1907 upright piano transformed into gorgeous desk

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/28/1907-upright-piano-transformed.html


Now it just needs a computerized user


WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm…

So is the piano a combat veteran? Or is this just how we count time in the U.S? Cause it’s already a quarter past Operation Iraqi Freedom, and I’m afraid the clock’s set to chime.


Wow, want. That’s seriously awesome.


I’m torn two ways on this. The desk is lovely. It’s a shame, though, that the piano couldn’t have been resurrected to play for another hundred years.


Argh, I died inside. This poor piano ended up first with someone who would give it away FOR FREE and then with someone who literally butchered it. 1907, jesus. A 1907 ashtray is worth preserving, let alone a vertical piano.


Actually there is very little market for old pianos regardless of condition (almost). Many are being chopped up for firewood (seriously).

You would think that something that old would be coveted by antique collectors but that’s hardly ever the case - unless it’s a classic Steinway or Yamaha grand. Upright pianos are least desirable. You literally cannot give them away.

My wife had a 1912 upright that her mother gave her. We lugged that thing from house to house for years. Always intended to fix it up but that when I did some research into it I found it outrageously expensive (like 10’s of thousands of $$ expensive) to have it restored. Finally gave it away for free to a nice kid on Craigslist who probably had no idea what he was getting into.

I thought about doing a mod like this as well but in the end just couldn’t make it happen. Glad to see a new life for such a gorgeous heirloom.

There’s probably a really good business model for someone with these kinds of skills.


I was reading an article about this a few years ago; basically the piano was something of a status symbol for the much of the last century, and as a result lots of cheap instruments flooded the market to meet demand. Those old pianos effectively have negative value, and this is a great way of keeping them around.

Yeah, if I had the space (and skills), I would totally try something like this.


So much this.

I picked up a nice little baby grand for my wife off of eBay for a bit (most was shipping) knowing it would need restoration, but she liked the lines.

After restoration it is a beautiful piece, but I don’t think I could sell it easily for even what I originally paid for it. It was from a company that popped up early 1900’s and had ceased to actually exist by WW2 (see USA Time Counting).

To me, it is a bit of a White Elephant, but we keep making room for it.

Wen we have shuffled off this mortal coil (or downsized to a smaller place) it will probably end up being a Free Craigslist posting.


I inherited a 60’s Steinway upright. My Sister was going to sell and thought it was worth a lot.
But basically in the real world you can’t even give away pianos with people being very mobile and cheap portable digital pianos. The exception is baby grands that go into upscale living rooms.
It lives in my storage locker now, until I get better heating and cooling here.


Needs additional mods to make it a player piano.


Judging by the stuff on the desk, he’s a (former) Marine.


I found the keys…


The fact that he left the pedals and didn’t make them computer controls pains me.

Three momentary switches, some wire and a teensy and you’d have a great “boss key”


Shit, I have a baby grand sitting in my grandmother’s house. No one wants that either.

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I guess we’re tuning to you.

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On Houzz a couple of years ago there was an absolutely heartbreaking post by a woman with an early numbered Steinway. Turns out hers was made all with hand tools. And thus it could never, ever be tuned. I forget what she decided to do with it but the interior decorators were suggesting a planter, a bar, etc. it was soooo pretty and so sad.


Okay, I just grabbed the first Youtube version I saw, but whoever edited this deserves some bonus likes.


Build in a synth :slight_smile:


We have owned one of these old pianos for the last 45 years, and with minimal maintenance it plays well and has fantastic sound.