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

You can choose up an old antique piano for $400. I know, since I just bought 1. But how do you know if it truly is value buying at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Okay for your kid to find out on? You need to have to know what to appear for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed excellent. It was a single of the very best I would at any time witnessed in that respect–there was no proof of damaged or abused pins, they all looked unique, none had been hammered in, none had marks on them, they have been not bent and there ended up no indicators of cracks or other hurt to the wrest plank. The seem board (the largest piece of wood, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) experienced no cracks either, and the strings all seemed fine. The action (the shifting elements) labored properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of every observe when you lifted the crucial or lifted the damper pedal. There was 1 missing plastic important, but that would be simple to replace. Most aged pianos would not look so great on the within.

Then, a couple of weeks later I acquired a criticism from the quite disappointed consumer:

“Hello Margaret. Following we experienced the piano shipped we acquired a piano tuner out and have been really unhappy…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner attempted to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she stated it was no good at all…so we have employed a piano. When the men arrived out to deliver the [new] piano they also said “No, which is cactus…”

But the piano was truly fairly tunable, and the within workings had been in really very good issue. Sooner or later, following much more guidance from me, the customer realised he’d identified a extremely usable instrument.

The ability of the tuner is paramount to maintaining the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When dwelling in the distant city of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a very outdated piano in much even worse problem than this. I also did some tunings on a pair of my students’ old pianos. In all cases it was really challenging to hold them in tune for a lot more than a number of minutes, partly due to my poor approach with the tuning hammer (lever). Nonetheless, when a specialist tuner came to city he did a great task and the a few rickety aged pianos stayed well in tune for a lot of months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it might call for much more than 1 tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It really is impossible to know how effectively this is heading to pan out, you can only try out it and see how several tunings it demands. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to wait for the pressure to even out prior to doing another tuning. It can take months prior to the tuning settles.

When he acquired my Moore & Moore piano I advised him it needed re-hydrating (it necessary more water or dampness in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would undoubtedly be free. In Piano restorations london re-hydrated all a few previous pianos and it manufactured a Big distinction. The straightforward cure is to location a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the base. The even bigger, the better, because folks are inclined to fail to remember about them and they sooner or later operate out of h2o. It normally takes months to have an result. This re-hydrating also seemed to resolve an motion difficulty that two of our pianos had. Some tuners never like water beakers, they reckon they will result in troubles with the action or rust the strings so professional tips ought to be sought from a expert technician, but it worked nicely for us. There are commercially-available humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically produced for pianos.

Another cheap method to help with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a normal treatment but there is certainly a limit to how much and how usually the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this aged piano looked like they’d in no way been hammered at all, so that was nevertheless a practical choice. It truly is absolutely a occupation for a expert piano technician, to avoid injury to the pins or wrest plank.

A considerably far more high-priced strategy is to change the pins with greater pins (they arrive in distinct measurements), but it would be a massive undertaking and it would be less costly to get another piano.

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