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Thread: Unusual item for the team

  1. #1

    Unusual item for the team

    Greetings Forum from the bottom of the known world.... Riverton, New Zealand.
    I have a question for your collective knowledge, I was looking at and thinking about beautiful old veneer on 100 year old pianos the other day and thought I would like to repurpose that veneer to another project.
    Can anyone enlighten me on a successful way to remove 'in tact' veneer from substrate without breaking, I'm quite prepared to long term soak or experiment in any way, no idea will be ignored, and no pianos will be harmed,unless they get in the way.
    Thanking you all in advance...Lewis

  2. #2
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    The first thing I would try is heat and a thin putty knife. Hair dryer/heat gun, whatever. Go slow, donít burn it.

  3. #3
    Thanks Phil, I have tried the hair dryer very gently...not totally successful, I was thinking I needed to soak thru the veneer, say leave it in a solution for a week and then ease with a tool, just thinking so far haven't tried yet

  4. #4
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    Try using a clothes iron and a hot wet towel. Be patient with it.

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  5. #5
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    If they are 100 years old the glue likely is hot hide glue. That should loosen with steam or warm water. It might take quite a long time but it should come loose. There probably is some chemical you can add to the water that would reduce the soak time necessary should you decide to go that route, but I'm clueless as to what it might be.

    John

  6. #6
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    I know vinegar helps breakdown down wood glue. I have heard alcohol will crystalize hide glue. Once you get some lifted grab it with a clothes pin type clamp and use a rope and pulley to apply gentile tension while the magic glue releaser does it's work.
    Bill D

  7. #7
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    Lewis, it will need to get almost too hot to touch. It takes time, but eventually it will let go. Bruceís suggestion should work as well. You could try a wallpaper steamer, but thatís a lot of water and I just donít know what the veneer will be like afterward. You could also try heating a putty knife and work it under the veneer. There is no instant way to go about it. Patience is key here.

  8. #8
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    I think once it is all off it will have to be steamed or soaked to full wet then laid flat under weight to dry flat.
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    Removal sounds like the easy part. How will you refinish it?

    Save the original finish?

    Sand or scrape?

    Chemical strip?

  10. #10
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    Good point Tom. Maybe the finish should be removed before separating the veneer from the substrate.

  11. #11
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    When I saw New Zealand, it Reminded me of a truly extraordinary piano. A high schooler named Adrian Mann asked his dad why the low range strings are wrapped with coiled wire. His dad explained that they had to do that or the strings would be too long. The kid gets curious so he built a piano with no wrapped strings.
    Hereís a link: https://www.theguardian.com/music/20...in-new-zealand

    Theres kind of a sad side story. Elton John was in NZ, saw the piano but couldnít play it due to his contract with Yamaha.

    so, Bryan, have you seen this thing?

  12. #12
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    I would think sanding off the finish would help the moisture from the iron and moist towel penetrate.

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