Piano Restore & Tuning – What to Appear For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)
You can select up an old antique piano for $four hundred. I know, because I just offered 1. But how do you know if it really is worth purchasing at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your youngster to learn on? You need to know what to search for.
The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all appeared superb. It was a single of the very best I might ever seen in that regard–there was no proof of ruined or abused pins, they all seemed authentic, none experienced been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there ended up no indicators of cracks or other damage to the wrest plank. Piano buying london (the largest piece of wooden, behind the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks either, and the strings all appeared good. The action (the transferring components) labored properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the sound of each and every be aware when you lifted the important or elevated the damper pedal. There was one particular missing plastic essential, but that would be easy to replace. Most previous pianos would not appear so excellent on the within.
Then, a couple of months afterwards I obtained a criticism from the really disappointed consumer:
“Hello Margaret. Soon after we experienced the piano sent we acquired a piano tuner out and ended up truly unhappy…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she explained it was no excellent at all…so we have employed a piano. When the men arrived out to supply the [new] piano they also stated “No, that’s cactus…”
But the piano was actually very tunable, and the inside of workings were in quite great condition. Eventually, after much more guidance from me, the purchaser realised he’d identified a quite usable instrument.
The ability of the tuner is paramount to maintaining the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When living in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a very old piano in a lot even worse condition than this. I also did some tunings on a pair of my students’ previous pianos. In all situations it was extremely tough to hold them in tune for more than a couple of minutes, partly because of to my poor technique with the tuning hammer (lever). Nonetheless, when a skilled tuner arrived to town he did a wonderful work and the 3 rickety previous pianos stayed effectively in tune for many months.
When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it could need much more than one tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It really is extremely hard to know how properly this is heading to pan out, you can only attempt it and see how several tunings it wants. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to wait for the pressure to even out prior to performing yet another tuning. It can take months just before the tuning settles.
When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I advised him it needed re-hydrating (it essential much more h2o or dampness in the wooden). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would undoubtedly be loose. In Karratha we re-hydrated all a few aged pianos and it produced a Big distinction. The simple cure is to place a beaker of water inside the piano at the bottom. The larger, the far better, simply because men and women are inclined to neglect about them and they eventually operate out of h2o. It takes weeks to have an impact. This re-hydrating also appeared to repair an motion difficulty that two of our pianos had. Some tuners do not like h2o beakers, they reckon they will result in issues with the motion or rust the strings so skilled guidance ought to be sought from a specialist technician, but it labored nicely for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically made for pianos.
Yet another cheap technique to support with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It really is a standard solution but there’s a restrict to how significantly and how usually the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this old piano appeared like they’d never ever been hammered at all, so that was even now a practical alternative. It’s certainly a work for a skilled piano technician, to stay away from hurt to the pins or wrest plank.
A considerably much more costly method is to exchange the pins with larger pins (they arrive in various measurements), but it would be a large endeavor and it would be more affordable to get yet another piano.