Any Interest in Old Pianos for Guitar Making?

GVS

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Hello Group,

Any interest in old pianos for guitar making? I regularly see ads for free or really cheap old pianos and I'm always wondering if it would be worth it to start a piano recycling business to strip them down for the wood and sell it for guitar blanks?

I think this old wood is desirable but what would a guitar builder pay for a blank made from this wood? Would it be not worth the trouble or something people would want? Would it sell for a premium because of what it is or at a deep discount to what's out there now?

Thanks for any input.
 

gab

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Bunch of videos on YouTube , one channel in particular " Homegrown Guitars"
Seems that for the most part they are after the sound board for acoustic guitar tops.
But depending what the wood the body is made of it should work . Check it out and good luck .
 

Joe Hensel

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Hello Group,

Any interest in old pianos for guitar making? I regularly see ads for free or really cheap old pianos and I'm always wondering if it would be worth it to start a piano recycling business to strip them down for the wood and sell it for guitar blanks?

I think this old wood is desirable but what would a guitar builder pay for a blank made from this wood? Would it be not worth the trouble or something people would want? Would it sell for a premium because of what it is or at a deep discount to what's out there now?

Thanks for any input.
Hello fellow tinkerer. I regularly use piano wood in my guitar and mandolin repairs. The parts I use the most are the soundboard struts to make bracing, the large bridge is usually maple and is great for guitar bridge plates. I have used some of the red spruce sound boards for mandolin tops. One problem I do have is removing the struts from the piano soundboards without damaging either one. The hide glue used 100 years ago is a lot stronger than what we use today. It would be very labor intensive to start buying and stripping old pianos. But, there are a lot of useful larger pieces of paneling on a piano for shelving and such.
 

Spotcheck Billy

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I dismantled an old, but nice, upright thinking of guitar wood but it turned out to be far more work than the value of the small amount of wood it yielded was worth. YMMV
 

donagin

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I find that the elephant ivory is the most valuable part to me. I have made lots of dots. The soundboard wood is great, but very difficult to harvest.
 

Spotcheck Billy

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I find that the elephant ivory is the most valuable part to me. I have made lots of dots. The soundboard wood is great, but very difficult to harvest.
By the turn of the century, a plastic that resembled ivory covered the keys on the piano I tore apart. Too bad it wasn't ivory but that's the way it goes.
 

Higgy

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By the turn of the century, a plastic that resembled ivory covered the keys on the piano I tore apart. Too bad it wasn't ivory but that's the way it goes.
Agree with Spotcheck Billy, but I’ve found the thick sides make nice body blanks that are very stable and naturally seasoned. You can salvage pieces of of other wood for various things like heels and headstocks. Every once in a while, you’ll get lucky and find some Honduras mahogany that can be assembled and glued to make multi-piece necks. I’ve torn apart several pianos to salvage the wood, and it is a lot of work. Many would probably question putting forth the effort and time that it takes. Some of the old uprights manufactured prior to the 1900s have some very ornate wood that can be disassembled and reused for things like large picture frames or other pieces of furniture. An iron frame will bring you about $6 to $8, depending upon the going rate for iron at your local scrapyard. I have seen these refurbished as well for wall art. Depending upon how savvy you are, you can find people looking for the inner working parts as well. Bottom line, like I mentioned, it’s a lot of work.
 
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