Miscellaneous Piano Photos

After rebuilding pianos for most of my adult life, putting this page of photos together was a walk down memory lane for me. This photo gallery has no particular theme or organization – just a miscellaneous collection. Hope you enjoy! 

A 100-year old Chickering upright, covered with paint and wallpaper, awaits restoration.

The Chickering seal.

Stripping off layers of paint by hand.

Stringing the Chickering upright.

The “new” Chickering upright, ready for delivery.

A Shoninger grand piano with the plate just removed. Coffee cans full of old tuning pins are used for counterbalance to keep the plate level as it is hoisted out.

This plate had chunks of paint missing, so I filled the areas with body filler before painting.

Newly painted Shoninger plate, with the newly-duplicated pin block laid beside the old.

Some rebuilders drill the tuning pin holes AFTER the block is installed in the piano, but I prefer to trace the positions of the holes and do the drilling outside of the piano.

Drilling the pin block holes on a drill press.

Vose was another great piano made in Boston. This one dates from the 1930’s or 40’s

A “signature” Vose grand piano, signed by members of the Vose family.

This piano had serious soundboard issues, requiring not only shimming the cracks but multiple screws to hold the board to the ribs beneath.

The process of screwing the pin block to the plate.

Picture of an irregular stringing pattern, in which some strings wrap around TWO hitch pins. Cases like this need to be photographed before string removal to insure the new strings will follow the same pattern.

A Gulbransen plate ready to hoist out of the piano.

Beatiful cabinet of a Howard grand piano after refinishing. A lot of detail work to strip, sand, stain and finish!

Another view of the newly restored Howard grand.

Interesting view of the “overstrung scale,” bass strings crossing over the treble strings.

The “House of Baldwin” medallion in a Howard grand (Howard was a Baldwin product.)

Description coming soon!

Yes, Ivers & Pond did build grands. This one, which has been in a family since it was built in the 1930’s, has just been restored.

The iron plate has just been removed from this Krakauer grand, exposing the pin block (which will be replaced) and the entire soundboard (which needs some serious repair).

Soundboard shims have been glued into the cracks, and are now being shaved down to be level with the board.

Close-up view of the v-shaped shim, which is glued into the v-shaped crack which was prepared for that purpose with a special shaving tool.

The old pin block which in this case had to be cut out of the piano with a reciprocating saw.

New pin block in the Krakauer piano.

Close-up of a notch that had to be cut and shaped exactly as it was in the old block.

The dampers were cleaned and given new felts. Here, they are being reinstalled in the newly strung piano.

Nice plate design in a Conover-Cable grand piano.

The underside of the plate’s tuning pin area with the pin block removed. This area of the plate is called the “web.”

Plate turned upside down. This one has an unusual design, forming a channel, into which the new pin block must fit perfectly.

We did have a piano company in Concord, NH, which has been out of business for about 100 years.

Cover of the Prescott piano catalog, dating from about 1890.

Most of the notes on grand pianos have an agraffe, a guide at the tuning-pin end of the string, screwed into the plate, with holes through which the strings pass.

Some builders, such as the Sohmer company, used agraffes on the bridge as well, but they don’t seem to serve much purpose there, and thus, the practice never caught on.