Piano Fix & Tuning – What to Search For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)
You can select up an previous antique piano for $four hundred. I know, simply because I just bought one. But how do you know if it truly is well worth buying at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Ok for your child to find out on? You want to know what to appear for.
The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all appeared exceptional. It was one particular of the ideal I might at any time noticed in that regard–there was no proof of broken or abused pins, they all seemed unique, none had been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there were no signs of cracks or other harm to the wrest plank. Piano moving services and storage London seem board (the largest piece of wood, driving the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks either, and the strings all seemed fantastic. The action (the relocating parts) labored properly on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the audio of every notice when you lifted the crucial or lifted the damper pedal. There was a single lacking plastic essential, but that would be easy to replace. Most outdated pianos would not look so very good on the inside of.
Then, a pair of months later I received a complaint from the very unhappy customer:
“Hello Margaret. Following we experienced the piano delivered we received a piano tuner out and ended up really disappointed…it was unable to be tuned…when the tuner tried out to tighten the pins they would unwind straight absent and she explained it was no very good at all…so we have hired a piano. When the fellas came out to produce the [new] piano they also said “No, that’s cactus…”
But the piano was in fact quite tunable, and the inside of workings were in really good problem. At some point, after more advice from me, the customer realised he’d discovered a very usable instrument.
The ability of the tuner is paramount to maintaining the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When residing in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a quite outdated piano in considerably worse issue than this. I also did some tunings on a pair of my students’ outdated pianos. In all instances it was really hard to maintain them in tune for far more than a handful of minutes, partly thanks to my poor approach with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when a specialist tuner came to town he did a great job and the 3 rickety old pianos stayed well in tune for many months.
When a piano has not been tuned for some many years it may possibly demand much more than one tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It really is extremely hard to know how effectively this is going to pan out, you can only try it and see how several tunings it requirements. The strings have tonnes of pressure and you have to wait around for the pressure to even out just before performing one more tuning. It can just take months just before the tuning settles.
When he bought my Moore & Moore piano I advised him it required re-hydrating (it needed more water or dampness in the wood). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would surely be unfastened. In Karratha we re-hydrated all 3 previous pianos and it manufactured a Big difference. The straightforward cure is to place a beaker of water inside of the piano at the bottom. The even bigger, the much better, because individuals are inclined to overlook about them and they at some point run out of h2o. It takes weeks to have an influence. This re-hydrating also seemed to repair an action problem that two of our pianos had. Some tuners will not like drinking water beakers, they reckon they will result in difficulties with the action or rust the strings so professional suggestions ought to be sought from a skilled technician, but it labored well for us. There are commercially-offered humidifiers/de-humidifiers specially made for pianos.
Yet another low-cost technique to support with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It truly is a common remedy but there is certainly a limit to how much and how typically the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this aged piano appeared like they’d never ever been hammered at all, so that was still a viable option. It is undoubtedly a work for a expert piano technician, to steer clear of injury to the pins or wrest plank.
A considerably more high-priced technique is to exchange the pins with larger pins (they come in various sizes), but it would be a huge undertaking and it would be less costly to get an additional piano.