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#606472 - 02/16/07 10:54 AM Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
David Estey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 35
Loc: Passaic NJ
Hi Everyone.
If you have never seen one of these, you are going to think Im halucinating. If you have seen one or tuned one, it is burned into your memory forever - no doubt.

I am currently restoring a Wurlitzer Spinet model 590. (sentimental attachment, and I told them is was more "mental" than "senta" but they wanted it anyway)
In order to tune it, the sides of the case are hinged, and must be opened to acess the Bass and treble. It is a Deco Design, very rounded on the top and the sides.

My Problem:
The fallboard seems to have a piece missing. It has that "V" hinge like on most old wurlitzer spinet pianos. THe front of the fall board is present and accounted for, with the small flap that covers the key fronts. The back part of the fallboard is "missing". My refinisher cut a piece of walnut and fit it to the back part, but if you slide both pieces back, there is only room for the front piece. After staring at it for an hour, in bewilderment I might add, I have cone to the conclusion that there is something that fits there which is uncomnmon (duh - like hinged sides I know).
Has anyone seen such an animal? I havent in my 30 year journey. What is the back part of the fallboard made of?

BTW,
1. There are no slots for the "roll top desk" type I have seen on others.
2.There is no room for anything to fold.

Im wondering if it is a floating seperate piece?

Gosh I love the piano business!

Thanks for your help. If I knew how to post pictures here, or had the time to figure it out at the moment, I would.

Dave
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Piano Restoration, Sales and Service
www.esteypiano.com

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#606473 - 02/16/07 11:14 AM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
One of these guys will up load some pictures for you if you email them. I'd like to see them. Wait for some responses.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#606474 - 02/17/07 03:24 PM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
bellspiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 489
Loc: Boston, MA
Yes, I have seen a piano like that, and yes, it is burned into my brain. I think they designed it to look like an enormous radio of the time (my specimen was 1942). I had enough trouble opening it that I asked the customer if she had had it tuned before: when she said yes, I was determined that if someone else could get it open, I could, so I used Jack Stebbins's technique of unscrewing every screw I could see until something fell open. Then I went home and wrote the whole opening process down, because it was so irrational.

When I looked at the card just now, though, I didn't see anything about the fallboard, which leads me to believe that the fallboard setup was either rational or conventional. Sorry about that, but maybe a negative finding of weirdness gives hope; it might be figure-out-able.

With your piano, did you have to take off the bottom middle section (a rectangle covered in rough canvas, so as to look like a speaker, I suppose) and then unscrew the bottom sides and loosen them in order to get the top sides open? I guess I am asking was it the same model or, I shudder to think, did Wurlitzer have several different spinet models designed to look like radios?

I look forward to seeing your pictures. Good luck. (Your customer must be truly devoted to this piano.)
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#606475 - 02/17/07 04:13 PM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
David Estey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 35
Loc: Passaic NJ
Dorrie, mercifully thats the model and exactly how it came apart, and there are no variations on the nightmare.
There is one other model wurlitzer i ran into when I was green about 28 years ago which had 2 12 inch long screws under the key bed on either side holding the lid in. I never forgot that one either.
There is a small lip on the back edge of the piece of fallboard that remains, and 3 mysterious holes about 1/4 inch in diameter on the back thickness of that part of the fallboard. Im wondering if that was for knife or a soss hinge to flip the part that is missing on to the part that is there - and then it would slide back one atop the other. the missing part would have to be very thin.
Do you recall cloth (like the bottom) being part of the fallboard?
I bet the designer liked hand buzzers, whoppee cushions and rubber chickens too.
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Piano Restoration, Sales and Service
www.esteypiano.com

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#606476 - 02/17/07 04:17 PM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
David Estey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 35
Loc: Passaic NJ
where do i go to figure out how to put pictures on here?
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Piano Restoration, Sales and Service
www.esteypiano.com

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#606477 - 02/17/07 04:31 PM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
bellspiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 489
Loc: Boston, MA
Gosh, David, it's not impossible that there was fabric up above -- I have the dimmest recollection of a dark shiny cloth, like a glazed chintz. But that could have been from somewhere else. Pictures will help.

I think that if you check the archives under "posting" or "pictures," directions will come up. On the Piano Forum, people are posting pictures of their pianos all the time. If all else fails, I would email Larry Buck and ask for help. (Sorry to be ignorant myself.)
_________________________
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#606478 - 02/18/07 04:37 PM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Dave,

I'm not a tuner or technician, but my grandmother's 1948 Wurlizter spinet never had a fallboard. Could this be the same as the piano you're working on?

I remember my previous technicians hating to work on the piano!

John
_________________________
Nothing.

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#606479 - 02/19/07 09:04 AM Re: Wurlitzer Spinet Model 590 mfg 1940
David Estey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 35
Loc: Passaic NJ
I know the type. Unfortunately, this has a fallboard. Thanks for the suggestion!
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Piano Restoration, Sales and Service
www.esteypiano.com

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