BOONE, Iowa — Chuck Behm had a piano he was planning to throw away. The piano tuner and technician works on lots of pianos, but disposing of a working piano did not seem right.
Behm had read about communities in Iowa having outdoor pianos. He noticed in each account, it was mentioned the piano came with a weather cover.
“I’ve always thought this was an idea that didn’t seem very feasible here in Iowa.” said Behm. “The weather can change so drastically here.”
So he made a project with the Central Iowa Piano Technicians Guild. That group got together in Behm’s shop and began working on the old piano. The idea is to make it as rain-proof as possible.
They replaced felt bushings with plastic ones. They wrapped the hammers inside the piano to help them hold together better in the event of moisture. Behm put in vents, and water drain holes to try to keep any wetness to a minimum. He also installed a plastic sheet over the hammers.
“One of the first things that happens with a piano when it gets wet is the keys stop working,” said Behm.
Behm has donated the piano to the City of Boone. It will be placed in parks and at businesses which request the piano.
Behm added the piano is built for kids to play around on and is not a masters-level instrument.