Toronto Piano Tuning

by Jamie Musselwhite

Toronto Piano Tuning

by James Musselwhite

Reconditioning the Action and Keyboard of a 1910 Heintzman

Click on any picture to enlarge!

How do I know it was made in 1910? Well, here's a clue. The action was finished on June 15th, 1910 and signed by the technician!

Here's the action before reconditioning:

First, the action is disassembled until all that's left on the action frame...

are the Whippens and the Dampers:

Here's another view of the Dampers (at the top of the picture) and the Whippens (at the bottom). Notice that the damper springs have been moved aside and the felt that is normally in the spring seats have been removed before cleaning:

After the action and it's parts were cleaned in my glass bead blasting booth, new felt was glued into the spring seats:

In this picture you can see the Jacks of the Whippens having new graphite lubricant applied:

Here's the cleaned action frame. Notice that the old damper felts have been removed:

All of the action parts were individually cleaned. Here's a picture of the Damper lifter rod being cleaned:

At the bottom of this photo is the sostenuto action cleaned and re-lubricated:

New hammer rail felt (the tourquoise felt on the rail at the bottom of this photo) installed:

The action reassembled and ready for the new parts:

The keyboard before cleaning:

The keyboard frame with the keys removed:

The cleaned frame with new felt. (There is masking tape over the back strip of felt to hold it in place while the glue dries):

The side of the middle C key before cleaning:

The same key after cleaning:

The cleaned keyboard. All the black keys have been rubbed down (after cleaning) with fine steel wool to polish them. The black paint on the sides of the sharps (visible in the above picture) has been re-applied:

The middle section of the keyboard before and after cleaning. (Click to switch pictures):

Check back to see the installation of the new dampers and hammers!

Reconditioning the Action and Keyboard of a 1920 Heintzman Upright

Before I begin, let's clear up some terminology. Reconditioning is a restoration that renews a piano (or parts of a piano) by cleaning and/or repairing the existing parts. It may also involve replacement of some of the parts. Rebuilding is a restoration that replaces whole mechanisms.

For example: In the following piano, if I put all new parts in the action, that would be rebuilding. Instead, I replaced the worn parts only. Most of the action is original. That's reconditioning.

Here's a photo essay describing the steps in restoring a beautiful old piano's playability.

(You can click on a picture to enlarge and zoom in.)

Here's the keyboard as it arrived in the shop. The green tape is holding the Ivories that have become completely un-glued. (Most of the ivory key tops are loose.)

Here's the key frame without the keys. The fornt rail punchings (the green discs) were replaced by an earlier tech. Underneath the punchings are paper discs that regulate how far a key depresses. I found it a little sad that someone replaced the felt but not the paper.

Here's the key frame without the keys. The fornt rail punchings (the green discs) were replaced by an earlier tech. Underneath the punchings are paper discs that regulate how far a key depresses. I found it a little sad that someone replaced the felt but not the paper.

Here's the frame after cleaning, and after the replacement of all the felt.

Here's the frame after cleaning, and after the replacement of all the felt.

After the keys were cleaned in the glass-bead blasting chamber, I reglued the loose ivories. The first step is always cleaning - you never want to glue dirt onto the key!

After the keys were cleaned in the glass-bead blasting chamber, I reglued the loose ivories. The first step is always cleaning - you never want to glue dirt onto the key!

Originally, the keytops were glued on using a cotton wafer of gauze that had been soaked in a mixture of hide glue and titanium dioxide. Now, with better glue, I start by painting the key body with white-out. This is because ivory is translucent - you will see the colour of the wood or the glue underneath the keytop.

Originally, the keytops were glued on using a cotton wafer of gauze that had been soaked in a mixture of hide glue and titanium dioxide. Now, with better glue, I start by painting the key body with white-out. This is because ivory is translucent - you will see the colour of the wood or the glue underneath the keytop.

The ivory is then glued to the body using Weldbond glue which dries clear. The clamp I'm using used to belong to my grandfather - It's older than the piano! Some techs may not like that I'm using such a strong glue, but if the ivory ever needs to be replaced it can be cut off. (I actually removed a set of ivories using a fine saw and reglued them onto a new piano!)

The ivory is then glued to the body using Weldbond glue which dries clear. The clamp I'm using used to belong to my grandfather - It's older than the piano!

Some techs may not like that I'm using such a strong glue, but if the ivory ever needs to be replaced it can be cut off. (I actually removed a set of ivories using a fine saw and reglued them onto a new piano!)

All of the loose ivories were reglued, and marked with a piece of tape so I knew which ones needed to have the excess glue removed.

All of the loose ivories were reglued, and marked with a piece of tape so I knew which ones needed to have the excess glue removed.

There's a photo missing here: After cleaning, the black keys are greyish because the oils have been removed. To make tham black again, I rub them down with a solution made from Vinegar and steel wool. This process is called pickling. It is a time-honoured way of staining woods without using a stain.

If you use a black stain on the sharps, you then have to lacquer them. It looks good at first, but after the finish wears off through playing, it looks terrible. Pickling works on a chemical level - it last for decades, yet it doesn't actually stain anything. The solution is clear! (excuse the pun.)

Here's the cleaned, reglued, and polished keyboard.

Here's the cleaned, reglued, and polished keyboard.

An old Balance Rail Key Bushing.

An old Balance Rail Key Bushing.

The next step is to replace the red felt key bushings. The bushings allow the key to move, but keep them from wobbling side-to-side. 

Because the bushings are glued in with Hide Glue, they steam off very easily.

Because the bushings are glued in with Hide Glue, they steam off very easily.

The old bushing removed.

The old bushing removed.

A caul is inserted in the empty bushing slot while it is still warm from steaming. This ensures that once the key cools and dries, it is a uniform shape and size.

A caul is inserted in the empty bushing slot while it is still warm from steaming. This ensures that once the key cools and dries, it is a uniform shape and size.

The process is then repeated for the Front Rail Bushing underneath the key.

The keys are left to dry overnight.

The keys are left to dry overnight.

Using a different caul, new felt is glued in, using a modern version of Hide Glue that is just as removable.

Using a different caul, new felt is glued in, using a modern version of Hide Glue that is just as removable.

Now, on to the Action:

The Action as it arrived in the shop.

The Action as it arrived in the shop.

First the action is disassembled. Here's a closeup showing the Bridle Straps.

First the action is disassembled. Here's a closeup showing the Bridle Straps.

All of the assemblies removed except for the Whippens and the Dampers.

All of the assemblies removed except for the Whippens and the Dampers.

Here's a closeup of one of the Action Brackets.

Here's a closeup of one of the Action Brackets.

All of the parts were cleaned, and then the old felt was replaced before re-assembly. This is the pedal lifter rod that fits underneath the dampers. At the bottom of the picture is the Regulation Rail. It has all new felt as well (the little turquoise discs.) 

All of the parts were cleaned, and then the old felt was replaced before re-assembly. This is the pedal lifter rod that fits underneath the dampers. At the bottom of the picture is the Regulation Rail. It has all new felt as well (the little turquoise discs.) 

Here are the Lifter Rods back in place. Notice the new red felt in the bracket (center far-right) When the glue is dry it will be trimmed to size. 

Here are the Lifter Rods back in place. Notice the new red felt in the bracket (center far-right) When the glue is dry it will be trimmed to size. 

Here's a shot of the same Action Bracket shown earlier, cleaned, re-felted and back in place.

Here's a shot of the same Action Bracket shown earlier, cleaned, re-felted and back in place.

All of the Graphite lubrication was replaced (The shiny black surfaces).

All of the Graphite lubrication was replaced (The shiny black surfaces).

The re-assembled action.

The re-assembled action.

Replacing the Jack Springs.

Replacing the Jack Springs.

The Action all ready for new Hammers.

The Action all ready for new Hammers.

First, every other hammer is cut off, the shanks are cleaned and a tiny slot is cut into the end. The slot gives a place for extra glue to go when the new Hammers are glued on. This makes sure that they are all on the same level and not a little higher due to excess glue.

First, every other hammer is cut off, the shanks are cleaned and a tiny slot is cut into the end. The slot gives a place for extra glue to go when the new Hammers are glued on. This makes sure that they are all on the same level and not a little higher due to excess glue.

The new Hammers are glued on.

The new Hammers are glued on.

Then the rest of the hammers are removed and the process repeats.

Then the rest of the hammers are removed and the process repeats.

NEXT: Stay tuned for the Finale!

All in the Family

Being a member of a piano tuning family has it's moments.

I was recently hired to fully recondition this lovely 1950's Heintzman Elgin.

A lovely piano owned for it's whole life by one family, and... during it's first decade or so, tuned by my Dad.

I replaced all the action parts, the bass strings and tuning pins, and cleaned it inside and out. My daughter Hannah replaced the key bushings.

The pedal mechanism was reconditioned and reinstalled, and the pedals polished.

At the end of the process, I had the honour to place my card beside my fathers!

Buyer Beware

I have to say this far too often: "Don't judge a piano by how it looks." Looks, as they say, aren't everything.

I recently had the misfortune to run across this 1890's Heintzman ex-player Grand.

Looks nice, right?

Its pretty exterior hides an ugly truth: Some people in the piano business are evil - either because they are greedy, or because they are incredibly ignorant. Either way, It's my number one aggravation. (My number two is leaf-blowers.)

Hear's the clues to the facts:

1. Wrong decal. The right decal is easily obtained from a piano parts supplier.

2. New keytops improperly installed. If they were installed correctly, the key body would have been cleaned first, the old celluloid front removed, the new plastic glued on using the right glue, and the new top shaped to match the size of the key, including the fronts.

To quote The Donald: "Wrong!"

To quote The Donald: "Wrong!"

Again: "Wrong!" GLUE DOESN'T STICK TO DIRT!!!!

Again: "Wrong!" GLUE DOESN'T STICK TO DIRT!!!!

This was a new one - who ties a loop like this?

It's actually causing the string to lose bearing on the bridge because the added height over the bass duplex bar.

It's actually causing the string to lose bearing on the bridge because the added height over the bass duplex bar.

It should look like this:

Finally, New hammers had been glued onto the old shanks, without the action being cleaned or otherwise serviced. In fact most of the parts were seized. The hammers that are sticking up into the air are ones so badly seized, the notes do not even play.

So, the moral of the story is: Call me BEFORE you buy a used piano!

Frankenpiano!

As frequent readers of my blog know, every so often I take on projects that are a little unusual. Case in point: The following instrument my daughter dubbed "The Frankenpiano".

 

First, Piano 1.

Piano 1 is a Gerhard Heintzman upright grand piano, made in 1910. The exterior had been lovingly refinished by the owners' parents, but the interior had major problems which would require extensive rebuilding to correct.

The Gerhard Heintzman Piano was made by a nephew of THE Heintzman. The brand name was bought by THE Heintzman, and used as a second-line. I have highlighted the THE's, because many people mistake G. Heintzman for Heintzman, but, believe me, there's a difference.

The G. Heintzman is an odd piano. It's insanely overbuilt - wider and heavier than the average piano, but using an open-faced plate (harp) as a kind of throw-back to the older European pianos. Even though the case parts are very thick and very strong, the harp is the opposite, and, like its European cousin Bechstein, is prone to breakage. If a piano plate breaks, the piano is un-fixable... normally.

First, the action and keyboard was removed.

First, the action and keyboard was removed.

Then the piano was put on its back and the keybed was removed.

Then the piano was put on its back and the keybed was removed.

Then the strings and the plate were removed.

Then the strings and the plate were removed.


Now, for piano 2 - This 1911 Heintzman Upright Grand was given to me (for the cost of moving), with the understanding that I would find it a good home. I readily agreed, because it was a fine old piano that I didn’t want to see thrown out. However, it needed to be rebuilt and refinished before a home could be found.

Theodore Heintzman, an expatriate German like Steinway, succeeded in building what was at the time, the ultimate upright piano, but still within the price range of most families. He had shared a workbench with Henry Steinway when they were both apprentices in the “old country”. Henry immigrated to New York, Theodore to Toronto, Canada. For a while, in the early years, it was a toss-up as to who would become the pre-eminent builder.

This piano, although the case looks good at first glance, had giant splits up the sides which damaged the veneer. Therefore, it would be costly to refinish, and the old-fashioned look of the case would make it less re-sellable.

This piano, although the case looks good at first glance, had giant splits up the sides which damaged the veneer. Therefore, it would be costly to refinish, and the old-fashioned look of the case would make it less re-sellable.

The former owner of Piano 2 had tried to start the refinishing process by attempting to strip the old finish by himself. Many Ivory keys were missing or chipped. The Action and Keyboard both needed rebuilding and were quite dirty.

 I removed an discarded the case and rebuilt the back and the belly of the piano.

Before I removed the Bass Strings, I took a paper pattern of them so that they can be rescaled and remade by a professional string maker.

Before I removed the Bass Strings, I took a paper pattern of them so that they can be rescaled and remade by a professional string maker.

 After removing all the strings, I took out the Plate and cleaned both it and the soundboard. The body of the piano was then placed on a tripod, covered with a blanket and then a heater placed underneath. The soundboard was warmed fora few days to dry it out in preparation for the ribs to be re-glued, and the cracks shimmed. Before drying, there were two cracks which basically went from one end of the board to the other. after drying, these cracks opened up and bit more, and few smaller ones, previously not noticeable, appeared.

 After removing all the strings, I took out the Plate and cleaned both it and the soundboard. The body of the piano was then placed on a tripod, covered with a blanket and then a heater placed underneath. The soundboard was warmed fora few days to dry it out in preparation for the ribs to be re-glued, and the cracks shimmed. Before drying, there were two cracks which basically went from one end of the board to the other. after drying, these cracks opened up and bit more, and few smaller ones, previously not noticeable, appeared.

The soundboard was then shimmed, refinished, the plate reinstalled, and restrung.

The soundboard was then shimmed, refinished, the plate reinstalled, and restrung.

I cleaned the keyboard and key frame using a glass bead blasting cabinet

The old key tops were removed, and new plastic tops applied, and shaped by hand. The sharps were cleaned and polished, and the key frame,was re-felted.

The action was fully re-conditioned, with new German hammers and dampers, new springs, and completely cleaned and lubricated.


 

And now for the "Franken" part:

 I removed the soundboard of the Piano 1, and cut off the back completely -leaving only the outer back posts.

The posts were cut down in thickness to act as spacers so that the wider Piano 1 case could be glued onto the narrower rebuilt Piano 2 back.

The Action and keyboard from the rebuilt Heintzman gave me the measurements to properly allign the case parts from the Gerhard Heintzman.

The Action and keyboard from the rebuilt Heintzman gave me the measurements to properly allign the case parts from the Gerhard Heintzman.

Here's the "new" piano, installed in the "old" Case. If you look carefully, you can see the fore-mentioned spacers. You can also see in this picture the re-plated pedals in place, in preparation for installing the new pedal trapwork. You can also see that the back of Piano 2 is taller than the case of piano 1. Even though both pianos were the same height, Piano 1 had an old-fashioned "sticker type action, while Piano 2 had a modern action. I had to raise the back of Piano 2 so that I could use the keybed from Piano 1. The lid was then routered out so that it matched the height of the sides.

Here's the "new" piano, installed in the "old" Case. If you look carefully, you can see the fore-mentioned spacers. You can also see in this picture the re-plated pedals in place, in preparation for installing the new pedal trapwork. You can also see that the back of Piano 2 is taller than the case of piano 1. Even though both pianos were the same height, Piano 1 had an old-fashioned "sticker type action, while Piano 2 had a modern action. I had to raise the back of Piano 2 so that I could use the keybed from Piano 1. The lid was then routered out so that it matched the height of the sides.

Here's the trapwork (the pedal mechanism) installed...

Here's the trapwork (the pedal mechanism) installed...

...and here's the action and keyboard installed.

...and here's the action and keyboard installed.

The piano was then regulated and tuned.

The piano was then regulated and tuned.

Finally, the case parts were all cleaned, and re-installed.

Finally, the case parts were all cleaned, and re-installed.

IMG_5604.JPG

All done. A 1911 Heintzman, inside of the case from a Gerhard Heintzman. Many years from now, when I'm no longer taking care of this piano, some technician is going to open it up and get a big surprise!

The Action of the Thing by PhemieC

You press down the key
which pushes up the capstan
which pushes up the whippen
which pushes up the jack spring
which moves the jack
which butts the butt and touches catch to back check
and also makes the hammer hit the string
and that’s the Action of the thing

The action of the thing, is simple to explain
but the pattern of it’s mechanism tricky to retain
so if you need a hint, rely on this refrain
I’ll show you how, repeat it now here once more and again.

You press down the key
which pushes up the capstan
which pushes up the whippen
which pushes up the jack spring
which moves the jack
which butts the butt and touches catch to back check
and also makes the hammer hit the string
and that’s the Action of the thing

The action of the thing, is simple to explain
but the pattern of it’s mechanism tricky to retain
so if you need a hint, rely on this refrain
I’ll show you how, repeat it now here once more and again.

You press down the key
which makes the capstan hit the whippen butt
the whippen moves on whippen flange
It makes the jack spring move the jack (which moves on jack flange)
Hit the butt, which moves on butt flange
Move the catch to hit the back check
and it makes the hammer hit the string
(The damper acts, the bridal strap pulls back the catch right after that)
And that is the action of the thing.

action.jpg

A Little History Lesson

Most people think of the piano simply as a piece of musical furniture, something for their kids to learn on, or for other people to master. Many people think of a piano as something to play as a form of recreation, or perhaps a skill that they could learn. A few people see a piano as part of their livelihoods, or an outlet for their passion. An instrument on which they express themselves and enrich their life, and the lives of those around them.

I am a third generation piano technician. Like my Grandfather, Father and brother, I am a Piano Tuner, Technician and Rebuilder and have worked in the Piano Industry since 1976. I see the piano as being a connection to the history of creativity of humankind: A time capsule, a wonderful machine that does so much more than just work. It expresses something that speaks of our need as a species to create something meaningful, something beautiful.

A piano is a wooden machine that makes music. It's not unusual to find pianos that are a century old. Built before the existence of any of the technology that shapes our current culture, they still fulfill exactly the purpose that they were designed to do, using materials and machinery that predates practically everything in our lives today.

Pianos such as these were designed by craftsmen that for the most part used nothing but guesswork, experimentation and common sense. They were built by men who used hand tools and giant unwieldy machines powered by steam and horse power: machines literally powered by horses.

In a typical piano factory, a small group of men worked for months to build one piano. They sold for staggering amounts of money. A good upright piano in the early 1900's sold for the equivalent of buying a luxury car today. The difference: A good car may, if you care for it, last for only around a quarter of a century, during that time having more money poured into it in the form of fuel, maintenance and repair. A piano, tuned at least once a year, may last for a century or more.

Every Family in Canada during the early 1900's aspired to own a piano, as it was not only a measure of wealth and prosperity, it was astounding useful – often the only form of entertainment in a home. Hundreds of piano factories fulfilled this need, most of them, building pianos quickly, and charging as little as $500 – still a huge expense, the equivalent of close to $10,000 in today’s currency.

A few factories strove to create the best instrument they could, building pianos slowly, with the best materials, and made by craftsmen that were the cream of the crop. In Canada, the best of the best was Heintzman & Co. If you had the money, and wanted the best, you bought a Heintzman. If you were a dyed-in-the-wool piano craftsman, you worked for Heintzman. From the late 1800's until the end of the 1920's Heintzman made the best pianos in Canada, and arguably, among the best in the world.

A true Canadian brand, a Heintzman piano was not built as a fragile piece of art, but as tanks of the musical battlefield. They were designed and built to withstand the brutal conditions of the country as it existed then, cold long winters, scorching hot summers, and every conceivable climate in between: Humid or dry, Hot or cold, and delivered to these places in horse drawn wagons or by train. Climate-controlled conditions did not exist, anywhere, period. Heintzman built pianos that would survive a sled ride to the arctic, a barge across a rural lake, in homes heated by open fireplaces, Franklin stoves, and coal-fed furnaces.

 

Heintzman & Co. Ltd. was founded by Theodore August Heintzman. Born in Berlin Germany on May 19th 1817, he was apprenticed to the piano-building trade when he was just fourteen years old. As was common back then, he learned every aspect of instrument making: learning to be a machinist, a cabinet-maker, and an engineer. He came to North America in 1850 in order to reunite with his wife and her family, who had fled Germany during the March Revolution of 1848.

They settled first in New York City, where Heintzman worked for the piano makers Lighte & Newton. In 1852 Heintzman moved to Buffalo, where he worked, first for the Keogh Piano Co. And then in partnership under the brand name Drew, Heintzman & Annowski.

With the American Civil War brewing, and possibly reminding him of the unrest that he had endured in “The Old Country” He moved to Toronto in 1860. He built his first Canadian piano that year in his kitchen, and sold it immediately, continuing and enlarging his business with the proceeds. The company was incorporated in May 1866, with the financial and managerial help of Heintzman's son-in-law, Charles Bender, a prosperous tobacconist.

Heintzman's first real factory was in the 100 block of King St W. In 1888 a new factory was built at the intersection of Keele and Dundas streets in the Annex District of Downtown Toronto.

This factory had a long tunnel-like corridor built around the foundation of the basement that had two doors side-by side. Rough cut lumber would enter in one door and placed in racks alongside a wet-furnace fed by shavings of the new wood. Every month the lumber was moved further along the racks until it emerged from the second set of doors two years later beside a dry-kiln furnace that heated the factory. Two years of slow seasoning made the wood exceptionally dry and resilient, perfect for building pianos for the Canadian Climate. Every year their pianos improved, until during the “Golden Years” of the 1920's, when they produced pianos of such durability and beauty that they were revered around the world.

Like my father and my grandfather before me, I worked for Heintzman in their retail outlets as a technician and a rebuilder. Every once in a while, I am given the opportunity to breath new life into one of these wonderful pianos.


Rebuilding a 1931 Heintzman Miniature Grand #83634

REBUILDING THE ACTION AND KEYBOARD

At first glance the action looks dirty but in good shape - there are new hammers! However, nothing has been done to this action (other than the new hammers and shanks) for 85 years. Plus, the shanks were all in dire need of re-pinning, and the hammers were installed improperly.

At first glance the action looks dirty but in good shape - there are new hammers! However, nothing has been done to this action (other than the new hammers and shanks) for 85 years. Plus, the shanks were all in dire need of re-pinning, and the hammers were installed improperly.

First, I removed the action stack and the keys.

First, I removed the action stack and the keys.

Then I removed all the old felt from the frame.

Then I removed all the old felt from the frame.

Then I cleaned the keys and the frame in my glass-bead blaster.

Then I cleaned the keys and the frame in my glass-bead blaster.

Here you see the keys after - and before cleaning.

Here you see the keys after - and before cleaning.

The Key bushings were all replaced with new felt.

The Key bushings were all replaced with new felt.

Then the frame was re-felted, and the keys placed back on the frame.

Then the frame was re-felted, and the keys placed back on the frame.

This is the Whippen rail of the action before reconditioning,

This is the Whippen rail of the action before reconditioning,

A close-up of the Whippens.

A close-up of the Whippens.

The action stack was completely dis-assembled in preparation for reconditioning.

The action stack was completely dis-assembled in preparation for reconditioning.

Then, the Whippens (and the other action parts) were all cleaned with the blaster.

Then, the Whippens (and the other action parts) were all cleaned with the blaster.

Once clean, the Whippens were individually checked, lubricated, and given an initial adjustment.

Once clean, the Whippens were individually checked, lubricated, and given an initial adjustment.

This is the action frame before cleaning...

This is the action frame before cleaning...

and after cleaning. The black line that you see is a special rubberized fabric tape. It duplicates the original tape used 85 years ago by Heintzman.

and after cleaning. The black line that you see is a special rubberized fabric tape. It duplicates the original tape used 85 years ago by Heintzman.

Here's a close-up of the tape. Notice that the chrome action brackets have been cleaned and polished.

Here's a close-up of the tape. Notice that the chrome action brackets have been cleaned and polished.

Then, the hammers and shanks were cleaned, re-pinned, and re-attached to the frame.

Then, the hammers and shanks were cleaned, re-pinned, and re-attached to the frame.

Here's a close-up of the hammers. Notice that (besides being grooved by the strings) they are all at different angles.

Here's a close-up of the hammers. Notice that (besides being grooved by the strings) they are all at different angles.

The hammerheads were all removed, and re-glued into their proper positions, and the hammers reshaped to remove the grooving.

The hammerheads were all removed, and re-glued into their proper positions, and the hammers reshaped to remove the grooving.

These are the original 85 year-old dampers.

These are the original 85 year-old dampers.

The old felt was removed, the damper heads and wires cleaned, and new treble felt glued on. (The bass felt will be glued on once the dampers are re-installed).

The old felt was removed, the damper heads and wires cleaned, and new treble felt glued on. (The bass felt will be glued on once the dampers are re-installed).

Here's the action completely reconditioned, and given a bench regulation. Click on the picture to enlarge and Compare this picture to the before picture.

REFINISHING AND REBUILDING THE BACK AND BELLY

The case stripped, the Plate and Pinblock removed, and the soundboard being given an initial cleaning.

The case stripped, the Plate and Pinblock removed, and the soundboard being given an initial cleaning.

The Plate out of the piano. It will be cleaned, re-painted, the decals re-applied, and the plate felt replaced.

The Plate out of the piano. It will be cleaned, re-painted, the decals re-applied, and the plate felt replaced.

The old and the new Pinblock.

The old and the new Pinblock.

The soundboard was dried, and then the cracks in the board opened up and shimmed with soundboard spruce. Notice that the treble bridge cap (the curved line of wood on the board) has been replaced.

The soundboard was dried, and then the cracks in the board opened up and shimmed with soundboard spruce. Notice that the treble bridge cap (the curved line of wood on the board) has been replaced.

The Soundboard given its first coat of lacquer.

The Soundboard given its first coat of lacquer.

The Plate cleaned and prepped for painting.

The Plate cleaned and prepped for painting.

The case parts stripped and sanded.

The case parts stripped and sanded.

The finished Piano ready for restringing.

The finished Piano ready for restringing.

The freshly re-strung piano.

The freshly re-strung piano.

The dampers installed.

The dampers installed.

Initial Tuning.

Initial Tuning.

All done and...

All done and...

Delivered!

Delivered!

New Website...

Hi folks!

Those of you who are frequent visitors to my site will notice this HUGE change. It was necessary because my old site (Hosted by WORDPRESS) was constantly being hacked. This new site is supposedly bulletproof, so feel safe to browse away. I'll be adding the content from the old site when my busy schedule permits. 

Two little important notices:

1. I do not publish my phone number. This is also because of security and privacy issues. However, feel free to email me and I'll include my number in the reply.

2. Please also visit my books page for information regarding what I do when I'm not tuning pianos. Enjoy!

torontopianotuning@gmail.com