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Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
#2762014 08/30/18 05:57 PM
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What do you guys think of this piano. It seems to have some needs. Do you think only a total rebuild would make it work well or maybe some sprucing up? String replacement? I don't know - just what's your opinion? https://bham.craigslist.org/msg/d/1906-mason-hamlin-model-50/6667343661.html


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762024 08/30/18 06:46 PM
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Well, it is not a model 50. You can see it is a model E. After all these years, it could stand a lot of work, and if it has the repetition action, chances are you will not find anyone who can repair that. But old Mason & Hamlin uprights are very nice pianos, and easier to work on than Steinways.


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762041 08/30/18 08:13 PM
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String replacement is not a job that would normally be done just on its own (unless to replace a set of dud bass strings).

When a piano has reached the stage that it really does need complete restringing, everything else will need doing too. Generally speaking, hammer replacement is more likely a dire necessity rather than restringing (or as well as).

And one has to face the fact that piano restoration is labour-intensive as well as being extremely skilled work. The task is unlikely to be financially viable, because the cost of the work will exceed the value of the finished piano.

The 'minimum intervention' approach might be best here - get the piano tuned, and small repairs done so that it plays OK, and enjoy the instrument's twilight years. However, none of us can really advise definitively without have seen/played the piano. You need to get a good technician to check it out for you, I think.

Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
David Boyce #2762065 08/30/18 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
The task is unlikely to be financially viable, because the cost of the work will exceed the value of the finished piano.
Although I have seen a similar comment many times I have never understood the logic.

Shouldn't the question really be: For the cost of whatever restoration work is chosen plus the cost of the piano purchase, how would the result compare with other pianos the OP could buy for the same amount? Additionally, any piano purchase involves some loss if one tries to resell the piano so why is it relevant that the cost of the work exceeds the value of the finished piano?

I think the comment I quoted would be relevant for a rebuilder who wanted to purchase this piano and sell it after it's rebuilt.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/30/18 10:17 PM.
Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
BDB #2762079 08/31/18 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Well, it is not a model 50. You can see it is a model E. After all these years, it could stand a lot of work, and if it has the repetition action, chances are you will not find anyone who can repair that. But old Mason & Hamlin uprights are very nice pianos, and easier to work on than Steinways.

According to the 1906 Mason and Hamlin catalog the model E3 has a "patented repeating action." Is this what you were talking about?


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762088 08/31/18 01:19 AM
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Probably. There is a little leaf spring on each jack that goes to the back side of the catcher and holds the hammer in place while it helps push the jack under the butt. These have invariably fatigued by now. I restored them on a Mason & Hamlin upright that I had, but it was a job! It played wonderfully, though, perhaps better than many grands. The springs are adjustable with a screw, which is nice.


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762118 08/31/18 04:10 AM
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Your logic is impeccable, Pianoloverus.

Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762153 08/31/18 08:52 AM
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Most (though not all) people tend to think: "If I put this amount if money into it, can I get it back later?" The answer is generally "No". If money is an issue, don't do it. If cosy is not an issue, and you like it...do it.

Pwg


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762216 08/31/18 01:18 PM
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Impeccable too!

Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
Pianolance #2762228 08/31/18 01:52 PM
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Actually, if you buy this piano and put the money necessary in it, you may do no worse than buying a new piano.


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
BDB #2762322 08/31/18 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Probably. There is a little leaf spring on each jack that goes to the back side of the catcher and holds the hammer in place while it helps push the jack under the butt. These have invariably fatigued by now. I restored them on a Mason & Hamlin upright that I had, but it was a job! It played wonderfully, though, perhaps better than many grands. The springs are adjustable with a screw, which is nice.


BDB,

Can you describe how you did that? I have one here that needs it.

Pwg


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
P W Grey #2762330 08/31/18 08:20 PM
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Not very easily! I got some shim brass cut to size by my 8th grade shop teacher, who had a shear. The hard part was the two holes. If I were doing a lot, I would set up a punch, but I made a jig to hold a bunch of them and drilled. There were a lot of duds.


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Re: Mason and Hamlin Model 50 - what do you think?
BDB #2830666 03/24/19 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Not very easily! I got some shim brass cut to size by my 8th grade shop teacher, who had a shear. The hard part was the two holes. If I were doing a lot, I would set up a punch, but I made a jig to hold a bunch of them and drilled. There were a lot of duds.


I'm just restoring one now and am about to order .0075" brass shim stock.

What size did you use to get the good results?

Thanks


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