Piano Restore & Tuning – What to Look For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)


You can pick up an old antique piano for $four hundred. I know, due to the fact I just marketed one particular. But how do you know if it is well worth purchasing at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your child to find out on? You need to have to know what to search for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed excellent. It was one particular of the very best I would ever observed in that respect–there was no proof of broken or abused pins, they all seemed original, none experienced been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there were no indications of cracks or other injury to the wrest plank. The audio board (the biggest piece of wooden, guiding the strings in the centre of the instrument) experienced no cracks either, and the strings all looked fantastic. The action (the transferring components) worked well on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the audio of every note when you lifted the essential or elevated the damper pedal. There was one particular lacking plastic key, but that would be effortless to exchange. Most previous pianos would not seem so good on the within.

Then, a pair of months afterwards I acquired a grievance from the extremely dissatisfied customer:

“Hello Margaret. Right after Piano repairs london experienced the piano sent we acquired a piano tuner out and had been genuinely dissatisfied…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried to tighten the pins they would unwind straight absent and she said it was no great at all…so we have employed a piano. When the fellas came out to provide the [new] piano they also said “No, that is cactus…”

But the piano was in fact fairly tunable, and the inside of workings had been in really very good situation. At some point, soon after more suggestions from me, the customer realised he’d found a very usable instrument.

The skill of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When residing in the distant city of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a extremely old piano in considerably even worse situation than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ aged pianos. In all situations it was very tough to hold them in tune for a lot more than a number of minutes, partly owing to my inadequate strategy with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when a skilled tuner came to town he did a marvelous task and the three rickety aged pianos stayed nicely in tune for many months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it may call for far more than one particular tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It truly is unattainable to know how well this is heading to pan out, you can only consider it and see how many tunings it requirements. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to wait around for the rigidity to even out before carrying out an additional tuning. It can consider months ahead of the tuning settles.

When he acquired my Moore & Moore piano I told him it required re-hydrating (it required a lot more drinking water or humidity in the wooden). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would surely be loose. In Karratha we re-hydrated all three outdated pianos and it manufactured a Big big difference. The easy treatment is to spot a beaker of h2o within the piano at the base. The greater, the far better, since men and women have a tendency to overlook about them and they eventually operate out of drinking water. It normally takes months to have an effect. This re-hydrating also appeared to repair an action issue that two of our pianos experienced. Some tuners don’t like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will cause troubles with the action or rust the strings so professional tips must be sought from a professional technician, but it labored effectively for us. There are commercially-accessible humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically manufactured for pianos.

Another low cost method to help with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a common remedy but you will find a limit to how considerably and how usually the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this old piano appeared like they’d by no means been hammered at all, so that was even now a feasible selection. It is undoubtedly a occupation for a skilled piano technician, to stay away from hurt to the pins or wrest plank.

A considerably far more costly technique is to replace the pins with bigger pins (they occur in distinct sizes), but it would be a massive endeavor and it would be more affordable to get an additional piano.

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