2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
80 members (apianostudent, brdwyguy, Bostonmoores, benj.ma, bobrunyan, anotherscott, AlphaTerminus, accordeur, 14 invisible), 1,076 guests, and 457 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
Hi all,

It's been a few months since I checked in. Earlier this year I was looking for a piano to play with jazz trios in my home when I came across a worn 1954 Kawai K 750 on craigslist. Throwing caution and all due reason to the wind, I picked it up and had piano movers deliver it to Bidinger Piano Restoration.

This was the state of it in late March.

The good
- It's a 7' 4" Kawai made in the lifetime of its founder, Koichi Kawai. (Sorry, I come from the strings world and we really get sentimental about old instruments)
- The case was in decent shape
- It still had original keys and only one was chipped.
- The soundboard was in good shape.
[Linked Image]


The bad

- While the outside had been routinely dusted, the interior was covered in a few decades worth of dust
- The una chorda pedal did not work
- The action was sticky and uneven
- The desk was somehow too narrow and would fall off the lips that hold it in place and scratched the harp.
- The action seemed to have acquired mold or discoloration at some point, but was not too warped.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


The ugly

- It was generally out of tune, and 3 or 4 notes were severely out of tune, indicating possible pin block issues. If I was really lucky, this could be solved without replacing the pinblock.


I was not lucky...
[Linked Image]


So, now that Frank had given it a once over, we knew the extent of the project.

The bigger stuff: new pin block, new strings, action work (rebush the keys, new damper felts, file the hammers, front and center rails, comprehensive damper and pedal regulation)

The little stuff: clean it up, lighten the keys, fix the piano desk, odds and ends


I knew this would take a while, which suited me just fine because we had to move into the new home and get the room ready.

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
Frank and I went out on our parallel paths; me getting the room ready, and Frank doing the important work of bringing the piano back to life.

The room is 20 x 13 with vaulted ceilings and is open to a staircase on one side. Huge thank you to my partner for suggesting this room become the music room instead of the back room. In case she ever reads this...seriously, thank you!

Living in an endless sea of off-white was not going to work for me. Fortunately we discovered peel-and-stick wallpaper. How hard could it be? Answer - walls are easy and corners are hard.

Along the way, we tried a few different layouts.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Meanwhile, the piano work was underway and Captain Kawai was fighting every step of the way. The pin-block didn’t want to go and was huge. The pedal mechanism had a bent pin. Strings were being custom made and the royal Canadian mail returned the templates to the US instead of sending them to the string maker. I’m sure I don’t even know half of what Frank went through to bring it back to life.

Finally, late last week I got the call to come and see the piano.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Oooh....pretty.

One string broke in the process of coming up to pitch and a new one was in the mail from Canada, so it would be a few more days before the Cap’n could come home.

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
Part III - In which the captain arrives at his new home.

New Piano Day!! Hooray!!

In the door
[Linked Image]

I’m always amazed by this part of the job
[Linked Image]

The captain is home.
[Linked Image]

New damper felts
[Linked Image]

No more missing strings
[Linked Image]

Ready to play
[Linked Image]

Yes, yes, but how does the piano sound and play? To quote Gershwin, ‘S wonderful.

I’d describe as rich and even. It’s on the brighter side, but maybe not so much as a new Yamaha. I think the carpet underneath the piano may help. The low end is huge and this piano could easily overpower my double bass.

I did not splurge for new hammers or action during this phase of the restoration and maybe that will be a project an few years down the line. For this round, we focused on regulation and getting a reliable and even touch. The action is a little heavier than I’m used to, but I’ve been playing on a digital keyboard for the better part of the last decade, so that is to be expected.

All in all, there is consistency and quality of sound and playability that far exceeds my skill level. I feel very fortunate to have this piano in our home and to have such a supportive partner and family. And let's not forget to give credit where credit is due. Hats off to Frank Bidinger for the great work. I’m ecstatic.

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 783
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 783
Your face says it all! Congratulations! Enjoy your piano.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,860

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,860
Cool story! I remember your post last Winter.

If you haven't visited the "have you named your piano" thread, you should. thumb

Congrats!


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 347
S
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
S
Joined: Mar 2021
Posts: 347
Congratulations! That’s a fantastic story! Both the piano and piano room look great! 🎊🎉🎈

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,926
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,926
Holy cow!!! Great story and fantastic looking piano!!!!

It's been a long time since I've played any piano other than my own (5'8"), seeing your photos really makes me want to go and find one to play somewhere...

Re the sound, "rich and even" -- I bet it sounds great! Esp. because
Quote
The low end is huge

That's the best part of a bigger piano!

I'm playing this piece right now that has a section where the LH thunders down the bass in octaves while the right hand pounds out some nice chords on top.... I bet your piano would sound amazing for that part!!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,534
E
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,534
What a great story! The piano looks beautiful! I really like the design of the plate . . . really adds character. Enjoy!


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 82
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 82
What a beautiful piano and a great story! Congratulations!

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 4,318
P
4000 Post Club Member
Online Content
4000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 4,318
👍👍

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 59
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 59
Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,786
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,786
Thanks for sharing and congratulations.
As a help in keeping tabs on current market pricing for the work involved, and for the benefit of those who are thinking of taking on a “project” piano, would you mind sharing roughly what you spent and how long it took to have a professional complete the work?


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,389
L
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,389
That is a nice looking piano, congrats.


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

Casio GP-400

2006 August Förster 215
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,412
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,412
Congratulations! A great piano story indeed!

Enjoy! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,549
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,549
Thanks for telling the story, and for the wonderful photos! Beautiful piano.


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,679
J
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,679
Oh my what a gorgeous piano!


Working on:
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 115
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 115
Congrats! I am always happy to see another piano restored.


Dave In Denver
1916 Weber FR 6' Duo Art
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,860

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,860
Originally Posted by Dave in Denver
Congrats! I am always happy to see another piano restored.

thumb


How to Upload Pictures
“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 37
Hi all,

Thanks all for the warm feedback. We are having a blast and playing every day.

Originally Posted by Music Me
Your face says it all! Congratulations! Enjoy your piano.
That's my better half, not me, but thanks!

@terminaldegree I'm about $11K in at this point including the piano and the project took 3 months, although shipping delays from Canada and summer breaks contributed to that. It probably could have been a 2 month project otherwise.

Here are my thoughts for people that are considering buying a project piano based on my experience:
1) At the end of it all, you are likely to have a great-sounding piano like new for far less than a new piano of similar size would cost. The larger the piano, the greater the savings.
2) There is probably a recently restored piano or a piano that needs less work available on pianomart for similar or slightly more than your all-in cost if you want something faster, or from a local dealer if you want something lower risk.
3) If you are the sentimental type as apparently, I am, there's a special feeling from restoring an older instrument that is not unlike rescuing a puppy.

In short, it seems an economical and satisfying way to buy a large piano. At least, it was for me. smile

Last edited by phobucket; 07/14/21 11:07 AM.
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,926
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,926
Wow, I would say you haven't spent very much! Good for you!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Learning and strong emotions...
by CianistAndPomposer - 09/16/21 06:21 PM
Gift Piano from Elton John?
by JohnSprung - 09/16/21 04:54 PM
Kawai ES520 user's own thread
by 36251 - 09/16/21 04:11 PM
For those who love Martha Argerich...
by AaronSF - 09/16/21 03:17 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics209,142
Posts3,132,749
Members102,751
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5