How to Replace the Bottom Panel of a Piano Bench

What You'll Need
Saw, manual or electric
Palm sander
Spool rule
Wood glue
Wood varnish
Paint brush
Rough and fine Sandpaper
Safety mask
Work bench
Working gloves
Safety goggles
Marine plywood, 1/4 inch
Finishing nails, 1 1/2 inches
Metal corner braces

A piano bench bottom panel warps overtime due to the weight of piano books and manuals. Warped panels on your piano bench may give way under the weight of your music books and manuals so you want to replace it with a stronger material. To replace the bottom panel of your piano bench, follow the step-by-step procedure below.

Step 1 – Get the Work Area Ready

Clear off working area enough to work around when cutting the plywood. There will be lots of dust; use face mask and keep the area well-ventilated. You may use a bench to help you set up your plywood and make it easier for you to cut it. If you use an electric saw to cut your plywood, make sure that you unplug the saw and put it away after using to avoid accidents.

Step 2 – Remove the Top Cover

Take out the limit chain first by removing the screw at the other end connected to the side railing of the bench. Carefully remove the top cover by removing the screws of the hinge attaching it to the side railing.

Step 3 – Remove the Legs and the Railing Assembly

Loosen the bolts that hold the legs up then remove the legs. Remove the metal bracket that fixes the railing corners and it should be easier already to detach all the remaining parts off. Detach the bottom panel.

Step 4 – Design the Bottom Panel and Re-Assemble the Bench

Flatten the bottom panel into the marine plywood material and trace the sides with pencil. The bottom panel serves as the template and you just transferred a new pattern for the bottom panel. The marine plywood material is stronger compared to the conventional board used as bottom panels. The material can fairly handle extra weight for the music books and related materials unlike the stock bottom panel you just removed. Saw the marine plywood while cutting along the drawn pattern. Smooth the rough edges with sandpaper. Apply wood glue on the edges of new panel and attach to the side railings. Fix the assembly with the corner brackets and set the bench railing on a flat surface. Hammer on nails around the underside of the bottom panel every 5 inches as a support. Let the wood glue dry. Apply wood varnish to treat the bottom wood panel surface and preserve this for long.

Mount back the legs and check any sign of wobbling. Correct as necessary. Check once more the bottom panel if firmly attached. Flip and let the bench stand on its own. Re-attach the bench top lid by screwing back the hinge. Fix the limit chain – allowing enough angle for the bench top opening.

Step 5 – Finishing Up

After replacing the bottom panel of your piano bench, you should put away all remaining useful materials for future use then clean your work area. As for your tools, make sure that you put them away in their proper places.