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Benches are the first thing to give trouble with most pianos because they get pushed in and out so much. To minimize damage to piano benches, do not over load them. When you do, you sit on the pile in them, and you shove the bottom out of the bench. Also, help the brace inside the bench as you close the lid. And, do not wait to tighten things if you feel the bench wobbling. NEVER polish the bench top. Perspiration will mix with the wax, and this will soak into the wood, and you will have a cruddy mucky mess on the bench top in a few years.
Here are repairs to make:
If the brace inside the bench box comes off or bends beyond use, remove it and install a length of chain from the hardware store. If you don't do something like this, some day someone will open the bench and let the lid drop backwards. That will be the end of the hinges. Meanwhile, you should order a now slide brace from our Online Catalog-- See links at top of this page.
You polished the bench top over and over, and now you have a gummy sticky bench top. Remove the top from the bench. Take it out on the picnic table, and go at it with paint stripper. After you have removed the old varnish / crud mixture from the top and the edges, clean it further with a solution of half denatured alcohol and half lacquer thinner. Once it is dry, buff it firmly with 0000 steel wool until it shines slightly. Lastly, give it a coat of Liquid Gold, and put it back on the bench. After it dries, buff it good with a dry cloth. From then on clean it with a damp cloth only. DO NOT try to varnish it. Oils from the crud still lurk in the wood grain, and they will probably cause the varnish to wrinkle.
You may want to upholster the bench top. Use firm foam under the upholstering material or vinyl you use.
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