Antique Mechanical Restorations
Restorations Since 1973

Seeburg K Coin Piano

    I've restored any number of Seeburg coin pianos as well as many other brands.
    A collector bought this Seeburg model K on Ebay without having seen it in person. I was hired to restore the player mechanism, repair the soundboard, repair the stained glass and save the original finish. The collector, a very talented piano restorer, took charge of the restringing and piano action. The finish appears in this photo as brown is really limed oak (greenish/grey).

    Notice the greenish color of the oak and the broken stained glass.

    It was good to see an untouched player mechanism. You can't find them like this anymore. The untouched player mechanism was relatively inexpensive to restore.

    This single stroke rosewood xylophone with small beater balls had a commanding sound.

    This very late control box has an extra pneumatic which is activated by the "Soft Medium Loud" control knob.

    Stripped of its components, the soundboard will be worked on next.

    Cabinet turned on its side. The owner and I had wondered why the piano had no volume in the bass. As you can see, the structure for the bottom of the soundboard had come unglued. The board that has been removed is in the next photo. Notice the foot has come unglued as well.

    The bottom support is repaired before it is reinstalled.

    The finish on this side of the soundboard was flaking off so I decided to scrape the old finish off and spray on new shellac. The ribs are scraped as the first step in cleaning the soundboard. It is important not to use paint remover on a soundboard because it can affect the quality of the tone.

    The soundboard is almost all sanded and the ends of the ribs are being glued down.

    The right door is in sad shape. I'm going to repair the missing veneer shown here as well as a strip of veneer on one edge. The decorative triangular corners have to be made up and a warp has to be straightened out.

    A ruler is laid along the edge of the right door to indicate warping.  The door will be cut part way through its length on the table saw and oak strips will be glued in to straighten it.

    A strip of veneer has been removed and a new rectangular piece of cross banding poplar has been glued in to form a foundation for a new strip of quarter sawn oak.

    A strip of oak veneer is glued onto the edge of the front door. Spruce two by fours are used for clamping, an old cabinet maker shared that tip with me.

    The coin slot area had been cut away to accept a new style push-pull coin mechanism. The is photo shows the grey/green of the limed oak finish.

    Coin area shown from back. The core wood was cut to form a joint and a new piece glued in place. Next, veneer will be glued on both sides.

    The glass was stored in this manner while the cabinet was being worked on. There are many pieces of broken and missing pieces of glass. I will be repairing this later.

    One tier of a two tier stack after restoration.

    Note pneumatics after recovering.

    Getting ready to glue note pneumatics on deck.

    Piano ready to be delivered. After the piano was delivered, the owner, a piano restorer, replaced the strings. Together, we installed the player mechanism. I'll be sure to get a video of the finished K.
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