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I recently picked up a piano off of craigslist for free and brought it home. My daughter has been playing for a year an d has shown tremendous talent for the piano. We have a baby grand Kimball in the basement but a 7 year old does not like to be in the basement even though it is finished off by herself to practice. Needless to say when I got the piano from craigslist I knew it was going to be a fixer upper. However the internal workings of the piano except 2 hammers that need to be adjusted and some tuning and tightening up of screws and bolts the piano is in very good shape.

This piano is a 1905 Kingsbury made by the Cable company in Chicago. The serial number of the piano is 65781. Please see the attached pictures of the exterior of the piano. The first picture is what one of the previous owners painted it. The second photo shows the wood after I stripped it and that is all I have done to it. The third picture shows the back of the panel that was stripped . The back had a Black coating that came off real easy but was really nasty looking.

My first question is

1.) What do you think that reed layers is in the first picture under the horrible paint. When I strip it it comes off but after two applications and it stains like old fashioned liquid Koolaid. Do you think that was the original color of the piano? I how not.

2.) What information I could turn up about the wood for this piano is that it is made of Tigerwood. Now I am not sure if they mean Tigerwood from South America or as some say quarter sawed white oak. The color is almost a cherry color after stripping but not sanding.

3.) Are there any recommendations about how to continue with the stripping and refinishing of the piano? It appears to me that the panels that face the person as they are play are not solid Tigerwood as they are veneered. As you can see in the second picture some of the verneer has peeled away and I was wondering if this can be repaired and how one would go about doing this.







 

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The first picture is wood graining. It simulates wood with paint and glaze. The red under it is probably the base coat. I doubt if it was the original finish. My guess the piano was at one time or another in a building that was in a fire. The wood graining was probably an easier fix for the black spot on the end. The panel that has the black spot you might try some oxalic acid in warm water to see if you can lighten it up some before you sand it. I assume it is veneered so be careful sanding it. There may not be much wood left to sand.

On the second picture, if that is veneer off of it then the center of that panel needs to be re-veneered to have a good outcome. It's too big to patch. I would go over the panel and tap it with my fingernails. If the veneer is loose you can hear a definite hollow sound. If there is just a spot or two I would cut into it and glue it down with super glue. If there is a lot of spots I would use a utility knife and go around the trim and cut the veneer and completely remove the veneer from the center. Then cut a piece of veneer to fit between the trim and glue it in. It's difficult to tell from that picture but it appears to be mahogany veneer on that part. If you could post a closer picture perhaps one of us could tell better.
 
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