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

You can choose up an aged antique piano for $400. I know, because I just bought one. But how do you know if it really is worth acquiring at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your child to understand on? You require to know what to seem for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed excellent. It was one of the very best I would ever noticed in that regard–there was no proof of destroyed or abused pins, they all looked first, none had been hammered in, none had marks on them, they have been not bent and there were no signs of cracks or other hurt to the wrest plank. The seem board (the premier piece of wood, behind the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks either, and the strings all appeared fantastic. The action (the transferring components) worked well on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of each be aware when you lifted the crucial or elevated the damper pedal. There was one lacking plastic crucial, but that would be effortless to replace. Most old pianos would not search so good on the inside of.

Then, a pair of months afterwards I acquired a grievance from the extremely let down purchaser:

“Hello Margaret. Soon after we had the piano sent we obtained a piano tuner out and had been truly unhappy…it was not able to be tuned…when the tuner experimented with to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she mentioned it was no very good at all…so we have hired a piano. When the guys came out to supply the [new] piano they also stated “No, that is cactus…”

But the piano was actually very tunable, and the inside workings had been in very great problem. Sooner or later, right after more tips from me, the purchaser realised he’d located a very usable instrument.

The skill of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When living in the remote city of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a very old piano in considerably even worse problem than this. I also did some tunings on a pair of my students’ outdated pianos. In all instances it was very tough to hold them in tune for much more than a handful of minutes, partly because of to my very poor approach with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when Piano removals London came to town he did a marvelous occupation and the a few rickety previous pianos stayed nicely in tune for several months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some a long time it might need far more than a single tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It truly is not possible to know how well this is heading to pan out, you can only consider it and see how a lot of tunings it demands. The strings have tonnes of pressure and you have to wait for the rigidity to even out just before performing an additional tuning. It can just take months prior to the tuning settles.

When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I informed him it required re-hydrating (it necessary far more water or dampness in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would certainly be unfastened. In Karratha we re-hydrated all a few old pianos and it produced a Large distinction. The simple cure is to spot a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the bottom. The larger, the much better, simply because men and women are inclined to forget about them and they at some point operate out of h2o. It takes months to have an result. This re-hydrating also seemed to resolve an motion issue that two of our pianos experienced. Some tuners do not like h2o beakers, they reckon they will lead to troubles with the motion or rust the strings so specialist tips must be sought from a expert technician, but it worked nicely for us. There are commercially-available humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially produced for pianos.

One more cheap method to assist with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a common remedy but there’s a limit to how considerably and how frequently the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this previous piano seemed like they’d by no means been hammered at all, so that was nevertheless a feasible selection. It’s definitely a work for a skilled piano technician, to avoid harm to the pins or wrest plank.

A much much more expensive technique is to substitute the pins with bigger pins (they arrive in different measurements), but it would be a massive undertaking and it would be less costly to get an additional piano.

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