professional upright.
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: terminaldegree] #2750693
07/11/18 12:18 AM
07/11/18 12:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
Full Member
LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Congrats on your find. After listening to the video, the piano will DEFINITELY need a major pitch raise and tuning, (if it is tunable) after the toll of years of use and being kept outdoors. I’d do it sooner than later, so whomever is taking lessons in your household will be experiencing pianos that are at least relatively tuned to the same pitch.


Thank you. Another technician just checked it out yesterday. He did not tune it yet, as he wanted it to settle a tad more in my place. He'll come back in 2 weeks. But he said not to worry about the piano's tune-ability. He said the pin block is in a very good shape and pins' pressure is overall just fine; (he clearly showed the measurements and explained to me what they meant). This technician said he had no idea why the former one said the pins were loose or would not hold a tune. He speculated that the former technician was either incompetent or trying to sell a service to me! Now, I feel so relieved!

Yes, it will need a pitch raise tuning, but this tech said *no* need for a "severe" pitch raise because overall strings are only off (flat) less than 20 cents - or something like that... smile


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750696
07/11/18 12:41 AM
07/11/18 12:41 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
4000 Post Club Member
terminaldegree  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,550
Georgia, USA
Sure, let me translate what happens in the pitch raise, if it helps. Typically, with a piano that’s 20 cents flat, it will be tuned twice in one visit: once to “overshoot” the target pitch by a bit (it will be reluctant to stay there on the first pass) and a second pass to tune it more finely, since it will be close to the correct pitch. It is typical to be charged more for this type of tuning, since it takes longer.

The biggest worries all occur on the first pass— the possibility of discovering individual tuning pins that are too loose, or string breakage (especially annoying if it happens in the tenor on a vertical piano, because it’s a more difficult-to-reach fix). If it passes those two hurdles and holds at A440, you’ve been fortunate. Please let us know how it turns out!


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: JasonInTN] #2750715
07/11/18 04:30 AM
07/11/18 04:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
Full Member
LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by JasonInTN
Really impressed how nice your piano looks inside. The hammers are so white. Nice job filling that wood gouge on the left side arm....Thought your piano was from the '60s as there were many blonde oak ones built then. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.

Corfam was an experiment Baldwin did. It was made by DuPont and was being used in the shoe industry. I can't tell you exactly what years it was used but my '76 has it and from what I have read it was used throughout the decade. Baldwin used it in the action in place of buckskin. On my piano it has a white colored core where buckskin is tan. It was used on the hammer butts and catchers. Numbers 17 and 21 in this diagram http://www.concertpitchpiano.com/UprightActionModel.html The problem with it is it shrinks over time and comes unglued. Some say it makes the action noisy. As I mentioned mine has it, and several ends have come loose. The piano still plays great, and if you didn't know where to look you would never notice it, or feel any difference. I may eventually reglue those loose ends, or replace it all, but it may not be necessary. I would think as fresh as yours is, if there is Corfam in there, there's a good chance it may still be all intact, although life in a hot tent probably wouldn't help it. Your piano plays and sounds nice, that's the main thing. I would have bought your piano in your situation too, Corfam or not.
..........

Enjoy that piano, you did the right thing. Watch that Windex, you don't want a blue piano...hehehe. I liked reading your original post and seeing your videos. As dogperson requested, please post more video after the tuning. The same songs would be fine.

Jason


Thanks for the guidance. I believe found the Corfam. In mine, it's black colored with spider-web look (click Black Corfam). RPT.org has two posts about Corfam, which stated Corfam is black colored (not white), so I wonder how come your own BH243 has the Corfam in white color?

Corfam is mostly still intact in my BH243, only 2 Corfam pieces are very slightly unglued (in 2 middle notes). I am thinking about some sort of school glue to re-attach them, maybe, but not urgent.

I talked to the private seller again; he said the piano was in his possession (i.e. in the Tent) for 1.5+ months, and not its entire life.... Before that, it had been (as shown in the ad's pictures) in a room of a house of its first owner. 1.5+ month period was enough to make it very dirty, greasy, miserable, and got a ding / gouge on the side arm. However, (I hope / believe) a 1.5+ month period was not extensively long to harm it permanently. In fact, its hammers are still purely white - as you noticed. The hammers are only slightly indented (used) for middle keys. The hammers on the 2 sides (bass and treble) have very little - to almost none - indented marks.

By the way, Windex is fabulous for cleaning the greasy icky stuffs off the outside of the cabinet and the back posts. I didn't use Windex anywhere else...so no it's not a blue piano smile The keys, key bed, and some some internal wood parts of the cabinet were cleaned by white vinegar (1:1 diluted with water), which helped deodorizing the piano very well! I filled the gouge by DAP! Professional Plastic Wood Filler, which is extremely stinky (acetone smell) and easily to dry out, but it compressed well and was easy to sand off afterwards. Only a very small jar (2 oz) of wood filler was needed and cost like $5 from Home Depot. The only trick for the wood gouge repair was, first, I must hot steam the gouge, using a steam iron, to soften the area's wood fiber. That will help the wood filler to adhere better to the "injured" area.

To save money, all these "detail" tasks, I did them myself... after watching a lot of YouTube videos! We're in a wonderful period of time where Google, Bing, YouTube, Forums, etc. are wonderful sources of information...Of course, we must filter out what info is credible and what info is junk.


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750757
07/11/18 11:43 AM
07/11/18 11:43 AM
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Posts: 26,524
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Posts: 26,524
Oakland
The Corfam on the catchers may not be a problem, but on the bottom of the hammer butt, it just will not stay glued. Eventually it comes off at the top, and curls down to keep the jack from going back into place. Baldwin had kits to replace it using CA glue, but it still meant taking all the butts off, replacing the Corfam and putting it back together. Anything that you have to do 88 times over takes a lot of time.

Most of the leather that we get today is thick, but if you clamp down on it with pliers, it crushes until it fits in.


Semipro Tech
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2750788
07/11/18 01:35 PM
07/11/18 01:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Cookeville, Tennessee
J
JasonInTN Offline
Junior Member
JasonInTN  Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Cookeville, Tennessee
Hi LearnEveryDay. The Corfam in my 243 looks just like yours. I enlarged your first before picture after my last post and saw it. It is black outside with a white core. I was going to edit my post and say that but the five minute time limit had expired. Dislike that time limit.

BDB is absolutely correct. (There's a good chance a guy with 26,000+ posts knows what he's talking about). The Corfam on my catchers is still attached, but I have a few loose ends on the hammer butts. I can see it on the butts in your most recent picture. Mine hasn't curled down and restricted the jacks...yet. Not looking forward to replacing it, and even less enthused with the idea of crushing leather to fit, so I'll probably postpone the job until necessary. You might postpone until necessary too.

Obviously not all the Corfam got replaced. Would be interesting to know what your technician would charge to replace it though. My local PTG guy would be pricey, but as BDB pointed out anything that you have to do 88 times over takes a lot of time. Bet he's done the job numerous times as the local college had many 243s in their practice rooms. He does great work on other's pianos I get to play. As I mentioned he told me to do it myself. Maybe I will....eventually. Have a great day!

Jason

Last edited by JasonInTN; 07/11/18 01:44 PM.

Some of my keyboards:
1912 Ritmuller Art Case Grand, 1976 Baldwin Hamilton 243, 1973 Hammond C3, 1987 Yamaha HX-1, Casio PX-160, Casio PX-130, 3 Older Clavinovas, 2 pump organs, and an assortment of other toys.
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2753911
07/26/18 03:40 AM
07/26/18 03:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
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LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
As promised. Here is the update:

Just got it pitch-raised and fine tuned. Pitch raise encountered no issues. It was NOT too Flat in terms of pitch, so pulling its pitch up seemed an easy task for the new Tech.

This new Tech also told me its pin block is in a very good condition and its pins have proper tension, and no bad (loose) pins to worry about. Also, no regulation work is urgently needed as the parts of its action system are still in good shape. Considering the piano's age and its recent TENT-life torture, I'd say the good news of tune-ability is *indeed* another miracle!

I felt relieved! Glad I had not listened to that first Tech guy and had not let him "dope" its pins with whatever he planned to dope them with. Sometimes, people can disguise to "help" you; live and learn - always get a second opinion...! wink

Here is Fur Elise - BEFORE tuned, (played when it first came home).
Here is Fur Elise - AFTER tuned, (played right after the tuning Tech finished and left).

Here is Bach, Minuet in G Major (1st half) (I am still learning the 2nd half). This is to demonstrate how the piano sounds after it was all tuned up.

Its tone is so mellifluous, a true Baldwin Hamilton piano! 3hearts


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: LearnEveryDay] #2754148
07/27/18 12:40 PM
07/27/18 12:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 88
Liverpool, NY
P
pathguy Online content
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pathguy  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 88
Liverpool, NY
Wow---great find and a nice sounding piano! Wish we could all be so lucky!!!

Re: My new BH 243, a diamond in the rough! [Re: pathguy] #2754265
07/28/18 03:46 AM
07/28/18 03:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
LearnEveryDay Offline OP
Full Member
LearnEveryDay  Offline OP
Full Member
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by pathguy
Wow---great find and a nice sounding piano! Wish we could all be so lucky!!!


Thank you, PathGuy! "Seek and you shall find". There are a lot of great sounding pianos out there that got forgotten or neglected... If you are willing to give some TLC (tender loving care) to such a piano, I believe one will come to you in due time.


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato

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