Replacing a Grand Piano's Pinblock and Tuning Pins

 
 

 


  Stop Wasting your money
        on a Cheap Fix -           There isn't
             One!

 

 

 

 

A grand piano's pinblock is comprised of several layers of veneer, much like plywood. It keeps the strings taunt and typically has a life span of about seventy-five years. Once it fails, it's gone....Gone - Gone - GONE! Some technicians will employ a number of parlor tricks in an attempt to extend its life, but the remedies are temporary at best. The most common technique is to apply a glycerin solution with an eye dropper. The glycerin is a  hygroscopic compound that absorbs moisture from the air.  As a result, the pinblock swells like a sponge to grip the tuning pins. Unfortunately, the moisture accelerates the deterioration of the laminating glue of pinblock. Another trick is to remove the tuning pin, stuff the hole with sandpaper or emery cloth and reinsert the pin. The bad news is that the paper is too thick and winds up acting like a wedge that splits the pinblock apart. Instead of sand paper, a more expensive option is to use brass sleeves. These last a little longer, but the brass is slippery, compared to wood, and the tuning pins don't hold well. Now, the latest gimmick is pour a cyanoacrylate adhesive ("Super Glue") around the tuning pins in an attempt to glue them in place.

All these techniques wind up failing and leaving the pinblock worse than before. It's a lot like trying to repair a blown tire with a can of "Fix a Flat". You might limp successfully to the nearest service station, but I sure wouldn't trust it on the Autobahns.

 

 

     

  1. Typical Failed Pinblock
     
  2. Muted Strings
     
  3. Tuning Pin Wrapped with
    Emery Cloth
     
  4. Evidence of Doped Pinblock
     
  5. Doped Pinblock
     
  6. Emery Cloth in Pinblock
     
  7. Brass Sleeve in Pinblock
     
  8. Dope, Emery Cloth and
    Brass Sleeves
    (Extraordinary Effort)
     
  9. Removing Dampers
     
  10. Removing Strings and Tuning Pins
     
  11. Removing Screws
     
  12. Hoisting Out Plate
     
  13. Chiseling Old Pinblock
     
  14. Sawing old Pinblock
     
  15. Cutting a New Plank
     

 

 

                                            Buttons - Left to Right
                                                      Pause / Play
                                                      Slide Back
                                                   Slide Forward
                                                    

 

16. Using Carbon Paper to
     Find High Spots


17. Rasping High Spots


18. More Carbon Paper


19. More Rasping High Spots


20. Jointer on Front Edge of
     Pinblock


21. Milling Block


22. Drilling Tuning Pin Holes


23. Completed Block and Old One


24. Installing Pinblock 


25. Installing Plate


26. Installing Screws


27. Stringing the Piano


28. Strung Piano


29. Pitch Raise and Tuning
 

     
     

 

 


 


 

 

 

   

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Servicing the Kansas City, Gladstone, Overland Park
metropolitan area
with
moving  tuning  repairing  rebuilding  concert rentals

     
Jones Piano House

5742 N. Lennox Ave 
          Kansas City,  MO  64151

 816.587.1544

2012 - Stephan Cant.  All rights reserved