The Piano Man, LLC

We Love What We Do and So Will You!!!!
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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 your piano in working order is important because of many small repairs, if left unattended, can end up causing additional damage on the neighboring parts. This causes more damage than is necessary. When one of the 1500 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 five minutes to solve are taken care of during the normal visit at additional charge. Some examples include minor pedal adjustments, foreign objects in the action (i.e. pencil), and foreign object below key bed. These are the most common.

Maintenance repairs are services that need to be performed regularly to help prevent damage and to keep the piano playing at its 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 includes filing of hammers. In the picture to the left, you can see the lines in the hammers from where they were striking the streets. This piano was in serious need of this maintenance and is on the borderline of needing new hammers. The hammers to the right of the picture have been filed down, returning the hammers to their original shape.
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Why does this need to be done?

When the hammer with a large groove strikes the sting, 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 strikes, the strings can rub on the felt inside the groove while the hammer is pulling back. This can cause a whining sound.

If a piano hasn’t been maintained for over a decade and the tuning is very far from pitch, we recommend this maintenance before performing a pitch raise. This helps the strings not break nearly as frequently as we stretch the strings to pitch. The hammer is more gentle to the string when it has an egg shaped point.

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 are included in our service.

Please understand that when a significant amount of felt is removed, weight of the action can change. Also, tone can change depending on the density of the felt at the new layer. If this will challenge your preference, then hammer replacement will be the solution.