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

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

You can decide up an outdated antique piano for $400. I know, simply because I just marketed a single. But how do you know if it is well worth acquiring at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Ok for your little one to learn on? You require to know what to seem for.

The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all looked fantastic. It was one of the best I might at any time seen in that regard–there was no proof of ruined or abused pins, they all seemed initial, none had been hammered in, none had marks on them, they were not bent and there had been no indications of cracks or other damage to the wrest plank. The audio board (the premier piece of wooden, behind the strings in the centre of the instrument) experienced no cracks either, and the strings all looked good. The motion (the shifting components) worked properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the audio of every single observe when you lifted the vital or raised the damper pedal. There was one missing plastic key, but that would be simple to switch. Most old pianos would not glimpse so superior on the inside.

Then, a pair of weeks afterwards I bought a complaint from the quite unhappy buyer:

“Hi Margaret. Immediately after we experienced the piano delivered we got a piano tuner out and were definitely unhappy…it was not able to be tuned…when the tuner experimented with to tighten the pins they would unwind straight absent and she explained it was no superior at all…so we have employed a piano. When the guys came out to supply the [new] piano they also stated “No, which is cactus…”

But the piano was truly really tunable, and the inside workings had been in quite very good affliction. Finally, right after far more tips from me, the consumer realised he’d located a extremely usable instrument.

The skill of the tuner is paramount to trying to keep the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When living in the remote city of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a extremely old piano in substantially even worse condition than this. I also did some tunings on a couple of my students’ old pianos. In all circumstances it was quite tough to maintain them in tune for much more than a couple of minutes, partly due to my bad technique with the tuning hammer (lever). Nonetheless, when a expert tuner came to city he did a wonderful position and the three rickety aged pianos stayed perfectly in tune for many months.

When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it might have to have a lot more than a person tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It is really not possible to know how perfectly this is going to pan out, you can only try it and see how many tunings it needs. The strings have tonnes of stress and you have to hold out for the stress to even out right before carrying out yet another tuning. It can consider months just before the tuning settles.

When he acquired my Moore & Moore piano I instructed him it wanted re-hydrating (it required more h2o or moisture in the wood). If the wrest plank experienced dried out the pins would certainly be unfastened. In Karratha we re-hydrated all a few outdated pianos and it made a Huge variation. The very simple treatment is to position a beaker of h2o inside of the piano at the bottom. The even bigger, the superior, because individuals tend to fail to remember about them and they sooner or later operate out of drinking water. It usually takes months to have an result. This re-hydrating also seemed to take care of an motion dilemma that two of our pianos had. Some tuners never like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will result in problems with the motion or rust the strings so skilled advice must be sought from a skilled technician, but it worked very well for us. There are commercially-readily available humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically manufactured for pianos.

A different affordable approach to assist with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It’s a regular solution but there is certainly a limit to how a great deal and how generally the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this previous piano looked like they’d never been hammered at all, so that was nonetheless a practical alternative. It’s unquestionably a job for a experienced piano technician, to stay clear of harm to the pins or wrest plank.

A significantly extra high priced technique is to substitute the pins with larger sized pins (they come in distinct measurements), but it would be a major undertaking and it would be much less expensive to get a further piano.

In the conclude the customer was quite delighted with his piano, it turned out to be really a very good instrument.