top of page


pianos_recycled__0004_piano timber layout.jpg

Timber Sourcing
All of the timber has been sourced from old and unwanted pianos have been diverted from landfill. They are completely deconstructed into components using hand tools, drills and electrical saws. Metal screws, nails are removed by hand.

Best-Practice Sustainability
Reuse of these rare and antique timbers reduces further loss of trees in todays forests if used in place of modern timber. The timbers contain substantial embodied energy and virtual water that went into the growing of the tree, and making of the timber you see today. They are a store of carbon, as wood draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and converts that into cellulose fibres that constitute timber. They are also a store of several hundred years of heritage which respects the artisans and craftsman who turned the timber from logs into parts of a beautiful musical instrument, and the pianos journey afterwards.

The timbers are a kaleidoscope of colours, textures, representing a wide range of originating countries and species. However most fall under one of 3 categories—European (mainly German and British), North American, or Australian. 90% of the timbers are veneered with a hardwood over a softwood cores.
Timbers and veneers that would have been felled, dried and milled years prior to the manufacture of these typically late-1800’s instruments means that all the material is fully mature 200-250 year old timber. European/American timbers are usually veneered with Mahogany, Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Oak, Rosewood and many
others. A burl walnut cut was very popular in many of the German veneers. The inner core is often Birch, Fir, Spruce or Poplar.
Australian pianos, like Beale and Wertheim, used local Australian timbers. Beale preferred Queensland Walnut and Maple as a veneer on Western Red Cedar core. However soundboards are often Canadian Spruce or Romanian Pine. Wertheim used Queensland Silky oak, Rosewood and Maple, Tasmanian Fiddleback and Musk,
Victorian Ash and New Zealand Totora for its exterior veneers.

Finish and Condition
The veneered timbers range in condition from exceptional to good, with some age-related wear and tear over parts of the timber. The glues used were mainly animal glues, including casein. They are traditionally French polished to a high gloss using natural shellac, dissolved in alcohol. Some posts are laminated, joined with glue. A light sand-back and re-finishing with a wax oil, or polishing is generally recommended.

Dining Table Betsy_edited.jpg

The Story Behind the Timber
The origin of nearly every piece of timber has been carefully recorded, so we can provide the backstory to it.  Which piano did it come from? What was the history of that piano ( where did it come from, what was the country of origin, when was it made and by whom?).  In this way, the heritage is preserved and it's provenance respected. The story lives on, whilst creating a new future for the materials. Read more in this example of a Radiogram that was made from an old Behr piano.


Talk to Us

If you are inspired to use reclaimed piano timbers for your next project, download our catalogue with more information and feel free to get in touch about what we have on offer.

bottom of page