Belly Builder

Fit and assemble parts to wood frame to fabricate back panel of piano.
picture of Belly Builder

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$18,000 – $49,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Belly Builders do?

Performs any combination of following tasks to fit and assemble wood soundboard, cast metal plate, and wood bridges to wood frame to fabricate back panel of piano: Glues supporting ribs and bridges to soundboard and glues soundboard to frame, using electronic gluing machine, gluing machine, or gluing press. Screws back panel to frame to reinforce gluing, using screws and screwdriver. Notches ribs and back frame to specifications, using chamfering machine. Clamps metal back plate to back panel, using air-clamp table, and measures and marks location for plate, using ruler, calipers, template, or gauge. Shapes bridges to specified height, using template, gauge, plane, and sandpaper. Presses pedal to release air-clamp and removes metal plate. Marks with punch and drills holes in back panel to attach metal plate, using drill press. Locates, marks, and drills bridge pin holes, using template, punch, hammer, and portable drill. Notches treble bridge with shaper machine or handtools. Hammers bridge pins into holes. Repositions metal back plate on back panel and secures plate to panel with bolts and screws. Verifies alignment of plate with back and bridges, using gauges. Inserts shims or removes wood from frame to adjust level of plate to obtain specified alignment. Hammers wood bushings into tuning pin holes in plate. Hammers tuning pins into bushings. May drill holes in bushings, using drill press. May varnish soundboard and ribs. May grind metal plate bearing bar to specified size, using portable grinder.

Should I be a Belly Builder?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Bellman, Belly Packer, Belly Wringer

    How to become a Belly Builder

    Belly Builders generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Belly Builder-related education!
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