Project Repurpose Betty: Baby Grand Piano Bookcase
Do you remember Betty? Well, her journey took a turn that I would have never anticipated. I thought she was destined to be a playable piano again, but I guess you just never know what the future will hold. As it turns out, shortly after the Piano Bar commission was complete, I was contacted by a nice fellow who was interested in having a Baby Grand Piano Bookcase custom made. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. We found a free baby grand on Craigslist and had it delivered to the shop. Well, when I arrived, I couldn’t believe what great condition it was in for being free and it’s a Kohler and Campbell. I was in a quandry. I can’t chop up a functional piano. Nope, nope. So, Betty decided she’d volunteer as tribute. She would change the direction of her life and become a bookcase. And onward we moved.
The process of gutting a baby grand piano ain’t for the faint of heart. There are lots of saws involved….miter saws, reciprocating saws, hand saws and probably another one that I can’t think of at the moment. Once all the inerds were chopped out (the necessary ones to maintain its structural integrity remained intact), I began to putty and sand to make things as even as I could. The wood for the shelving is a pine piece which is strong enough not to warp with books over time. No cheap stuff!
Then there was a lot of leveling, painting, more sanding, securing, cutting the piano keys, then regluing them back in, adding trim, yada yada yada and then voila! Well, there was a whole heck of a lot more than that, but it would take all day. So, there ya go. One big detail that should be mentioned is that a grand piano’s original purpose is not to stand up. So, when stood up like a bookcase, it’s going to tip forward. Ah!!!!! To remedy this issue, I build stands on the front out of wood and large, metal L brackets. Then, it’ll also be secured directly on the wall with smaller L brackets, so that it’s child proof.