Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wanna find your niche in woodworking?

Who knew that there was such a need for piano legs? When a sweet older couple wandered into my shop with this broken leg, 

 and it sent me down the rabbit hole, trying to locate a replacement. 

As with most older customers, they didn't have a ton of money to throw at a replacement leg, which is what it turned out to require. 

One piano restorer quoted me $1500 for a replacement!

After a discussion with the piano owners, who told me their piano was simply for their grandchildren to bang on when they visited,  we decided to make two new legs. They explained that their piano bench was a hand-me-down, and was of a different style, with straighter tapered legs. So - if I could match that design, they'd be satisfied. 

As they said - they don't have to be pretty, they just have to hold the thing up!

I'll tell you this - measuring this leg was the hardest part! 

There wasn't a flat surface on the leg, except for the very top, and getting and end-to-end dimension was tough. Years ago, I'd come across a similar situation, and used my tablesaw to get an accurate measurement. 

Here's the leg, butted against the fence, 

and just touching the blade. 

My read-out told me the leg as a hair under 25 1/4" long. 

Sweet. I found some thick stock and laminated a couple of leg blanks, 

and after they dried - I milled and tapered them. Even added in a little decorative kerfing to dress them up a bit.  

A bit of sanding and some stain and lacquer and my clients were on their way. 

Who knew?!  I'll tell you this - if you want to start a whole new cottage business - teach yourself how to make piano legs. There's a whole market out there, waiting for you to show up!

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