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Inventory of restoration work

The restorers of “our” Bechstein piano, Courtney’s of Oxford, have provided this fascinating breakdown of work. Wow!

Strings, wrestpins, frame and soundboard.

  • Unscrew & remove all existing damper-heads from strings.
  • Destring frame, removing all existing strings, wrestpins and frame feltwork.
  • Uplift, clean and refinish frame in antique gold lacquer.
  • Rub down and polish soundboard, checking for any splits present (none so far) when frame uplifted.
  • Clean & polish all frame bolts; refelt frame & refit to bracings.
  • Drill out wrestpin holes and check wrestplank for splits (none present as far as can be seen).
  • Fully restring & repin piano with EKA polished wire, and new set of EKA spun bass strings to patterns.
  • Pitch-raise, tidy coils, level pins, ready for chip-tunings.

Action/Keyboard/Damper assembly.

  • Send hammers to Abel in Germany to be recovered with new felts.
  • Recentre four rows of flange-centres in action; two rows in damper-lever assembly.
  • Clean Action, Keyboard & Damper assembly.
  • Burnish jacks.
  • Clean & polish ivory keytops N.B.
  • Recover majority of feltwork in action & rebaize keyframe.
  • Recover check leathers as required.
  • Rebush keys as necessary.
  • Recover damper-heads with new stitched and cut & shaped damper-felts.

Miscellaneous finishing work.

  • Pitch-raise all strings, stretch twice and fine tune to a little sharp of A=440 to allow for slight settling in coming months.
  • Carefully regulate the touch and dampers.
  • Overhaul and clean pedal assembly and lyre.

Cabinetwork restoration.

  • Strip off all existing degenerated lacquer from casework.
  • Identify wood-veneer (we now know this is probably rosewood).
  • Major repair to two of the three legs to reinstate the original threads.
  • Rub down, minor repairs to damaged veneer as appropriate, and prepare for repolishing.
  • Seal and lightly stain the wood.
  • Hand refinish the casework in the traditional satin-waxed finish.
  • Clean & polish the brasswork.

Assemble the piano, and final checks before arranging delivery back to Coventry.