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Job of the Year 2018 - COMPETITION CLOSED

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upcycling an old piano


My request was unique: I don't believe MyBuilder will receive another the same. But my tradesman, Mark Light, is unique: I don't believe MyBuilder will find another the same. Or so skilled. Or with so much artistic vision, pleasantness, politeness or patience. Mark Light has it all!

My old piano was a WW1 relic of French origin, bought for £8 in1987 from a junk shop. Over the years it has been lovingly battered by our children and their friends and after one house move too many proved the final hurrah for most of its notes it has lain in the garage for 18 years gathering dust (but providing a good shelving unit) and gently disintegrating.

The wood wasn't in particularly good repair but it had some features which seemed too interesting to cast away in land-fill namely a lovely curved lid with brass inlay and two scrolled legs and I had a wacky idea that I'd really like to use these pieces to make a table of some sort from it. But how? and by who?

By using MyBuilder where Mark Light answered my zany request with a real interest and enthusiasm at the originality and challenge of such a project. He came round to see the desperate item (at the time and day we agreed - so immediately Brownie points there!) and was so animated about what we could do, how we could do it and offered suggestions there and then about the good and not-so-good pieces of the piano that could be reused and he made me feel that my idea was NOT stupid (note to husband) and that he would even enjoy working on it albeit alongside his very skilled and intense day-job.

And so it was. Mark's artistry and craftmanship were superb but in parallel with that, and where Mark stands head and shoulders above other tradesmen, is the not-so-small matter of politeness and courtesy : he kept EVERY appointment at the time and date we agreed and when kept late at work he messaged me in advance to let me know he would be a bit late; his texts were always friendly and helpful and he replied to mine immediately (more Brownie points). Mark was completely honest and open about the state of various bits of the piano which couldn't be recycled as we had hoped but managed to offer a practical and artistic suggestion (or even three suggestions) for each problem even sending me drawings of his ideas. His suggestion that we could reuse the white and black notes too to add a completely individual and unconventional embellishment was terrific and he painstakingly cleaned and cut to size each one of them. I really felt Mark was genuinely interested in the job. As the project neared completion he sent me a series of photographs to show its progress but constantly reminded me that he could still alter it at any time if there was even the weeniest bit that I wasn't happy with. Nothing was too much for trouble for him.

The photo shows my finished table. I'm sure you'll agree it is craftsmanship at its best, it IS unique and only one of its kind. That's because Mark Light is a craftsman at his best, unique and only one of his kind.

Please vote for MARK LIGHT, carpenter, craftsman and piano convertor extraordinaire, Thank you.

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Homeowner sybil leeman

Mark Light
ML Joinery

Voting closed

9 votes