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

June 7, 2023 0 Comments

You can select up an previous antique piano for $four hundred. I know, because I just bought 1. But how do you know if it’s well worth buying at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your youngster to learn on? You require to know what to appear for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed exceptional. It was one particular of the ideal I’d at any time noticed in that respect–there was no evidence of ruined or abused pins, they all appeared authentic, none had been hammered in, none had marks on them, they had been not bent and there were no symptoms of cracks or other harm to the wrest plank. The seem board (the premier piece of wooden, behind the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks possibly, and the strings all looked good. The motion (the shifting components) labored effectively on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of each and every notice when you lifted the crucial or elevated the damper pedal. There was 1 missing plastic key, but that would be effortless to change. Most previous pianos would not appear so excellent on the inside.

Then, a pair of months later on I got a criticism from the quite disappointed consumer:

“Hi Margaret. Soon after we experienced the piano delivered we obtained a piano tuner out and have been truly dissatisfied…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried out to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she stated it was no great at all…so we have employed a piano. When Piano trading London came out to deliver the [new] piano they also explained “No, that is cactus…”

But the piano was really really tunable, and the inside workings had been in really good condition. At some point, after much more tips from me, the consumer realised he’d identified a really usable instrument.

The talent of the tuner is paramount to maintaining the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When living in the distant town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a quite outdated piano in much even worse issue than this. I also did some tunings on a few of my students’ outdated pianos. In all cases it was very challenging to preserve them in tune for more than a handful of minutes, partly owing to my poor method with the tuning hammer (lever). However, when a skilled tuner arrived to city he did a marvelous task and the three rickety aged pianos stayed nicely in tune for several months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some a long time it might require a lot more than 1 tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It truly is extremely hard to know how effectively this is heading to pan out, you can only try it and see how numerous tunings it wants. The strings have tonnes of rigidity and you have to hold out for the stress to even out just before doing yet another tuning. It can consider months ahead of the tuning settles.

When he acquired my Moore & Moore piano I instructed him it required re-hydrating (it needed a lot more h2o or humidity in the wooden). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would definitely be unfastened. In Karratha we re-hydrated all three aged pianos and it produced a Huge difference. The simple remedy is to spot a beaker of drinking water inside the piano at the bottom. The even bigger, the much better, due to the fact men and women tend to overlook about them and they sooner or later operate out of h2o. It normally takes months to have an influence. This re-hydrating also seemed to resolve an motion difficulty that two of our pianos had. Some tuners never like h2o beakers, they reckon they will trigger troubles with the motion or rust the strings so skilled suggestions ought to be sought from a specialist technician, but it labored effectively for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically created for pianos.

An additional cheap approach to assist with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It is a regular cure but there’s a restrict to how much and how typically the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this aged piano appeared like they’d in no way been hammered at all, so that was nonetheless a viable alternative. It really is undoubtedly a job for a experienced piano technician, to steer clear of hurt to the pins or wrest plank.

A considerably more pricey strategy is to exchange the pins with greater pins (they occur in distinct measurements), but it would be a huge endeavor and it would be cheaper to get yet another piano.

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