Tools & Tool Kit from 1800′s

This typical toolkit from the 1800′s includes a double headed tuning hammer. Tuning hammer heads were not yet made with a “star” pattern, so the two heads are the same size, but have a square socket in different orientations. The first is straight and the second is 45 degrees different. Also in this kit are a tuning fork, mutes for tuning, action regulating tools and repair tools.

Tool Case #1

Tool Case #2

Tool Case #3

Tool Case #4

Tool Case #5

Tool Case #6

Tool Case #7

Tool Case #8

Tool Case #9

Tool Case #10

Tool Case #11

Tool Case #12

Tool Case #13

Tool Case #14

Tool Case #15

Tool Case #16

Tool Case #17

Tool Case #18

Tool Case #19

This is the very first ratchet two way screwdriver. There is also a page from the Lyon & Healy piano supply catalog showing it as Gay’s Double Action Ratchet Screwdriver and selling for $1.50.

Tool Case #20

This is a very early combination handle, made of cast steel. The wire bending tip, the spoon bending tip and the screwdriver blade are interchangeable, using the thumbscrew to hold them in the handle.

Glass Display Cabinet #1

The top shelf of Cabinet #1 has in front center a pair of dividers, similar to a compass. To the left from front to back is a Champion C-clamp, an awl, and a counter sink. On the right is a center punch, a file with a wooden handle, a knife, and a felt trimming knife.

Glass Display Cabinet #2

The top shelf of this case holds some unusual tools. There are two wooden mutes, some short lengths of piano wire for making splices and the rest of them I do not have any description for. The tool on top of the tool roll looks like an adjustable device to duplicate lengths without readjustment. Perhaps it is for installing bridle straps to be cut to length. If you know more than I do please send Bruce Dornfeld and email at

Glass Display Cabinet #3a

The top shelf of this cabinet holds, from front to back, a bridle strap inserter for inserting and tacking of bridle straps onto connecting shanks. It has room inside the wooden handle for the steel tacks. Behind is a brass case to hold a pinning tool, a knurled center pin in a pin vise, a flange bushing reamer with a wooden handle, and a center pin case with pins.

Glass Display Cabinet #3b

The second shelf of this cabinet holds a key dip block, letoff gauge, capstan screw tool, a tool for hammer butt-string replacement, a drop screw tool, and several spoon benders, including one that is homemade, and another which is double ended.

Glass Display Cabinet #3c

The third shelf is mostly screwdrivers, some handmade. The second tool from the front is a key bushing tool; one end to ease the bushings, the other end to tighten them. The red handle belongs to a flange screwdriver. The black handle is a combination handle with three different blades.

 Glass Display Cabinet #3d

The fourth shelf holds a variety of piano wrenches and pliers. Roughly from front to back and left to right are a monkey wrench, cutting pliers, shank knurling pliers, regulating wrench, capstan screw wrench, slip joint combination pliers, thin pliers, key easing pliers, and slip joint pliers.

Glass Display Cabinet #4a

The top shelf has different spacing tools. In the front is a flange spacing tool. The punching case behind it also serves to space key pins. The backcheck tool is designed to hold the backcheck while adjusting. There is a rail pin spacer and another general spacing tool as well.

Glass Display Cabinet #4b

The second shelf holds a variety of voicing tools. In front is a sandpaper paddle from Schaff Piano Supply Company when still on North Clybourn Avenue in Chicago. Behind it is a grand hammer lifter. to check hammer to string contact. To the left is a voicing pliers perhaps modified from a paper punch. The larger tool here is a unique voicing pliers with needles that looks like it may have come to us from the Spanish Inquisition. Almost hidden is a single needle “chopstick” type voicing tool.

Glass Display Cabinet #4c

The third shelf holds a wire cutter, a wire gauge, two different styles of string setters and two different styles of coil lifters.