Piano Repair & Tuning – What to Look For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)
You can decide up an old antique piano for $four hundred. I know, simply because I just bought one particular. But how do you know if it is value buying at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Ok for your child to understand on? You want to know what to look for.
The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed outstanding. It was a single of the greatest I’d ever witnessed in that respect–there was no proof of broken or abused pins, they all looked original, none had been hammered in, none had marks on them, they had been not bent and there have been no signs of cracks or other damage to the wrest plank. The sound board (the largest piece of wooden, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks either, and the strings all looked wonderful. The motion (the relocating parts) labored properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the sound of each and every be aware when you lifted the key or elevated the damper pedal. There was a single lacking plastic essential, but that would be easy to replace. Most old pianos would not seem so very good on the inside of.
Then, a few of months later I got a criticism from the extremely unhappy consumer:
“Hi Margaret. Soon after we had the piano shipped we acquired a piano tuner out and ended up really dissatisfied…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she stated 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 explained “No, that is cactus…”
But the piano was actually really tunable, and the inside workings had been in extremely excellent condition. Eventually, after more suggestions from me, the customer realised he’d identified a really usable instrument.
The ability of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When dwelling in the distant town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a very previous piano in a lot even worse situation than this. I also did some tunings on a few of my students’ previous pianos. In all instances it was really challenging to keep them in tune for more than a number of minutes, partly because of to my inadequate strategy with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when a professional tuner arrived to city he did a great job and the 3 rickety outdated pianos stayed nicely in tune for several months.
When a piano has not been tuned for some a long time it could require a lot more than one tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It is unattainable 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 rigidity to even out just before doing yet another tuning. It can just take months prior to the tuning settles.
When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I informed him it needed re-hydrating (it required more h2o or humidity in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would definitely be loose. In Karratha we re-hydrated all 3 previous pianos and it made a Big variation. The easy treatment is to place a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the bottom. The bigger, the better, due to the fact individuals are inclined to forget about them and they at some point operate out of water. It will take weeks to have an effect. This re-hydrating also seemed to fix an action difficulty that two of our pianos had. Some tuners never like water beakers, they reckon they will trigger troubles with the action or rust the strings so expert advice need to be sought from a professional technician, but it labored properly for us. There are commercially-accessible humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially produced for pianos.
Yet another cheap approach to assist with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a standard treatment but there is certainly a restrict to how considerably and how typically the pins can be hammered in. Piano tuning london on this aged piano appeared like they’d in no way been hammered at all, so that was still a feasible option. It truly is absolutely a work for a experienced piano technician, to steer clear of hurt to the pins or wrest plank.
A much much more expensive method is to substitute the pins with bigger pins (they occur in various dimensions), but it would be a big endeavor and it would be less costly to get yet another piano.