Stieff Plate Removal and Veneer repairs

Disassembly Complete
Yesterday, disassembly came to an end, as I was down to the soundboard! Ryan helped me remove the plate. We used the shop crane to good advantage. I’m glad we had it! Lesson learned: bind points are at the front of the piano, not at the back. Thus, it is important to lift primarily at the front. It wasn’t a problem as we went slowly and monitored progress well.

Piano vintage confirmed:

While the eBay listing for this piano suggested it was made in 1905, the serial number is only three different from my own piano, which had been dated to 1911 by the prior owner. Upon the removal of the plate we found the 100 year old chalk marks on the back which clearly identify this piano as 1911. End of story.

Veneer Repair Begins
My hypothesis is that the piano was stored on its side in a damp location at one time. There is evidence of mold on the soundboard and bridges of the piano. The veneer suffered buckling and separation on the left side. Repair to the buckled veneer is to be as follows:

  1. Rout 1/8″ channel through the buckled veneer at its peak to relieve the buckle.
  2. Re-glue the veneer
  3. Fill the routed channel

The inside veneer was separated at the top. It was re-glued using Titebond glue applied with a veterinary syringe.

8 Comments
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Terri
Terri
13 years ago

What a nice way to see your progress! This is a whole new era of journaling a project. I realize how busy you are with this project, but perhaps you want to consider redoing some of your older projects in this format, too. I mean Skykomish, trains, old churches, rain & window reflections, etc.

Jan Whimpey
Jan Whimpey
13 years ago

I feel almost as this is a birthing process-the rebirth–it is just so exciting–especially to see the dating on the piano–Duane you are amazing and this documentation is incredible–I am wondering if all of this could be placed on one DVD at some time–I think that the encapsulated history would be so awesome to display through a digital frame near the piano. Best of luck on your continued efforts.

Jan

Shauna Bradford
Shauna Bradford
13 years ago

This is so facinating! What an undertaking, I am very impressed. Duane, I am the new music specialist at SAA, have met your darling wife, and love her! I look forward to working with her and hearing more about this wonderful project.
Shauna Bradford

Joan
Joan
13 years ago

Thank you so much for your kind donation to our school.

Carolyn
Carolyn
11 years ago

where is the serial number located on a stieff piano? Response from Duane: If you look under the piano … toward the right side of the keyboard, you will find a 5 digit number stamped in the case. Below are serial numbers by year for Stieff: Year Serial 1865 1716 1870 2000 1875 4000 1880 6000 1885 8000 1890 10000 1895 12000 1900 15000 1901 16000 1902 17000 1903 18000 1904 19100 1905 21200 1906 22300 1907 23400 1908 24500 1909 25700 1910 26800 1911 28000 1912 29100 1913 30200 1914 31300 1915 32400 1916 33500 1917 34600 1918 35900… Read more »

David
David
9 years ago

I just came into an old Stieff Baby Grand Ser#21877. It looks like it’s from 1905 based on your post! I needs tuned and cleaned up. The venier is a bit rough also. Is this a valuable piano worth restoring?

Bien
Bien
9 years ago

I have a Stieff Cabinet Grand upright serial number 9215. Does anyone know the production year of this piano? I know it is the latter half of the 1900 century.

admin
Admin
admin (@admin)
9 years ago
Reply to  Bien

Your Stieff Cabinet Grand – serial # 9215 was built between 1885 and 1890. Reference: Pierce Piano Atlas.