A soundboard begins as a pile of very high quality Sitka Spruce from Washington state. It is perfectly clear, straight grained, and quarter sawn. The wood used is only the best of the best, and I might add, very expensive. The individual boards are laid out according to grain direction and overall size needed for the panel that will be constructed.
I then glue the boards together in widths of about 12" so I can plane them to the desired thickness in my thickness planer. This board was planed to 11/32".
The five panels are then glued into one large panel.
Using the old board as a pattern, the new board is cut to shape, but slightly oversized.
Meanwhile the rib stock is cut and shaped to fit precisely in the notches cut into the rim of the piano. The ribs are also quarter sawn spruce.
The spruce panel is then carefully hand fit into the rim of the piano. The goal is to match the shape of the board to the shape of the rim, with no gaps between the edge of the panel and the inside of the outer rim.
The ribs are indexed to the new soundboard, and then glued to the soundboard panel. The wood is dried to 5%EMC. The pneumatic press exerts 100PSI pressure to the glue line. The board is left in the press overnight.
Project completed. The old beside the new. Next up- bridges to be recapped, and new pinblock installed. These projects will take a few weeks, so see you then.
I have recently begun a new project. This will be a total restoration. The first step is to remove all case parts, and then the strings, and finally the soundboard, bridges and pinblock. Then the real work begins.
Case parts are removed, measurements are taken and recorded.
Cast iron plate removed with winch.
Sounding Board removed. It literally has to be broken out of the piano. It will be reconstructed to use as a pattern for the new board.
Bridges are removed from sounding board. The bridges will be recapped, using the original bridge bodies.
Pinblock removed. The original is glued and doweled into the case. Not an easy job to remove.
My faith in Jesus is the foundation of my life. I have been happily married for 42 years to Rosanna, with 3 children and 8 grand children. I am self employed as a piano tuner/rebuilder, and am also an amature ventriloquist and harp builder.