WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

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EFlatMajor
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:51 pm

WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by EFlatMajor » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:48 pm

Hello All,

Can't provide a pic of my PGS setup because I don't have one. Just a Yamaha P-200 (88 keys) on a X-style stand and a drafting table in flat position behind it. The table holds the computer, monitor and mouse. It works, but is clumsy and a huge waste of space.

I came up with an idea (and actually thought I was the first LOL), to build a shell of an upright or baby grand piano and just slide my keyboard right in where it is supposed to go.

I did a little research on YouTube and saw that dozens of people not only already had the idea, but had finished building them. Unfortunately, most were people working in the music industry and simply built a office-style desk with a keyboard that slides out from underneath. I am not interested in playing piano at the same desk I work at. So those videos are useless.

There are a couple of videos of people that built the cabinets I am looking for, but those videos are useless as well because there are no plans, or cut list or any information provided that would be useful in building one myself. Some did look really nice in the end. There are a number of companies that manufacture these shells, but with a budget of close to $0.00 they are out of my price range. Plus, I really want to build it myself.

What I am getting at is it is getting cold here in New England and I am just about to get stuck indoors for the better part of the next 6 months. I would like to build either shell this winter to keep myself occupied. It would have to be designed from the ground up, likely using the Blender software with the plug-in that allows for parts list/cut sheet. I know about SketchUp but I don't pay money for software when there is an open source equivalent available.

I am not a woodworker, but I can build simple things given the plans. I was wondering if anyone knew of existing plans for something like this, or would be willing to work with me on it.

Also, it is very possible that this is not the best forum for this type of request. There are a ton of woodworking forum sites, let me know if you are aware of any good ones.

I thought I would start here, though. Opinions welcome! :D

JimTH
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:43 am

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by JimTH » Sat Sep 26, 2020 9:55 pm

Here's a link that might be of interest: https://pin.it/7u3h9al.

EFlatMajor
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by EFlatMajor » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Hi Jim - thanks a bunch for that link, it was very useful.

I did a ton of research yesterday and decided to go with the baby grand style (for the living room). But after I clicked that link I decided to build both. The upright shell first in my office then the baby grand long term.

For the upright, instructions say 3-4 hours start to finish. Yeah right. I am expecting a week. The plans are excellent and very detailed, but I need to change them. I will use real wood as I am not sure IKEA wood which is basically paper (and hollow!) will be able to support my 70 lb keyboard. Also need to convert the metric measurements to SAE and adjust for the size of my piano to and height off the ground., Thanks again, and if I can figure out how to attach a .jpg file to one of my posts without getting an error I will upload a pic when done.

In terms of the baby grand, found a video of one being built in a garage. The end result was awful, but it showed me without the guts of a piano, there is not much to it. I am going to model it after a Steinway Model S as that is their smallest model. If even that is too big I will look elsewhere. Also found information on how to get that super, super high gloss look that usually accompanies a piano like that. That will require some testing on scrap wood.

Anyway, thanks for the help, I appreciate it.

FlatPanda
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:56 am

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by FlatPanda » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:20 pm

The Yamaha GB1K ( https://au.yamaha.com/en/products/music ... oduct-tabs ) is even smaller - although just by a hair - than the Steinway S ;) But yeah, a grand piano without the guts is just an oddly shaped, hollow table to eat on.

Have fun with the project!

EFlatMajor
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by EFlatMajor » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:21 pm

Thanks FlatPanda - that is one beautiful piano. I blew pretty much all of yesterday researching this project, especially the finish on the wood. Some people use car wax, others do something called French Polishing - which sounds great and easy, until you read all the warnings about how to avoid burning down your house during the process. This is going to take a while.

I don't have a wall separating the living room and dining room, it is a huge, open area. No worries of a huge piano taking up 90% of the room, with just 6 inches of clearance on either side to squeeze by it to get to the piano bench. After I get the specs for these pianos I'll cut up and lay newspapers on the floor to visualize how much space the piano would take. With that info decision making would be a lot easier.

That's all a dream at the moment, and actually so is the upright piano shell as I have not done anything yet. I start tonight, with measuring my piano and then making a shopping list for the home depot. Hopefully will have materials and can start working on that this weekend.

kayakfamily
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:21 pm

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by kayakfamily » Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:03 pm

Maybe this is something you already thought of, but in case...

I'm in northern Vermont and there is a consent flow of FREE pianos in the local papers. What about tossing the action part of a free piano (they come out pretty easily) and putting your set up in the shell?

Just a thought.

-Scott

EFlatMajor
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:51 pm

Re: WINTER PROJECT - Build upright or baby grand shell

Post by EFlatMajor » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:08 pm

Good suggestion Scott, but I already thought of that. All the "FREE" pianos I have seen involve getting it myself and there is at least one staircase or other obstacle involved. Plus, have you ever asked a friend to come help you move a piano? Good luck with that. So in this case free is not free. The owner is just saving the $500 it would cost to have 1-800-JUNK haul it away.

There are businesses that are doing exactly what you say - getting the piano, stripping out the guts and refurbing the shell. The price for buying one of them though is out of range for me.

In terms of my shell, if anyone is looking for an update, I made my parts and cuts list but have not moved forward. I am working on removing wallpaper and painting the walls on the staircase leading to the basement right now. Jimmy Carter vintage I am guessing. Working on glue removal at the moment. Still have a long way to go.

Thanks again for your suggestion, Scott.

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