Inspiration: Repurposed Broken-Down Pianos

Inspiration: Repurposed Broken-Down Pianos

Trent Johnson
May 14, 2009

Old upright pianos can be found for free on Craigslist and in the classifieds. These once-loved-but-now-long forgotten hand-built mammoths take up precious space and are the nightmare of most moving companies. Since the cost to restore an old clunker to working condition can run $12,000 or more (twice the price of many new pianos), many end up being used for firewood. But some woodworkers in Oregon are taking a different approach and re-purposing them into usable furniture...

Old uprights often appear fine to the untrained eye, but their pin blocks and glue joints are often a mess. Their holes can be stripped and soundboards cracked, all adding up to a costly repair job.

Maurice Unis and Marc Gaudin of The Joinery have recently come together to save these instruments from becoming kindling. His shop is committed to sustainable practices and the craftsmen are capable of salvaging as much as 200 board feet of hardwood from the typical upright. They also can take an existing piano and turn it into a functional piece of furniture.
One piece on display in their showroom is a 1910 white-oak Hamilton that found new life as a writing desk (pictured above, and on sale for $2,000). The other is a circa-1910 mahogany National, which now houses a flat-screen television complete with high-tech lift technology ($2,500).

And Maurice and Marc welcome ideas from customers for custom work and have already envisioned incorporating speakers and hard drives. One client is having her hand-carved 1870's rosewood upright turned into a writing desk.

See the original story at OregonLive.

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