I'm trying to dismantle an old piano, and I would like to do it without damaging the individual parts or pieces of timber (for sentimental reasons - may use it in other projects).

I've screwed out and removed all I can but I've gotten to the point where I want to remove the keyboard section from the main frame. There were two screws on each side apparently holding this on, but even after unscrewing these it remains stuck fast. I assume there is some kind of glued joints or dowels somehow keeping it together.

Is there a handy way of removing this while minimising the damage to the timber? I've managed to hammer a sharp knife in between, but that will only go down an inch or so, is very narrow, and won't do any good in prying them apart (it'll bend then break quite easily), but it shows something could go in there if it was as thin but stronger and broader.

Is there a tool or something, maybe similar to a chisel but a lot thinner that is used for prying joints apart while minimising the damage to the actual timber?

The parts of the surrounding frame itself is just as stuck together so I'm assuming something similar is going on there, but the main thing is this keyboard section so I can then put all the parts away...

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  • 4
    It really depends on what the "glued joints or dowels" are, specifically. You might have better luck at woodworking.stackexchange.com. We're mostly about home improvement here.
    – isherwood
    May 14, 2019 at 19:56
  • I've never tried this sort of thing, but I wonder if you could hand-guide a hacksaw blade through the joint? You'd be removing a blade's-width amount of the board end, but it might work. May 14, 2019 at 20:01
  • @isherwood - thanks, wasn't aware of that site and I'm happy if it's migrated there (don't really know how to do that myself or even if I can)
    – komodosp
    May 14, 2019 at 20:01
  • Or possibly music.stackexchange.com May 14, 2019 at 20:04
  • 2
    an oscillating saw blade is thin and and can plunge cut. you can also get scraper blades for them that wouldn't really cut the wood but would very effectively shimmy inside tight slots.
    – dandavis
    May 14, 2019 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


What you want here is a coping saw. The main advantage is that you get a hacksaw that has a smaller, more maneuverable blade. It should let you make smaller cuts, like you want.


I revisited this yesterday and got a lump hammer and a block of wood, and gave it a few sharp taps on the right hand side as you face the piano. It had simply been glued in place, came away cleanly on one side, but stripped off a little bit of the panel on the other (strong glue!)


I put mine in the barn and it almost fell apart. Saved the legs and stuff i wanted. Nature did its thing. Couple of taps glue let go.

  • 1
    Hi, Robert! Glad you're sticking around; keep up the good work. Jun 14, 2019 at 1:08
  • 1
    This should be a comment as it is not an answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 14, 2019 at 17:24
  • Thanks, however I wanted to reuse the timber is a good condition as possible which is why I don't just want to take a saw to it - won't letting nature do its thing just rot the wood?
    – komodosp
    Jun 17, 2019 at 8:41
  • 2
    It was not in the outdoors getting sun and rain. Was in barn covered. Got a little dirty but fell apart. Saved all the parts i wanted. the legs are now lamps. Some parts did not come apart ,but i really did not try to hard to get them off. Got what i wanted. TRY steam and heat
    – user101687
    Jun 17, 2019 at 15:19

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