Piano Repairs

The Importance of Piano Repair

Your piano is designed to be played. Occasionally, a part will break or become misaligned, causing a key to malfunction. Keeping you piano in working order is important because many small repairs, if left unattended, can end up causing additional damage on the neighboring parts, thereby causing more damage than is necessary. When one of the 1,500 moving parts becomes misaligned or broken, fixing it as soon as possible will prevent additional damage to your piano.

Most minor repairs that take less than 5 minutes to solve are taken care of during a normal visit at no aditional charge. Some examples include minor pedal adjustments, foreign object in the action (i.e. pencil), and foreign object below key bed. These are the most common.

Maintencnce repairs are services that need to be performed regulary to help prevent damage and to keep the piano playing at it's maximum capacity. These repairs are not nearly as frequent as tuning and depend on how often the piano is played and how old it is. 

A common maintenance repair is filing of the hammers. 

Hammer Reshape - Compare

In the picture above, you can see deep lines in the hammers from where they were striking the strings. This piano was in serious need of this maintenance and is on the borderline of needing new hammers. The hammers to the right have been filed down, returning the hammer to it’s original shape.

Why does this need to be done?

When the hammer with a large groove strikes the string, the inertia energy from the hammer is spread through the surface of contact. At the bottom of the groove, there will be a lot of surface contact, unlike a properly shaped hammer that has more of a point to it. Also, when the strings vibrate after the hammer strike, the strings can rub on the felt inside the groove while the hammer is pulling back, causing a whining sound. 

If a piano hasn’t been maintained for over a decade and the tuning is very far from pitch, I recommend this maintenance before performing a pitch raise to help strings not break as I stretch the string to pitch. The hammer is more gentle to the string when it has it’s original egg shape.

After the hammers are reshaped, there needs to be adjustments to your piano to compensate for the loss of felt. Also, since this job creates a tremendous amount of dust in the action, a thorough cleaning of the action is required. This adjustment and cleaning is included in our service. 

Please understand that when a significant amount of felt is removed, weight of the action can change. If this will challenge your technique, then hammer replacement will be the solution. 

regular maintenance hammer reshape

© Joel Klar 2013