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Posted By: DrewBone George Steck Aeolian grand vs. hydraulics - 09/18/16 12:15 PM
My 107 year old George Steck Aeolian grand piano was apparently no match for the hydraulic system of a rear loading garbage truck (cRuNcH - brAAAng):

[Linked Image]

It had been damaged from poor storage, and having been rebuilt once already in 1977 it just wasn't worth rebuilding again. So instead of taking it with me to my new home in NC to make a planter or bookcase out of, I flipped the garbage men $60 and watched it's soul ascend to the great piano cemetery in the sky as it was rendered to splinters.

A fairly sad event it was for sure, but my C7D here has soothed the anguish.

Don't take it so hard, Andy. All good things must come to an end at some point, and it sounds like it was time for the old George Steck to make its journey to a better place (ashes to ashes, dust to dust. smile ).

Of course, if you're somewhat of a hoarder like me, you would have saved something like a piece of wood, or hardware, the bench, or something as a reminder of what it used to be or could have been.

I still have bits and pieces of old pianos I've had along the way; it just takes up room in my garage/storage building, but whenever I look it, it reminds me of the past, in a good way. smile

And, I'm sure the C7 will help to console the loss...

All the best!


Did you put it in there with the plate in and strings at tension?
Ed, yes, the piano was put in the hopper with the plate in tension. Part of my work history includes the repair of rear loader garbage truck packer blades/pushers/hoppers/hydraulic systems, just like the one pictured. These components are extremely strong being able to withstand the application of tremendous pressure and wear.

The curved hopper of the rear loading style garbage body where all the refuse is loaded is designed so the pointed packer blade comes down in the center of the radius of the hopper before sweeping upward and inward...any large objects placed there will be broken up into a more manageable size to fit in the garbage truck body easily.

The first of three down cycles of the packer blade broke the case and plate in half, the second down cycle broke the plate into many pieces (in the mid/center of the image you can see a longitudinal section of it) and the third cycle splintered most of the remaining case to smithereens with the exception of a portion of the longside. During the process the inards all folded inward safely, within the confines of the hopper, body, and packer blade.

Rick, the old George Steck served me well for many years and although it saddened me to see it go in such a violent way, it was the right thing to do, as there was just no earthly justification for me to hold onto it. I had given some thought into keeping the action to display in my piano room, and the whole "make a bookcase out of the case" but I decided against both.

Having recently moved, there were many things that I came across during the packing of my belongings that I realized I didn't need, and this seemed to lessen the anguish associated with my decision to let the old girl go...

Thanks for the kind words.

What kind of wood was it? I used to build furniture as a hobby, but I can understand, what with moving, that there wasn't the time or space to salvage the poor old beast. I'm thinking about getting one of those big dumpsters and putting half of the things in our house into it and having it hauled away. A married lifetime of hoarding is a terrible thing! Included in my rubble is an 1870's pump organ that's mostly stripped of its old alligatored finish, and I can't see myself ever finishing it, unfortunately. I already have another working pump organ in our family room.
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