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Estonia Pianos
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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873176 07/27/19 09:44 AM
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You guys so deserve a good sounding piano when it is all done!


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
Learux #2873223 07/27/19 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Fascinating. I never knew automotive filler, what we called Bondo when I was a kid, was used to fill piano plates. With cars, people would use small magnets to figure out how much of the car had been “Bondoed,” not a good sign, but I guess it doesn’t matter for pianos plates.


Thanks for the comment! We're not sure if the Bondo most people use is the plastic type. We tried using one made by a different brand, but the extremely hard property of it made sanding very difficult, especially in areas with details or edges. We instead used the red auto putty, which is a glazing type, similar to the green putty scale modelers use (we were one of them, too!). This is much easier to sand, shape, and applied in large areas. As for the amount of filler used on the plate, it is indeed a lot....but that has always been the case for sand-cast frames, like Steinway (as opposed to smoother vacuum cast, like Yamaha), so we doubt there will be any effect on the sound. Interesting question for a piano expert though! confused

Originally Posted by Learux
You guys so deserve a good sounding piano when it is all done!


Thanks for the kind words! We hope everything we've put into it will pay off sooner or later! thumb

Now....onto the next progress!

The completely fixed plate was then given new sets of laser-cut letterings:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Note the yellow-ish tint on the primer; this was a coat of shellac applied to prevent paint blistering.

Someone is waiting for her new plate! And oh! notice the painted pattern on the leg? We will cover that in the later posts!!

[Linked Image]

The painter guy came for the final round of primer:

[Linked Image]

And finally, the plate is ready for the final finish!!!
We had a hard time deciding on what to use for the gold paint. We went to a home supply store and bought a can of oil-based acrylic gold paint that's suitable for outdoor metal works. The color, however, was such a cheap-looking yellowy gold with little brilliance, so we returned it the next day. We then found an art supply store selling a vast range of metallic pigment powder that can be readily mixed with any type of clear solvent. We pondered on the choices of gold they have, and decided on something different!

This is what we got:

[Linked Image]

Here it's being mixed with the clear lacquer:

[Linked Image]

And now the moment of joy begins! (Yes, for him, too!)

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Ready to see the result? Here it is!

[Linked Image]



Wait....not again!! grin grin

Let's try again!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin

And now we have a Bösentonia! The color matches what Bösendorfer uses almost exactly! The metallic powder projects a really pretty shine, and the overall look is very pleasing to our eyes.

Let us know what you all think! Were we better off with the stripped plate? laugh laugh

There is still some more progress to post, so watch out for that!

SK

Last edited by LovingPianos; 07/27/19 12:37 PM.
Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873227 07/27/19 12:49 PM
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Bravo !

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873230 07/27/19 12:54 PM
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I think I prefer the gold plate colour over the bronze - mainly because of the contrast with the wooden veneer you installed, but I'm sure it will still look magnificent when it's all assembled. It's certainly a different (darker) direction than your first attempt. Sort of like Steinway vs Bösendorfer, I suppose. In any case, it's been fascinating to watch the twists and turns of this project - and also how rapidly it's all happening. Usually these things move along at a glacial pace, so it's great to see it evolving from day to day. I've never seen a piano project advance so quickly. I like how you just attack it like there's no tomorrow! Can't wait to see it strung up and playing.

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873241 07/27/19 01:15 PM
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You deserve a nobel prize in piano restoration. Beautiful work.


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
ando #2873253 07/27/19 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
it's been fascinating to watch the twists and turns of this project - and also how rapidly it's all happening. Usually these things move along at a glacial pace, so it's great to see it evolving from day to day. I've never seen a piano project advance so quickly. I like how you just attack it like there's no tomorrow! Can't wait to see it strung up and playing.

^^^ this ^^^

Couldn't have said it better myself. smile

Like I keep saying, it's inspiring.


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873265 07/27/19 02:28 PM
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Were there any clear coat layers put on top or is that the bare metallic paint?


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
Piano Technician, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
ASB Piano Service
Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873290 07/27/19 04:26 PM
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What a great recovery! Yes, you'll probably want to put a clear coat layer or 3 on top to protect the metallic layer so when you restring there will be little or no chipping of the metallic layer.

Here's a link to a rebuilder who use modern catalyzed acrylic enamel automotive paints when re-bronzing plate:

Piano Plate Refinishing


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2873297 07/27/19 04:54 PM
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SWEET thumb



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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
ando #2875706 08/03/19 01:42 PM
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Thanks for the comments! We really appreciate them!! smile smile

Originally Posted by ando
I think I prefer the gold plate colour over the bronze - mainly because of the contrast with the wooden veneer you installed, but I'm sure it will still look magnificent when it's all assembled. It's certainly a different (darker) direction than your first attempt. Sort of like Steinway vs Bösendorfer, I suppose.


We agree with you that the gold is a better match in general, but to be honest, we are quite used to the usual shade of gold, besides our intention to make the estonia uniquely different and more distinctive than other pianos. Therefore shifting to a bit of a darker orangy brass color would be more interesting. Not to mention that there will be other elements alongside the plate that will compliment it, and basically we wanted to make this piano a work of art! (which you will see in the next updates, and hopefully agree with us!)

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by ando
it's been fascinating to watch the twists and turns of this project - and also how rapidly it's all happening. Usually these things move along at a glacial pace, so it's great to see it evolving from day to day. I've never seen a piano project advance so quickly. I like how you just attack it like there's no tomorrow! Can't wait to see it strung up and playing.

^^^ this ^^^

Couldn't have said it better myself. smile

Like I keep saying, it's inspiring.


Thank you so much for the compliments!! Your comments inspire us to continue working even more!

Actually, we'd say that things has been going really slow over the past two months!! In fact, the rate of us posting updates doesn't reflect the pace of the actual progress at all! Surprisingly, much of the work put into the piano was actually on the plate alone; it took us a whole month for the first plate refinishing and veneer installation! The second rebronzing took less time; only a week, but we had to work 10 hours a day, merely fearing that we would not be able to finish it in time before the end of the summer break! So yes, there is no tomorrow!
Anyway, things are going really well as of now, but we won't say anything until we have photographic proof! grin

Originally Posted by adamp88
Were there any clear coat layers put on top or is that the bare metallic paint?


We mixed the bronze paint pigment powder in the clear-coat itself....such a simple and effective method, right? wink

Originally Posted by AaronSF
What a great recovery! Yes, you'll probably want to put a clear coat layer or 3 on top to protect the metallic layer so when you restring there will be little or no chipping of the metallic layer.

Here's a link to a rebuilder who use modern catalyzed acrylic enamel automotive paints when re-bronzing plate:

Piano Plate Refinishing



Thanks for your suggestion! We did use that as a guide for the repainting works!

So...onto the next section!

This is an old progress we made before the final plate refinishing. As always, we repeated the process twice....there's definitely something wrong with us! crazy

As you might notice in the earlier pics that the veneer looks a bit different now, and to answer the question originally posted by ando:

Originally Posted by ando
Also, how did you manage to get a neat line between the veneer and the black rim - as well as strengthen that join? I have to say, everything is looking spectacular.


We began preparing the veneer for the clear coat, and the excess glue on the edge of the veneer sheets was carefully removed with a cutter:

[Linked Image]

Areas with screw holes that were covered by the veneer, like this lid hinge, were cut to the exact shapes to maintain the original attachments:

[Linked Image]

Before moving on, we re-applied graphite on the bridges using 4B pencils. It was quite worn previously:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Next, we ironed the veneer surface to eliminate all the few glue bumps remaining, then sanded it smooth:

[Linked Image]

Here the tent was moved from the plate to the piano case!:

[Linked Image]

With our piano technician's permission to re-coat the soundboard lacquer, we began working from the bridges, onto the soundboard, and then the veneer. The paint tech recommended this wood lacquer:

[Linked Image]

...which frankly proved to be (yet) another disaster!

Initially, where was no problem with painting the bridges, and the veneer was fine:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

However, painting the large soundboard area soon became a problem, as the lacquer was too thick, producing uneven brushstrokes. Everything dried so quickly that what looked like newly applied uneven patches of lacquer were actually already dried! We tried mixing more thinner into it, to no avail...there simply was no way to brush-paint it! We were quite horrified with how the soundboard finish went from "decent" to "terrible" afterwards!

Look at the nasty, uneven gloss!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

To be continued.....(why do we have to post so many pictures??)

Last edited by LovingPianos; 08/03/19 01:44 PM.
Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2875710 08/03/19 01:53 PM
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Now....we decided to sand the soundboard, starting from 320 up to 2000 grit, to flatten out the uneven surface, and prepare for the "re-refinishing" (lol) with a rattle-can spray. Note that the paint technician wasn't working at our house back then, so we didn't have the option of spraying the lacquer with his gun...otherwise it would have produced the perfect result!

Here's a picture after sanding. We used a wood sander to help ease up the process.

[Linked Image]

The Estonia badge decal was originally under a pretty good layer of clear lacquer, so sanding wasn't an issue.

[Linked Image]

Spraying in-process! It took us two cans of Rustoleum satin clear lacquer spray to finish the job, soundboard and veneer included.

[Linked Image]

And here's the result!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Here's the veneer:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Notice the almost invisible joints:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Once again....disaster narrowly avoided!

Next up, the veneer rim was touched up with black paint to blend the edge even more:

[Linked Image]

P.S., we got help from our mom here, as we got a handful of works to do back then (pinblock fixing, plate cleaning, anti-rust painting, plate installation preparation, etc.) Thanks mom! At least she seemed more pleased with the piano afterwards!

Then we put the doomed plate in place, right before we took it off again! It was all in all far from tiring and tedious work! tired

Still more to come!

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2875721 08/03/19 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LovingPianos

Here the tent was moved from the plate to the piano case!:

[Linked Image]


Wow, a concert grand doesn't look so big when it's on the floor!
You guys are amazing.
Keep it up.


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2875724 08/03/19 02:15 PM
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You guys are awesome! Watching this come together is better than any reality TV show. Keep up the good work!

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2875750 08/03/19 03:57 PM
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The refinished sound board looks great! Good work, guys!


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
Retsacnal #2878045 08/09/19 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the kind words guys!

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by LovingPianos

Here the tent was moved from the plate to the piano case!:

[Linked Image]


Wow, a concert grand doesn't look so big when it's on the floor!


Exactly our thought! Could it possibly shrink after the plate was removed?? whome


Now for the progress...so many things were posted, and there's still something to write about! This one is, by far, the most bizarre of all!

It all began simply when our tolerance for the wavy black paint on the inside of the lid came to an end! As mentioned earlier, the piano was refinished with the high-gloss black that looked just fine, but the lid couldn't be worse! The paint itself wasn't the problem, but the wood surface produced the ripple-like effect, which might have been a result of expansion along the joint of the cross-banded wood due to humidity....and the fact that the wood used in the construction of the instrument was from the cold and dry Baltic regions, then came across the continent and stored in a humid storage room for almost a year. We were told by a piano technician that old European pianos (or old pianos in general) usually have the same problem with wood expanding over time as soon as they are exposed to the tropical humidity, and uneven wood/paint surface is common. The only way to fix this problem is to sand the wood to make it completely flat, before refinishing it again. Even so, it's an extremely difficult work, as the high-gloss black finish doesn't compromise for even the tiniest imperfections. Besides, the cost for a skilled technician to do the job would be very high, so we didn't go further with this idea.

This was before the restoration works:

[Linked Image]

After putting the refinished iron plate (1st round) back on the piano, we knew something wasn't right. And indeed it was the lid that was supposed to mirror a perfect reflection of the new golden plate....and it did not! All we saw were wavy ripples...

[Linked Image]

We were fine with it...so what's the matter now?

Well, we just had to get ourselves busy with another task, and this time a bit more artful!

This is how the lid looked lying on the floor, after we cleaned and masked the sides in preparation for...something interesting!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Notice the uneven ripple effect...

Well.....this is what we decided to do!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We basically made a textured surface with gold acrylic paint, then glazed it with orange and green tints to balance out the monotonous color, as well as mimic an antique gold look.

Then, we went to the drawing board, designed a theme for the lid, then started painting! But before we get to that, let us explain the concept behind this. Being painters and musicians ourselves, we have always liked the idea of combining the fine arts and music fields together, and artcase pianos have always fascinated us. Now that we have a concert grand with a lid like a big painting canvas, we knew exactly what to do! The idea here follows the Deco theme we have been trying to implement on this project. The semi-realistic wing feather design drawing introduces, once again, the characteristic Deco flair, and we thought it's a nice, fitting subject for the whole piano....apart from the fact that the german word "flügel" (grand piano) also means wing! The design was also partly influenced by the old Egyptian art, which was actually one of the biggest influences on the Deco style itself.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We kept the free-handed brushstrokes, without going overboard with unnatural, life-less outlining.
And here's the result!!!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We touched up some lines and made adjustments here and there later on after test fitting the lid on the piano, but the overall concept was already in place.

Now...this is a picture of the test fitting:

[Linked Image]

Note the painted leg once again! We'll go into detail on that later...

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2878049 08/09/19 11:08 AM
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As soon as we were done with the lid painting, it was given 3 coats of automotive clear lacquer to seal the artwork.

[Linked Image]

And now the final test-fitting! We lost count of how many times the lid went on and off the piano! grin

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Some more interesting lighting...this girl is on FIRE! cool

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

And finally, the rebronzed plate went in for the LAST time!!!

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Note: this update is actually as of July 17th! We've already advanced far ahead, so we'll try to write more updates soon! It's a project in itself writing all these stuffs! tired sleep

Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2878052 08/09/19 11:19 AM
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Stunning! The lid artwork is one of those bivisual things where if I focus on the gold color I see feathers, but if I focus on the black lines I see an abstraction of the black keys on a piano with the gold in between becoming the white keys.


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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2878063 08/09/19 12:00 PM
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3hearts 3hearts 3hearts 3hearts 3hearts 3hearts 3hearts

I love it!!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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[Linked Image]
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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2878084 08/09/19 01:15 PM
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That looks amazing, in German a grand piano is called a Flügel meaning "wing".

Not sure if this was intentional but very fitting indeed!


Keep us posted, love the work!


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Estonia Concert Grand
LovingPianos #2878086 08/09/19 01:22 PM
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I'm not sure how I feel about the lid work, but I must congratulate you on your creativity and work ethic! I think the reason I'm hesitant is because it looks like it would argue a bit with the veneer you put in the inner rim - both in terms of colour palette and visual clutter. Do you find that these two elements sit comfortably next to each other when you see them both in the same field of view?

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