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16. Desk repair- Spinet, Upright, and Grand Piano


We offer spinet, console, and grand piano desk replacements.
Also, find all the Desk Hardware you need in the catalog.


Did your desk get broken while moving the piano? Or, did the movers lose it? I hope the following helps get it right.


If the hinges have ruptured the wood in the lower corners of the desk so that you cannot repair it (with Elmer's glue and toothpicks), you can screw the desk down solid. Check out the Illustration please.  Take it off, and drill two vertical holes through the piece of wood added onto the back bottom edge of the desk. Put the desk back on, and, with a pencil or a potato skewer, mark the wood under the back edge piece by pushing the marking tool down through the holes you drilled. Take the whole desk assembly off, and drill holes at the score marks. Nut and bolt the desk solid through the holes. It ain't gonna go nowhere honey.

If you have to replace the desk, we sell new ones in the Online Catalog. You may also be missing the mounting hinges, which are brass, rounded on top, and mount with a screw coming up from under the horizontal shelf. If we cannot get a desk the exact size of yours, order one a bit longer, and drill new holes. The old holes will not easily be seen after the new desk is in place.

After repairing or replacing a spinet desk, I strongly suggest that you put something behind the desk to support it against the top of the piano. This will help keep it from again being damaged by use.

Full Sized Upright:

It is very rare for an old upright to need desk work. The most common problem is the hanging hardware in the upper inside corners. If it is trashed, take the desk off and meditate on it a while. You may want to put in a big screw in each side where the pins have given way. Be careful not to go all the way through the cabinet with the screws. If you do, just hang your coat on the end of the screw, and folks will think you did it on purpose :-) You can get away with a lot of dumb things if you can make it look like you did it to re-decorate.

If your desk has the dog leg hinges at the bottom corners, don't try to fake it through if they are not holding or are super tight. Order from my Desk Hardware Section of the Online Catalog, and replace them.  These friction dog leg hinges are found ONLY in piano supply sources. 

If you have an old Fischer (and several others) with the drop out desk, don't despair if it is dragging or jammed. Remove the whole desk and completely dismantle the drop out desk works. Clean, repair, and lightly oil the hinges, and re-set screws by filling holes half full of toothpicks and Elmer's carpenter's glue. You may have to make a new piece of mounting wood. Use semi-hard wood like maple or red pine. Be sure to stain the new wood pieces so that they match the wood around them.

What class those old Fischers had. John and Charles Fischer left Austria, with their Daddy, for Italy to find a better life. Daddy was a great piano maker, but Italy was not ready for such workmanship. So the old man, John, and Charles headed for America like so many others looking for a better life. They ended up in New York, and started making those pianos with the distinct Austrian design. There is NO such workmanship anywhere these days.

Do not lightly throw one of those pianos away. You may be very lonesome for the old Fischer after the piano guys deliver your new black plastic tingating (Tingating-- Consult your Hindi speaking friend). One word of warning. If you come on a rather recent looking console that has the name "Fischer" on it, beware. It is really an Aeolian with the Fischer name on it which they bought when the original Fischers went out of business. The recent version bears NO resemblance to the original in either musical or cabinet quality.



Grand piano desks are not very strong when they are new. This is because of the long distance across the piano from side to side, the lightness of the wood and frame of the desk, and the load people put on these desks. Be careful about setting a large lamp on the end of the desk, or clamping a light on the book rest part of the desk. This is not wise due to the added weight.

Many grand desks have a wooden frame hinged in such a way that the ends of the frame catch in slots in the back of the desk. These usually don't give trouble, but I have seen a number which warped. In this case, try to improvise since there are no replacement parts for these desks.

Home Made Desk Repair:

The best grand desk repair I ever saw was a simple home made job. Credit must go to the inventor, Herriet Laird of Tubac, AZ. Cut a piece of wood for the prop about 3 to 4 inches long by one inch wide by three eights inch in thickness, determined by the desk design. You may want to taper it toward the upper end for looks.

Note the illustration of this repair.

Cut another piece about an inch and a half square by three eights thick. Hinge the two pieces together with a brass hinge.  Be sure the tapered prop hinges TOWARD the desk in its motion.  Mount it to the back as in the illustration.

Next, cut three pieces (two may do) of three eights thick stock about one inch by one and a half inches. These will be placed on the back of the desk at intervals allowing the prop piece to catch them and adjust the desk to different angles. Experiment with the three pieces to make sure they are placed so that there are two or three choices for propping up the desk. Then screw the two or three pieces to the back of the desk as in the diagram. Use brass screws and hinge for a more classy touch.

There are several replacement hinges, and all of them can be substituted for most original factory hinge of prop arrangement. We carry these hinge and prop choices in the Grand Desk Hardware Section of the Online Catalog. You will also find lid hardware and hinges, as well as other Grand Piano metal fittings there.

You may have lost the rails along the side in which the desk slides. These can be made by you, or you can order them from us. You may wish to replace wood rails with brass for durability. The felt in the ends of the desk may be replaced, but you should buy wool felt of piano quality. This is called Action Felt in our Catalog.


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