-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

turning a piano into a filing cabinet

This morning I read a post on Lakewood2-flat's blog about making your own furniture. We haven't - and I suspect never will - get into making our own furniture the way they are, but I suddenly thought perhaps others might be interested in Dave's conversion of a piano to a filing cabinet!

Originally uploaded by lynetter.

The history to this is that I was missing my piano, which sadly we had to leave behind in Australia. (It's loaned now indefinitely to my Mum's church so gets well-used and cared for... I figure when we go back I'll have to buy them a replacement, they've become so used to having it! Anyway, I digress...) I didn't want one of those electric ones as I figured they just wouldn't feel the same to play, and the top-line ones that supposedly mimic the feel of a piano cost thousands.

So, I reverted to Ebay and took a gamble. For the princely sum of £70 we took possession of an old old piano with the most gorgeous ornate casing. It still worked, though was way out of tune and a few dead notes. I figured I could just get a piano tuner in to fix it and all would be well, but as it turned out, it was not possible. In fact, we had bought an obscure kind of piano with a "birdcage" design that made it hard to tune anyway, and it was going to require a lot of dismantling & DIY on my part to repair to a standard that would make me like playing it (would cost more than buying a new piano if I'd got someone professional to do it!)

Worse though was that it just didn't fit properly in our study, it made the whole room feel really cramped. After much discussion we decided instead to give up on the idea of having a piano and resurrect it as something else. One weekend we moved the piano to the backyard and began the great piano dismantling. We salvaged the gorgeous case, which Dave reassembled into a knee-height table / filing cabinet. Not all of the joins are perfect but it's functional and I like it a lot. It fits more files than you'd think because I have hanging files at the top and archived piles stacked up below. In fact, it holds so much we were able to banish our office-like 4 drawer filing cabinet to the garden and replace it with this, which is a much nicer piece of furniture.

Here's a few pictures of our study so you get a sense of how small a space we have to play with...you can see the piano cabinet in situ under the computer screen. It doubles as a table for the mouse! Besides the piano filing cabinet, my favourite things here are the square chair you see with cushions folds out into a really comfortable, properly sprung, single bed, and the computer monitor hanging on the wall. Oh, and the bluebird stained glass window, another Ebay find. :-)

our study in London
Originally uploaded by lynetter.

computer in our study
Originally uploaded by lynetter.

We're re-using other parts of the piano too... the "action" (the bit with all the little hammers etc) is squirrelled away in the hall cupboard; it will one day be the centrepiece of a coffee table inside a glass box. The big iron frame is now in the garden leaning against the fence as decoration. And the wooden board which contained all the little metal pins around which the piano wires were threaded is now fixed to the wall in the under-stairs cupboard, as hanger for Dave's tools!

The only parts we didn't re-use in the end were the piano wires (very nasty and sharp) and the piano keys. I did attempt to get the ivory off them but they just kept cracking, and unfortunately we didn't have room to keep them with all the wood...)

1 comment:

Jocelyn said...

I love the way you are using and plan to use the parts of that piano- so cool. Your little study is very quaint as well. Nice light in there.