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#2193315 - 12/06/13 03:39 AM henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Hello there ,my first post in tech forum.

So I got this old upright piano in what I reckon good condition (from what I can tell seeing other old pianos)
The ivories no chips or breaks, just a litlle yellowish in the center octave ,the hammer mechanism in preserved and clean condition ,just the balance cashmir and bridle straps all need to replace.Some pins have just a litlle rust film and there is some here and there on strings,nothing like the usually old rusty pianos.

All wood frame and soundboard is covered in some heavy yellow varnish and I hope this preserved it in good condition through the centuries ,anyway the wood underneath looks like new.I believe it wasn't played much and stayed inside in the house untill it got to this salvation army store.

The questions I have and be very thankfull for any help are.

What are the chances of getting it reasonably in tune.
I don't pretend play on it serious classical pieces but some ragtime,honky tonk and boogie stuff which I thought this piano would be great for.

Should I treat strings whith some chemical ?

Some tips on all wood frame tuning(direction and rest periods for wood reaction between tunings etc.)I feel it was tuned for the last time a looong time ago.

New bridle straps with clip or glued?

I noticed some wormwood holes at the back side on the bottom and if the worm is still active what extermination procedure would be recomended.

There are some black tiny dots on some ivories ,they come off with the nail but I would reather use some liquid and rag to take them off ,what would be the safe option (alcohol,soap wather etc.)
Also is there a way to get out or clean a litlle the yelloving.

Thank you very much for any ideas.

Edited by ado (12/06/13 03:54 AM)

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#2193318 - 12/06/13 03:51 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: ado]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Hello, put something to kill moths inside, then dismounted keys and clean all what ou can see, then tell what you wrote here to different piano tuners, you possibly will find one that likes boogie enough to help you out have it tuned.

But old actions can stand a little jazz not much boogie, that sort of very old piano is not suited for the use intended. You will probably make it impossible to repair later.

Not that it would interest many but Henry Hertz was a respected man in the history of piano making. Even if the instruments he build where mot as good as some others st the era.

Edited by Olek (12/06/13 03:54 AM)
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

#2193322 - 12/06/13 04:08 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: ado]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Hi thanks ,it is all out ,I have it in pieces keys and all vacumed.
I pretend to tune it myself (I used to tune my other old upright to satisfying level although it was a steel frame)
By the Way Olek if you're in france(I'm also,Biaritz region ,just need to update my profile)
whould you know to tell my what is called bridlle strap with clip in french?

Also what online piano supply store in france I can use(I just can't get to it googling in french)


#2193328 - 12/06/13 04:23 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: ado]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Hello, clipped straps are not used in France, but may be Guillemenot Marc Monceau check Google. have some.

If the action is modern type you are lucky, but springs are breaking on the old style with leather straps.

For the wood insects you need siringues to put the product, treat the frame bottom at last, if the worms are in you will have dust of wood put some paper under the piano to see if it is the case (I was told you can listen with a screwdriver used as a stethoscope, and hear some of the wood pests)

Not really competent on those matters.

Best regards.

PS I wonder if your name mean
Ado lescent
Ado nym
Ado nis

Not funny!
Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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#2193337 - 12/06/13 05:08 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: Olek]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Thank you

The springs are in excellent condition to my amateur view, not even touch of rust there and the hammers are made of some exotic wood and look like new ,only the leather straps are all broken.

Ado is my childhood nickname for Andrej(born in former Czechoslovakia)

#2193404 - 12/06/13 09:23 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: ado]
Lluís Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/09
Posts: 313
Loc: Barcelona,Spain, European Unio...
Hi Andrej, I'm restoring a 1860's upright too (A pleyel) and I'm from spain too, if you wish to share some akwnowledgements send me your mail via pm! I know more or less how to threat ivories etc.

You can take a look at my blog: www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com
1942 Challen Baby Grand Piano

1855 Pleyel Pianino (Restoring -> www.pleyelrestoration.blogspot.com )

#2193782 - 12/07/13 03:26 AM Re: henri herz 1855 restoration and tuning [Re: Lluís]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france

I have played a few restored pleyels ,nice sound and touch.Good luck with yours,looks neat already.
I will send you pm ,thanks


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