At The Bath Piano Shop we have an in house workshop, it is always interesting to visit and find out what our piano technicians are working on. One of the projects our technician is currently undertaking is the complete restoration of a Bechstein upright piano. One of the first jobs of a complete restoration involves the disassembling of the piano, one of the parts that needs to be removed and ultimately replaced is the pin block, or wrestplank, this holds the tuning pins in place and needs to be in good condition otherwise the tuning stability of the piano is at risk. The picture on the left shows the old and new wrestplank for this Bechstein piano, the new wrestplank needs to be an exact copy of the old one and all the original screws that held it in place are painstakingly stored and catalogued until the new wrestplank is ready to be refitted. There is so much work that goes into a complete restoration but with a classic piano, like a Bechstein, the end result will be well worth it.
Another piano we have in the workshop at the moment is this upright Challen piano, with matching piano stool. This is an unusual and interesting piano but the case is starting to look a bit untidy so our dedicated cabinet restorer Phil Ireland will be giving it a new lease of life over the coming weeks. Phil has over 30 years experience working with piano restoration and we are very fortunate to have him on the piano restoration team at The Piano Shop Bath. Alongside Phil we have a great team of in house technicians who will undertake all level of piano work, from minor repairs, which may be done in your home, to complete restoration of a piano, this will involve collection of the piano after which it will be installed in our large workshop ready to be worked on.
We have recently finished the complete restoration of a Steinway Grand, simply restoring the cabinet involved weeks and weeks of french polishing in our workshop space. In our fast paced modern world there is something very reassuring about journeys that take time and skilled craftsmen working patiently to achieve the desired end result. It was a great experience to witness the transformation of this tired old Steinway Grand piano back to its former glory through the restoration process. Another Steinway grand we recently worked on just required an action overhaul but the end result of this piece of piano restoration work was also similarly pleasing. The first half of this year has certainly provided us with plenty of interesting piano work, we look forward to seeing what the second half brings.