A couple of years ago, I took apart my beloved and battered antique piano. It was a bit of a white elephant, and with a cracked soundboard it never stayed in tune for more than a month or two at the most. It was falling to pieces. So one day I decided to take it apart. I wanted to save the cherry-wood veneer to use for building furniture one day, and I wanted to do something with the keys, to memorialize this formerly-lovely old piano. But I couldn't decide what. So the keys sat in a dusty box in the basement.
I finally pulled them out and did something with them. I wanted to make something that I could give to my siblings, most of whom loved this piano as much as I did. This is how I did it.
- Step 1: Acquire an antique piano.
- Step 2: Take apart said antique piano, narrowly avoiding being squished numerous times when large heavy pieces of the piano decide to fall over.
- Step 3: Reassemble keyboard on a large flat surface, and decide how many keys you'll use for each wall-hanging.
- Step 4: Cut off the long wooden piece from each key, leaving just the ivory/ebony section (for the black keys you'll have to leave about 1 cm more, to make them the same length as the white ones). It helps to number each key at this step to keep them in the correct order, since the gold-stamped number of each key is on the part you're cutting off. Sand the cut end. I forgot to do that step.
- Step 5: Dig through your stash of crafty junk to find just the right backing. I used 1/4-inch thick cork tiles (from Walmart). I had three left from another project, and they happen to be exactly the right size, when cut in half. I should have just enough for the rest of the piano keys.
- Step 6: Starting from the middle and working outward, glue on each piece. I did all the white keys first, then fit in the black pieces. Make sure you glue the sides that will be touching other keys as well as the back. I used white glue. Use something that can be easily cleaned up if it oozes out.
- Step 7: Let it dry.
- Step 8: Figure out how to hang it. I haven't done this step yet. Any suggestions? For now I have it propped on my mantle, but I was thinking of hanging it in a gallery wall sometime in the future.
- Step 9: Make four more (the other four will be narrower...sorry siblings).