A much loved piano workbox came into the workshop recently which was starting to show its age. It was originally a music box which was activated by pressing one of 4 sprung piano keys, but unfortunately the mechanism was long gone.
The job I was asked to do was to restore the work box so that cosmetically it looked in better condition. The main aspects were to fix the sprung keys that once operated the music mechanism in place (as they were no longer required to move), refit the wobbly legs, replace the missing edge mouldings, glue the piano fall back together, strip and French polish the exterior and reline the interior.
To start with everything was carefully taken apart. You can see at the top of the legs that the original dowels that fixed them in position were no longer there. They had been repaired before using long metal nails, but this isn’t really suitable.
So the first job was to remove the old nails from the legs and carefully drill down the top of the leg to fix a new dowel in place. After this I removed the old finish from the exterior and the lining paper from inside of the main compartment. This was followed by replacing the missing edge moulding and fixing the loose keys in place. I thought I’d taken pictures of this but I haven’t…note to self (again) take more pictures!
After this the next job was to French polish the exterior and then finally line out the interior. I found some nice A4 sheets of decorative paper online which was a similar colour with a small pattern which I thought was ideal for this job.
After lining out, a clean of the brass and reassembling, we now have the finished article- looking more like it would’ve done maybe 100 years ago. It had great sentimental value to my customer and it was lovely to see her reaction when the workbox was finally returned!