Piano frame in the woods

In the woods around the cottage we found what's left of a piano - the frame
and (some) strings, essentially. Heintzmann upright, it was.
I'm thinking that there's a nice bit of cast iron for projects.
Correct me please if 'm wrong, but it's likely to be _nice_ cast iron, no?
Pianos being quality items and all.
And suggestions for reducing it to pieces small enough to carry easily;
right now I probably will take a hacksaw and a coarse blade, a chisel, and a
BFH. There's no power anywhere near.
Reply to
jtaylor
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That it is a quality item does not reflect on the potential for the material to be a stone bitch to work.
You will find out soon enough with the hacksaw.
Cast tends to have a "skin" of quite hard material on it, with the rest being (usually) quite nice and soft. Thin sections that cooled fast tend towards hard through. Did the piano burn? A good fire with a slowish cooldown will often result in a softening of hard iron.
A good fire and a large hammer will allow the iron lumps too be broken relativly easilly, if not precisely.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
It may have. I'll let you'all know what it's like after I hack/hammer/curse.
Reply to
jtaylor
If all you're wanting is the iron in small enough pieces to carry away and recast, a BFH alone should do the trick - bring earplugs and eye protection. The other tools would only apply if you want to try to get it to break in a particular location. A beater splitting maul might be convenient as a sledgehammer-scale object with a nice narrow face on one side.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
Have to be more-or-less specific sections. She won't let me play with fire.
Reply to
jtaylor
I strongly suggest leaving it right where it is until you actually need it. If you haven't needed it for a few years you may realize that you saved yourself a whole lot of work by not hauling it home, where the probability is enormous you would never use it, it would take up a huge amount of space, and you might well have to some day incur the effort and expense of hauling it to the dump.
Learning basic clutter control is essential to a livable shop.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
If there's a significant number of strings and they are still tensioned, cut them or "let them down" BEFORE you mess with the frame.
The stored energy of full load of strings in a "tuned" piano can can make the frame buckle and try and emulate a fragmentation grenade if the wood providing structural support to the cast iron frame is removed.
The iron frame provides a rigid spacing for the ends of the strings, to help keep the piano in tune, but it's the wood structure that keeps that frame from buckling and cracking.
DAMHIKT
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
Backpack, BFH, safety glasses, and J. Wisnia's advice. I carry around a 6# sledge on a short handle for these type projects.
A piano cast is narrow enough that it's easily broken into packable pieces. Hell, I break cast iron all the time to feed the the furnace at
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all the time.
Now, is it just me, or am I imagining that some pianos are ***bronze***, as opposed to cast iron?
Now, if it's bronze; Sweet!
~Dave
jtaylor wrote:
Reply to
Dave
Drag it home and sell it on eBay, maybe. There are piano restorers who might pay well enough for it. Heintzman pianos were quality pianos; my folks still have the 1901 model they bought when they got married in '52 and it plays as well as it ever did.. You can get a piano repairman to look up the date of manufacture if you give him the serial number off the top front of the harp. Dan
Reply to
Dan_Thomas_nospam
I doubt anyone would trust a chunk of cast iron with unknown history, given the tremendous strain something like that is put under in use. A lot of piano guys won't even touch upright pianos, for instance. I can't think of any reasonable way for a piano to get into the woods without _some_ sort of abuse happening to it.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Which makes little sense, since an upright and a grand are essentially the same thing, just one is a "stood on end and packed into a square box" version of the "lays flat in a weird-shaped box" unit. (Spinets don't count, but if they did, I'd expect themn to be considered little more than a "more tightly packed" upright with ALL of the wires (rather than just the bass end) running diagonally instead of vertically.)
I'd take a SWAG that there was once a house at that location, the position of the piano indicates where the "parlor"/sitting rooom was, and that sometime in the distant-enough-to-be-forgotten-by-men-and-overgrown-by-woods past, said house burned to the ground, taking the owners and all of their heirs/living relatives with it, and the property was effectively abandoned until the OP took up residence.
Reply to
Don Bruder
Well, as it was explained to me, yes, they're similar size and all, but the quality between a grand, and an upright, is considerably different.
A reasonable swag, to be sure. But, I'd qualify "been through a house fire" to be abuse, metalurgically speaking, no?
It'd be interesting to know the color of the rust on the thing, if it's that pinkish-color, for instance.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Boy, what a killjoy YOU are LOL
Reply to
Rex B
One should never leave a newly found treasure lie.No telling who may come along and snatch it up on you. The more piles of scrounge stuff around the better IMHO. Nohting like waking up at 2 in the morning with an idea in your head, and grab the flash light and start rumageing though the treasure piles neatly piled, stacked, heaped or dumped all over 40+ acres knowing you have that item somewhere.....
Then jump in the truck and drive 20 miles to where that part is laying in the woods for the last 10 years only to find the thing gone...........real bummer! ;-)
Reply to
Roy
DEFINATLEY TAKE HEARING PROTECTION ALONG!!!!. Some freinds and I tried breaking one up about 35 yers ago. My ears are still ringing. We bashed on that thing for a long time. 3 or 4 20 something year olds taking turns with a sledge hammer and we couldn't break that harp. Some nieghbors complaind about the noise, (all the strings were still on it) the police came and told us to quit. We explained that the trash men said break it up and they'd take it. The cops said OK have at it. We beat on it till the wood was toothpick size but the harp remained intact. I can't hear you honey..... Tom
Reply to
Tom Wait
Of course there's always this one:
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Tom
Reply to
Tom
Just wish I'd dragged home three or four of the steam traction engines, or the 7HP hit&miss ant 4" water pump abandoned at various locations on our trap zone fifty years ago. Or a few of the mid twenties to early thirties cars pushed into the cedars along the lake shore when the owners got tired of fixing flat tires during WW II. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
The bye key wire will be valuable also. various gage of music wire. Nice sound board wood.
Such is life. Maybe real ivory on the keys ? - get it and make something. That might be the reason it was dumped. Guilty feelings.
The ivory isn't Elephant. It is aged - Mastodon or Mammoth - typically from Turkey. Otherwise the ivory would split and warp just like wood.
Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
jtaylor wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
DON'T cut a string under tension. A lot of people have been hurt by shooting strings. I' ve been told of one piano technician who was killed by one... A 1/4 inch socket extension will slip over the tuning pin. Then, put a big Crescent wrench on the other end and let the string down. Put somethng like a piece of plywood or a furniture pad over the strings to damp any tendency for a broken string to fly before you mess with them in case one lets go.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Foster
Just to clarify, there's no wood; the strings are mostly rusted/gone. It's a hunk of metal, no more.
Reply to
jtaylor

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