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Grand Leg & Lyre Mount Mystery

  • 1.  Grand Leg & Lyre Mount Mystery

    Posted 11 days ago
    I have a client with a 1930s Krakauer grand. She recently inherited it and had it moved to her home. The mover (my mover - very experienced and knowledgable) went to put the legs and lyre on the piano and found that the legs were coming unglued and screw holes were stripped. I will be doing the repair.
    However, there seems to be a bit of a mystery. The three (double) legs have a flat top - no metal plate - and each one is held in place with four wood screws.
    Below is photo of the top of one of the front legs. You can see that it is simply a flat top with four holes for the four wood screws.

    Below is photo of the top of the lyre which is held in place with two wood screws. Other leg tops are the same. BUT, it also has a circular inset - like one that would have been made for a metal leg plate. These insets have one hole in the middle - most leg plates I've seen have four screws.

    Keybed bottom photo below. Again, here are the one-screw-hole insets with the four holes that the wood screws go into. Other leg locations are the same as here.

    Below is photo of keybed bottom where the lyre goes. Again, same inset.

    So what gives? I'm trying to figure out two things - are these the original legs, and if so, what are the insets for? I'm thinking that these are the original legs. Maybe the insets for the legs were for pianos of this model to have spade legs with leg plates - the insets are where the leg plates would have gone. But why then would the lyre top and keybed bottom where the lyre goes have the insets for the plate, but not have the plate. The four screws for the legs appears to be an adequate attachment arrangement. However, only having the two screws for the lyre seems to me to be totally inadequate - seems to me the lyre either needs two more screws or plates or maybe a couple big dowels. I guess that if you only have two screws for the mounting the lyre, it is probably best to have them where they are - at least when the lyre tries to pivot back when using a pedal, it should be secure(-ish). But why not just put four darn screws in there?!?!?!

    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida

  • 2.  RE: Grand Leg & Lyre Mount Mystery

    Posted 9 days ago
    There is a good chance the lyre had an interlocking plate using the butterfly design with the male half of the plate attached to the keybed and locking into the other plate mortised into the lyre top. A screw going into the keybed would have held the plate in place while a bolt would have held the lyre plate. Due to its age and moving the plates likely cracked or fell out. To secure everything I would suggest getting inserts and bolts and forget about using wood screws. You could drill two new holes in the lyre with holes for the inserts so with 4 bolts the lyre will attach firmly. Wood screws only may fail because of weather/humidity changes and the forces generated from pedal playing as well as the weight of the lyre itself. I worked on a Bush and Lane grand here that had a loose. floppy lyre . The wood screws even after plugging the enlarged screw holes and retapping failed. The solution was to go to fastenal and get the right bolt and inserts for the job which would not go through the keybed.

    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC

  • 3.  RE: Grand Leg & Lyre Mount Mystery

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago

    My guess is that they simply had a setup for creating the round inserts which was applied to every piano coming down the line. However, they decided that for this leg style the plate wouldn't work well and therefore resorted to screws. The fact that no screws holes were ever bored for the plates leads me in this direction.

    My .02


    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH

  • 4.  RE: Grand Leg & Lyre Mount Mystery

    Posted 7 days ago
    the piano was designed with different leg setups.  With the bridged legs, the center plate wasn't used. Same for the lyre. They simply use the same piano with different legs and different types of attachments.

    Jeffrey Gegner
    Tipton IN