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I have an old, dead piano, which is destined for the scrap heap. Is there anything useful I should keep from it that I can use to make something. I was thinking that the strings and pegs might be useful (for cajon snares, maybe?)but there must be some other stuff? Or should I just burn it?

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High, if I had a piano, I would look at if there is some noble wood to take for the bridges, nut...

The strings, I would use them to make funny sound boxed like this :

http://windworld.com/bart/invented-instruments/

Look under : LAMELLAPHONES

I used to work in a piano rebuilding shop - you have a real goldmine!

If it's old enough, the black keys will be ebony. The white keys will have an ivory veneer on them. They could make great nuts, bridges or fingerboard inlays. (For nuts and bridges you would need to laminate several pieces of ivory together.)

Then I would for sure save the soundboard which will be sitka spruce or something similar. This can be used for soundboards and braces for various instruments, including a cajon. I would simply cut it out around the edges with a jigsaw, sawzall, etc.

The strings and pegs could be good for diddley bows.

The hammer mechanism could be cut up for stirring sticks, etc.

The body of it is like furniture, like a dresser or cabinet. It will be a plain hardwood like poplar covered in a veneer and finished in a clear finish or black finish. If it's a clear finish, the veneer will be fancy. If it's black, the veneer will be plain. You might be able to get some necks or diddley bow planks out of it. The easiest parts to use would be the lid and the fallboard (the piece that swings down to cover the keys).

The cast iron frame might make a good boat anchor - lol. 

ps. if you do decide to burn it, don't breathe the fumes.

You could make a harp out of it - and have some real fun in the process...

hell just get some mallets and you`ll have yourself a nice hammer dulci

You could restore it, but it may not be worth the money. We did things like replace the pin block when the holes got too enlarged to hold a tune. Replace the strings. Replace the soundboard if it was cracked or had lost it's arch, replace the hammers and felts, refinish the plate and the cabinet.

We usually did this on grand pianos, which are built to come apart and be worked on. Uprights are much harder to work on and thus end up being a throw away item. I'm taking it that your piano is an upright.

Don't forget the wire, it can be cut and ground to needle sharpness and used with the right diameter beads, would make greqat darts for those pesky squirrels.:-)   

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