Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gutting Charley

Well not really, but I have become fascinated with the inner workings of the piano. I actually got a little froggy sunday night and opened her up. I managed to make two of the minor repairs needed all by myself. Well almost, Brett helped with a screw to fix the keyboard cover. A clip had come off so it sat crooked ... but not anymore! And I fixed one of the dampers. They sit back down on the string after you release the key to dampen out the sound. One of the keys kept resonating after the key was let go of and I discovered it was because the damper was loose and was not sitting on the strings correctly. A little internet research, a small paintbrush and some wood glue and it is working properly once again!

Here is a pic before the repair. You can plainly see the crooked damper. I haven't taken a new picture since the repair otherwise you know you'd be seeing it too. :)

Making the small repairs we did along with all of my internet research has really given me a lot of confidence in being able to make all the repairs myself. I know what's wrong and I know the process required to fix it. Pretty cool stuff I tell ya! I've decided that regardless of what my dear husband thinks I need to be doing with my time, I am going to fix this thing up myself before I have it tuned. That leaves more money for piano books and more confidence in myself as well. :)

The most challenging repair will be fixing two hammers where the felt has come loose. I've found a website that explains how to fix it without replacing the hammer. I know I can do it ... I just have to figure out how to remove the whole hammer assembly thing so that I can get to it. The repair involves a small drill bit, some wire, a C clamp and some wood glue. In the picture below you can see one really sticks out and the other sticks out just a little.

Tonight i'm going to take the bottom/front panel off and vacuum out 34 years of only God know what. I'm a little scared after what I found in the top part. It kind of freaked me out at first and then I jumped on the internet and found it was completely to be expected and not that big of a deal at all. I'll leave it all to your imagination. :)

I'm also going to file the front of the hammers to remove the grooves thereby improving the sound quality and will also replace some felt disks under the keys that are sitting a little low. Sweet!

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