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Final fitting of new legs…

Final fitting of new legs…

Seen here, the Bass leg on the Blüthner Style-X – I had just started fine-tuning the new leg boss to mate properly with the new leg. Quite a long process of test fitting, then removing fine shavings until everything is snug.

Please look here for a picture of the legs and lyre fitted – I was double checking to make sure there would be enough clearance under the lyre.

Written on March 12th, 2018. 0 Comments

Lyre parts…

Lyre parts…

Lyre box for the Blüthner Style-X – mahogany to match the legs. I was able to salvage the centre section the holds the pedals, but had to move the holes (which havn’t been drilled yet in this picture) for the rods as they had been badly positioned, causing the rods to bind in the guide bushes.

Written on March 8th, 2018. 0 Comments

New Blüthner legs…

New Blüthner legs…

A recently finished job – making new legs, all threaded wooden case fixtures, and lyre for a Style-X Blüthner. Beech cores, with Mahogany outers for a closer colour match to the Rosewood case. Please look here for a picture of the legs after staining and finishing. In the past I’ve used the original cores from turned legs that have been boxed – this was the first time I built legs from scratch. The original legs and threaded fittings had all been removed in the past and replaced with modern square legs.

Written on March 5th, 2018. 0 Comments

New Bösendorfer rebuild…

New Bösendorfer rebuild…

Well, I say new rebuild – the piano actually started back in March with a flurry of activity to remove the frame, wrest plank, and soundboard, make new legs and a lyre, then the case and all its parts were sent away to be finished in black polyester.

The piano returned a couple of days ago, and I’m currently preparing it for the new board which should arrive any day now.

Seen here is the newly inlaid Bösendorfer name in brass.

Written on June 21st, 2017. 0 Comments

Tuning my Bechstein “A”…

Tuning my Bechstein “A”…

This particular model of Bechstein seems to confuse my electronic tuner – something to do with the scaling and bridge design in the second section. So this afternoon I decided to tune the piano aurally, which is something I haven’t done for a long time. It was rather liberating to be honest! I found myself remembering my apprenticeship days sitting amongst a sea of pianos while I learned to tune with all sorts of workshop noises going on around me (good practice for tuning in restaurants and so on!).

I’m definitely out of practice, but was happy with the result. Probably the last tuning I’ll do before Christmas, so I’m glad it was such a nice piano! Along with my Fujan carbon lever, I also got to try my new 30mm wide felt wedge. It’s so nice to use good tools.

You can see the piano here (apologies for the first picture – someone leaned against the keys whilst taking the pic, so it looks like the hammers are out of regulation!)

Written on December 16th, 2016. 0 Comments

Aliquot bridge…

Aliquot bridge…

Fitting the Aliquot studs in my current Style-VI rebuild. The piano has had a new soundboard, wrest plank, new turned legs and lyre, and black polyester finish – I’ll be stringing the piano this week before completing the action rebuild in the week leading up to Christmas.

Written on December 13th, 2015. 0 Comments

Key weighing…

Key weighing…

After rebuilding the action for my Bechstein “A” Sheraton, and fitting new hammers, a few of the keys were too light touch wise. I removed an old key lead, plugged the hole (you can see the new plug just behind the black portion of the key), then re-assembled the action with the newly plugged keys in place.

In the picture here you can see the 52g touch weight on the front of the key, and a new 15g lead resting on the top of the key near the balance point, with a mark on the side of the key ready for drilling.

The finished piano can now be viewed at Handel Pianos.

Written on March 28th, 2015. 0 Comments

Future projects…

Future projects…

Last week I made a (very rare..!) trip outside the workshop to my local timber merchant. I was buying Maple stock to make new legs and a lyre for a Blüthner Style-VII I bought last year. Currently the piano is finished in black polish, but it’s my intention to re-veneer the piano in maple.

There is SO much going on in the workshop at the moment that I’m not sure when I’ll get round to this rather special project piano. Keep an eye out for further information!

Written on March 17th, 2015. 0 Comments

Wrest plank…

Wrest plank…

Polishing the new wrest plank for a Sheraton Bechstein model “A” grand. Another late night in the workshop!

Note the old plank just behind (underneath all the tools) being used as reference for the new plank.

Written on January 12th, 2015. 0 Comments

New tools…

New tools…

Such a long time since my last post, but felt I just had to share a picture of my latest acquisition – a pair of Starrett pliers top-cut. They’re something I’ve always wanted, but could never really justify since the pliers I use for cutting piano wire work perfectly well.

A dear friend of mine recently gave me his collection of piano tools, and yesterday I found these splendid pliers in amongst them. They’re really lovely to use, cutting through piano wire like it’s not there – I can’t wait till my next stringing job!

Written on August 5th, 2014. 0 Comments

In the workshop…

In the workshop…

After a very enjoyable Christmas break, I’m once again in the workshop!

I realised today I’ve not updated my website for many months – I’ve been putting a lot of hours into piano work, and just haven’t had time to add pictures to the site. One of my new year resolutions is to keep the website ticking over a bit better…

Happy new year everyone!

Written on January 8th, 2014. 0 Comments

Blüthner soundboard work…

Blüthner soundboard work…

Such a long time since I added anything new to my website! Here’s the piano I’m currently working on. The soundboard was in rather a sorry state, and I’ve done a number of repairs to it. Seen here, just after trimming the new shims, and just before scraping the old finish away ready for sanding and lacquering.

I like the rather “snaily” shaving taken from one of the shims…!

Written on April 1st, 2013. 2 Comments

New keyboard…

New keyboard…

After rather a lot of measuring and calculating, the specifications for a new keyboard were sent to Aug. Laukhuff in Germany. Seen here, part of the working drawing for the new keyboard.

Written on March 5th, 2013. 0 Comments

Style-X finished…

Style-X finished…

The Style-X Blüthner now resides in the showroom at Handel Pianos in Sunningdale. The piano looks and sounds even better I’d hoped it would – please get in touch with the chaps at the showroom, and go along to play it for yourself!

Written on February 14th, 2013. 2 Comments

Style-X dampers…

Style-X dampers…

Seen here, the dampers in the third section of the piano, complete with a little damper on the side of the head for the Aliquot string. At this stage they’ve not had their fine regulation – that will happen this evening!

The piano is starting to sound very nice now, and will be finished and ready for shipping to the showroom at Handel Pianos by the end of the week.

Written on January 23rd, 2013. 0 Comments

Style-X socket rails…

Style-X socket rails…

Style-X is now ready for dampers to be fitted. First regulation complete, and the piano is up to pitch.

Seen here just after positioning the socket rails (which guide the dampers) – you can see them just under the strings in the bottom right corner of the picture. In a few hours they’ll be hidden from view by the newly rebuilt dampers…

Written on January 17th, 2013. 0 Comments

Regulation…

Regulation…

The Blüthner Style-X is approaching the end of its first regulation. The next job will be to weigh the action to ensure an even touch weight.

After weighing, I will tune the piano once more before fitting the dampers. The next job will be to sit and play the piano for a few hours to get the action settled, and start work on toning the hammers.

As you can see in the picture, the key spacing isn’t correct at this stage – this is one of the things that will be addressed during the second (fine) regulation. The letters on the front of the key frame refer to different thicknesses of washer (which are used to adjust the height of the keys) on the balance rail – Blue, Green, Paper, and Telephone…!

Written on January 10th, 2013. 0 Comments

Blüthner Style-X hills…

Blüthner Style-X hills…

Fitting “hills” to the underside of the new WNG levers (which are also known as a “whippen” or “repeat”) in the Style-X. The action is almost ready for assembly and regulation…

Written on January 7th, 2013. 0 Comments

New hammers…

New hammers…

Strike hammers (guide hammers for positioning the remaining 82) for the Blüthner Style-X. They were custom made for the piano by Abel in Germany. The felt is Abels “Natural” quality, which uses less processing than normal hammer felt, resulting in a hammer that is easier to work with for toning, and hopefully longer lasting and more resilient.

Written on January 2nd, 2013. 0 Comments

Stringing…

Stringing…

Today, I finished stringing the Style-X. Here you can see the second section of the piano – the brass plate held in place by many screws, wrest pins (which are used for tuning the piano), and nice neat coils of steel string. In the background the blue felt is to stop the small sections of string between the wrest pins and the studs from vibrating.

Written on December 20th, 2012. 0 Comments

Latest Work

Final fitting of new legs…
Lyre parts…
New Blüthner legs…
New Bösendorfer rebuild…

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