Piano Restore & Tuning – What to Appear For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)
You can choose up an old antique piano for $four hundred. I know, because I just marketed 1. But how do you know if it’s well worth getting at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your youngster to find out on? You require to know what to appear for.
The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed superb. It was one of the greatest I’d ever witnessed in that regard–there was no evidence of broken or abused pins, they all seemed authentic, none had been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they were not bent and there have been no signs of cracks or other hurt to the wrest plank. The seem board (the largest piece of wooden, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) experienced no cracks both, and the strings all appeared wonderful. The action (the moving parts) labored effectively on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the audio of every single notice when you lifted the essential or elevated the damper pedal. There was one particular lacking plastic key, but that would be easy to replace. Most previous pianos would not appear so good on the inside.
Then, a pair of months afterwards I acquired a criticism from the very disappointed consumer:
“Hello Margaret. Following we experienced the piano shipped we obtained a piano tuner out and had been really disappointed…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried out to tighten the pins they would unwind straight absent and she said it was no excellent at all…so we have hired a piano. When the guys came out to provide the [new] piano they also stated “No, that is cactus…”
But the piano was actually very tunable, and the inside workings ended up in extremely great problem. At some point, following more tips from me, the buyer realised he’d found a extremely usable instrument.
The ability of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When residing in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a extremely previous piano in significantly worse problem than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ old pianos. In all cases it was quite difficult to hold them in tune for far more than a number of minutes, partly because of to my bad strategy with the tuning hammer (lever). Nonetheless, when a skilled tuner arrived to city he did a marvelous work and the a few rickety previous pianos stayed well in tune for several months.
When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it may call for much more than a single tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It truly is not possible to know how nicely this is likely to pan out, you can only try it and see how many tunings it wants. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to hold out for the tension to even out ahead of doing another tuning. It can consider months before the tuning settles.
When he bought my Moore & Moore piano I informed him it necessary re-hydrating (it necessary more drinking water or dampness in the wood). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would definitely be loose. In piano movers london re-hydrated all 3 old pianos and it created a Big difference. The easy treatment is to place a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the base. The greater, the far better, simply because individuals have a tendency to forget about them and they ultimately operate out of h2o. It will take weeks to have an result. This re-hydrating also seemed to resolve an action dilemma that two of our pianos experienced. Some tuners don’t like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will cause problems with the action or rust the strings so specialist tips need to be sought from a skilled technician, but it worked effectively for us. There are commercially-available humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially manufactured for pianos.
Yet another cheap method to support with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a regular remedy but you will find a limit to how considerably and how frequently the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this outdated piano seemed like they’d by no means been hammered at all, so that was nevertheless a practical choice. It really is definitely a occupation for a competent piano technician, to steer clear of harm to the pins or wrest plank.
A considerably a lot more costly approach is to replace the pins with larger pins (they come in distinct dimensions), but it would be a huge endeavor and it would be cheaper to get yet another piano.