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  #21  
Old 20.08.2011, 10:16
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

It sounds like a nice fun project. Polish wise for the stain on the lid you could try a locally made beeswax paste. Most bee keepers know how to make this from wax and parafine, and sell it as a sideline. It is a smooth white paste.
You could then cover it with some thin lace. The casework is thin veneer, so sanding it could be risky. Marks and stains are all part of its history anyway.

I wouldn't get the pitch raised to modern concert pitch. I would just tune it to its self, and see how well it holds that. You should be able to slide out the hammers and keyboard as a complete unit, takes 10 mins, and then hoover inside and out, remove pencils etc that have been lost inside over the years. This is much safer than trying to clean it by poking in rags. You could get the tuner to do this. Make sure you watch!

Don't get drawn into any restoration projects, mass replacement of tuning pins, new strings, action adjustments. Do what you can with what is there.
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  #22  
Old 20.08.2011, 14:34
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

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It sounds like a nice fun project. Polish wise for the stain on the lid you could try a locally made beeswax paste. Most bee keepers know how to make this from wax and parafine, and sell it as a sideline. It is a smooth white paste.
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You could then cover it with some thin lace. The casework is thin veneer, so sanding it could be risky. Marks and stains are all part of its history anyway.

I wouldn't get the pitch raised to modern concert pitch. I would just tune it to its self, and see how well it holds that. You should be able to slide out the hammers and keyboard as a complete unit, takes 10 mins, and then hoover inside and out, remove pencils etc that have been lost inside over the years. This is much safer than trying to clean it by poking in rags. You could get the tuner to do this. Make sure you watch!

Don't get drawn into any restoration projects, mass replacement of tuning pins, new strings, action adjustments. Do what you can with what is there.

Some good tips there, many thanks.
Ref keys/hammers removal, I suspected this must be possible, yesterday I found two catches that allow removal of the front wood piece covering teh front of the keys, I assumed this was to allow access/removal. I didn't see any other catches or release mechanisms in ther though, could it just be a push fit?

Other news, the piano tuner has given a preliminary opinion, based upon the two pictures in the start of this thread, he claims "
piano seems to be in very bad condition. Not sure, it can beeven tuned...

It is not worth any restoration, just one try, to tune it."

Ah well, it could be, I don't much mind, it's a great piece of furniture even if it isn't or might not be much of an instrument any more. I'll let the tuner have a go at tuning it and we'll see....
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  #23  
Old 21.08.2011, 10:24
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

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Ref keys/hammers removal, I suspected this must be possible, yesterday I found two catches that allow removal of the front wood piece covering teh front of the keys, I assumed this was to allow access/removal. I didn't see any other catches or release mechanisms in there though, could it just be a push fit?

It is difficult to see the condition under the dust, and from those two pictures.

The action will probably be held in place some other way too. Have you removed the keyboard cover? You could try opening it at 45 degrees and slowly pulling it away from the piano. Imagine the shape of the frame that holds the keyboard and action, a large rectangle. There might be a couple of screws underneath holding it in. Once you get the action out, don't put oil on it, or any lubricant. Beeswax, but only on wood to wood moving parts only, like the pedals, or perhaps graphite if that has been used there before.

The strings looks heavily oxidised. Each string will need freeing otherwise it might bind and snap when tuned. Plus the oxidised/rust on the contact area will get on the hammers. You can clean the contact area with a scotchbrite or proper string cleaning rubbing block from underneath when the action is removed.

It would be nice to see some more pictures, like the tuning pins area under the music desk, which I am sure you have slid out already. Also the rest of the frame, with the lid up. Do the tuning pins have square or oval ends?

It looks like a typical Viennese piano from that era. Boesendorfer were doing really well when that piano was made, so the local competition at the time would have been phenomenal, with lots of skilled craftsmen changing between factories. You might expect to see peoples names penciled on parts they made.

You might have to tune it yourself. This is a reasonable solution if it doesn't hold its tune for very long, or if it is too time intensive (most likely) fro the tuner to get it up to standard.
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  #24  
Old 21.08.2011, 13:22
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

One other thing, the end stops, either end of the keyboard, those black blocks of wood, they are usually held in by one screw from underneath. Those need to come out, and on some pianos there is often one screw at each end of the keyboard lid, on the hinges. It is a very simple task, sliding out the action, the trick being not to accidentally press any keys when sliding out the keyboard, otherwise the hammer might snap off.
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Old 21.08.2011, 13:54
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

Many thanks P42.
The pictures are a bit misleading, there is a lot of dust - or rather there was, cough! I used a soft brush and shifted most of it, there is no rust on the strings, I did check that carefully before buying the piano.
I expect I may have to tune it myself, the professional chap didn't sound very enthusiastic about it, I've been researching how to tune, not rocket science and I found a free rubber mute lying inside the piano anyway :-)

I'll doa little more investigation, I'm sure I'll be able to figure out how the instrument is assembled. The workmanship quality is first class and you're right, I have found some hand writing on some components, unfortunately not decipherable.
I have been unable to find out anything much about Franz Hájek, seems to be a mystery or little known manufacturer.
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Old 22.08.2011, 10:55
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Re: Anyone knows anything about old Pianos?

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Many thanks P42.
The pictures are a bit misleading, there is a lot of dust - or rather there was, cough! I used a soft brush and shifted most of it, there is no rust on the strings, I did check that carefully before buying the piano.
I expect I may have to tune it myself, the professional chap didn't sound very enthusiastic about it, I've been researching how to tune, not rocket science and I found a free rubber mute lying inside the piano anyway :-)

I'll doa little more investigation, I'm sure I'll be able to figure out how the instrument is assembled. The workmanship quality is first class and you're right, I have found some hand writing on some components, unfortunately not decipherable.
I have been unable to find out anything much about Franz Hájek, seems to be a mystery or little known manufacturer.
Told you p24 is ace when it comes to old pianos

If this professional chap didnt sound too keen to tune it, might be worthwhile getting a second opinion. Unless you have a trained ear, I really wouldnt recommend trying to tune it yourself.
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