Douglas Laing and His 1910 Henry Miller Complete with Stickers!

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by Calvin
01 Douglas Laing

Douglas Laing of Magnum Opus Piano Works, Safety Harbor, Florida completed his Bachelors degree in Music History and Musicology at the University of Michigan in 1986 and has had extensive training in Piano Technology. He rebuilt a 1910 Henry Miller upright and of course it had to have stickers. See how he overcame the obstacles.


Ferdinand Pointer of The Piano Company, Clearwater, Florida. Ferd has been a piano technician since 1972 and an RPT since 1975.Ferdinand is always the “teacher” and assisted Douglas with this upright.



03 Old hammers and dampers

This 1910 Henry Miller in original condition, presented rebuilding challenges. [Old hammers and dampers]

04 Dirty key frame

One challenge was cleaning over a century of dirt and grime. [Dirty key frame]

05 Key frame removed

With the key frame removed all the fun begins… [Key frame removed]

06 Using and placing the WNG Vertical Tools

WNG offers upright rental tools which helps installing the new action so much easier. [Using and placing the WNG Vertical Tools]

07 Aligning the action

[Aligning action]

08 Jigs removed and support blocks in place

[Jigs removed and support blocks in place]

09 Getting ready to install dampers

[Getting ready to install dampers]

WNG Vertical Installtion Tools Rental Includes:

  1. V-bar, 72-88 strike gauge
  2. Hammer 5 degree rake angle gauge
  3. Set of 5 hammer tilt gauges
  4. Dowel capstan inserter
  5. Dowel capstan wire bender
  6. Hammer Jig – Bass
  7. Hammer Jig – Treble
  8. Bass damper dowel locator
  9. Treble damper dowel locator
  10. Sustain rod block
  11. Rail support block – bass
  12. Rail support block – treble
  13. Action Locating jig – (2 each)
  14. Shanking jig
  15. Shank trimming jig

10 Bending damper wires and cutting

The action bolt on this piano had to be raised about 1.25″ and Douglas drilled through the place. [Bending damper wires and cutting]

11 Bass dampers in place

Note the severe angle of the dampers. [Bass dampers in place]

12 All dampers installed

[All dampers installed]

13 Flattening back of key sticks

Prepping the keys for the added extension blocks. [Flattening back of key sticks]

14 Blocks glued and installed to raise dowel capstan

Conversion of old sticker action to dowel capstan action. [Blocks glued and installed to raise dowel capstan]

15 Hanging hammers

Hammers are WNG Premium Select Gross 4 and are special-made for vertical pianos. [Hanging hammers]

16 Ready to regulate

Douglas’ customer is very happy with her cherished 1910 Henry Miller Piano! [Ready to regulate]

Many thanks to Douglas and Ferdinand for sharing this experience with us!