Friday, July 24, 2009

Kawai GS40 Action Work

As I am still waiting for the bass strings on the Kawai, I am proceeding with the action work. Yesterday I prepped the new hammers for installation. This included boring, and tail shaping. Today I installed the new hammers, and regulated the action. I also installed the damper heads in the treble section and tuned the piano three times to bring it up to pitch. As soon as my bass strings arrive, I will be able finish up the remainder of the work.

Friday, July 17, 2009

FCM Week

Posts have been scarce this week as I attend the Fellowship of Christian Magicians Conference in Marion IN. It has been a wonderful week of learning and networking. You can follow more of what I did on Facebook. I'd be happy to be your friend. Next Monday I will be spending the day At Knoebles Park with some friends and some of my grandchildren. So I won't be back in the shop until Tuesday. Above are some pictures of the campus.

FCM Week

Monday, July 13, 2009

MI Swingers!

Attending FCM

This week finds me out of the shop as I attend the FCM Conference (Fellowship of Christian Magicians) at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion IL. No, I am not a Magician, but a ventriloquist and storyteller. These are skills that i am developing to better minister to kids at my church. Weekly Rosanna and I give leadership to UpStreet at McBIC. This requires me to be in front of kids weekly for our large group time. There is nothing more rewarding then teaching kids that Jesus loves them, and helping them apply these lessons to their life. So learning to do this more effectively is a priority in my life.

Last evening was spent at my son's house in MI. The pictures show my three MI grandkids performing for grandpa. (Pictures to follow. Slow internet connection.

Friday, July 10, 2009

GS 40 Stringing Begun

Today I installed the plain steel strings on the Kawai piano. Not all of the string are of the same diameter. The heaviest plain steel strings are .042". The lightest is .032".The length and diameter of the string is called the scale of the piano. This is designed by the piano manufacturer, and is typically not changed. The exception is on some poor quality old pianos, there can sometimes be an improvement in the sound of the piano by changing the scale. For significant changes, the bridges must also be redesigned, and this is not feasible in a poor quality piano. The most common change is to add several wound strings in the tenor section at the tenor/bass break. These notes in a poor quality small grand piano are often improved by adding wound string instead of the original plain steel strings.

I am not able to finish the string installation as I am waiting for the bass strings to arrive. These strings have copper wire wound over the plain steel core wire, and need to be custom made by a bass string maker. This piano has 39 wound bass strings.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

GS 40 Coming Back Together

The necessary repairs have been made to the soundboard and pinblock, the soundboard has had a coat of finish, and the plate is cleaned, and the hardware polished. Having accomplished that, I reinstalled the plate in the piano. The ordered parts are to arrive tomorrow, and I hope to begin putting the new strings on on Friday. I am hoping to have the piano mostly strung before I leave for a week of vacation next week.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kawai GS40 Work Progresses

The pictures show the Kawai piano fully disassembled. The pinblock and plate have been removed, and the the action disassembled. The final picture shows some of the most evident water damage in the high treble area of the piano. The treble edge of the soundboard had begun to come loose from the liner, and needed to be reglues. The pinblock will be reglued when it is reinstalled in the piano. Other preparation work for reassembly include cleaning the plate and soundboard, removing the old hammers and damper felts, and reconditioning the damper back action assembly. Bass strings, tuning pins, hammers and stringing felt have been ordered and need to arrive before finishing work can proceed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Project- Kawai GS40

Pianos and water don't mix well. Felt hardens and looses it's elasticity when it gets wet. Glue joints weaken, and music wire rusts. So when a roof leaks directly above a piano, severe damage can be the result. This is the story of the Kawai GS40 that I am presently working on. Thanks to modern glues and finishes that are water resistant, the damage was not as severe as it might have been, but it was still substantial. It will require new strings, damper felts, and hammers. A small portion of the pinblock and soundboard will need to be re-secured. The picture show the piano being disassembled.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Enjoying The Harp

Now that my first harp is completed, my daughter and granddaughter are enjoying learning to play (I am learning too). I already have purchased the plans to build a larger five octave harp. My progress is going to be slowed down by a number of piano rebuilding jobs that will soon be beginning. But it is still fun to dream and plan. It is sometimes a shame that one needs to be gainfully employed to pay the bills!