removing keys, finding money
Response To:
Re: Piano Salvage Help ()

John K Jordan
>>>A few friends, who have been assigned the task of disposing of the piano, have extracted the keys for me. I'll find out, when I get home, whether there is any ebony or even ivory, in them. They knew how to get at them, which I didn't.

For next time: it's a bit different for different pianos. For an upright: Basically you remove the long board over the keys, often has the piano name decal in the middle.

Before you can get to that, lift the top lid (hinged) then remove the upper front board, the part the piano tuner takes off to reach the strings and tuning pins. It usually just lifts off. The fallboard, the part that covers the keyboard, is connected by a hinge to the board over the keys that needs to be removed. Inspect that to see if it lifts out, has screws inside or underneath, or has a catch held by a set screw or something.

Once that piece is removed (can't remember the name) then the keys will lift out easily. If not, remove one or two fasteners on either side of the action frame (the assembly with all the hammers and dampers) and lift it out.

A player piano with all the player action is more complicated. A grand piano is easiest - all the keys and the action are mounted on a big flat board that slides out the front after removing a couple of blocks held with screws from below.

It's fascinating how the keys are shaped. If you get them all in a box, try to fit them back together just to see. (Usually they are numbered.)

Be sure to take off the lower front board of an upright piano (the big board below the keyboard and above the pedals.) It usually has a spring catch at the top which lets it pivot forward and lift off. There is a big empty space behind that board - usually you find dust but sometimes people hide things there.

A piano tuner friend went to a house to evaluate an old piano a poor family wanted to sell, destitute after the father/husband died from black lung. He felt bad for them because the piano was basically worthless. However, he found a paper bag inside stuffed with $40,000 cash. The gentleman had hidden money he got for the black lung disease then died without telling anyone. That family was SO excited. (All piano tuners are good, honest people! :) )


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