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#2124232 - 07/28/13 12:51 PM Questions on Piano Reconditioning
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
Hi, I am new here and have been a piano tuner for several years. I have dabbled into piano regulations and repair but mostly on newer pianos as I haven't developed the confidence of working on pianos with considerable worn parts or terribly out of regulations. I always think that in order to work on pianos like that, I’d end up having to decide what parts to replace to allow precise regulations to be done. I ‘d love to pick on your brains on what would be the most helpful resources for working on pianos like that as I am ready to challenge myself to become a good piano “reconditioner.”

I have read Reblitz and it has a great amount of information on how to replace worn parts. Nonetheless, there wasn’t much information on under what circumstances that one decides the parts need to be replaced in order to facilitate proper regulations, ie how worn the parts need to be. I think it would be most helpful if there are books that go into details about. I am curious if the new book “Pianos Inside Out” by Mario Igrec provides more information on that. For those who have read the book, I’d love to hear if you think I should get the book for my purpose. I‘d also greatly appreciate any other suggestions on books, videos, or whatever resources that you can think of that could be helpful.

Thanks so much!

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#2124283 - 07/28/13 03:08 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3932
Welcome to the forums! The most helpful resource is your own experience. I've learned over the years to carefully evaluate the client, their budget, the use the piano gets, and the future use it will get, and recommend repairs accordingly.....or recommend replacement when I feel that repairs won't bring the piano to the desired level. There is no cut and dried answer to your question, as each situation is different.

I would not be too worried about messing up. There is almost nothing that can't be made right - and those instances are always a good learning experience.

Everyone has taken a job they regretted, a job that cost far more than they charged, and a job that they were not qualified to do. These lessons are part of the business - and are annoying, but won't break you.

#2124367 - 07/28/13 06:21 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
Gene Nelson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1548
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Some additional ideas: Look into the PTG - there may be a local chapter near you - maybe you can find someone that you can work with. There are regional and national conferences with many classes on just this subject. Check out the PTG library on line.
Also, WNG puts on a great class, it is all about their parts but you will get a good dose of action related schooling that you can apply to much more than their parts.
Get a replacement parts kit, they are available from Renner, Tokiwa, WNG.
Get an action model that you can practice on.
PTG Member

#2124570 - 07/29/13 01:55 AM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2519
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
What Bob and Gene said, plus, see if there's a rebuilder in your area, and see if you can spend some time apprenticing in their shop. That's a great way to learn the business from the ground up.
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician

#2124812 - 07/29/13 01:03 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
In addition to (and, in my opinion, above) Reblitz, get yourself a copy of Mario Igrec's Pianos Inside Out. Superb work, great explanations. Then find a rebuilding mentor to work with for a couple of years, at least. You'll learn and learn and learn, then learn some more. thumb
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

#2124871 - 07/29/13 02:52 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 359
Loc: Scotland
I second the recommendation of Pianos Inside Out. It is as far a leap further forward from what has gone before, as Reblitz' book was thirty years ago.

#2124917 - 07/29/13 05:08 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: David Boyce]
SMHaley Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 1025
Loc: Seattle
I'll third the reccomendation of Pianos Inside Out. Fantastic book. For me it trumps Reblitz by quite a bit.
PTG Associate
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional
AA Music Arts 2001, BM Organ, Choral 2005

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

#2125005 - 07/29/13 09:04 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
Teklover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/13
Posts: 9
Thanks so much everyone for your ideas on how to gain experience of reconditioning and rebuilding pianos. I definitely will look into all your suggestions and will be getting "Pianos Inside Out" very soon. I guess the best education would be to apprentice with a rebuilder for hands-on experience.

#2125035 - 07/29/13 10:36 PM Re: Questions on Piano Reconditioning [Re: Teklover]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2519
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Oh yeah, if it hasn't been recommended yet, I'd say "Pianos Inside Out" would be an excellent book to get.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician


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