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Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
#2860365 06/19/19 09:49 AM
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Hi,
I passed on the previous hamilton baldwin piano because it was 60 years old and in pretty bad shape and wasn't worth the moving cost (which was quoted at 500.00)

I found one very close to home this time (it's at a senior center) for "$350.00 or best offer" and I'm sure that they'll be really flexible on the price...so I might try offering them $200.00 as it's a buyers market these days.

It's in worse physical shape as to the outer parts, (is it called the case?) but so far it's in better shape internally according to what I've been told so far.

The serial number is: 343971 which indicates it was built in 1980-1981 and so far I know that one hammer (2nd to the last one on the bass side) is missing some felt (you can see it in the pictures) but the guy said that it still strikes the string fine.

I have to go look at it but I thought I'd post this to show you guys what I found. If I can keep the moving cost low, and assuming that there is nothing really bad inside except for needing that hammer felt replaced and a general clean up/tune I think I could be in this one for less than $600.00 including any fixing that needs to be done and moving it.

What do you think?

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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860377 06/19/19 10:26 AM
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Update.
He says that the felt on the hammers have little wear. This is a picture of the one hammer that's missing the felt.

I'm going to look at it today.

Hopefully since this is within 10 miles of my house, the moving will be substantially cheaper.

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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860399 06/19/19 11:08 AM
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So as I wait for the moving company to contact me on price, I'm wondering...is it feasible to think that I could (with the help of a couple of strong friends) move this thing?

I don't know what it weighs and I can't find any specific info...just a generalized statement from an online moving company (most uprights weigh between 300 and 350 lbs)

the location where it is doesn't have any steps and my home has 3 porch steps. is it reasonable to think that a dolly with blankets will work?

Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860419 06/19/19 11:54 AM
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The hammer felt came unlaminated on that bass hammer-head. That could be isolated to just that hammer, or an indication the piano was housed in a humid environment for a time. Of course, it's not often that low Bb is played much, unless you are into classical music, I suppose.

Like you said, if you can keep the cost low, and then have work done as needed, it might be a good starter piano.

I've moved several uprights, with help of one of my sons, both of whom are bigger, and stronger (and smarter) than I am. smile

Good luck!

Rick


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
Rickster #2860424 06/19/19 12:03 PM
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Thanks!
I've watched a few videos and think that with the help of my friend and a UHaul with ramps, we can do it. $29.00 for 4 hours rental.

I'll see what I can do about a ramp for my porch steps but I've seen videos where two guys lifted a piano up between the two of them and it's possible that we could just lift it up the steps.

I'll see how it looks after I take a look at it.

Wish me luck!

If this pans out...a $200.00 piano...$150.00 worth of tuning and repair of that hammer, and $40.00 worth of moving supplies could get me set up for now.

Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860459 06/19/19 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Thanks!
I've watched a few videos and think that with the help of my friend and a UHaul with ramps, we can do it. $29.00 for 4 hours rental.
[...]



Sure you can!!



Cheers!


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860464 06/19/19 01:40 PM
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Don't roll it on the casters. Get a big (gray) tire mover's dolly and put it under the middle of the piano, lifting one side at a time. As the video shows, you have to tie it down in the truck bed.

Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
edferris #2860469 06/19/19 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by edferris
Don't roll it on the casters. Get a big (gray) tire mover's dolly and put it under the middle of the piano, lifting one side at a time. [...]


Good advice. With those small casters and the weight of the piano on them, any little bump or dip or irregularity in the surface over which the piano might be rolled could risk breaking a leg support or a leg.

Regards,


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860497 06/19/19 02:48 PM
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Well..I'm back.
The piano was in ok shape on the outside, a few gouges and stuff...nothing that would be a show stopper. It was missing one front wheel and I could tell it was slightly skewed because the bottom board was wedged against the left side frame and I had the seller lift up on the piano and it came right out...the tension lifted off of it.

The inside was clean, no obvious stuff wrong except for that felt missing from the key completely that I mentioned before. The hammers were grooved but I had expected that, though they also seemed a little "flat" on the ends.

One thing that concerned me was this; the keys (though they all sounded and were playable) were a slight bit hard to push down and didn't go down to the bottom, they went down about half way and no farther. I played another piano that they had there at the center and the keys on that were easy to play and went all of the way down. (as I'd expect.) I'm not sure what was stopping them. Also the two left pedals didn't seem to do anything though the linkage seemed ok and working.

So my question is; does the key thing sound like a show stopper at this point? I don't want to spend 50.00 on the tech coming next week only to tell me that it's hopeless. Do you think it's related to that black bar that's going across all of the hammers in the picture? Should that be there all of the time?

I asked the guy if he'd take 200.00 for it and he JUMPED at it so I guess that was higher than he'd planned to go to frown OH well.

Here is a picture of the grooves in the hammers.


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860511 06/19/19 03:33 PM
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So PianoWVBob, I’m slightly confused. Is your objective to find the absolute lowest priced piano, with lowest out of pocket repairs?
Every once in a great while there’s an old “diamond in the rough” nice piano that just needs tuning and voicing and is very low priced because the seller just wants to get rid of it. Those opportunities are pretty rare. Most often if the piano is bargain priced, there’s a reason for it. The piano is beat up and ugly, or sounds horrible, or takes much more money to fix than the whole piano is worth. I hope you don’t get too disappointed in what “bargain piano” actually gets you.

Best of Luck!


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
j&j #2860513 06/19/19 03:44 PM
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That's what I was shooting for; the diamond in the rough...getting a piano that would normally be 1,500 for 300 or 400 or something.

My ultimate goal is to purchase one (used and refurbished by a reputable shop) next year when (and if) I retire and that's my "retirement piano" but in the mean time...I was just seeing what's out there. I happen to live in a smallish town with no piano dealers and not many opportunities to play real acoustic pianos. This truly is what's here in my town....not much of anything.

In two weeks I'm going to take a trip to Pittsburgh PA to a couple of piano showrooms and see what it's like to play a real refurbished "plays well" piano and if I find something I REALLY like then I'm more than willing to spend a few grand on it now and take it when I move to FL.

I'm just wondering if it's throwing $50.00 away to even have him come look at it..that's all.

I hope that clears things up.


Last edited by PianoWVBob; 06/19/19 03:46 PM.
Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860525 06/19/19 04:32 PM
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It might be a $50 lesson on “what’s wrong with this piano?”


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860528 06/19/19 04:35 PM
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Hi Bob,

It appears that you want a piano bad... hey, I've been where you are, my friend! smile

I believe the owner of that Baldwin 243 would likely have jumped at an offer of $100, or even $50. From the looks of the groves in the hammers, that piano has been, (as we say here in the south) "rode hard and put up wet". smile

The hammers on that piano will need a good filing and then mating to the strings and a good regulation, plus tuning. That takes time, even for a professional tech. The low Bb hammer that came unlaminated is also not a good sign. In fact, judging from the pics, the insides of the piano matches the outside... which is rough.

I bought a mid 1980s Baldwin 243 from a local college through a state surplus auction sale and paid like $480 plus tax. I looked at the piano in person before I bid on it. The outside cabinet was a little rough, but the insides were pristine; the hammers barely had string grooves in them. I think the piano was moved around and the outsides scuffed up a bit, but wasn't played much at all. It was one of the best piano purchases I've made. I enjoyed it a lot and played the heck out of it for a couple of years until I sold it.

I have no idea about the used piano market in your area, and I'm no pro, but I honestly think you can do better.

Good luck to you, whatever you do! I learned a lot about pianos from the school of hard-knocks/past mistakes, but learned I did, and still learning... smile

All the best!

Rick


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860530 06/19/19 04:38 PM
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No harm in trying. Besides, if you're patient, and approach your search methodically, sooner or later you are likely score a good piano.

Some folks need to [re]read that article linked here the other day about old pianos. It describes the process by which owners of old pianos try to sell, then try to give away, and ultimately throw away their old piano. And it's not because people come to look and say, "oh, this one needs a lot of work," or "that one's too old." It's because no one even comes to look.

The sad fact of the matter is that almost no one wants these pianos. That's true of the worn out old hunks of junk. But it's also true of the ones that've had gentle lives, or even been well-cared for until some point in the not too distant past.

That's the piano to look for. smile



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and pour out my despair at the piano.”

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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860553 06/19/19 05:18 PM
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Thanks everyone...I appreciate the guidance. I probably was getting too excited over nothing...He said that I was the ONLY one who's come to look at the piano smile

I think at this point I'll just keep looking and also take a trip to PA and see what a real piano store has to offer. I don't want to inherit someones problems and then have to unload an undesirable piano later myself.

I'll keep looking for the sleeper though...you never know. smile

Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860567 06/19/19 06:02 PM
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Bob, Great photo of the hammers - now you should be calibrated to how flattened hammers look like. When you go to retail stores, I expect your looking for used pianos, try to look at as many hammers as you can - look for flatness and grooving.

Play as many as you can to notice how different pianos feel and sound. My experience from used pianos at retail stores is you need to spend $2500-3000 for a nice one (good for beginner/early intermediate). I was able to find one equivalent to that on a private sale (delivered and tuned) for $1500....just to give you an idea. To find that diamond in the rough your gonna have to do a lot of looking. Good Luck.


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860572 06/19/19 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Progman
To find that diamond in the rough your gonna have to do a lot of looking.

This is very true. And, as we say here in the south, "the woods ain't full of em". smile

Fact is, I still keep my eyes open looking at used piano ads, although I certainly don't need another one. But if a real bargain were to rear its head near my local, I would try and make room. smile

Also, I suppose I'm not alone, because the really good deals don't last long at all.

I love your piano enthusiasm, Bob! (You remind me of me several years ago smile )

Rick


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
Rickster #2860704 06/20/19 03:29 AM
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Thanks Rickster!

Enthusiasm sounds a lot better than obsession (which is the word my wife would choose)

It was a learning experience for sure.

Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
PianoWVBob #2860800 06/20/19 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWVBob
Thanks Rickster!

Enthusiasm sounds a lot better than obsession (which is the word my wife would choose)

It was a learning experience for sure.

Maybe piano fever is the most appropriate. The downside of piano fever is that it gets in the way of serious analysis of what you want vs what you need vs what you’ll be happy with long term. Take long deep breaths and take copious notes when you’re looking at ads and especially when you’re in the piano store.
When a newer member has 3 active threads running, it’s another case of piano fever. Stay strong and focused!


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Re: Found another Hamilton/Baldwin piano near me..take a look
j&j #2860807 06/20/19 10:09 AM
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True....I do feel the fever.

My wife won't be home for another week and a half so I do have a "cooling off period" which is good.


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