Resurrecting a Neglected Baby Grand in Bed-Stuy

20141110_09443120141110_095311 First tuning was on a shiny Petrof baby grand in Bushwick - went smoothly, although intermittent "knocking" noises in the low bass are likely due to improper contact between the bottom of the key frame (holds the keys and actions) and the key bed upon which it rests - will have to return to properly "bed" the key frame by sanding the high spots on its underside to create a new flat surface that properly mates with the supporting wood below.


Sometimes string sizes are printed on the treble bridge, saving one the trouble of measuring a string with a string gauge or micrometer - see below for the tiny 14.5 (string size) printed in the left 1/4 of the frame on the bridge beneath the bridge pins.



In the evening I resurrected a Baby Grand in a house full of artists - actors, musicians, graphic designers, film directors - in Bed-Stuy.  Resurrected may be too strong a word - but the piano had sustained some damage, two notes weren't working, and it was badly out of tune, so I brought it back into an enjoyable state.


In the following pictures you can see the ghosts of PBR's past...


I had to pull the action to diagnose the dead notes...

Step 1 - remove the key slip by loosening screws under the front rim of the key bed

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Step 2 - Remove the cheek blocks at either end of the keyboard by loosening large screws in front of legs.

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Step 3 - remove retaining screws holding fallboard on pivot pins, then remove fallboard.

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Step 4 - Find a suitable surface for a makeshift work bench, remove and place the action there for diagnosis.


After pulling the action I found a hammer head broken off - this head had somehow worked it's way two octaves into the bass and was the cause of the second dead note.  A two for one repair - my client opted for the cheaper route of wood glue (Aliphatic resin glue - Titebond) and string repair rather than a full shank repair.  You can see the repaired hammer shank with a white "cast" around the former break, 4 hammers to the left of the break here.


Fine tuned the piano, applied Pin-Tite to the numerous loose pins with excellent results (there's some controversy over this product and its effect on pin blocks, but it gets results when all else fails on old beat up grand pianos - that's the only place I use it.) and everybody was happy - a tuned piano with all notes functioning!  And to think this piano hadn't been played for the last several years - it was merely a hip piece of furniture - until today.