Soundboard Removal and Tomorrow’s Project

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Piano

Having removed the wires and pins from this old Conn 4′ 11″ boat anchor, I want to remove the soundboard. Pretty simple really. Use a jigsaw and let it rip!


It’s unlikely that you will ever do this so I will not go into great detail.


Soundboards are made from side-glued planks of spruce. The ribs are placed perpendicular for strength and to hold the crown in the soundboard. The crown is created on a form and adds volume to the sound. If the crown should ever collapse, the piano’s volume would diminish greatly. The buttons you see are wooden washers through which screws serve to anchor the bridges on the other side. (The bridges are also glued into place.)

At this point, as you stand back and look at this piece of worthless wood, you ponder, “Maybe there is something I can use that for…”


The braces, inner rim and outer rim are shown. The notches are cut in the inner rim to fit the ends of the ribs. The beams are made from very dense wood. This case must support the weight of the cast iron plate. The plate was removed earlier and is now on the way to the salvage yard.


The inner rim is made from laminated wood. In the factory it is soaked and then bent around a frame. The outer rim is then bent in a similar fashion and glued to the inner rim. The notches are cut later.


Another shot of the inner rim. I will remove the inner rim from the piano as part of this project.


This is what happens to a piano leg when a grand piano is not lowered properly onto the grand board used to move the piano.  To prevent this, you must position the back caster properly. If you do not, the leg will not hold the weight of the piano as it is lowered (tilted) onto the board.  As the piano is tilted, the piano falls off the improperly positioned caster – the distance of an inch (2.54 cm) and that is enough to snap the leg. To repair, I will remove the dowel, fashion a new one from raw wood, and glue it with hide glue. The shape of the dowel is oval so it is going to take some woodworking skill to get a snug fit. I’ll post more pics as I continue with this project.

Yes, there is a piano that goes with this leg. More on that later.



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