Wooden framed second hand pianos

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Luke_rchrdsn
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Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Luke_rchrdsn » 02 Nov 2014, 14:08

Hi there,

I have been to view a free piano from gumtree. It is and upright ralph Allison...looks really beautiful, has not been tuned for some time but is wooden framed.

Should I avoid? Everything I read about wooden frames is to avoid. However it is a nice looking piano and it is free!

Gill the Piano
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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Gill the Piano » 03 Nov 2014, 18:33

Are you sure it's a wooden frame? Some pianos look as though they have no iron frame but actually do. If it IS wooden, I would avoid it - it'll cost more to move & tune than the piano is worth. Get a tuner's opinion on it if you really are tempted - better to pay a tuner to make sure than end up paying to move & tune a worthless instrument.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Colin Nicholson » 03 Nov 2014, 18:49

Gill is spot on.... get it checked out if I were you..... worth it in the long run..... or walk away.
The best way to check is to remove the bottom panel.... if cast iron, the tuning pins will be hitched around metal hitch pins.... surrounded by a harp-shaped iron frame. However, some wooden framed pianos have occasional metal braces to add a taj of support.

Ralph Allison is a very old name - 1840 ish.... so COULD be wooden framed..... perhaps a cottage piano, with separate "spindle" legs on castors at the front? Walnut? Decorate front? .... just a guess.

Unfortunately there is no way of telling if a piano has been "red taped" by a previous tuner. If the seller knows its a money pit, they'll just give it away free, so no come back on them.

There is no such thing as FREE! .... you may pay the price later, and realised you have paid about six times the value of the piano in removal fees alone.... then when it becomes a lovely piece of furniture.... then get your tuner out.... you may be charged a call-out fee for being told it cannot be tuned (I'm wearing the T shirt!)

Good luck though - it may be OK.
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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Colin Nicholson » 04 Nov 2014, 09:36

Is this the piano??
http://www.gumtree.com/p/other-keyboard ... 1035440215

Wanting £300 for this though - not free.
This one not wooden framed. I think there may be some confusion between the top section of wood, or even the rear of a piano.... all pianos have a wooden BACK FRAME "skeleton" at the back (where it is lifted), and a maple wrest plank at the top.... this doesn't mean it's "wooden framed" .... also the soundboard behind the strings - all pianos have them.

What makes a piano wooden or cast iron framed is best viewed from the bottom right hand side of the piano.... where the strings are attached at the bottom.
If you imagine the following.... bash a nail into a piece of wood, then wrap some piano wire around it.... that's wooden framed - the contact area where the hitch pins (nails) are driven in.
If you get a lump of cast iron, drill a small hole in it, then impact drive a larger nail into the hole.... then wrap some piano wire around that.... then it becomes a cast iron frame.
Some 'wooden framed' pianos have half n half/ or sometimes see cast iron braces & strengthening bars.... but if the hitch pin area is mostly wood (maple) .... it's wooden framed.
Here is a rough sketch to explain - piano string laid on its back - for an upright piano.
LOOK LEFT -- note how the hitch pin is fixed on the left.... ignore the right side for now.
woodenFrame.jpg
Piano frame variables
Colin
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Model V
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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Model V » 10 Nov 2014, 21:05

Don't waste your cash. Use the £300 as a deposit on a brand new piano. It will last as long as you and give you pleasure for every minute of that time. The piano in the OP is a scrapper and worth £50 at the outside.

MV

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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Lauren295 » 11 Nov 2014, 11:39

On initial glance, the piano looks great, but you need to check several aspects like frame, ribs, hammers, dampers, Pedals, Keys and many more.

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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by joseph » 12 Nov 2014, 21:46

Not unless you want to admire it as a piece of furniture and insert a clavinova into the key frame.....

it looks like its musical life is probably done.

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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Olek » 16 Nov 2014, 09:35

What is wrong in that illustration above?

I see nothing resembling a common iron plate with pin bushings.

I never seen pins pounded in iron.

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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Colin Nicholson » 17 Nov 2014, 01:48

There's nothing wrong with the illustration.... I think it is the way you have interpreted it.
The string here is horizontal (like a grand piano) - for clarity of the text & explanations.... if you rotate it 90 degrees to the left, then the cast iron frame (wooden or black iron) will appear at the bottom of the picture - like an upright piano. Apologies if it looks confusing! :roll:

The ' bushed pins' you refer to are not the tuning pins on the left (shown by the black iron frame for 2nd & 3rd examples) - these are the HITCH pins at the bottom of the iron frame (where the strings are looped onto).... and the hitch pins are always impact driven into the cast iron frame from behind during manufacture. This is illustrating the bottom of the piano, not the top.

I haven't illustrated "bushed pins" - although is common now on modern pianos, so the tuning pin here is shown on the right of the picture as an exposed wrest plank for clarity. This is just a simple method for explaining to a possible novice who made an enquiry.

If you are interested...... read this (but not related to this topic -but answers your final query)
http://www.mmdigest.com/Archives/Digest ... 15.16.html

Back in the early 1900s - there was actually an upright piano built with an iron wrest plank - called "Beale" - manufactured in Sydney, Australia.... a nightmare to tune; and I have also seen & tuned some grands (pre 1900) with iron wrest planks - but most are obsolete now. If you google "Beale piano" or "Iron tuning system" - there is some information about them also on other websites (like above). On the Beale, there is an inspection chamber at the back of the wrest plank ( wooden panel removed with a few screws) - and the "trumpet" shaped tuning pins are driven in from behind, then held in place with a sprung-loaded bullet screw - which is adjustable to get the right resistance for the tuning pin - as it is a round metal to metal contact - just friction/no fine threads or scratch marks. I also replaced about 3 tuning pins like this which had snapped in half. I suppose there could have been some advantage in warm climates.... but it didn't catch on and soon became scrapped. When I visited my friend back in 2012, he had one as part X .... and miraculously managed to get some spare pins from Parkes in Sydney - albeit I think they were 2nd hand.

Anyway, welcome to the forum.... sure you meant to start off on a better foot! :)
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Olek
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Re: Wooden framed second hand pianos

Post by Olek » 17 Nov 2014, 12:59

indeed; sorry Colin I had a black hole, or did not look well. that said I do not see pin bushings, there are often some.

regards, thanks for your answer and welcome.

I OLEG

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