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#646565 - 07/10/02 04:28 AM What's under an ebony piano?
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
A question for you techs/rebuilders. . .

If you take an ebony grand, and strip the finish, is the wood used of such quality that one could stain and clear-coat it?

I'm not about to do this, but I've wondered what the actual wood looks like, when the ebony finish is removed.

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#646566 - 07/10/02 09:50 AM Re: What's under an ebony piano?
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
Well, I'm not a tech or rebuilder but I've had 2 ebony finish pianos stripped and refinished.

What I was told by the refinisher is that the wood is not always ebony although sometimes it is. Many times it can be be something such as mahogany but a poor grain of mahogany which is why it was ebonized by the manufacturer to begin with. hence you probably would not want to stain and clearcoat it. Now occasionaly a nice piano finish was ebonized by an owner. When those are stripped they can be brought back to the original finish.

I too am curious what others have found out.
_________________________
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

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#646567 - 07/10/02 01:58 PM Re: What's under an ebony piano?
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
This was part of an email I had from another tech a while back ".....By the way his S&S model K when I bought it was ebony and we had no
idea what was underneath - it looked like a factory ebony original C1928 -
the case was a bit tatty but passable and at the last minute they agreed to
have it stripped & repolished - imagine all our surprises and joy when we
"dicovered" the most beautiful classic Rosewood underneath. - Yes it was
re-finished as a Rosewood Piano !!!"
_________________________
Brian Lawson, RPT
Johannesburg
South Africa

http://www.lawsonic.co.za

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#646568 - 07/10/02 04:13 PM Re: What's under an ebony piano?
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2340
Loc: Massachusetts
I am not a tech, but last winter went on the M+H factory tour. I was surprised to see the ebony pianos are veneered in something like formica. If you look at the underside of a piece of formica, it is sort of scratched in order to take the glues. This is what was on the piano (minus the "formica" finish of course.)

When I asked why they did it, they claimed that the material took the paint better and lasted since it is not porous like wood. Who knows, but I don't think I would be thrilled to strip a piano only to find plastic!

My 1901 S+S appears to have mahagony under.
_________________________
BeeLady

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#646569 - 07/10/02 04:43 PM Re: What's under an ebony piano?
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
We have 27 years in refinishing pianos, and the majority we have seen are mahogany underneath. Once in a while you will find one made of many wood veneers, indicating that it was put together from several "leftover" case parts. Nothing wrong with that, of course, except that it would look like a patchwork quilt if it was finished natural.....Sam
_________________________
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.

www.SamLewisPiano.com

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#646570 - 07/10/02 11:27 PM Re: What's under an ebony piano?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3917
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by SamLewisPiano.com:
...it would look like a patchwork quilt if it was finished natural.....Sam[/b]
Patchwork quilt muzzles baffled young vixen (the palindromist also does pangrams).
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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