THE REST OF THE STORY
Well, I discovered screws attaching the keyboard to the soundboard and decided to take the plunge. Whether I’ll be able to do what needs to be done and get this reassembled remains to be seen. But it’s clear that some restoration is needed simply as a result of the ravages of time. There’s no evidence whatever from the reeds or reed plates that this Pianica has been used.
For your information, Daren, there are five screws that affix the keyboard to the soundboard. The fifth by low G is obscured and has to be removed with a very narrow screwdriver. In addition to screws, there are multiple tiny nails, which should slide back into their holes, though getting them positioned for that may be tricky. There are two strips: one with the holes for the key pads, made of some kind of plastic/rubber. It’s fine. The other of some soft now-crumbled material, which should be easy to replace with leather lace. The pads for the black keys are plastic. One came off and looks like it can be glued back on. The pads for the white keys are those metal gizmos, which also look like they can be glued back on. They are of two sizes, larger on the low keys. When the keyboard is removed from the soundboard, whatever is loose falls out (as did two gizmos while it was still intact); so it would be very easy to loose tiny irreplaceable parts.