Tween Woodworker Creates Baby Grand Miniature Piano

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Baby Piano

The Waggoner Family is back in the news with their youngest daughter, Jaida, now 12 years old, 11 at the time of the piano build.  We’ve had previous blogs on this family and their woodworking adventures, check them out at those respective links.  Photo left to right showing their projects at the Indianapolis Woodworking Show 2013 are Jaida, Janae, Jordan and Jalen Waggoner.

Jaida started woodworking by watching and interacting with her father and older siblings since the age of 7.  Now it was her turn in the spotlight!  Jaida, guided by her dad (Jeff) began this project during the months of 2012.  Jeff showed her the process and Jaida did the work.  They bought a toy piano on line, disassembled it and Jaida cut away everything but the keyboard.

This past June (2012), the family attended the Woodworking in America Show where they spoke with and purchased a Steam Bender from Sam Hamory at the Earlex booth with the design intent on using this to form walnut wood in creating the baby grand miniature piano.  Jaida created templates using her favorite tool, the bandsaw in the shape of a baby grand to start the build process.

Time for planing, cutting, drilling, gluing, clamping and waiting on the piano lid!  In the first photo, second row, Jaida is the first in her family to use the Festool Domino Joiner, joining the piano boards from the top,  enabling her to create a joint that was perfectly flat the first time.  Jeff said,“We love that tool!”

Softening the wood in hot water, followed by steaming, bending and forming for the piano sides, she created the curves to be held with pre-shaped fixtures for containing the piano structure in place for gluing and clamping.

The first time they tried to bend a 1/2″ thick board, it failed.  Jaida then renewed 1/8 inch strips, bending them one at a time.  After the boards dried she glued and re-clamped them.

She fashioned the legs after the piano at their church and attached them with dowels.  She turned the top support poll on the lathe.

Finishing the project off with General Finishes Enduro-Var Semi-Gloss, the piano was now complete.

Off to the Woodworking Show in Indianapolis where she placed 3rd in the Project Showcase category.

In February, Jaida will enter her piano into the Valentine’s box competition at her Frankfort Covenant Academy School.  As you can see Jaida and her family keep growing in the art of woodworking, guided by the likes of Rob CosmanTommy MacCharles NeilScott Phillips, the folks on LumberjocksIndianapolis Woodcraft store and many more.  Jaida will be featured in the April 2013 PBS episode of The American Woodshop with Scott Phillips.

Baby Piano

In the words of Jeff Waggoner once again, “The family that woodworks together, creates a lot of firewood together!”

We will continue to follow this talented family in their Woodworking Adventures, stay linked…
auf Wiedersehen, Frank!

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