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Topic: What to do with an old piano?  (Read 32783 times)
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panther_012003
« on: June 17, 2008 10:50:18 AM »

Hello,
  We have an old piano in our basement that we got for free. It is unfortunately, too out of shape to be tuned and would cost a ton to be repaired. The keys are not ivory, and the cost to repair would far outweigh what it would be worth in working condition. I've tried giving it away, but no takers so it's being disassembled and destined for the burn pile. However, there are so many different parts I wonder if they can't be reused to make something crafty (I hate when things go to waste).

I found an old post here regarding this same topic:
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=216880.0

I love the idea of converting it into a liquor cabinet, but I can't find any examples of it on the web... any ideas?
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rhiannonbrum
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008 02:52:46 PM »

Firstly, that is such a cool thing to have to play round with. Now I've never done this kind of thing before, but if I was going to turn a piano into a liquor cabinet I'd probably do it like this...

Take the back off the piano
Strip the interior (ie. so the keys and pedals are still in place on the front but the inside of the piano is pretty much empty)
Turn one of the piano sides into a hinged door - based on the way piano lids are, i'd recommend putting the hinges on the back piece and then turning the lid into a permanent structure.
Put shelves inside the hollow - maybe on runners so you can put stuff 'at the back' without having to reach through everything to get at it
Put it all back together again

I can't guarantee that this will work or is even feasible, but if I suddenly had a piano and didn't know what to do with it, I'd maybe try this (although I think mine would be a cd cabinet!)

Good luck modifying
Smiley
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nightbloomingflower
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008 03:15:52 PM »

I love the idea of a liquor cabinet!  How to go about making it into one depends on what kind of piano it is.  If it's the old upright against the wall types this is what I would do:  I would make the key cover permanent so it could be a type of ledge/minicounter and make the front of the piano the cabinet space.  I think you could get a thin blade and slice down the seams on the front panel, take out the guts, make the top permanent.  The front panel I would cut in half and put hinges and handles on and there you go.  If you like you could paint it or decoupage it or whatever.  Now I wish I had a piano to play with! Smiley
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punka
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008 03:18:22 PM »

Ooh ooh *raises hand* seen an organ made into a computer desk on the UK show The Salvager... found his site http://www.thesalvager.com/site/ but the desk isn't there (boo!)

But I did find this one http://www.daveburroughs.com/pianodesk.html which has a step by step with lots of pix... the only thing is that gutting it does look like quite a bit of hard work, but if you're willing to put the time in it should be cool!
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TSmith
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008 08:23:49 PM »

Oh, man! They did this exact project on Design on a Dime today.
They basically took the insides out, leaving the soundboard, lower strings, and other things that are on the back. Then they covered the back in plexiglass and added a light and a stemwear rack.
See the final product here: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/dc_design_living_area/article/0,1793,HGTV_3376_5844804_04,00.html.
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008 06:20:21 PM »

The liquor cabinet def sounds like a great idea.  If it doesn't work out, and I hope it does, you should see if a local high school can use the wood before burning it.  When I was in wood shop we had a VERY tight budget ($300 a semester for three classes) , and the teacher would take any scrap wood he could get.  First year classes make small projects anyway, so they can even use small pieces. 
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D_Monster
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008 07:32:01 PM »

Wow, the cabnet sounds neat, but if it doesnt work out, You could use the keys to make a necklace!
My aunt had a piano that was just dead, so she shucked off some of the keys [ they were very distressed and it gave it a nice look]  and gently used a small drill to put holes and strung them in order on a maroon chord string and it looked very artsy.

good luck =]
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panther_012003
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2008 08:14:31 PM »

Thanks everyone for all the tips and links! My husband and I have started deconstructing... It may take quite a while for it to be completely done, but when it is we are opening a piano bar in our basement!

I'm playing around with the idea of painting fake keys where the real keys used to be and putting drink recipes on it... or mosaicing something... or lacquer? The possibilities are endless!
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madkatz1
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009 11:50:56 PM »

Panther...how is your piano mods doing? I have an old upright piano from my Grandmother that is unusable, but I don't want to trash it. I came upon this web site & found many more with the same dilemma... what to do with it?

The bar & desk suggestions sound great, but how to do it is the problem. Sounds like a lot of work & would it be worth it? I guess that depends on me & how much time/money/elbow grease I want to devote to this project.

I'm still searching for answers. If you have any feedback or pics you would like to share I would appreciate it soooo much.

What did you finally do with your old family treasured piano? Or is the work still happening?

madkatz1
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panther_012003
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009 10:55:32 AM »

It is still a work in progress!! We have removed the keys, but kept the strings because they are pretty. We painted the outside black and the inside white in order to reflect a black light that we have, but that didn't really work - I guess we need to find some special neon white paint.

My husband took off the front and made a new hinge so it will drop down over the keys like a countertop, and converted the place where the keys are into a drawer. We also have a glass shelf that we had cut to go on the inside but we haven't installed it yet.

So to answer your question, yeah it take a little bit of construction and we were just kind of figuring things out as we went along. It's been on the back burner for a while now but I'm hoping to get back at it this winter and I will post some pictures!
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