This piano is a lovely example of a Chappell featuring delightful inlay stringing.It is in need of a full rebuild and re string, as there are issues with loose tuning pins and casework has faded in areas so full strip and refinish is required.
Usually a restoration like this requires the metal frame to be removed from the piano to attend to the soundboard and repair as necessary.On this particular piano it is not straightforward as the bottom row of bolts holding the plate to the back are hidden by the bottom pedal board.To get access to the bolts,a section of the board has to be cut out and then the plate can be removed.Also the keybed and cheeks were removed to make removal easier.
The first stage is to remove all the strings, making note of the different sizes (around 10 in all ) as the strings get thicker from right to left.The bass wound strings are sent off for replacement to a string maker as these strings are individual to each piano,whereas the plain strings are on reels for the different sizes and are cut to appropriate lengths in house.
Having removed the plate,the old finish is removed and sanded,primered and resprayed black and gold.Once this is done the plate is returned to the piano and the bottom board is re enstated with new wood.
The soundboard is stripped of old finished and small cracks repaired with new wood and re varnished, the plate can then be fitted back into the case.New bearing felts are installed and then the re stringing can begin using larger tuning pins to achieve the correct friction to hold the strings at pitch.
All fittings are cleaned and repolished and attention is then focused on rebuilding the pedal assembly.At this stage attention is focused on the casework.All panels were stripped to bare wood,repaired as necessary and then stained.All of the beading had to be masked off as the stain would have darkened the beading and visually would have lost its visual impact. After staining, 2 coats of primer is applied followed by clear top coats.The finish is then allowed to harden and burnishing was done to give a warm french polish appearance.French polish is not used very much these days as it is so sensitive to spills,so modern materials are used which has a hardener in it to provide a hard durable finish.
Attention is then drawn to the action.This was not a complete action rebuild as the hammers were in good condition as were many of the moving components but it did require replacement of the hammer and catcher buckskin which was worn and would have affected the smooth operation of the action.Again the dampers were serviceable so were adjusted and cleaned.All the flanges were removed and checked for tightness and the odd loose ones were attended to by replacing the felt and pins.
See pictures of the various stage and before photos of the piano in original condition
To be continued............
CHAPPELL PIANO REBUILD (2023)
YOUNGS PIANO SALES & SERVICE (LEICS)
TUNING RESTORATIONS SALES
TEL 0116 2596660 MOBILE 07544335506. EMAIL email@example.com