Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2027105 - 02/04/13 07:51 PM Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins...
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ

In the name of all that is holy, what is that thing!?! Its like someone grafted a keyboard and spindle legs onto a 1930s jukebox!



Oh dear god, no! It can't be!!! Have they no decency?



OMG, this unnatural assemblage of parts is... ALIVE!



Those who saw my earlier thread, know that we ended our Quest for the $500 Piano with an 1874 Steinway Early Large Scale "mirror" piano. We were looking for something with a colorful character and a nice sound on a shoestring budget. A piano the family could "play" and that I could indulge my fascination with the intersection of mechanics and artistry that a piano is.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...0piano%20/.html

We of course opted to move it ourselves, which was certainly an adventure. 6 guys, a rented trailer, borrowed pickup, dollies, straps, blankets and 5 hours later we finally had it home in one piece. And no one even went to the ER!

So far I've removed the action and keys to give a thorough looking over and cleaning, and managed to have it all still work when I got it back together. I give full credit to Reblitz wink So far we're loving it, its exactly what we had hoped having a piano in our home would be smile

You can see photos of the disassebly and cleaning here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80357289@N00/sets/72157632674246913/with/8440915338/

My tuning hammer, balance rail felts, replacement string, and misc other bits are arriving today, now I should be able to do some real damage wink

Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

#2027136 - 02/04/13 09:15 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8468
Loc: Georgia, USA
Congratulations!

I like old uprights, and yours is a beauty (relatively speaking), and a Steinway to boot... smile

All the best,

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#2027141 - 02/04/13 09:21 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14136
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
This was a common alteration to many pianos of same vintage.
Saved spending more money on room mirrors. ha
Luckily what counts is 'inside'....
Enjoy!
[including mirror!]
Norbert wink
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2027166 - 02/04/13 10:50 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Looks like a 3 bridge Steinway Upright.

I like it! He more photo's the better.

BTW, here in e Boston area we have a ton of these mirror pianos. Folklore has it that the fellow doing it lived in this area somewhere.

I have no direct evidence.

well .. I have personally seen a dozen or so of these ... all makes, no particular order.
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

Top
#2027372 - 02/05/13 11:04 AM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
fishbulb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/01/13
Posts: 50
Very enjoyable Flickr album with interesting notes. It is fascinating to see all the odd repairs that have been made, like the "fred flintstone" sticker repair and the knot in the string.

I wonder if one of the reasons people put a mirror on the front of uprights is so that the piano player could see what was going on at the party/dance/box social behind him/her.

Top
#2027430 - 02/05/13 12:48 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: fishbulb]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: fishbulb
I wonder if one of the reasons people put a mirror on the front of uprights is so that the piano player could see what was going on at the party/dance/box social behind him/her.


My boys and I have decided its so you can tell if Ninjas are trying to sneak up on you while you are playing wink
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027449 - 02/05/13 01:19 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: Larry Buck]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
Looks like a 3 bridge Steinway Upright.


That's correct. There are 20 strings in the bass section on a straight offset bridge, 9 notes on a transitional "return" bridge, and then the remaining 59 are on a continuous curved bridge. I'll have to add a picture of the whole bottom section, looks like I left that out. I thought it was interesting that this model used agraffes for the top 59 notes, seems fairly unique in an upright.

Based on the info below from the "Official Guide to Steinway Pianos" this seems to have been a 56" "Early Large Scale" 1b, the first 88 key large scale upright which lead to the Model G. Its interesting that this CF Theodore Steinway scale design seems to have been the last large scale designed from scratch, with later large scales being scaled up from the medium scale designs. The G seems to have been basically the same as this one, but with a capo bar replacing the agraffes. Looks like the earlier Henry Steinway Jr Upright scales had used agraffes through out, and this was the last one to still use them.

Official Guide to Steinway Page 16

Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027454 - 02/05/13 01:28 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Part of the fun of going through this old piano was finding all the little notes and inscriptions added over the years. A number of the keys had names on them, presumably of people who had worked on it over the years or even been involved in the original production. There are two tuners notes on the pinblock from 1924 and 1977. Hopefully it was tuned a few more times than that wink



This note occupies the "place of honor" on the outside of key 88. From what I gather Leiter Bros was a large dealer in Syracuse in the late 18 and early 1900s. They apparently were the original publishers of some of Scott Joplin's songs. From the location I'm guessing they were the original sellers of the Piano, but its hard to know for sure. Its always possible they just resold it or even were the "mirrorizers".



All of the removable parts still have chalk notations with "Steinway 29178", presumably from the last time it was all apart for major work. May very well have been when it was mirrorized? Interesting to see what I assume was the original wood finish on the back of the knee board.


Edited by miscrms (02/05/13 01:35 PM)
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027458 - 02/05/13 01:34 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Coincidentally, there is another 1874 Steinway upright for sale locally that probably looks a lot like this one would have.



http://tucson.craigslist.org/msg/3579762268.html
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027529 - 02/05/13 03:39 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1229
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Not sure if you've already done this...but you can contact Steinway, and for a fee, they will send you all the original information they have on your piano.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

Top
#2027532 - 02/05/13 03:49 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19265
Loc: New York City
Was the case refinished at one point? It looks in amazingly good condition considering its age.

Top
#2027551 - 02/05/13 04:26 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
Its very Art Deco styling... smile

Top
#2027574 - 02/05/13 05:10 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, we actually quite like its rather unique deco look. It fits much better into our 50s era home than the more ornate dark wood Victorian look would have. Only probably 1/2 of the case is original wood. The sides and quarter round pillasters, front half of the top (re-set below the mirror box), fall board, keyslip, name board, and knee board (apparently re-used in reverse unless the inside was typically finished) seem to be original and have been coated with some sort of veneer or something synthetic. The top half front facing board and top box, cheeks, and whole front leg assembly seem to be replacements with the bench legs replaced to match. Most of the replacement wood seems quite solid, though the box around the top behind the mirror is very thin plywood, reducing the overall height from 56" to about 54".

The longest bass strings are about 60", with a 52-53" speaking length. Its interested that the single bass strings are copper wound, while the wound bi-chords and tri-chords are steel wound. I'm wondering if thats original, or an indication that at least some strings were replaced at some point.

I know that in many mirror pianos the quality of work and condition of the core may have been poor, but this one seems to have been done pretty well. The family we bought it from had acquired it in 1915, which seems pretty early for this kind of make over, so rather than a typical dealer doing the makeover to resell I wonder if this one wasn't actually commissioned by the owners in the 20s or 30s. Its deco look seems like it would have been going out of style by the 40s/50s.

Rob


Edited by miscrms (02/05/13 05:21 PM)
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027580 - 02/05/13 05:29 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: Eric Gloo]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo
Not sure if you've already done this...but you can contact Steinway, and for a fee, they will send you all the original information they have on your piano.


Thanks Eric, I haven't done that yet but intend to. Whatever they have will certainly be another interesting piece of the puzzle smile
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027608 - 02/05/13 06:14 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
The S&S records search and info provided has a $25 fee. However, it is a nice presentation and will answer many of your questions. It is compiled and sent very quickly.

BTW - You can also request a subscription to Steinway & Sons Magazine. There is no charge to Steinway owners.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2027822 - 02/06/13 01:52 AM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Replaced my first string tonight. Piano gods saw to it that I had the opportunity for some extra practice. Its funny, I can remember thinking in all those threads, "what kind of idiot would put the hammer on the wrong pin?" Well apparently this kind of idiot. The very first thing I did with my new tuning hammer was turn the wrong pin and break a string smile

All better now, already pulled each up to about 1/4 tone sharp 2-3 times. Hopefully they'll settle down a bit before our party Sunday wink



I thought the beckets came out surprisingly ok! Definitely need to pick up a stringing hook though, was a major pain using a screwdriver and the rounded back of some needle nose pliers.

Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2027871 - 02/06/13 04:21 AM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1961
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Well, Rob, your beckets and coils certainly look neater than the neighboring ones...

Nice album, with humorous comments!

[Edit 1: and I see no reason that the spliced bass string wouldn't hold. The knot is correctly done.
Edit 2: I'm not with yahoo, so I can't log in. But the name on the key is definitely "Rupprecht".]


Edited by Mark R. (02/06/13 04:22 AM)
Edit Reason: 2 additions to post.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

Top
#2027932 - 02/06/13 07:52 AM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8468
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting thread, miscrms, and nice photos...

However, you might want to be careful how you brag about your amateur piano tech skills here... the pros, will pounce all over you. smile

Some will offer constructive criticism in an effort to help and others will chime in just to let you know who the real pros are. smile

Some advice from another amateur, wan-a-be piano tech… always turn the tuning hammer slightly counter-clockwise first to make sure you are on the right tuning pin. I haven't broken a string yet from tuning, but I have from hard playing. smile

By-the-way, your first string replacements looks great in the photos!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#2028156 - 02/06/13 02:49 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: Rickster]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting thread, miscrms, and nice photos...

However, you might want to be careful how you brag about your amateur piano tech skills here... the pros, will pounce all over you. smile

Some will offer constructive criticism in an effort to help and others will chime in just to let you know who the real pros are. smile

Some advice from another amateur, wan-a-be piano tech… always turn the tuning hammer slightly counter-clockwise first to make sure you are on the right tuning pin. I haven't broken a string yet from tuning, but I have from hard playing. smile

By-the-way, your first string replacements looks great in the photos!

Rick


Thanks Rick! Appreciate the advice very much. I know my excitement can get away from me, but I hope it doesn't come across as bragging. That's certainly not the intent. If anything this experience has already given me a whole lot of respect for anyone who does this work well, and still quickly enough to actually make a living doing it. It probably took me 3 hrs, which of course wasn't helped by having to do a whole second string wink

Rob


Edited by miscrms (02/06/13 04:05 PM)
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2040186 - 02/27/13 02:07 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
After replacing the string, I found that the volume was very soft on this note which was a big surprise. The hammer had been grooved more deeply from just hitting one string for an extended period, but I had incorrectly assumed that once the string was replaced even it only struck two strings now instead of one its volume would increase. It actually seemed softer now with two strings!

After some excellent advice received over on the tech forum, the issue was apparently that the extended playing with one string not only compacted the felt on the one side but effectively softened it on the rest of the hammer. So now the soft part of the hammer was striking the new strings, resulting in the very soft volume.

With more than a little trepidation, I set out to file down the hammer to even it out. I did this very slowly and cautiously, trying not to take off any more material than necessary while working in an arcing motion from the shoulders toward the strike point with an even number of strokes on top and bottom to try and preserve the shape of the hammer. Happily this made a huge difference, and now the note sounds very similar to the ones around it. Its still not quite hitting the third string fully, but I've decided for now not to take off any more material in hopes that it will even out the rest of the way from playing.

Here's the hammer (in the middle) showing the deeper groove on the left side:



and here's the top and profile views after filing:





A little scary, but it seemed to come out pretty well! It probably took me about an hour to do this one hammer, which makes me think eventually doing the other 87 will be a bit time consuming wink

Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2040266 - 02/27/13 04:01 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2700
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I can't tell much about the current outer finish, but that bottom panel (inside) is rosewood.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bsendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

Top
#2040408 - 02/27/13 09:43 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: fishbulb]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 547
Originally Posted By: fishbulb


I wonder if one of the reasons people put a mirror on the front of uprights is so that the piano player could see what was going on at the party/dance/box social behind him/her.


From e-how:
Piano mirror" also refers to a mirror placed on a piano so that the performer can see what is behind him, similar to a rear-view mirror in a car. Keyboardists cannot easily play and see what is behind them at the same time, so a mirror allows them to see another angle. This is significant during performances in churches or concert halls. Church organists often use mirrors when they play to view the clergy. Similarly, during a concert performance, a keyboardist needs to see the conductor.

Read more: What Are Piano Mirrors? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6624781_piano-mirrors_.html#ixzz2M9qakvi5
_________________________
http://DulceLabs.com
Sound, Video, Design

Top
#2040607 - 02/28/13 08:01 AM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
It's not uncommon to observe the application of makeup, using the rear view mirror, during a morning commute.

A mirror piano would be perfect for a performance of Rhapsody in Rouge.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2040873 - 02/28/13 03:59 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Or perhaps Eye-nen Liner Nachmusik. Sorry.
Rob
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top
#2040894 - 02/28/13 04:34 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3524
Loc: Northern England.
What does it sound like? You need to record this instrument ! It`s a beaut . . . history comes alive again , , ,
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

Top
#2040957 - 02/28/13 06:29 PM Re: Our "Franken" Stein adventure begins... [Re: miscrms]
miscrms Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 187
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yeah, I'm working on that smile I think I'm afraid to record it because it will never live up to how it makes me feel in person. And I feel a little silly buying decent mics etc given how horrendous my playing is smile

I don't know how exceptional it actually is, or how my tuning chops are shaping up, but I am completely smitten by its sound. The bass from C1 up is astounding to me, aside from some tubiness on B1 & Bb1 and a few other unresolved weirdnesses. The sustain and richness of even pretty simple chords just blows me away. Sometimes I just press the damper pedal, play all the firsts and fifths up the whole keyboard and sit there and tingle wink I am a terrible player, and yet I just want to keep playing because the piano just sounds so good smile It probably helps to have a very uneducated "palate" wink

As I said elsewhere, we've owned a keyboard for years (semi-weighted m-audio 88 key through garageband) and used it maybe 10 times. A month and a half in, and my wife is still playing daily, I probably play 3-6 times a week (despite working 60hr weeks currently), and the boys love the noises they can make come out of it wink Between that and the fun I've had working on it, this is by far the best $500 I've spent in a long time smile

Rob


Edited by miscrms (02/28/13 06:39 PM)
_________________________
1874 Steinway Upright "Franken" Stein

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
79 registered (Abby Pianoman, allakart, 36251, aesop, ando, 19 invisible), 1122 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75898 Members
42 Forums
156857 Topics
2304780 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tuning my piano with an app
by johan d
08/22/14 03:14 AM
Tuning a piano
by johan d
08/22/14 02:14 AM
Yamaha CLP-430 or Roland RP-401?
by masterboy
08/22/14 01:22 AM
NY Steinway in Russia
by victor kam
08/22/14 12:38 AM
DAMPP CHASER
by tksler
08/22/14 12:05 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission