1879 wrestplank (pinblock)

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Bill Kibby
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Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 19:25
Location: Lincolnshire UK

1879 wrestplank (pinblock)

Post by Bill Kibby » 12 Jun 2017, 11:21

I just wanted to share this with tuners out there. Recently, I was given an 1879 Challenger & Co. upright, arguably a cottage piano with pan legs. It was so terribly out of tune, and a major third below pitch. The tuning showed no sign of being tuned properly in the past, there was no detectable scale, and unison were terrible, so I assumed that the wrestpins must be very loose.

Being oblong pins, I started tuning with a T-hanmer, but found it difficult to even turn the pins, so I torque-tested some of them, and was amazed to find that many of them were over 40 inchpounds, which is tighter than some new pianos, not bad for a piano that is 138 years old!

Tuning it was a long and back-breaking job for me, because of the angles, using a T-hammer on a piano that is too tall to sit down for tuning. I will try again with an old double-ended crank, but even the first rough tuning has transformed it, and although I am unlikely to risk raising the pitch in one go, the tone is surprisingly sweet.
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