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Tween Woodworker Creates Baby Grand Miniature Piano

WaggonersThe 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.

Jaida_Black Piano Toy Jaida_Black Piano Toy_disassembled

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.

template2 template1 template3

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!”

jointer2569695_orig9369566festoolgluingclamp and wait

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.

mgrmfjlsteam boxformingmezlmbibent_glued_clampedmgrmj4h

mgrmkkgmezlo44The 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.

leg assy1 leg assy2 2938127pre-finished piano

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

grand2 grand1Walnut Baby Grand

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

Jaida Woodworking Show Indianapolis2013

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 Cosman, Tommy Mac, Charles Neil, Scott Phillips, the folks on Lumberjocks, Indianapolis Woodcraft store and many more.  Jaida will be featured in the April 2013 PBS episode of The American Woodshop with Scott Phillips.

Charles Neil-Jordan Jaida with Scott Phillips

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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Comments (9)

  1. avatar
    Craig Dahler, January 21, 2013
    Very impressive!!! Congrats Jaida. Reply
  2. avatar
    Norma Watson, January 21, 2013
    Congrats!!! A job well done! Reply
  3. avatar
    Iris Waggoner, January 21, 2013
    It is still unbelievable that you could do this, I am so very proud of you. Cant wait to see the real thing. Go girl, keep on doing these fantastic pieces. I still remember the shock I felt when I saw the stove. Grandma is so proud. Im going to take a picture up to grandpa in the nursing home. Reply
  4. avatar
    Grandpa Mowery, January 22, 2013
    Grandpa is very proud of you Jaida. God has blessed you with many talents. Reply
  5. avatar
    Kathy Vance, January 22, 2013
    Fantastic story. You've got what it takes. Congratulations! Reply
  6. avatar
    Lew, January 22, 2013
    Superb work, Jaida. I am looking forward to seeing more of your projects. You have a wonderfully bright future! Reply
  7. avatar
    liz matheny, January 23, 2013
    Impressive! Reply
  8. avatar
    Raymond Russell, January 24, 2013
    Very impressive piece of workmanship. Keep up the good work. It's a great looking piece! Reply
  9. avatar
    Don Wagner, February 11, 2013
    Outstanding work Jaida! I have received a number of comments form members or our woodworking club about how impressed they are with the workmanship that went into this. I hope you always love creative work and woodworking throughout your life. Reply

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