Posts Tagged ‘Brinsmead’

Brinsmead desk…

This afternoon I did the final assembly work on the Brinsmead, and unwrapped the desk… I was very pleasantly surprised to find a rather splendid fret-worked item in burr walnut (to match the rest of the piano). It even has a very neat fold away rest at the bottom for the music to stand on.

Written on October 23rd, 2012. 2 Comments

Brinsmead action…

Assembling the Brinsmead action. Seen here, the first of the hammers being screwed into place. Note the second flange under the hammer flange – this is the assembly used for the hammer “setoff” (the distance from the string that the hammer ceases to be powered by the piano key). Adjustment is by simply turning it by hand – no tools needed.

Written on September 23rd, 2012. 0 Comments

New Brinsmead hammers…

Fitting new hammers to the Brinsmead action. Very unusually, this piano has mahogany shanks – most piano makers use hornbeam for this part.

I’m assuming Brinsmead decided to use mahogany as it’s a little lighter than hornbeam, and would result in an action that responds slightly better to being played quietly – however, it certainly isn’t as robust. (I also noted there is a lot of mahogany in the rest of the piano too, so it could simply be that Brinsmead was making use of the materials he had to hand!)

Written on September 22nd, 2012. 0 Comments

Brinsmead hammers…

I don’t often see moth damage this bad on hammers – usually the felt lower down in the action bears the brunt of any moth infestation. New hammers have been made (by Abel in Germany) to replace the originals.

Here, I’m in the process of removing the old hammers, and cleaning the shanks ready for fitting the new set of hammers .

Written on September 15th, 2012. 1 Comment


With the piano fully strung, it now needs to be brought up up pitch. Quite a gradual process on this piano, as various parts of the stringing mechanism need to settle down (sometimes helped a little with some carefully placed taps from a hammer + drift) before the tuning can stabilise.

My Accu-Tuner IV is being used in its most basic form here – as a tone generator, with a foot switch to increment/decrement the tone as I change notes.

Written on September 4th, 2012. 0 Comments

Stringing tools…

I needed rather more stringing tools than usual for this piano! I usually use just one pair of pliers for a start…

The piano is now fully strung, and will have muting blocks (to damp the non-speaking part of the string between the tuning screws and the “capo” bar) fitted later today before the task of bringing the piano up to pitch begins.

Written on August 31st, 2012. 2 Comments

Brinsmead – new tuning screw…

The first of the new bass strings is being fitted to the Brinsmead, and also this beautifully crafted new tuning screw. I’m very thankful to a good friend of mine for all the effort he put into making this part for me. (And he’ll be very pleased to hear it fitted perfectly, and was a joy to work with!)

Written on August 29th, 2012. 2 Comments

Brinsmead stringing…

Whilst the Brinsmead stringing system is very stable, it is a LOT more fiddly to work with than the design used on most pianos… (I have very sore hands at the moment!) In a few days, I’ll publish a series of pictures describing the stringing process.

Written on August 23rd, 2012. 0 Comments

Brass caps…

6 notes done, 82 to go… The brass retaining caps on the Brinsmead tuning system.

Written on August 19th, 2012. 0 Comments

Stringing the Brinsmead….

A fine game played slowly….! The screw thread tuning system (known on upright pianos as a “top tuner” – because the threads point straight up) is very stable, but rather tricky to work with at the stringing stage.

Also note the newly capped treble bridge.

Written on August 19th, 2012. 4 Comments

John Brinsmead No.31406…

The name and number of my current piano (Circa. 1880), stamped into the area where a wrest plank would normally live. This piano hasn’t got a traditional wrest (tuning) plank – it uses a threaded tensioning system…

Written on August 19th, 2012. 0 Comments

Brinsmead No.31406

Life became very busy recently! Piano work has continued, but it’s been far too long since I updated my website… My current piano is an 1880 Brinsmead grand piano, finished in burr walnut.

Written on August 16th, 2012. 0 Comments

Latest Work

Hammer veneering…
Christmas tree….
Blüthner Style-VII completed…
Bechstein legs

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