Antique Reclaimed Piano Bench

Heather asked me about repurposing her antique piano into a new piece of furniture. The piano has been in the family for several generations, but for the last 12 years it has been in her garage because it was too wide to be moved into the house last time she moved. It was also in need of some very expensive repairs and a tune-up. After trying for a year to give it away on Craigslist, she came up with the idea to make a bench as a gift for her mother.

It was sad to take apart such a work of art. I was amazed at the intricacy of each piece and the quality of craftsmanship I found. However, it was time for a new life. A couple of hours later I had unscrewed, pounded, and angle-grinded my way through this Mendelssohn (Toronto) upright. It did not have a year date stamped that I could find, although it did have a serial number. I found a 1927 penny inside. My customer estimates the piano is 120-150 years old.

I thought I would get some decent money for the steel(?) harp (290 pounds) but the yard only gave me $11. Better than paying to dispose of that much weight! I kept the wood for this project/future projects/the burn pile.

Then it was time to get creative with the pieces I had salvaged. I had a working photo that my customer had found online, and did what I could to save some of the nicer pieces.

One piece that I kept that couldn’t be used for the bench was the hammer board (I’m not sure that’s the correct term). I am picturing spray painting it pink and blue, and mounting it to one of the larger ebony offcuts, such as the lid, and calling it art. Any takers?

A few coats of stain on some of the exposed surfaces, and some polyurethane on the seat, and we have a beautiful bench, full of history.