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Joined: Dec 2013
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RanK Offline OP
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Now that I've finally joined this forum I think it's time I explore the possibility of working on my 1915 Bennett upright piano. I explored this about two years ago, but I was pretty busy at the time and never got much further than a couple hours of phone conversations with somebody from Steve's Piano Service because I'm in college. With that, here's some info on the instrument and where I am today as a musician and non-technician:

- Pinblock is good, if I remember correctly
- Touch is very light but still MUCH better than a spinet and many uprights
- The action is mechanically sound but has some play and needs some new felt, etc.
- The vertical travel in each key has about 1/16" of play before it engages the action at all.
- I bought and started reading the Arthur Reblitz book
- I am NOT a piano technician...but I am also not new to the inner workings of pianos, harpsichords or organs
- I recently tuned a large hammer dulcimer for the first time. What a chore. I feel like the piano would be easier.
- I would like to remove the wound bass strings and clean them to rid them of the muddy sound.
- I do NOT want to restring this - too expensive!
- Bottom of instrument came detached around the pedal area. I got in there a couple months ago to adjust one of the pedals, disconnect another and place something in between the instrument and the floor.
- 80% of the naturals are chipped and need to be replaced. They are not ivory...I think it's an early ivory imitation. Plastic is fine, as I'm not a highly accomplished pianist and as such am not bothered by the plastic keys on a new 9' Estonia that I play, for example.
- Need to rehammer the hammers. Replacements would cost too much!
- Action needs new felt all over the place. I had the action out back two years ago and spent several hours going through it.
- I love the general tone of the instrument but hate the action.
- The casing is this laminate of sorts covering hardwood. I would have no clue how to refinish it (or if I want to - I kinda want a dirty, open piano!)

So this is what's on my mind right now. Photos will follow in the coming days. If I could put a few hundred bucks into improving the action and maybe the tone I would be one happy camper. Thoughts? Ultimately I would like to restore a very small baby grand someday...probably something like a Chickering or Mason & Hamlin...or maybe a Baldwin.

Last edited by RanK; 12/27/13 08:09 PM.
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The piano could well be worth working on, but if you go into this not wanting to spend the time and money it requires, the results for both you and the piano are not likely to be good.


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RanK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by BDB
The piano could well be worth working on, but if you go into this not wanting to spend the time and money it requires, the results for both you and the piano are not likely to be good.


Ah! Time I have, but money is limited. Thus far I've figured out I can't replace the hammers or strings. Beyond that I think I'm pretty open.

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What you should do is the work you can do as carefully as you can.


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If you are at college then you DO NOT have the time!!
Repairing a piano in such a condition is a full time task, and what will you play on whilst it is in pieces?
Believe me you'd be far better of to study really hard so that you achieve all the top grades. Then you find a well paid postion and take up piano repairing as a hobby.

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I'll agree speaking from experience, it is a time consuming task. It is another type of learning, but be careful it does not subtract from your college work or career development.

- Rick



Learning to play the piano, very happy with my 1907 Ivers Pond uprights, and ready to part with my Yamha C7 - not the sound I like.
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Perhaps the most improvement you will get is from a simple regulation.

Also, you should have the advice of a mentor to help you save time and money. Look up the http://ptg.org in your city.

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Rank,

If this is simply a piano you wish to keep for yourself(as well as learn on), it sounds like a great plan. You have the right book, but still you'll be learning and making mistakes along the way. If your goal in life were to be the best piano technician/rebuilder in your town, it would represent a commitment that would attract things into your life. I hope younger people like yourself would get into the business.

Good Luck

Gary


Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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