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How to Make a Pianoforte, part 1, by W. H. Davies

Picture of How to Make a Pianoforte, part 1, by W. H. Davies
This is a series of articles by W. H. Davies of Liverpool published in The English Mechanic and World of Science in July and August, 1878. They can mostly be downloaded from Google Books but part of part 6 is missing. The vertically strung English sticker action upright piano Mr. Davies describes was old fashioned at the time and many piano tuners won't service them now, and the services and patterns he offers as well as the parts he recommends are no longer available so some options might be researched when you follow his directions. I edited and broke it up a little, and reproduced some of the illustrations as vector drawings. The engraving is of a cabinet upright taken from A Day at a Pianoforte Factory in Days at the Factories: Or, the Manufacturing Industry of Great Britain by George Dodd, from 1843.

The first part describes making the wooden frame or back of the piano.
 
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Step 1: Davies' introduction

HOW TO MAKE A PIANOFORTE

At first sight the interior of a pianoforte appears a mass of complexity, and, taking it as a whole, there is certainly a great deal to admire and wonder at; but when it is remembered that the whole action may be bought in parts arranged, and even numbered, for their position, a great portion of the credit must be transferred to the action-maker, who is generally entirely overlooked. The fact is that in these days of divided labour the pianoforte "maker," as formerly understood, has entirely disappeared, and in his place has arisen on whose sole work is to put the different parts together.

So much has lately been said in favour of "iron backs," that probably most of our English readers would elect to save themselves much hard work, and assure stability to the construction of employing one. But on the other hand I know of numbers in the colonies, and elsewhere, who have not the same facilities of procuring one, and who consequently would be obliged to content themselves with the ordinary wooden back. For their benefit then, I must crave indulgence while I first describe out this is put together.
threesixesinarow (author) 6 years ago
English beech, cut on the quarter.
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Spruce, also quartered.
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Patrik6 years ago
Nice! I doubt I will ever work up the courage to tackle such an ambitious project, but I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. You may want to add some suggestions for the modern reader, e.g. on alternative wood and tool choices.
threesixesinarow (author)  Patrik6 years ago
Hi - I thought it would be better to keep it fairly intact, but you're right, and maybe I could add suggestions as comments.
Good Instructables! I also want to see the other part(s). This is a really cool thing too, pianos rule! I've played for about 4 years I think..
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