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

piano moving london can select up an old antique piano for $four hundred. I know, since I just bought 1. But how do you know if it truly is worth purchasing at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your child to find out on? You need to know what to appear for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all appeared exceptional. It was a single of the ideal I would ever witnessed in that respect–there was no evidence of destroyed or abused pins, they all seemed authentic, none had been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there ended up no indications of cracks or other harm to the wrest plank. The audio board (the premier piece of wood, behind the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks possibly, and the strings all seemed wonderful. The motion (the moving elements) worked properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of each and every observe when you lifted the important or elevated the damper pedal. There was one missing plastic important, but that would be simple to replace. Most outdated pianos would not search so great on the inside of.

Then, a couple of weeks afterwards I got a complaint from the very disappointed buyer:

“Hello Margaret. After we had the piano delivered we received a piano tuner out and were really let down…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried 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 men arrived out to provide the [new] piano they also stated “No, that’s cactus…”

But the piano was in fact very tunable, and the within workings have been in extremely excellent issue. Eventually, soon after far more guidance from me, the buyer realised he’d found a really usable instrument.

The skill of the tuner is paramount to keeping the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When residing in the distant city of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a extremely previous piano in a lot worse problem than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ aged pianos. In all cases it was quite difficult to preserve them in tune for more than a number of minutes, partly owing to my very poor technique with the tuning hammer (lever). Nonetheless, when a skilled tuner arrived to town he did a wonderful occupation and the three rickety previous pianos stayed effectively in tune for many months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some a long time it could need far more than one particular tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It truly is not possible to know how well this is heading to pan out, you can only try out it and see how a lot of tunings it demands. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to wait around for the pressure to even out prior to carrying out one more tuning. It can get months just before the tuning settles.

When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I informed him it required re-hydrating (it required much more water or dampness in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would surely be loose. In Karratha we re-hydrated all a few outdated pianos and it produced a Big difference. The easy cure is to area a beaker of drinking water inside of the piano at the bottom. The greater, the much better, simply because people are likely to fail to remember about them and they ultimately run out of drinking water. It takes weeks to have an result. This re-hydrating also appeared to correct an motion dilemma that two of our pianos had. Some tuners never like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will lead to difficulties with the action or rust the strings so professional advice need to be sought from a skilled technician, but it worked properly for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially made for pianos.

An additional low cost strategy to help with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It truly is a standard solution but there’s a restrict to how much and how frequently 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 still a feasible choice. It’s absolutely a job for a experienced piano technician, to steer clear of injury to the pins or wrest plank.

A a lot far more pricey technique is to substitute the pins with bigger pins (they come in different dimensions), but it would be a massive enterprise and it would be more affordable to get another piano.

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