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I really should stop reading threads where people are buying project pianos especially as I am getting the urge to get one myself! LOL.

Just curious what the fanatics on here would consider good project pianos to get rebuilt.

Ideally for me - something old. 1920s Art Case Grand and if I'm going to go to all that hassle then a concert grand would be nice though Art Case Concert Grands are rare and probably well looked after so unlikely they will be many on the market. Even if sold they definitely are unlikely to be cheap I suspect so maybe settle for less though I really fancy a 9 foot concert grand at some point.

Hmm I'll "settle" for an art case piano over 7 feet. Preferably from one of the top European makes if possible and got to sound good of course.

I can already see myself watching the auction houses for the next few years!

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Start planning that Grand European Piano Tour !!!


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Aritempor,

Are you a piano technician. If so, do you already have experience doing high end restoration? I ask because there are lots of ways that a restoration can go wrong, and many of them are details that even professional technicians have not been exposed to in their work.

Of course, if you are hiring someone to do a restoration like this for you, I encourage you to choose carefully for the same reasons.

Good luck,


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Start planning that Grand European Piano Tour !!!

Haa.. not any time soon given Brexit and COVID but I would love to go piano shopping in Austria/Germany one of these years. Kids are getting old enough that they would enjoy the travel too. Then again, there are a few grands within the UK that would pique my interest like the one below. An art case barless that looks good definitely ticks quite a few boxes for me. Pity it's only 5' 5.

https://www.newlandsandco.com/product/john-broadwood-waring-gillows-art-case-grand-piano/


Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Aritempor,

Are you a piano technician. If so, do you already have experience doing high end restoration? I ask because there are lots of ways that a restoration can go wrong, and many of them are details that even professional technicians have not been exposed to in their work.

Of course, if you are hiring someone to do a restoration like this for you, I encourage you to choose carefully for the same reasons.

Good luck,

Hi Rich.. I wish smile. I do work with my hands but not in the piano repair business and unlike some on here I would never want to DIY a piano rebuild. I have a very healthy respect for the craftspeople that know what they are about. I do understand where you are coming from when you say choose carefully. In the last year when I was piano shopping, I have certainly come across enough pianos that were "restored as new" but didn't play anywhere like new! I have also found a few rebuilders who I would trust to do the job right too so it's not all bad if/when I find the right piano!

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Ooh! Nice topic! Mine would be a Chickering yacht-tail Chickering 109C. My home can't really handle more than 6'4" and I've heard, that when properly restored (possibly rescaled), the Chickering yacht-tails can be incredible pianos. And they're simultaneously so pretty and massive!

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I have my 1916 Weber Duo Art project, but almost took on a 2nd project. I had a chance for a 1913 Weber 7'3" pianola (pre-Duo Art), for $500 plus $3,000 moving costs. A very rare piano, but several techs here convinced me that bringing an east coast damp climate piano to Denver I would need years of drying out, then lots of repairs, including, most likely, sound board cracks as it dried. As much as I wanted to rescue it, I decide it was not a good idea.


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I started with junk pianos and worked my way up.


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Originally Posted by apianostudent
Ooh! Nice topic! Mine would be a Chickering yacht-tail Chickering 109C. My home can't really handle more than 6'4" and I've heard, that when properly restored (possibly rescaled), the Chickering yacht-tails can be incredible pianos. And they're simultaneously so pretty and massive!

I had to google this and it looks beautiful. Definitely a piano to treasure (actually all pianos should be treasured or at least built to a level that should aspire players to treasure them!)

Originally Posted by BDB
I started with junk pianos and worked my way up.

I wouldn't trust me to work even on junk pianos. I keep saying someday I will learn some woodworking skills maybe because I remember my grandfather who was a woodworker/carpenter. There's a lot to be learnt from making/repairing beautiful things with our hands. Good for the soul smile.

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If I had the room, I'd love to find a Kawai KG8 languishing somewhere to restore. I understand these don't sell so well as the market for old 9 foot pianos is small. Now I'd fall squarely into Rich's description of someone who'd bitten off way more than he can chew, but that's what keeps it interesting! And, if I had the space for such a beast, I'd probably have the space to build a recording studio around it. Would be great to have pianists over to make recordings.

I guess pipe dreams are what keep us going sometimes.


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Fun thread! Love all the posts so far.

My current project is a 1956 Baldwin Hamilton. That was planned.
A spur-of-the-moment plan turned my Baldwin M into a project, when I found a too-cheap-to-be-true Baldwin R that could serve in its stead while I work at my own [slow] pace on the other. Problem is, the R is actually a pretty nice piano...


I think I'm already suffering from the two most dangerous aspects of this:
1) it's possible to acquire them faster than you can work on them, and
2) like stray dogs and cute puppies, you're gonna love every one you bring home.

If I let my fancy run unchecked, I'll wind up with one of those legendary warehouses full of cores that I can't get done... wink

But I can quit any time I want to!!! thumb


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Last edited by tre corda; 05/26/21 06:24 PM.

My piano is my friend and my voice to the great unknown out there.One never ignores a friend.
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I just checked out a 7'4" Knabe art case Grand from about 1890 in area. Seller wanted $500 for it. Very very tempting but I guarantee it's far beyond my ability to do anything with other than tune it and maybe some regulation.

My current project is also a art case Grand but it was in very sorry shape when it came to me, so it was destined to either sit forever or go to the junk pile anyway. I'm basically playing around with it for the fun of it. Not expecting any real success though.

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For me it’s a Broadwood grand.

However I am coming to realize I prefer to play the piano not fix the piano. Plus I have have enough fiddling to do with my 60 year old Yamaha grand. Oh well.

Amusingly just today I stumbled across a piano repairer in GB who trained in the USA. He was writing about a Broadwood he tunes so of course I read it.

Quote: ‘Broadwood pianos that make it to the USA are wrecks brought over in containers in the 60s and 70s and sold by piano vultures to naive mothers on the strength of the candelabra, the fine wood and the fancy English nameboards while inside they are neglected, with dried up glue joints, bad tuning pin blocks and trashed actions.’ Lol. Evidently they do very well if they stay in damp wet cold GB.

This is the one that caught my interest:
(of course I can’t get the pic to post)

[img]http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...dible-things.html#lg=3099927&slide=2[/img]

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Here is an amazing photo archive of pianos:

http://hammerfluegel.info/homepage_uk.html

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I once played Broadwood upright, probably about from the 1920's. It was anything but a wreck, beautiful singing tone and still having an excellent action.I presume it was restored, but I never had the chance to ask about its history.
So I am not sure about all imported Broadwood pianos being wrecks.I think during the late 19th century that nature of importing pianos must been rather precarious though.


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Hmmm …. Maybe a roaring ‘20s Steinway D art case or a similar vintage Bosendorfer art case.
I don’t have any skills to do the restoration and lack the burning desire to pay for a quality restoration.


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Originally Posted by tre corda

Square pianos have a certain allure to them, but I’m going to try to avoid taking an interest in them. (Modern playable pianos are enough for me.) thumb


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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
If I had the room, I'd love to find a Kawai KG8 languishing somewhere to restore. I understand these don't sell so well as the market for old 9 foot pianos is small. Now I'd fall squarely into Rich's description of someone who'd bitten off way more than he can chew, but that's what keeps it interesting! And, if I had the space for such a beast, I'd probably have the space to build a recording studio around it. Would be great to have pianists over to make recordings.

I guess pipe dreams are what keep us going sometimes.

9 foot pianos definitely struggle to sell. I have been tracking the piano auctions for the last 18 months or so (makes engaging watching when they are bidding) and iirc there were 2 9 foot Grotrian grands that sold sometime last year that went for less than the 7 foot ones were going for. Space to have a concert grand is doable but my 225 more than fills my living room easily and I have had to get some sound absorbers already. The 9 footer would be overwhelming.

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I think I'm already suffering from the two most dangerous aspects of this:
1) it's possible to acquire them faster than you can work on them, and
2) like stray dogs and cute puppies, you're gonna love every one you bring home.

If I let my fancy run unchecked, I'll wind up with one of those legendary warehouses full of cores that I can't get done... wink

But I can quit any time I want to!!! thumb

Haa haa! I believe prevention is better than cure! Before I got my grand, I used to say I didn't play enough to justify one. Having bought the grand, I now realize it has given me back something I loved and can see getting another after all both kids play and it would be nice to leave them each a good instrument. I am definitely going to buy a second grand. It's a question of finding one that right project piano.

Originally Posted by CaseyVancouver
For me it’s a Broadwood grand.
Quote: ‘Broadwood pianos that make it to the USA are wrecks brought over in containers in the 60s and 70s and sold by piano vultures to naive mothers on the strength of the candelabra, the fine wood and the fancy English nameboards while inside they are neglected, with dried up glue joints, bad tuning pin blocks and trashed actions.’ Lol. Evidently they do very well if they stay in damp wet cold GB.

I personally am coming around to the idea of a nice Broadwood barless semiconcert grand in an art case. If I could find one I would probably snap it up in a jiffy. After all, they sold for more than the European/Steinway pianos did in their heyday and I know some of that might have been national pride but they had to be good to command those prices. The nice thing about this project is there's no rush. The kids have a great piano to play on and I have all the time in the world to do the one piano right!

Originally Posted by j&j
Hmmm …. Maybe a roaring ‘20s Steinway D art case or a similar vintage Bosendorfer art case.

I don’t have any skills to do the restoration and lack the burning desire to pay for a quality restoration.

A Steinway D in an art case will likely command 6 figures. That's out of my budget smile. 5 I can handle but 6 would have to come after the kids have finished uni. Unless the English Govt makes tertiary education free again in which case bring on the Steinway D!

Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by tre corda

Square pianos have a certain allure to them, but I’m going to try to avoid taking an interest in them. (Modern playable pianos are enough for me.) thumb

Square pianos sell surprisingly well at auction. I always wonder who is buying them and for what purpose?

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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by tre corda

Square pianos have a certain allure to them, but I’m going to try to avoid taking an interest in them. (Modern playable pianos are enough for me.) thumb
Unfortunately here in the UK we can't see this link. It says: "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in your country". Can you tell us what sort of piano this is?

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David,
It looked very similar to the square piano at the top of the page in this link.(ie the page about square pianos)It was a Steinway,
not sure what that piano is but it looks the same.

https://antiquepianoshop.com/square-grand-pianos/
.

Last edited by tre corda; 05/28/21 07:43 PM.

My piano is my friend and my voice to the great unknown out there.One never ignores a friend.
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