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#2035447 - 02/18/13 07:16 PM Refurbishing an 1850`s Broadwood . . .
peterws Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 5727
Loc: Northern England.
7ft 6 straight strung grand, bought from a church hall for 300 smackeroos. It fitted nicely into a corner of the living room, without being obtrusive; it was just the right shape and fitted in next to the radiator. And had that antique historical smell; no cat had peed on it as far as I could discern.

But the upper strings were shot at. Since my wife worked at the local music shop, I obtained all the materiel necessary to restring and retune this historic instrument. Being an engineer (Submarines and naval guns) I considered my credentials were impeccable. And being only 30 or so at the time, I think you`ll all understand, even if you do shake your collective heads.

The keyboard came out easily enough; two large woodscrews held it in position. But something stuck. So I pulled a bit, with all the gentleness and care that Shipyard workers are known the world over for. And something snapped. It was a sticky up thingy attached to the key which was about 18 inches long. And was not made of steel, but wood.

To make a short story long, the action was called "Direct Action" which was soon superseded by presumably the "Indirect Action " used today. And Araldite fixed the broken hammer.

So I strung the strings as they do on more modern pianos. One string does two so to speak. And I used 12 tuning forks and the rubber thingys which isolated the strings from vibrating when you didn`t want `em to.

Suffice to say, it was sorta playable and had a beautiful tone though the top notes were lacking in volume and string length. A Bottom of the Range Broadwood, maybe. But you could play Chopin on it (slowly) and Moonlight Sonata. Which sent my young lad off to sleep quite nicely. Job done, I thought, even if the soundboard did wake me up at night. Sounded like a gunshot. I never did find the crack, but toyed wi the idea of using a plywood replacement. Suitably stained and varnished of course.

It had to go when we moved house. We got what we paid for it. I`ll put some pictures on here if I can find `em . . .Happy Days

Have fun!

Edited by peterws (02/18/13 07:20 PM)
"I am not a man. I am a free number"


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#2035471 - 02/18/13 08:04 PM Re: Refurbishing an 1850`s Broadwood . . . [Re: peterws]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3458
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Good lord! I'm glad you didn't put plywood in an 1850 Broadwood! I hope you wouldn't consider a piano technician qualified for submarine repair! Sorry, but those historic instruments are pretty rare. Nothing wrong with experimenting on a worn-out piano, but couldn't you have found a nice cottage upright with overdampers to play with?!?

Cy Shuster, RPT
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute

#2035631 - 02/19/13 02:07 AM Re: Refurbishing an 1850`s Broadwood . . . [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]
peterws Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 5727
Loc: Northern England.
You`re right of course. I thought you`d all like this; After I bought it, there was another for sale at the same price; heavily ornate and with a good treble response, the de-luxe model no doubt. It was beautiful. Just be glad I never got my grubby hands on that . . . . !
"I am not a man. I am a free number"



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