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Piano Restoration:
Refinishing, Repairing,
Rebuilding, Remanufacturing
and Refurbishing Your Instrument

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What Does Piano Restoration Entail?

Piano 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 appearance.

Restore Your Piano -
A Piano Company Sells Piano Restoration

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.

2. Rebuilding 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.

3. 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 job.

Some pianos 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.

 

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