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#1918064 - 06/24/12 12:23 PM Another intriguing use for old grands
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I came across this photo on the "classical music humor" facebook page and thought it was rather neat. My apologies if it has been posted here already:

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#1918065 - 06/24/12 12:26 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
I love it, although I would be worried about hanging that much weight on a wall. It looks like the person has some heavy duty brackets on the wall and probably has them screwed into studs. Peoples creativity never ceases to amaze me.
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#1918088 - 06/24/12 01:30 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1266
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
It looks like the cast iron frame has been removed.
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#1918092 - 06/24/12 01:45 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Ooooh... I want one!!! Very cool!

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#1918107 - 06/24/12 02:31 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Melissa MM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 5
Loc: Dallas, TX
How completely beautiful! Thanks for posting it.
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#1918173 - 06/24/12 05:43 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
j&j Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 445
Loc: Southwest
Very cool picture. If someone inherited a grand that was too far gone to rebuild but couldn't part with it, that would be a great way to keep it in the family.

Thanks for posting.
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J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

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#1918192 - 06/24/12 06:36 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
What kind of piano would be that straight on the right hand side? That's a very sharp corner on the right.
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Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1918194 - 06/24/12 06:44 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
I have a 5'8" Gerhard Heintzman in walnut that I started making into a shelf a year ago.
I am doing this for our showroom. I never thought of leaving the keys in it. Now I think I will.
I currently have a 8 foot Broadwood that is used as a shelf in my shop but is a bit tall for my 7'11" showroom.
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#1918260 - 06/24/12 09:42 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Pianolance]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
What kind of piano would be that straight on the right hand side? That's a very sharp corner on the right.


That DOES look weird... I wonder if it's made out of a real piano after all, or just made to LOOK like a piano...
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Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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#1918266 - 06/24/12 09:48 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
It has a pinblock so it's probably real. Bosies have that sharp corner...

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#1918350 - 06/25/12 02:30 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
It's an 85 note instrument and an open face pin block. Looks like it had a third transition bridge. Probably a pre 1890's European make. Although it could be American.
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#1918605 - 06/25/12 06:07 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Pianolance]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 545
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
What kind of piano would be that straight on the right hand side? That's a very sharp corner on the right.


It is an old type of grand piano whose outer rim was built by single parts. A "non contiguous" rim.

That was the older method of rim building used before Theodore Steinway 1878 invented the contiguous rim, built of laminated maple veneer strips. A method which now is used by the most piano manufacturers in the world.

Bösendorfer still builds some grands by the "old school" manner, with sharp transitions in the outer rim where the single wooden parts meet.

The most interesting question in former days was "how many curves do we allow..in one single piece of wood.." because this question was directly related to the percentage share of waste that a rim builder produced - and so related to piano manufacturing costs..

Bösendorfer makes one curve per piece only. The "Old Steinway school" was to have an S curve, two curves right-left in one bent wooden part which meets it's counterparts at the long bass end of a straight wooden part and at the short treble end. So old Steinway grands have two "corners"; Bösendorfer grands w. "consructed case" have three "corners" in the rim contour.

(..if my description might lack a clear understanding I first would point to my signature, second I'd like to offer a sketch on demand..) :shy: blush
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Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#1918606 - 06/25/12 06:13 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 545
Loc: Germany
BTW Offered at Steinway dealers you may find bookcases in the form of a
grand shape.

It is an original Steinway rim, of course a contiguous version (..as the "constructed" rim versions ended in 1886..)
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Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#1918611 - 06/25/12 06:39 PM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Pianolance]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 540
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
What kind of piano would be that straight on the right hand side? That's a very sharp corner on the right.


Bösendorfer still does it in all but their shortest grand because they still make their rims from solid wood bent via a technique called kerfing, which involves cutting tiny slits vertically in it.

On this photo of a 225 on its side you can see three corners, one on the bass side and two on the treble



But Steinway and all others have gone to the lower cost, rapid way of making rims from bent plywood, and we no longer see corners.


Edited by Thrill Science (06/25/12 06:39 PM)
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#1918721 - 06/26/12 12:54 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2772
Loc: Atlanta, GA
They are philosophically different in design. The kerf cut is used on the outer rim of the Bosendorfer, a non-structural element. It is quite thin, gives it elegant lines and a more delicate appearance.

However, the extremely thick inner rim of Bosendorfer pianos (almost double that of other makes with laminated rims like Steinway) is solid wood cut to shape. It is neither bent or kerf cut. They could cut it to other shapes, but in the case of Bosendorfer, form still follows function based upon their, now unique and quite expensive, approach to the resonating body.

My understanding tells me that it is easier to make a successful design using a bent, laminated rim using a variety of lower cost materials and approaches (Steinway has a lot of successful imitators, i.e. Yamaha CFIII), but a lower-cost or corner-cutting approach to Bosendorfer's design seems destined to fail. It's just too hard and expensive to copy.

As it relates to the piano in the photo, the shape does make it easier to make the shelves. smile
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#1918751 - 06/26/12 03:43 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: PianoWorksATL]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: PianoWorksATL

My understanding tells me that it is easier to make a successful design using a bent, laminated rim using a variety of lower cost materials and approaches (Steinway has a lot of successful imitators, i.e. Yamaha CFIII), but a lower-cost or corner-cutting approach to Bosendorfer's design seems destined to fail. It's just too hard and expensive to copy.


Laminated wood is more stable than solid wood. When using solid wood, higher quality material must be used, and it needs to be dried to exacting standards. Of course, this why laminated soundboards were attractive to builders of economy grade pianos. I've seen Boesendorfers under construction at the factory, and the rim making process does not look like it would lend itself well to mass production/cost cutting at all.
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#1918752 - 06/26/12 03:57 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Thrill Science]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science


Bösendorfer still does it in all but their shortest grand because they still make their rims from solid wood bent via a technique called kerfing, which involves cutting tiny slits vertically in it.


From what I remember from the factory, there are lots of these slits, which are then shimmed with wood. Definitely not very efficient. The inner rim is made of blocks of solid wood, cut by a CNC machine.

Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
But Steinway and all others have gone to the lower cost, rapid way of making rims from bent plywood, and we no longer see corners.


This is not to say, however, that corners and laminated rims need be mutually exclusive. Case-in-point are the pianos made by David Rubenstein. His rims are made from three sections of laminated wood.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1918793 - 06/26/12 07:16 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: Monica K.]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
omgosh.. that is the best. i so want one.

thank you Monica
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love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1918819 - 06/26/12 09:13 AM Re: Another intriguing use for old grands [Re: apple*]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I love the pic and the discussion!
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