What Does Piano Restoration Entail?
Restoration is an umbrella term that refers to in a general fashion the
following types of work. Refinishing, rebuilding, refurbishing,
repairs, remanufacturing are terms that are loosely used by lay
persons and some professionals. There are distinctions to be drawn
between their specific meanings though they are all closely related. In
most cases, these terms apply to the kind of work that piano
specialists perform on antique, used, vintage or pre owned pianos in
order to bring them back up into excellent working condition and
Why should you
repair, refinish, refurbish, remanufacture or rebuild your piano? The
answer lies in the specifics of the meaning of these terms.
1. Refinishing is primarily cosmetic work that can involve some repairs only
to the exterior and visible interior cabinet of the piano. Refinishing
exclusively addresses the furniture aspect of the piano. Refinishing requires
the refinisher to strip down and off all the old finish and clean up, smooth and
even out the wooden veneer layer so that a number of finishing coats of lacquer,
stain and or polyurethane can be applied on top of it. An old piano or even a
new one may need all kinds of repair, so this kind of work can become very
involved. The payoff is in a beautiful looking new or vintage instrument that can esthetically enhance the
interior appearance of your home. A top refinishing job can run as much as 5 K or more.
can include refinishing but usually involves the replacement and repair
of the structure and action mechanism of the piano. Pianos are old
world technology that generally stand up up to the test of time but
after 50, 75 or a 100 years, most pianos need replacement of the
strings, tuning pins, pin block, soundboard, action parts, hammers,
shanks, flanges whippens, felts, buckskins and more. To be a competent
piano rebuilder requires great dedication, patience, and skill as a
woodworker. Constructed from 80% wooden components that withstand
enormous stresses of 20 or more tons of tension day after day for
decade after decade, pianos are amazing. It takes time, care, and
determination to become a qualified competent piano rebuilder.
Remanufacturing overlaps with rebuilding. It implies that you are
completely replacing everything that needs replacement to restore it
into a condition as close to new as possible. Whereas rebuilding may
involve partial replacement of key structural components; pin block,
strings, action work, shimming the soundboard, remanufacturing requires
the complete replacement and repair of all primary and essential
structural and moving parts.
4. Repairs and
refurbishing imply, more or less, the same meaning as above, but are
general terms for which the consumer should always get more specific
detailed information. A piano repair or refurbishing project can and
might be far more limited in scope than a rebuilding or remanufacturing
are worth restoring more than other pianos. Steinway's and Mason &
Hamlin and some Baldwin grand’s are a safe bet almost anytime for
remanufacturing whereas other quality but lesser know pianos such as
Chickering, Knabe, and might not gain enough remunerative value for the
dollars invested in repairs.