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#2154717 - 09/20/13 07:41 PM Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild
TechRx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 4
Hello!

For whatever reason (insanity) I am rebuilding a 5'0" Marshall & Wendell. This piano was previously "restored" by someone and I am having a bit of difficulty descerning original from "let's saw and glue whatever we can." Wondering if anyone out there has seen this brand before, and might be able to shed some light on making this "old gal" play well again. (or at least ... be worth playing on again.)

Link to Flickr Photos of Piano is the pile of photos.

I'm trying specifically to find out if the pinblock shelf is 'native' factory, or it was modified after the fact. also, trying to find out of the pinblock to strecher spacing is suppose to be that large of a gap. Thank you for any assistance.
_________________________
Jason Davies, Associate PTG member.
TechRx Inc.

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#2155370 - 09/22/13 05:00 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1747
Loc: Conway, AR USA
I owned one of these for a short time. Not long enough to really dig into it. It was ca.1920s. Cannot speak to your primary question, but no doubt you've noticed the doped block. Looks like you are replacing it. Wise choice. Best wishes in your endeavor.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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#2155491 - 09/22/13 11:18 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: TechRx
For whatever reason (insanity) I am rebuilding a 5'0" Marshall & Wendell. This piano was previously "restored" by someone and I am having a bit of difficulty descerning original from "let's saw and glue whatever we can." Wondering if anyone out there has seen this brand before, and might be able to shed some light on making this "old gal" play well again. (or at least ... be worth playing on again.)

Link to Flickr Photos of Piano is the pile of photos.

I'm trying specifically to find out if the pinblock shelf is 'native' factory, or it was modified after the fact. also, trying to find out of the pinblock to strecher spacing is suppose to be that large of a gap. Thank you for any assistance.

Except for some sloppy finishing residue and that little wood bar behind the bridge (presumably to keep a crack from buzzing) I don't see much that is not original. The gap between the pinblock and the stretcher is normal.

Check around the perimeter of the soundboard to see if there was once a gap (5 or 6 mm) between the edge of the soundboard (and inner rim) and the outer rim. This little feature showed up on a number of M&W pianos and it tends to get filled up with creeping crud over the years. Especially when they have been refinished with the plate still in the piano. This gap doesn't do much good in the treble area but does seem to be beneficial around the bass. If it is there you might want to clean it out.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2155556 - 09/22/13 02:08 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 291
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
One really great thing about getting old is that your remember seemingly useless facts that you rarely get to apply. However deep in my vague memory about M&W grands is that the action brackets were made of a "pot" metal that sagged as it aged, making the action regulation virtually impossible. While you might dig up some specs on these actions somewhere, they really aren't very useful until you replace the brackets. (Actually probably the only real use for action measurements from a M&W is for use as passwords or pins for your bank card).

Anyway this will be a great learning experience for you.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

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#2156117 - 09/23/13 11:44 AM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: S. Phillips]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: S. Phillips
One really great thing about getting old is that your remember seemingly useless facts that you rarely get to apply. However deep in my vague memory about M&W grands is that the action brackets were made of a "pot" metal that sagged as it aged, making the action regulation virtually impossible. While you might dig up some specs on these actions somewhere, they really aren't very useful until you replace the brackets. (Actually probably the only real use for action measurements from a M&W is for use as passwords or pins for your bank card).

Interesting. With all of the M&W grands I've serviced (including a couple of rebuilds) I've never encountered this particular problem. At least not that I remember....

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2156221 - 09/23/13 02:58 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 291
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
The ones I saw were pretty easy to spot. The metal had a whitish grey color and in some cases the metal flaked off in layers. It almost looked like exfoliated flagstone with the small cracks occurring parallel with the surface of the metal. Perhaps they figured this out and stopped using their supplier.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

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#2159150 - 09/28/13 03:36 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
TechRx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 4
Thank you everyone for the input so far. Did some "scratch" tests on the brackets, so far so good. Can't "seperate" or get much to come off. Delwin, did find a bunch of finish residue in the treble section (it's gone now.) Soundboard was "scraped" this week, going to use some CA to seal up the hairline cracks. Also seal up where the previous rebuilder put screws through the board and grind flush.

** Impressions on M&W. **
To me (the inexperienced eye) this piano looks like a "Chickering knock off." .. Does anyone out there know more about the history of these pianos? They seem to have a charming sound.


Edited by TechRx (09/28/13 03:38 PM)
_________________________
Jason Davies, Associate PTG member.
TechRx Inc.

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#2159249 - 09/28/13 06:22 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5306
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: TechRx
** Impressions on M&W. **
To me (the inexperienced eye) this piano looks like a "Chickering knock off." .. Does anyone out there know more about the history of these pianos? They seem to have a charming sound.

If memory serves the M&W grands I have rebuilt all had decals on the plate saying something like, "Designed by Chickering."

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2159261 - 09/28/13 06:30 PM Re: Marshall & Wendell Baby Grand Rebuild [Re: TechRx]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1747
Loc: Conway, AR USA


They do indeed!


Edited by bkw58 (09/28/13 06:31 PM)
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com/

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