Category: 1889 McPhail Upright (2017 Semi-Rebuild #13868)

A semi-rebuilding and refinishing of an 1889 A.M. McPhail upright.
Multiple articles as we proceed through the rebuilding and refinishing process.

Refinishing – continued [post #2]

So more patching and repairs. The rear segment of the lid had developed a number of cracks at some point. After the finish was removed it was obvious that some previous cracks had already been patched. The cracks are not…

Refinishing [post #1]

There were a few jobs which had to be taken care of before the refinishing could begin. For this particular piano the repairs include re-securing one of the sides which had separated at the its glue joint (this type of damage sounds…

Rebuilding The Action

As was seen in the previous article, Starting The Action (step 1), all the various action parts have been disassembled and stripped of their worn felts, leathers, springs, etc..   Just about every felt and leather must be cut by hand…

Cleaning Up

Pianos tend to collect a good bit of dust, dirt, and everything else. Before many repairs can be made, the piano need to be thoroughly cleaned. First, we try to get everything that will come off with a vacuum. While…

Starting The Action (step 1)

While the cabinet is being cleaned and repaired – the work on that action can begin. Overall, the action parts (i.e. the wood) is in good condition. No signs of brittleness, warpage, etc.. So, to help reduce costs, most of…

Removing The Strings and Pins

As part of any type of rebuilding, the piano will have new strings and tuning pins. To begin the process the old strings and pins must be removed. Before the strings can be safely removed, the high tension must be let…

The Piano

The subject of this semi-rebuilding will be an A.M. McPhail upright, built in 1889 (2 years before the company became a corporation). As can be expected from a 128 year old piano, it is very dirty. Lots,and lots of dust,…

Background Story

A customer approached us about possibly semi-rebuilding an 1880’s A.M. McPhail upright they had found. The instrument was being given away by a local group which did not have any use for the instrument. Though the piano was in very rough shape,…