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

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You can pick up an previous antique piano for $four hundred. I know, since I just marketed a single. But how do you know if it really is value purchasing at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Okay for your child to understand on? You want to know what to appear for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all looked outstanding. It was 1 of the best I’d at any time witnessed in that respect–there was no proof of ruined or abused pins, they all appeared authentic, none experienced been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they were not bent and there were no signs of cracks or other damage to the wrest plank. The sound board (the largest piece of wood, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks both, and the strings all looked good. The action (the transferring areas) labored effectively on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of every be aware when you lifted the crucial or lifted the damper pedal. There was one particular missing plastic important, but that would be simple to exchange. Most aged pianos would not seem so good on the within.

Then, a pair of months later I acquired a grievance from the very unhappy customer:

“Hello Margaret. Soon after we experienced the piano shipped we obtained a piano tuner out and had been truly unhappy…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner attempted 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 arrived out to provide the [new] piano they also stated “No, that’s cactus…”

But the piano was truly very tunable, and the inside workings have been in very excellent issue. Eventually, right after a lot more suggestions from me, the purchaser realised he’d located a really usable instrument.

The talent of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When residing in the distant town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a quite aged piano in a lot worse problem than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ old pianos. In all situations it was really difficult to maintain them in tune for much more than a few minutes, partly because of to my inadequate approach with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when a specialist tuner arrived to town he did a great work and the 3 rickety previous pianos stayed nicely in tune for several months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it might demand more than 1 tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It is not possible to know how effectively this is going to pan out, you can only try it and see how numerous tunings it requirements. The strings have tonnes of stress and you have to wait for the pressure to even out prior to doing an additional tuning. It can just take months ahead of the tuning settles.

When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I instructed him it essential re-hydrating (it required more h2o or moisture in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would definitely be free. In Piano moving services and storage London re-hydrated all 3 old pianos and it produced a Big distinction. The straightforward heal is to location a beaker of water inside the piano at the bottom. The bigger, the much better, since individuals are likely to neglect about them and they eventually run out of drinking water. It requires weeks to have an effect. This re-hydrating also seemed to repair an motion difficulty that two of our pianos had. Some tuners will not like h2o beakers, they reckon they will trigger problems with the action or rust the strings so expert guidance ought to be sought from a professional technician, but it worked well for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially made for pianos.

Yet another cheap technique to aid with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a common cure but there is certainly a limit to how a lot and how often the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this aged piano looked like they’d by no means been hammered at all, so that was nevertheless a feasible choice. It truly is definitely a work for a competent piano technician, to steer clear of hurt to the pins or wrest plank.

A a lot much more expensive method is to replace the pins with larger pins (they arrive in various dimensions), but it would be a big endeavor and it would be more affordable to get another piano.

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