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Old 01-11-13, 09:13 PM   #1
Don in Austin
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"N+1" is NOT just regards bicycles....OT


Front hallway


Family heirloom Steinway 44" upright. Plays well, alligator skin, crazed finish makes it antique!


Most recent, just replaced bass strings and hammers, new keytops, extensive work on action


A neighbor was sending this to the landfill a few years back, but my wife alerted me.
I just ordered a full set of hammers, hammer butts and shanks for it. Should sound really good after I am done.


All are about 100 years old, from "golden era" pre-1929 stock market crash. What is your NON-bicycle N+1? Pix? I have seven bicycles, N+0 re' bikes for the time being.

Don in Austin
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Old 01-12-13, 03:52 AM   #2
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... Computers... I just bought two more of the darn things. I buy them used and fix them and upgrade them...

I remember years ago, after getting my first PC and spending hours and hours on it, my mother saying:
"Skip, that computer will be the death of you..."

And she was usually right.

Your piano's are beautiful. A few years back I went to concert of 5 siblings on 5 pianos -- no other instruments -- it was fantastic... Your 3 pianos reminded me of that concert.

Personally, I get a great deal of satisfaction restoring beautiful older things and bringing them back to their original beauty and ambience. Bringing them back from: "That beat up, ugly old thing" to: "Wow, where did you find that! They don't make them like that anymore...."

Enjoy!
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Old 01-12-13, 07:42 AM   #3
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Are piano parts expensive? We got a piano the church was trying to unload, they unloaded it, right into our livingroom. Needs new keytops as some of the ivory is gone, probably 10 keys although I think all the whites would need to be done, and I doubt you could match what is on there.... Might need a couple of new strings and a good tuning, but otherwise is in pretty good shape.....
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Old 01-12-13, 08:02 AM   #4
Don in Austin
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Are piano parts expensive? We got a piano the church was trying to unload, they unloaded it, right into our livingroom. Needs new keytops as some of the ivory is gone, probably 10 keys although I think all the whites would need to be done, and I doubt you could match what is on there.... Might need a couple of new strings and a good tuning, but otherwise is in pretty good shape.....
Keytops are cheap. I got a set for about $35 on E-Bay. A heat gun will release the glue so you get the old ones off without damaging the key. Other things vary. I am fortunate to have a piano tuner supportive of my DIY efforts. Google "how to buy a used piano" and there is all sorts of information that will help you evaluate if the church piano is worth fixing. Be advised that spinets are much harder to repair than a full size upright in many aspects and will never have potential for clean sound in the bass like a full size upright. A spinet is a short upright that you can look over the top of. Grands are harder to work on than uprights as a general rule.

Don in Austin

Last edited by Don in Austin; 01-12-13 at 08:03 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-12-13, 09:23 AM   #5
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Beautiful pianos, Don, they make for a great collection! Our church was fortunate that a local Synagogue has a policy of upgrading their piano every few years and they always gift the "Old" piano to some church congregation. We (Holy Cross Episcopal Church) were fortunate to receive the beautiful Steinway Grand from them.

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Old 01-12-13, 04:45 PM   #6
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Keytops are cheap. I got a set for about $35 on E-Bay. A heat gun will release the glue so you get the old ones off without damaging the key. Other things vary. I am fortunate to have a piano tuner supportive of my DIY efforts. Google "how to buy a used piano" and there is all sorts of information that will help you evaluate if the church piano is worth fixing. Be advised that spinets are much harder to repair than a full size upright in many aspects and will never have potential for clean sound in the bass like a full size upright. A spinet is a short upright that you can look over the top of. Grands are harder to work on than uprights as a general rule.

Don in Austin
This is a full upright, I think it weighed more then the 5 guys who moved it, combined......
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Old 01-12-13, 06:37 PM   #7
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This is a full upright, I think it weighed more then the 5 guys who moved it, combined......
One of the reasons I appreciate my Casio keyboard - I can pick it up and move it on a whim. Another reason - never needs to be tuned. Someday I'll learn to do more than just play chords.
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Old 01-12-13, 07:29 PM   #8
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Back 40 years ago or so, we had a Barton 2/7 theater pipe organ in our basement. The chests/pipes filled a 14x30' room. The console was in the main rec room. Anyway, Dad got the idea to add a piano to the organ, and found an old player piano to convert. Oh, and the original player mechanism still worked on the piano as well. Then we got a few more pianos as well... FWIW,

I took piano lessons from an old alky lady, and she didn't appreciate that I was playing more advanced material than her strict regimen lesson plan - that's because I had an older sister so I was doing her two-years-more-advanced materials when she did. Therefore I quit...

Anyway, the pipe organ got sold when my parents moved from that house. My three sisters still play their pianos. I'm not in the least artistic, so I only fumble around with an acoustic guitar, but the arthritis in my fingers is making it harder and harder to play...
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Old 01-12-13, 08:46 PM   #9
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Wow! I love that you have restored a piano that had been destined to be sent to a landfill. Although neither of us play, I have always wanted to have a piano in the house. I think it would be wonderful to throw a party and have someone play. We once had the opportunity to get one for free, but my house is just too small to accommodate a piano. Good luck and I hope you create many happy memories with it.
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Old 01-12-13, 09:39 PM   #10
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Serious addiction there Don. Not as easy to store and move around as bikes! I can't think of any N+1 habit I have that is comparable. Well maybe bike jerseys and possibly bike shoes.... I have way more of those than a person "needs". Framed pictures of grand kids are abundant here too.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-12-13, 09:49 PM   #11
Don in Austin
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Serious addiction there Don. Not as easy to store and move around as bikes!
I know. I find myself typing "piano" into the search button on Craigslist, and I have nowhere to put another one, and not about to give up any of these three!

Don in Austin


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I can't think of any N+1 habit I have that is comparable. Well maybe bike jerseys and possibly bike shoes.... I have way more of those than a person "needs". Framed pictures of grand kids are abundant here too.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-18-13, 09:43 PM   #12
Don in Austin
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My wife took this with her phone yesterday. sorry about the really crappy sound. Got the piano that you see taken apart tuned today. My tuner was either very charitable or genuinely impressed with my major DIY efforts on an instrument that was unplayable when it first arrived at the house. How to play all three at once? [video]WWW.DONSAUTOMOTIVE.COM/piano vid/VIDEO0006.mp4[/video]


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Front hallway


Family heirloom Steinway 44" upright. Plays well, alligator skin, crazed finish makes it antique!


Most recent, just replaced bass strings and hammers, new keytops, extensive work on action


A neighbor was sending this to the landfill a few years back, but my wife alerted me.
I just ordered a full set of hammers, hammer butts and shanks for it. Should sound really good after I am done.


All are about 100 years old, from "golden era" pre-1929 stock market crash. What is your NON-bicycle N+1? Pix? I have seven bicycles, N+0 re' bikes for the time being.

Don in Austin

Last edited by Don in Austin; 01-18-13 at 09:45 PM. Reason: TYPOS
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