The Piano Doctor at the Yellow Barn
This is just a tiny example of the many projects we have done!
Before and After Photos
Many people do not know what is involved in properly repairing furniture, pianos, or other items. Of course, there are different levels of quality from one source to another. Here at The Yellow Barn we endeavor to provide a high quality of service to our clients. Some repairs can be done economically without dis-assembly, whereas other repairs can only properly be done by completely pulling the item apart and "starting over". Sometimes parts are missing, or are so badly damaged due to age, neglect or abuse that we need to manufacture a replacement part for it.
When parts need to be replaced, we use wood harvested off of our own property here in Stratham, NH, milled, turned, or carved right here in our repair shop. We have maple, oak, cherry, elm, white pine, Norway spruce, and red cedar (and probably more) here on our property to choose from. We also make other items from these woods in keeping with the agricultural use of our land here.
There have been some occasions where we looked at a piece and wondered if we could in fact, repair it acceptably due to the extent of the damage. Previous attempts at "repairs" by persons without proper knowledge, tools, (or both) usually present the greatest challenges. Unfortunately, this translates into more time and therefore greater cost involved in the restoration. Hopefully you will agree that the results are worth it.
We hope you enjoy getting an inside look at what goes on in our shop...just a little.
This mahogany dining room hutch was in pretty sad shape when it came in to the shop. It was very near and dear to it's owner and she wanted it fixed properly since previous "family" attempts to repair it had resulted in what you see here. It is on it's side in this photo, but as you can see it is not what you'd like to display in your dining room. I gulped and told her we would do our best.
Here's another look from the underside. It was filled with "plastic wood" or some such stuff. The leg was very wobbly and ready to snap off.
This is from the side. Fortunately it did not snap off as that would have complicated the repair even more.
Having performed a "legectomy" this is what we found inside.
It probably held for a couple of years but it was doomed to failure. It was a valiant attempt. However nothing beats a well equipped shop with years of experience, and a few tricks of the trade. :-)
Yuck! What can we do with this?
Well, here's the finished product. Not too shabby! And solid too.
Highly acceptable. At least the owner thought so, and that's what counts. Well, we thought so too!
Another view from straight on the front
Look at the top of the article to see the entire finished product.
And now for something completely different:
What happened here?
A very bored and anxious Great Dane decided that it would be an effective way to tell his owners about his emotional state by chewing off the arm of their piano.
Not a nice thing to come home to!
They asked me if I could fix it. After I gulped, I replied that, although I could not make it look like new, I could make it a whole lot better as long as they understood that it would not be perfect. They agreed to have me try. Actually, I was not sure at that time quite how I would go about repairing it. I had to think about it for a while.
Well, as you can see in the following pictures, the outcome was pretty reasonable, and very satisfactory to the owners. It ended up being better than any of us expected at the outset.
So, in general it came out pretty good. We did this back in 2010. I think I could do a better job now as my touch up abilities have improved with practice.
Crazy Piano Repair Example:
This piano came to us with hammers "installed" by someone who had no clue what they were doing. The hammer line is supposed to be straight, essentially from note #1 to note #88. You can see from the photo that whoever did this did not understand this important fact.
The piano was unplayable and needed to have all the hammers removed, correct strike point determined, and hammers re-installed correctly as in the photo below. Many hours were spent making this correction. Then fully reconditioned.
Could it have been a DIY homeowner???
Here we see the corrected hammer line straight as an arrow. Actually not though, since we determine strike point from note #88 down to #72, and then straight from #72 down to #1 in the bass. So, sometimes there is a very slight deviation from a perfectly straight line. The result though, is a great sounding piano!
Damaged table top
Unfortunately we did not actually get a before photo of what happened to this mahogany table top. Believe it or not this was damaged by a gunshot (accidental, of course as he was cleaning his gun at the table). If you look closely you can see we we routed out the damage and patched in a solid piece of mahogany, then finished it to match as well as we could.
Being that it was across the grain it was pretty much impossible to make an invisible repair, but I think we did a pretty good job overall. It was a family dining room set so it had sentimental value to the owner. She was ultimately very happy!
From a distance you can barely tell it happened.
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