Asked on Apr 20, 2015

Gutted a sad old piano...now what do I do with the pieces?

Sylvia StallingsConnieCK
+11

Answered

We purchased a piano some years ago, made in 1912, that we didn't know was unplayable. Trust me, we tried...sounded horrible.
After seeing projects involving re-purposed pianos, I decided it was time to give the old dear a new role in life. I took the keys, hammers, and the like out. Not that hard, although I have a feeling that the harp (metal frame with the strings) is going to be a real pain to remove.
While we have plans for the carcass and the harp, I'm searching for uses for the keys and hammer mechanisms.
Ideas? Links to projects?
Striking mechanism, can be taken apart.
The old dear
The harp even has hand-painted detail on it!
11 answers
  • Carol Taylor
    Carol Taylor
    on Apr 20, 2015

    A coffee table with some legs and a piece of glass on top over the keys and hammers would be unique.

  • Carole
    Carole
    on Apr 20, 2015

    How about turning it into a piano bar. Cover the keys with glass, remove the insides and replace with shelves for glasses or any thing that is bar related. Add a piano bench for seating.

    • Susan-Amber Springer
      Susan-Amber Springer
      on Apr 22, 2015

      @Carole Probably what we'll end up doing, along with an electric piano where the keys used to be. This is the first repurpose project my husband has actually shown in!

  • Margo
    Margo
    on Apr 21, 2015

    Paint the entire piano color of your choice. Rub on "Welcome" where the molding is. Remove keys and place potted flowers where the keys were or use as a bookshelf.

  • LaDonna Castle
    LaDonna Castle
    on Apr 21, 2015

    Have you tried calling a local piano tuner/repairman to see if he wants any of the parts? My husband is one and has taken in parts like this.

  • Chandra McDaniel
    Chandra McDaniel
    on Apr 21, 2015

    make a bracelet or necklace with the keys, drill holes 1/4 in from the top ???

  • Eileen T. Kudlacz
    Eileen T. Kudlacz
    on Apr 21, 2015

    I took the brass peddles and used them as hooks for my purse, jacket, ect. As for the keys and hammers...hhmmm, how about artwork. Picture a rectangular "shadowbox" type frame, divide in half lengthwise (figuratively) place keys on the bottom half, then make your own sheet music for the top half and lay the hammers flat for your "notes". Maybe lay the hammers flat and work them like a jigsaw puzzle or mosaic, then frame them? I am still working on the wooden & brass pieces that held hammers on, I can picture them as a unique lampshade or light? (now I've got you thinking also, lol). Good luck with the harp, it is beauty, and removing it is the beast! Interested to see follow-ups! Enjoy!

  • Loren Morrow
    Loren Morrow
    on Apr 22, 2015

    ya a book shelf be unique and I was thinking perhaps a fish tank ;-?

  • Loren Morrow
    Loren Morrow
    on Apr 22, 2015

    also could make a desk out of it..might be even easier..

  • CK
    CK
    on Apr 22, 2015

    My husband is a Registered Piano Technician. Too bad you're so far away. He's rebuilt many of these ol' gals...even after other people say "they're unplayable". Nonetheless... I have found several old upright pianos via google searches made in many other things: bookcases, bars, desks, etc. etc. You needn't remove the plate (harp) and strings to do any of these projects. They actually add interest to the 'redo' from the ones I've seen. Sorry I don't have any links saved but a google search will warrant several ideas. Uses for the keys: If the white key tops are ivory (they appear to be on the pic and from the age of the piano) they can be removed and reused by a piano technician. Because ivory is no longer used on piano keys (now they're plastic) you may be able to sell them for re-use to a piano technician.Call around in your area and see what you come up with. The black keys are made of ebony (usually) and they make good 'spokes' for starburst clocks, mirrors, etc. The front panel with all the detail (known as the music desk) can be removed and used as a beautiful wall art. Ballard Designs sells something that always reminds me of that. http://www.ballarddesigns.com/grande-bouquet-plaque/wall-decor/wall-plaques/all-wall-plaques/10654 You can get creative and build something wonderful from the cabinet...either in its entirety or by removing parts and using them in other ways. Have fun! And do post your new creation :-) .

    • CK
      CK
      on Apr 22, 2015

      @Susan-Amber Springer Seems a bit odd a piano of this age doesn't have real ivory keys.. But then they could have been recovered at an earlier date anyway. Oh well.... We don't drink either but by suggesting a bar, I might have been thinking a 'coffee bar' :-) You sound like a creative person. I'll bet your repurposing will be great! Can't wait to see what you do :-) Here's just one idea I saw on Pinterest. (I think a French press would look far nicer and upscale than auto-drip coffee makers. But hey, whatever floats your boat! LOL!)

  • Connie
    Connie
    on Apr 22, 2015

    My daughter-in-law made a headboard and footboard. We made the bench into an entry bench with storage for mittens, hats, etc.

  • Sylvia Stallings
    Sylvia Stallings
    on Apr 25, 2015

    I thought of chopping mine up and making a window seat out of it. The patina on the old wood if beautiful. The top and the front would give access to storage space. And it's very sturdy. I'd love to see what you decide to do with yours.

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