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

You can decide up an previous antique piano for $four hundred. I know, simply because I just bought one. But how do you know if it is value acquiring at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Ok for your youngster to discover on? You need to have to know what to seem for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all looked excellent. It was one particular of the best I’d ever seen in that regard–there was no evidence of ruined or abused pins, they all seemed first, none experienced been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there had been no indications of cracks or other injury to the wrest plank. The seem board (the premier piece of wooden, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) experienced no cracks possibly, and the strings all appeared fantastic. The action (the shifting areas) labored properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the seem of each notice when you lifted the important or elevated the damper pedal. There was one lacking plastic important, but that would be straightforward to exchange. Most previous pianos would not seem so very good on the inside of.

Then, a couple of months later on I received a grievance from the really unhappy buyer:

“Hi Margaret. After we experienced the piano delivered we received a piano tuner out and had been actually dissatisfied…it was not able to be tuned…when the tuner attempted to tighten the pins they would unwind straight absent and she stated it was no good at all…so we have employed a piano. When the fellas arrived out to produce the [new] piano they also stated “No, which is cactus…”

But the piano was truly quite tunable, and the inside workings ended up in quite very good condition. Eventually, following more advice from me, the purchaser realised he’d identified a extremely usable instrument.

The skill of the tuner is paramount to keeping the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When dwelling in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a really aged piano in considerably even worse situation than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ old pianos. In all situations it was very hard to keep them in tune for more than a couple of minutes, partly owing to my poor method with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when Piano removals london came to town he did a wonderful task and the a few rickety previous pianos stayed well in tune for many months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some years it could demand a lot more than a single 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 tension and you have to wait around for the stress to even out ahead of carrying out an additional tuning. It can consider months before the tuning settles.

When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I told him it needed re-hydrating (it required more water or moisture in the wooden). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would certainly be loose. In Karratha we re-hydrated all 3 outdated pianos and it manufactured a Large distinction. The basic cure is to spot a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the bottom. The even bigger, the better, because people are likely to neglect about them and they ultimately run out of h2o. It normally takes weeks to have an influence. This re-hydrating also appeared to correct an action difficulty that two of our pianos experienced. Some tuners never like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will lead to difficulties with the action or rust the strings so specialist tips should be sought from a skilled technician, but it worked well for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially made for pianos.

One more low cost strategy to help with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a standard cure but you will find a restrict to how significantly and how typically 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 practical choice. It’s certainly a task for a competent piano technician, to keep away from hurt to the pins or wrest plank.

A a lot more high-priced strategy is to substitute the pins with larger pins (they occur in distinct dimensions), but it would be a big undertaking and it would be less expensive to get yet another piano.