The Restoration Process
Piano restoration begins when we receive the piano. Since every piano differs from any other in many ways, we spend a good bit of time exploring the various unique aspects of the instrument and discussing various options and approaches before any work is actually undertaken.
Once a course of action is decided upon, the piano is carefully disassembled and profuse notations are cataloged into a schematic overview of the instrument.
The individual parts of the cabinet are sent to the stripping station where the old finish is completely removed. Imperfections in the bare wood are corrected and the components are readied for the refinishing process.
The refinishing process may vary according to the desired final outcome, but most often involves filling grain, staining, precoating and final surfacing. Each layer is hand rubbed in preparation for each subsequent layer. The final result is the classical hand-rubbed high lacquer finish found on new premium pianos in the showroom.
The restoration is always from the soundboard out. The soundboard is the heart of the instrument and its integrity is essential to a successful outcome. The bridges must also be properly attended to. The vibration of the string goes into the bridge which carries it into the soundboard. No restoration can successfully cover a bad soundboard or improper bridgework, hence this work is always from the soundboard out. Done properly, the restored soundboard will not crack under a wide range of conditions. Aged soundboards also hold the potential of the "Stradivarius effect" which can take place over time and use. Our goal is to preserve this unique feature found in northern spruce which has been used musically over many decades.
While the refinishing is taking place, the action, or keys, are disassembled and reassembled with new parts throughout. These would include the hammers, shanks and flanges, damper felts and whippens, the keybed, front and balance rail bushings, among other aspects of the "percussion instrument" of the piano.
Restringing takes place utilizing new wire and tuning pins, and often a new pinblock. The scale of each piano is determined and closely matched. Tight coils on the tuning pins assure tuning stability. Proper felting cushions the strings at various stress points. An unobstructed speaking length produces a clear "clean" sound. Restringing in our factory is done by a specialist.
When all components have been properly dealt with, the piano is reassembled and action regulation and tuning take place. Soon the now new piano reveals its own unique musical character, fully prepared for a half century of service.
Our commitment is to world class restorations. Our pianos are in homes all across America. The late, great Johnny Cash, and record company mogul Mike Curb, among others, have turned to us when premium quality materials and craftsmanship was the only consideration. We offer the same "star" service to you.