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Chickering Quarter Grand

I am pleased to say that this winter has given me some time to get back to rebuilding this Chickering Quarter Grand piano.  Here is the cabinet, or parts of it anyway.  

Chickering QG
Chickering cabinet on dummy legs for refinishing.

The main chunk is mounted on temporary legs while I work on the actual ones.  The rest of the “fly parts” (those that can be removed) are hanging on the rack behind it. It’s had several coats of lacquer now, and I am letting that settle and shrink before the final rub.  




Pin block drill
Ready to start drilling

My half inch, single speed, heavy duty drill is all decked out with an air gun aimed at the bit, and a bubble level that sort of looks like a white disc floating above it.  The air will blow away the debris, and cool the bit somewhat.  The 360° bubble level keeps everything lined up, and is set to drill the tuning pin holes leaning back at the proper 7° angle.  It’s slow and steady work with an emphasis on uniformity in motion and timing. The resulting holes are where the tuning pins will eventually be driven in. I think I have drilled around 12,000 tuning pin holes in forty years.

At this point the cast iron plate has been all cleaned up and regilded (well, it’s a fancy paint and lacquer top coat). Brass “agraffes” and various brass nuts and bolts have all been polished in readiness for re-installing the plate, with it’s new pinblock back into the piano cabinet. 

I still have hours of work ahead of me on this nice piece, but it’s exciting to me to see it beginning to come together.  I’ll post more as it does.