Archive for August 19, 2013

A First Look at an Action Repair

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Piano


A piano action taken from a 1914 Kurtzman upright piano. First step is to blow it out with compressed air. Then I will inspect it to see what has been done before and what needs to be done now.


Insect damage affects the functionality of cloth, wool and leather. This could be replaced, but it is not a part which serves a critical function. This is okay.


Moth damage on hammers. I can tell that these hammers have already been reshaped.  New hammers are not necessary but  a new set would be a dramatic improvement in the piano’s sound and performance. I will light sand these to knocks the grooves down a bit.


This is the damper rest cloth. It keeps the dampers from clicking against the wood when the damper pedal is released. Evidence of insect damage. It does not have to be pretty, it just needs to function. No repair necessary. Below that, where the red cloth is in the spring groove, that area must be cleaned of debris and lubricated.


A missing hammer will be replaced. Usually the hammers are worn to the wood in this area. These hammers have not been played often throughout the life of the piano.

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Eight sets of flanges will be lubricated.


Notice the spring under the first hammer jack. A rebuild would replace all of the springs. Unless this is causing a functional inefficiency, it will be not be replaced.


Points a and b show wool problems that are in more critical areas. There are two things that must occur in order for a repair to be warranted. 1.) There must be a need, and 2.) there must be a payment.


All work has been done. A few additional adjustments will be finished tomorrow. More work should be done, but customers are not always inclined to do what “should” be done. In the long run, the piano will not last as long as it should. This particular piano had some work done to the piano action. Pianos are resilient. This one will last for many years to come.