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MMD > Archives > October 2003 > 2003.10.27 > 06Prev  Next

Rebuilding a Player Piano in the Customer's Home
By Rob Case

When I got my Weber Duo-Art grand a few years ago, it was in excellent
untouched condition.  Having it moved to my house in Wisconsin from
Pennsylvania, I was nearly financially bust.  Craig Brougher suggested
that I bring the components to him in Independence, Missouri, where he
could do the work in his shop.

I worked my vacation time into going to Missouri, and delivered the
goods to Craig, where he and Ellen graciously gave us lunch and showed
his collection.  Several months later, he came up to Wisconsin and
reinstalled the works, voiced the new hammers, and tweaked the Duo-Art
into performing like new.  It still works great, and I play it a lot.

Craig said he used to go to customer's homes rather routinely.  This
was a special situation, and I really appreciated that he could take
the time to do this for me.  So, basically half the work was done in
his shop, the other half was done in my home. It worked for me, as it
saved a lot of money having to pay to move the whole piano again.
You'd have to ask Craig if he would do it again, but we all seemed to
get along fine, and the instrument didn't suffer for it.

I decided early on that I did not want to refinish the woodwork on the
piano.  Personally I like the old patina of the alligatored finish.
If a refinishing is needed, I can't imagine doing that in a customer's
home. I was lucky that the soundboard is in excellent condition with no
cracks and a nice crown.  If major structural work needed to be done,
again, it would have had to go -- you can't lift the plate very easily
in someone's living room!

As a customer then, I can recommend that each situation is unique, and
to simply say "Don't" leaves out a lot of variables.  It worked for me
in my situation.  Perhaps others have had positive experiences as well.

From Central Wisconsin,
Rob Case

(Message sent Mon 27 Oct 2003, 15:48:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Customer's, Home, Piano, Player, Rebuilding

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