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#608403 - 07/20/03 08:20 PM advice on removing piano strings
Propianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 120
Loc: Tennessee
Any advice on removing piano strings? Where do you start? any problems to be ready for? Anything to be careful about? What's the proper procedure to keep from wrecking the piano?


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#608404 - 07/20/03 08:30 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3770
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
BC,you're treading in dangerous waters.Can you get someone to show you the ropes first.There are alot of things to learn before you try this. \:\)
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
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Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

#608405 - 07/20/03 10:04 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
Propianoplayer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/03
Posts: 120
Loc: Tennessee
thanks for the concern. I have an old junker that i'm just playing with. I just would like some friendly advice on what to look out for. I'm going to do this and want to have some basic knowledge before I start!


#608406 - 07/20/03 11:24 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24461
Loc: Oakland
I agree, if you are asking these questions, you aren't ready to start. Before you go at this, start by reading some books. Start with Art Reblitz' and John Travis' books. Then seek out someone who does it in your area and see if they can give you some tips. If there are guild meetings nearby, you might be able to go there and get some help.
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#608407 - 07/21/03 05:57 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1345
Loc: South Carolina
This is dangerous stuff. Make sure you have
eye and face protection and that your tetanus shot is up to date. There is a certain sequence involved in doing this and it must be done with extreme caution and thought. There is over 100 pounds of tension in a piano string and several thousand pounds of tension all told. Even with eye and face protection you could be seriously hurt. Talk to a rebuilder or have someone show you how to do it correctly.
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#608408 - 07/21/03 06:15 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
BC, you seemed determined to remove the strings. Please allow me to echo all that has been stated above. You are going to need some specialized tools. Don't think you will get by with just a pair of pliers and wire cutters.

Off the top of my head: If the string size is not stenciled on the plate, you need to size each string with a music wire guage, or micronmeter. When restringing, the same size string needs to be put back on. Note where the string size changes. Note the treble and upper treble strings that have individual coils and those that simply wrap around the hitchpins. On most old uprights, the bass strings should not be reused. You will need to send them to a supply house or Mapes String Company for them to duplicate. This is just a few of the many aspects of removing the strings.

Restringing is a whole different topic and would require a small thesis to elaborate. I definitely recommend reading Reblitz and John Travis as BDB said. Even then you are facing a major task, and few are satisfied with the results the first, second, even third time.

The old saying "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," most definitely applies to restringing a piano.

Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

#608409 - 07/21/03 06:18 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
I wrote:

"On most old uprights, the bass strings should not be reused."

Make that on any piano the bass strings should not be reused.

Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

#608410 - 07/26/03 09:35 PM Re: advice on removing piano strings
John Ruggero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 161
Loc: Raleigh
I echo what all of the others have said. You should really have a technician do this or at least lead you through the steps. There is a specific way to destring so that you won't damage the piano. You can't just start at one end and start taking all of the tension off of the strings in order until you get to the other end. You don't want a cracked plate or anything like that. Just take your time and make sure you know the process before you start.
John Ruggero
Ruggero Piano
Raleigh, NC
A technician based, distributer of fine pianos including Boesendorfer,Fazioli, Mason and Hamlin, Schimmel, Charles R. Walter, Estonia, and Falcone


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