All the answers to your questions are in my book written by Stephen Newman

The "Alexander Piano A record of Construction.

Why did you build such a long piano?

My inspiration was purely from the sound I heard when I experimented with a very long piece of piano wire between two warratahs. Making a world record was not a priority. It just turned out that way.


How did you know how to build a piano?

I didn’t really. A lot of the problems were solved through trial and error.  I pulled old pianos to pieces and got a basic understanding. There are things you must get right in order for the piano to work, and in fact these things are very important. About half way through the construction I had a book given to me on pianoforte design written in 1916. Although it focused mainly on upright pianos it had a certain piece of information about scale design that I really needed.


What timber is the piano made out of?

Timber was donated from many different sources so there is a huge variety of different timbers under the Rimu veneer.

However the timber for the sound board had to be a certain specification in order to work. I used Canadian Douglas Fir.


How long is the piano?

The Alexander measures 18' 9" or 5.7 metres.


What is the frame made from?

I fabricated the frame from mild steel and plastered it to look like cast iron.


What does it weigh?

At the moment we do not know but it is estimated to be about 1.4 tons; the steel frame alone is 650 kgs. It has three legs, each of which has four castors. It is possible for one person to shift the piano.

What is your next project?

I learned a lot constructing the piano, even if I did things in an unconventional way. My dream now is to be able to make another piano encompassing everything I learned, developing my ideas further and using innovative ideas I have gained from experience to get better sounds.