Decker #139: Initial Sanding

Decker #139 Case 1sand-5

 

So I am underway sanding now.  I always love to see and smell the rosewood veneer when restoring one of these pianos.  This is such a beautiful wood!

Decker #139 Case 1sand-4

 

 

This case is pretty clean for the most part.  It does have a few issues that I will address in some following posts.

Decker #139 Case 1sand-2

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Found this signiture when masking off the soundboard and keybed. I can make out the date as September 13th 1882. I can not make out the name. Can anyone provide an suggestions who installed this soundboard?

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The pictures above show the results of case separation. The cases of square grands are either rounded or squared at the corners. Both designs lend their selves to problems over time because the joints get loose. This is why Steinway patented the bent rim case. The gradual building of layers don’t have joints that take stresses when the piano is moved allowing the case to carry the stress over a larger area. I’ll post some pictures of the differences in a different post.

Below is one of the joints on this Decker I’m working on now.

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I have a major challenge ahead of me with this veneer, see https://beaverspiano.com/2015/03/29/decker-son-square-grand-139/

The veneer appears to have been repaired before. The veneer is stretched and hard where it puckered up. I have a couple of ideas on how to fix it and will begin in a few days.

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Three of the four legs have been broken at some point in the past at the bottom. They were repaired previously by someone. Structurally they appear ok but I’m going to address the aesthetics now. So I’m sanding them smooth and filling the cracks with an epoxy putty. I will then smooth that out and add color so it will match the rest of the leg.

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I forgot to take a before picture of this pedal lyre but it had a previous repair from being broken as well.

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As I am sanding I am noticing that there is a lot of sun fading. I am a able to sand this out though. Take a look at the contrast in the picture below.
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What a beautiful veneer. I love rosewood it is beautiful and it smells so good as I sand it.

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Below you will see the small lid all glued up. I wish I could have taken pictures of the application of glue but by the time I realized that I should be taking pictures my hands we covered in glue, lol. So this is what you get. My effort is to glue the problem areas down by pressure. This has worked before but I must admit I have never repaired a repair. This was previously glued thus the veneer dried hard in a wrinkled state. I hesitated to steam the veneer to soften it because of what it would likely do to the current unblemished areas. We will see how we did in the morning.

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One the smaller of the two lids the clamping seems to have worked fairly well. As you can see the veneer has lain down. Under the masking paper areas it is especially flat. I’ll do some sanding and likely pick and fill whatever is left that needs addressed.

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What you see below is what I didn’t picture the other day (prepping before clamping). So what I will do here is inject some glue into the bubbled areas then clamp down. The areas where you see Mol

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Just like the small piece of lid this for the most part forced the wrinkles down. There is still some stuff to address however. The wood has rotted underneath the veneer where it had gotten wet so short of reveneering this area this is the best remedy.

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