As you might remember from earlier posts like this one or this one, an intense amount of woodworking used to go into furniture designed to hold sewing machines. But these beautiful cabinet-desks are now largely unneeded, and it is not uncommon for sewing machine collectors to literally break these things up and use them as firewood.
A similar object with a similar problem is the stand-up piano. Once the proud, previously-expensive possession of many a pre-radio music-loving family, these are now literally being given away on Craigslist. And after reading an article about how one Oregon furnituremaker was attempting to repurpose them, Instructables user phish814 got an idea of his own. "This project," he explains, "solves the dilemma of not having adequate workspace in an apartment or other venue in which an unsightly workbench would look out of place."
Phish walks you through every step of the process, starting with initially picking up and moving this beast to transport to your place—a non-trivial task requiring a hoist—through disassembly, including the potentially dangerous removal of the harp strings. "Uprights will have anywhere between 15 and 20 tons of tension on the harp and not handled properly, could break and release all of that force at one time," he explains. Then comes the fun stuff: The building and modification part.
The best part about this project is that it's FREE! This was accomplished by taking the large and heavy cast iron pieces of the piano to the scrap yard which will pay for all of the parts and hardware that you need to build the workbench. In addition to this, reusing it saves it from going into a landfill and opens doors to other projects that can come from the parts not used in the bench itself....
For our piano-playing readers who are blanching at the sight of this, take note of Phish's philosophy: "Please do me and every other instrument lover in the world a huge favor," he writes. "Only convert pianos that aren't feasible to repair. It would be a shame to destroy great instruments for a project like this."