piano

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What else could the piano become?
Some general ideas of ways to use, alter or convert a piano.
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Salvaging and Recycling Pianos
Once a piano is no longer playable as a normal instrument, it is time to consider the alternatives.
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Salvaging and Recycling Pianos
Once a piano is no longer playable as a normal instrument, it is time to consider the alternatives.
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Salvaging and Recycling Pianos

There is a point of no return for pianos. Eventually the wood gets old and mushy, the felts get stiff and hard, the metal fatigues and breaks, humidity can rust everything, and the wooden exterior can delaminate, buckle, split, warp, and separate. At this point it would take far more time, effort, money and materials to restore the piano than it would ever be worth for resale. Once a piano is no longer playable as a normal instrument, it is time to consider the alternatives. What else could the piano become? How could the individual parts be re-used? Here are some creative ideas.

What else could the piano become?

Gate to a new life

Do not throw out a piano. Why not? Think about what you would be doing:

  • Wasting valuable resources
  • Adding to our already overflowing landfills
  • Discarding an instrument that took hours of time and materials to design and construct
  • Missing out on the opportunity to create something beautiful and beneficial in the world
  • Depriving others of things they could have used, and of items that would have served a purpose

Furniture

  • Remove the action and plate and turn it into a desk
  • Remove the plate, action and keys and create a book shelf
  • Cut it down, re-use the wood and build chairs
  • Lay the sound-board horizontally and create a table. Build up dividers on the bridges to create dividers.
  • Use the sides, bottom, lid, and back-posts to construct steps or a ladder
  • Make sitting benches out of the sides and back-posts
  • Using a sideboard or front board as the base, glue scroll work and reliefs in designs for wall art. Frame it in piano trim
  • Remove the plate, install rubber casters and use the piano shell as a stage prop
  • Coffee table
  • Wine rack
  • Aquarium
  • Bookshelf
  • Mini art gallery
  • Silverware & plate cupboard
  • Art

    Entire piano

    • Place the piano in the yard and plant trees, flowers and bushes in and on it
    • Install a waterfall in or over the piano

    Piano parts

    • Make an artistic metal fence using piano plates
    • Braze iron plates together to make a large sculpture
    • Use pieces of plate for doorstops, paperweights, or counter-balances
    • Make a metal sculpture using piano pedals, V-bars, & other hardware
    • Carve the felt hammers into birds, animals and flower shapes
    • Make shapes out of action parts
    • Create structures and designs by gluing key sticks together
    • Do scrimshaw with old ivories
    • Remove key front rail and balance rail pins, and pound them into a design on a board the way people make nail designs.
    • Wind chimes

    Construction

    • Use music boards and knee boards for wainscoting on walls
    • Make a fence out of piano parts or with lots of pianos
    • Piece front boards, lids, side boards, knee boards and trim together to cover an entire wall.
    • Build a door using the design sections of fancy music boards
    • Use trim pieces to decorate shelving, walls, desks, or around doors and windows
    • Use tuning pins as shelf supports

    Toys

    • Dollhouse
    • Hot Wheel Track Complex
    • Marble rolling maze
    • Lummi sticks
    • Race car
    • Ring toss onto balance pins

    Practical

    • Coat/hat/towel/robe hanger on action brackets
    • Center pin rail vertical jewelry hanger
    • Key rack (center-pin rail)
    • Toilet roll holder
    • Paper weight
    • Picture frame
    • Shelf support
    • Door trim (finish pieces)
    • Iron plate fence

    See what Dean is doing with pianos: http://komonews.com/news/erics-heroes

    Piano Dismantling

    Learn how to dismantle a piano easily and efficiently so that the maximum benefit can be gained from each part. The goal is to transform a piano into something else so that all or part of it can still be used.

    On the dismantling instructions page is information on the following:

    Tools

    a recommended list of tools that will make the job fun and quick

    Procedure

    an outline of the most logical order of steps to dismantle a piano

    Storage

    what to do with the dismantled parts, and how to keep track of them

    Transformation

    convert the parts into something useful, artistic, and pleasing

    Piano Art

    Take a look at some of the wonderful creations that people have already made out of pianos.
    Put your thinking cap on, and ask yourself, “What could this be?”
    Conversely, ask “What do I need, and how could I make it out of what I have to work with?”
    These pictures are merely ideas to stimulate your creativity. When you do create your own original work, please submit photos and descriptions. This site is about sharing questions, techniques and ideas.

    Feel free to email your questions, suggestions and ideas, and to post your creations.

    Gallery