I knew the next part was gutting this beast. All 88 keys came off pretty easily once the guard plank was removed. I removed the cheek blocks to maximize the width of the "bottom shelf". If you're trying this sory of thing, you must check the length of your desired control unity or keyboard before you get rolling. Next was the piano strings...you know, the kind gangsters kill people with in old mob movies?
Rather than unwind all of them with a piano wrench I did not own, I opted to grab the bolt cutters and go one by one with protective glasses on. 88 wires isn't too bad, right? Wrong. Most keys hit 3 strings so do the math...I was cutting a couple dozen a day for several days. Then I had to take a pair of vice grips and pull the remnant rusted strings off of the pegboard. Nasty.
Next was yanking the cast iron plate. That meant finding a way to pull the huge steel piece (75 lbs) from inside the wood frame. That was the hardest part of the whole project. Other than being heavy, there was no clear path to pull it out without deconstructing some of the frame, which was risky because anything I disassembled had to be rebuilt creating more work. Finally, I decided to drive it out the bottom, which meant I pulled off the bottom piece of the piano. Here she is, free of her piano prison:
If I am still feeling ambitious when this project is done, I may turn the plate into a coffee-table. One side is perfectly flush and would hold a custom cut piece of glass well. Legs would be easy to attach. Just an idea...