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White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T #2770931
10/09/18 10:26 PM
10/09/18 10:26 PM
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Chris Snyder Offline OP
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My wife and I went to check out a piano that we're hoping to purchase. It's a 2001 Schimmel CC213T, which has had one owner (who passed away earlier this year). Playing the piano and inspecting the inside, everything checks out: inside looks immaculate, no obvious mechanical issues, great sound, and seems to be holding its tune well (was last tuned in April). However, we did discover something on the bottom of the piano that gives us pause:

[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Y...gJClgwuZfVuOpQcXoGQ5DXhurg=w1251-h938-no[/img]

This white fungus (which we're assuming is mold) was present on much of the bottom of the rim of the piano. However, we did not see any sign of it on the inside of the piano, nor any other obvious signs of moisture: the strings and other metal components showed no rust, and other wood surfaces (including the underside of the soundboard) looked fine.

The piano is in the finished walkout basement of a relatively new house. The house has been unoccupied since the owner passed away in June, but the family has been in it frequently to go through his belongings. They also mentioned that they had the A/C turned on all summer. We're in Michigan, and summers can get quite humid. The instrument does not have a Dampp-Chaser system installed.

We had gone in tonight hoping to finalize the sale, but are taking a step back to make sure we're doing our due diligence. I'm going to call the tuner that tuned it back in April (one of the better tuners in the area, whom I've worked with before) and get his opinion and see if he can do an inspection of the instrument. The sellers have offered to take care of any necessary remediation before the sale.

Does anyone have any idea why there would be mold in that specific place only? I'm really puzzled. Hoping not to have to turn this one down—we'd be getting it at a really good price, and a Schimmel like this is one of my dream pianos.

Here's a picture of the piano itself:
[img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/g...Axy5aC47oydGK_mD0uf_Rt0L9g=w1000-h750-no[/img]


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2770962
10/10/18 04:44 AM
10/10/18 04:44 AM
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Sorry that I don’t have any advice for you, but I couldn’t resist to point out that this may actually be by design: It’s a German Schimmel piano, after all, and the German word “Schimmel” literally means “mold”! Very authentic!

Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2770965
10/10/18 05:24 AM
10/10/18 05:24 AM
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Queensland, Australia
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It could be worth getting a technician check it out - they might be able to advise on what it is. It's odd that it's only on the bottom of the rim, and not the inside etc.

It looks more like a chalk in the photo than mould, but that could be the photo only. I assume it wouldn't be an insecticide powder - which isn't very common these days?

The other possibility is that - the piano is moved lying on it's side - maybe it has scuffed that side on a doorway, brick wall etc as it was being transported?


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2770976
10/10/18 06:58 AM
10/10/18 06:58 AM
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Basements are damp and porous things like wood attract mold. One hypothesis would be the entire piano molded after the AC was off for a couple months. Someone cleaned it up but forgot to look underneath. Another may be light lacquer on the bottom versus elsewhere allowing mold to take root. Mold can be remediated so it shouldn't be a huge problem. I would tell them you are freaking out and require further price reductions to cover the possibility the instrument may not be as pristine as you had first imagined.

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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: JoBert] #2771003
10/10/18 09:15 AM
10/10/18 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JoBert
Sorry that I don’t have any advice for you, but I couldn’t resist to point out that this may actually be by design: It’s a German Schimmel piano, after all, and the German word “Schimmel” literally means “mold”! Very authentic!

That was the first thing that sprang to my mind too. Der Schimmel hat Schimmel! laugh

Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: JoBert] #2771007
10/10/18 09:53 AM
10/10/18 09:53 AM
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Chris Snyder Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JoBert
Sorry that I don’t have any advice for you, but I couldn’t resist to point out that this may actually be by design: It’s a German Schimmel piano, after all, and the German word “Schimmel” literally means “mold”! Very authentic!


Ha! I can imagine the narrator in the Schimmel promotional video describing the process: These rare spores are found only in the Bavarian foothills, and are collected by forest rangers exclusively for Schimmel; only one in forty spores meets our exacting specifications. They are then cultivated for six months by master sporologists before being injected into the wood by master craftsmen. This process—exclusive to our Brauschweig factory—is what makes a Schimmel a truly unique instrument.


Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
It looks more like a chalk in the photo than mould, but that could be the photo only. I assume it wouldn't be an insecticide powder - which isn't very common these days?

The other possibility is that - the piano is moved lying on it's side - maybe it has scuffed that side on a doorway, brick wall etc as it was being transported?


Here's another photo that shows it looking more like spores.

Interesting hypothesis that it was caused by moving, but I don't think it's likely: my understanding is that the piano has been moved exactly once, from the dealer (West Michigan Piano) to the basement where it has resided for the past 17 years.


Originally Posted by oldMH
Basements are damp and porous things like wood attract mold. One hypothesis would be the entire piano molded after the AC was off for a couple months. Someone cleaned it up but forgot to look underneath. Another may be light lacquer on the bottom versus elsewhere allowing mold to take root. Mold can be remediated so it shouldn't be a huge problem. I would tell them you are freaking out and require further price reductions to cover the possibility the instrument may not be as pristine as you had first imagined.


I don't think it's likely that the whole piano was moldy—there was just enough dust inside to suggest that it hadn't been recently cleaned, and the rim was the only part underneath that had the mold. The lacquer idea does seem more likely, though: the underside of the rim seemed much rougher than anywhere else on the piano (perhaps by design, to give moisture a pathway), and the mold spores followed the grain of the wood (very visible on the picture I linked above in this post).

Unless the tech comes back with other concerns, we probably won't ask for a price reduction, since the amount we offered was already on the low side (we weren't really in the market for a piano like this yet, so we put in an offer that we felt was low, without being insultingly low).

One other curiosity: The tuning record (which we found under the music rack) had only three entries: the two included with the piano purchase (by the late PW forums legend Jerry Groot, who was also our tuner until he passed away five years ago), and the tuning from April of this year; the most recent tuning did note that it required a 1/3-tone pitch raise, but no other indication that it was neglected. The tuning sounded decent last night (I have a picky ear), about what I'd expect for six months. The damper pedal showed enough wear to indicate that the piano has been played a fair amount. Perhaps another tuner kept a record somewhere else. Or maybe the piano held its tune well enough over the years that the owner never noticed.

Well, I'm just rambling, now. I appreciate all of your thoughts, and will keep you posted.


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771037
10/10/18 12:14 PM
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In German, a Schimmel is a white horse.

This substance could be polishing compound.


Semipro Tech
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771038
10/10/18 12:16 PM
10/10/18 12:16 PM
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Whatever it is, it seems to be attracted to the glue. It's a laminated hardwood rim, so its not really the grain that it is following but the layers of glue between the layers of wood.

If it were truly a humidity issue, I feel sure there would be other evidence of moisture elsewhere on the piano.

A few careful applications of bleach should kill whatever is there. Might also consider some type of sealer or paint after enough time has passed.


Sam Bennett
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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771105
10/10/18 03:52 PM
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Were the more confluent areas puffy and raised from surface? It seems so in the photos, and that would be fungal / mold growth of some sort. (I only offer an opinion because I specialize in laboratory medicine and have seen too many colonies of mold to count, though not on wood!) Hopefully none inside anywhere; I'm sure the technician can advise.

Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771200
10/10/18 07:45 PM
10/10/18 07:45 PM
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Queensland, Australia
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As Sam pointed out - it's a laminated timber rim. Many pianos aren't finished under the rim, my Grotrian is clear-finished, I've seen some roughly finished underneath. From memory, my previous Schimmel, which was timber-grain, didn't have the timber-grain on the underneath of the rim, though I can't recall whether it was black or laminate - it wasn't finished to the same as the rest of the rim.

I assume you'll be having a technician check the piano over before purchase - get them to advise while they're doing that.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2771212
10/10/18 08:18 PM
10/10/18 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL

A few careful applications of bleach should kill whatever is there.


Bleach doesn't actually kill mold, it just removes it color (we learn this painfully up here in the pacific NW) you need to use a mold killer. Otherwise I think all your advice is sound (if it's really mold...)



Currently learning: Beethoven "Easy" Sonata Op 49 No 2, Clementi Sonatina Op 36 No 1, JS Bach WTC Prelude No 2 in C minor
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: squidbot] #2771217
10/10/18 08:42 PM
10/10/18 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by squidbot
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL

A few careful applications of bleach should kill whatever is there.
...(if it's really mold...)

Yes, I think that's the key - IF it's REALLY mould - to me I'm doubtful. Which is why I'd be checking with a technician first.

Bleach - being a liquid - is something I'd personally be very wary about using on a timber piano. Particularly on glues - without knowing what affect it will have on glues. And the chlorine gas which bleach gives off can damage some surfaces - I believe it will damage paint (high strength sodium hypochlorite).


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771226
10/10/18 09:10 PM
10/10/18 09:10 PM
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Bleach absolutely does kill mold. It just doesn't work well on porous surfaces like unsealed wood and drywall (gypsum board) Mold can also be killed with: borax and vinegar along with several other things like hydrogen peroxide (liquid) and oxygen bleach powder (sold as oxyclean). All of the latter are less toxic to humans than bleach. The key to stopping the regrowth is controlling the humidity.

Kurt


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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771230
10/10/18 09:16 PM
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I've used this mold testing lab for a few things I've found in house basements. It's easy to take the sample, they send a pdf report in 24 hours, and you'll know everything from the latin scientific name to whether it's dangerous and how to get rid of it.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771251
10/10/18 11:10 PM
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I still think it is polishing compound.


Semipro Tech
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: BDB] #2771265
10/11/18 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I still think it is polishing compound.

thumb


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771370
10/11/18 09:45 AM
10/11/18 09:45 AM
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Spoke with the tech that tuned it back in April. He consulted his notes, and said he found nothing wrong with the piano at the time. He assumes that the tunings over the years have been done by a second-rate tuner that didn't bother to keep a record; it definitely had been tuned more recently than 2002, as the record indicated. He wasn't too concerned about the white substance, and suggested just cleaning it off (with either a damp rag or at most a mild cleaner) and seeing what happens. I also talked with him about the price, and he felt that we're getting a very good deal.

I'm not too concerned about the potential for introducing mold spores into our home: our house is 102 years old, and will never have the sterile air that some seem to think is necessary.

We're going ahead with the purchase, and have asked the sellers to wipe off the white substance before the piano is moved. We'll keep an eye on it to see if anything else is required.

Now on to all the other fun: scheduling the move with a piano mover, deciding whether we need caster cups (the casters are quite wide already, but it is going on a hardwood floor), getting a Dampp-Chaser installed (yes, I know they are somewhat controversial; but there's no way we can maintain acceptable humidity in a 102yo Michigan house), getting it tuned (after it's had a chance to acclimate with the D-C), and—most importantly—enjoying it. :-D

Thanks for your advice, everyone. I'll keep posting updates, since the people here will appreciate my excitement as much as my real-life friends (many of which are quite musical, also).


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: BDB] #2771378
10/11/18 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I still think it is polishing compound.


+1. It looks like something that's been rubbed in between the ridges of the laminations.

How long has it been since you first saw it? Does it look the same, or has the amount of material increased? If it's growing, it's mold. If it's growing, it should cover the tops of the ridges. If not, it's more likely that BDB has the right answer.

I'd go after it with a stiff old toothbrush, not just wipe it with a cloth. Polishing compound will come right off, mold or fungus will have grown up into the wood.


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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: JohnSprung] #2771384
10/11/18 10:23 AM
10/11/18 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by BDB
I still think it is polishing compound.

+1. It looks like something that's been rubbed in between the ridges of the laminations.

How long has it been since you first saw it? Does it look the same, or has the amount of material increased? If it's growing, it's mold. If it's growing, it should cover the tops of the ridges. If not, it's more likely that BDB has the right answer.

I'd go after it with a stiff old toothbrush, not just wipe it with a cloth. Polishing compound will come right off, mold or fungus will have grown up into the wood.


We've only seen the piano once (this past Tuesday), so I can't say if the white substance has spread at all.

One other curiosity is the serial number vs. the model number. The serial number is 334999, which would put it in 1999. Were they making the 213 then? I thought it wasn't introduced until 2000 (though they must have been manufacturing it before it was announced?). The invoice from 2001 says it's a 213, and I saw that on a label (IIRC) inside the piano as well. It would make sense for this particular dealer to have gotten one of the first shipments, since they have been pushing Schimmels for a long time (West Michigan has a fairly high concentration of Schimmels thanks to them). The tech did mention that it is a 6'10" rather than 7', but I'm guessing he didn't actually pull out a tape measure. I've sent a message to Schimmel to see what they can tell me based on the serial number.


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771401
10/11/18 11:00 AM
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Maybe it’s just schmutz? Schmutz on a Schimmel kind of makes sense wink

At any rate, congratulations on your new piano, it sounds like you’re getting a really good deal on a fine instrument. Please post more pictures when it arrives, of the piano not the schmutz.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771402
10/11/18 11:02 AM
10/11/18 11:02 AM
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Schimmel made the CC208 and then, about that time, the CC213 (different model than the K213). There were even a few of the K213's that were called something similar when they were first released. I know we still had the CC213's around (we used one as a rental) until about 2004-2005. We first sold Schimmel in 2000, and we did have a couple of 208's before the first 213's arrived. It's very probable that it took a while to cycle some 208's out of warehouses and showrooms, accounting for the slightly older serial.

If it says 213 anywhere on the piano (rubbery sticker) then it's that early 213. I really liked those, but the model was short lived because of the across the board change to create the Konzert series grands.

I still don't think it's compound. Compound gets concentrated near the outside edge that gets polished, even if there is a lot of compound.

I'm not the mold expert, and others have given good advice. When restoring an older piano that we are also refinishing, we'll use Kilz after cleaning, before painting on the beams and under side of the inner rim. We just paint the bottom edge of the rim.


Sam Bennett
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Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771405
10/11/18 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Snyder

...
Now on to all the other fun: scheduling the move with a piano mover, deciding whether we need caster cups (the casters are quite wide already, but it is going on a hardwood floor),...


Personally I do not like caster cups. For a wooden floor I think it is better to use casters that are designed for wooden floor, such as this
[Linked Image]

This specific one is from an August Förster, but Schimmel supply them also.

Last edited by Skjalg; 10/11/18 11:18 AM.
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771415
10/11/18 11:49 AM
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Contacted the dealer that originally sold it, and he's sure that it's a 213. I've been reading as much as I can find on the differences between model years, and I think the earlier 213 design suits us better—this is going in a living room, after all.

Those casters look really nice. I bet they're spendy, though.


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771430
10/11/18 12:10 PM
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871 lbs divided by 3, then distributed on a castor maybe 4 inces wide by 1/16th inch contact. That’s about 1161 lbs per square inch.

Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771436
10/11/18 12:22 PM
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,473
Reseda, California

That reminds me of the early days of passenger jet aircraft, which coincided with "needle" heels being fashionable. A 100 pound woman standing on a 1/4" square would be 1600 psi, enough to damage the floorboards.


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771443
10/11/18 12:37 PM
10/11/18 12:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
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prout Offline
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prout  Offline
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P

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
My previous house master bedroom had hundreds of stiletto heel marks that were too deep to be removed by sanding. Some people are idiots.

Actually, I can relate a story about a piano. My co-pilot from a few years ago did house renovations on the side for fun. He got a call from a women living in a brand new starter-mansion. The grand piano legs had punched through the living room floor and the piano case was now resting on the floor. It turns out that the building code had changed from 3/4” plywood subflooring to 5/8” OSB (oriented strand board, basically crap wood bits glued together). You get what you pay for.


Last edited by prout; 10/11/18 12:44 PM.
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: prout] #2771462
10/11/18 01:25 PM
10/11/18 01:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,473
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Online content
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JohnSprung  Online Content
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J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,473
Reseda, California
Originally Posted by prout
. The grand piano legs had punched through the living room floor and the piano case was now resting on the floor.


Yikes -- What happened to the lyre and pedals? I know what you mean about OSB, they're even using 1/2" (15/32" really) now. And the miserable stuff is curved like potato chips.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771472
10/11/18 01:38 PM
10/11/18 01:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
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prout Offline
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prout  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
The lyre was destroyed, but caused only cosmetic damage to the underside.

Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771477
10/11/18 01:49 PM
10/11/18 01:49 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
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prout Offline
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prout  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,861
Southwestern Ontario
My M&H BB weighs 1020 lbs and rests on three 4x4 inch 1/4” thick squares of steel, covered by champhered black squares of wood.

Last edited by prout; 10/11/18 01:49 PM.
Re: White mold(?) on bottom of rim of a Schimmel CC213T [Re: Chris Snyder] #2771482
10/11/18 02:01 PM
10/11/18 02:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 9
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Chris Snyder Offline OP
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Chris Snyder  Offline OP
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C

Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 9
Grand Rapids, Michigan
That is one of the advantages of older houses (at least our older house): our floors are 3/4-inch old growth oak over a nice thick wood plank subfloor (not sure of the thickness or species, but it's not shabby). And the beams holding up the joists are four 2x10 boards (actual 2x10 - not 1.75x9.5 or something) sandwiched together. The floors are almost perfectly level and don't bounce at all.


1999 Schimmel CC213T (incoming)
2006 Yamaha M450

Avocational organist, pianist, and chorister
Married to a piano teacher
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