I had considered doing ivory repair on this piano, but in the end I decided that there were just too many cracks, chips, and mis-matches for me to be satisfied with the appearance. On the other hand, the ebony sharps are in near perfect condition. For those, I plan to strip, re-stain, and finish with a hard wax. This week I performed preparatory work for key top replacement. My basic procedure is described in this article.
Radial Arm Saw Upgrade
For the key work I will be establishing or re-establishing uniform spacing of key heads. I’ve admired the work of others as they have addressed this detail. I’ll be applying carefully sized veneer layers to the sides of the key heads to achieve this uniformity. For the work, I’ll be creating a jig to use with the radial arm saw. More details will be forthcoming. But some serious time went into getting the radial arm saw station ready for this precision work. The prior table for the saw was inadequate in several ways:
- The front edge to fence dimension was too shallow.
- The total length was just 6 feet
- The table had a perceptible sag in the middle!
I created a new flat table using torsion box construction. The table is 8 feet in total width, which will support a keyframe jig on either side of the blade. The depth from front edge to the fence is now 530 mm, which will support the full width of a keyframe.
This finely engineered saw is both special and remarkable. It was purchased new in 1952 by my Dad, Harvey McGuire. It was used in his shop until his passing in 2001. 1952 was also the year of my birth, so this saw and I share quite a bit! Happy 63rd birthday, old saw!