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#616891 - 09/05/07 04:27 AM wacky question - removing soundboard
mvr1127 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 3
How difficult is it to remove a soundboard from an upright and apply it to another surface as decoration for a non-piano technician?

I am in the process of opening a wine tasting room which will be all music themed since I am a composer and piano player. I am looking to have a bar built, and without describing it in too much detail, the idea is to have a couple of piano soundboards applied to the face of the bar and lit in cool ways. There will be glass or some transparent surface over top so no one can accidentally kick it or otherwise touch it.

I'm guessing I'd have to go with an upright Spinnet or some such small piano since the bar will probably be about 42"-48" high, but are there any piano gurus out there who could give me advice on how to remove a soundboard from a piano and then somehow safely bolt or attach it to a wooden surface?

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#616892 - 09/05/07 04:36 AM Re: wacky question - removing soundboard
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23184
Loc: Oakland
Do you want to use the string back, which includes the frame, plate, pinblock, strings, and soundboard, or just the soundboard? If it is the string back, then just whack away at the case. If it is the soundboard, you will need help. Either way, you should think this out more carefully. Pianos are heavy and awkward to move. Disassembly is not easy.
Semipro Tech

#616893 - 09/05/07 04:47 AM Re: wacky question - removing soundboard
mvr1127 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 3
I was thinking of using the whole assembly so it appears as it would if you lifted the lid and looked in. I certainly would need a lot of help, and I will be hiring a professional finish carpenter to build the bar to make sure the weight of it is supported. One of the difficult parts would be the dissasembly as you mentioned. I have plenty of manpower if I need it. Any detail you can give on the actual process would be hugely appreciated!

Alternatively - is there anyway to procure this sort of assembly already intact yet not encased in the piano? I'm guessing this would be many times more expensive than finding an old unusable piano and taking it apart.

Sorry for the wacky questions and I really really appreciate the help!

#616894 - 09/05/07 01:40 PM Re: wacky question - removing soundboard
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1266
Loc: Orange County, CA

This will give you a general idea:
A bit careless, but effective. The sides will break off leaving lots of rough splintered wood behind.

The strings will hum all the time if they are left un-muted. I'm not clear where the piano back would live, but if it is within reach of people's fingers or toes, bridge pins can be very sharp.
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

#616895 - 09/05/07 03:49 PM Re: wacky question - removing soundboard
mvr1127 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 3
Thanks for your help! Yes - a bit crude, bit if it's effective then that would be probably be easiest (and a bit enjoyable deep down!) It will be protected in the front so there's no danger to fingers and toes.

My next question is - what would be the best way to reattach it to an upright flat wood surface?


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