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#1994224 - 12/03/12 05:44 PM Crackeled finish on soundboard  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
DDOH Offline
Junior Member
DDOH  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Help!

I am new to the piano buying world.

Looking at 1916 Baldwin baby grand.

The finish on the soundboard seems to be crackel. Almost like the varnish is coming apart. Although it does not peel up or is rough to the touch. It also stops a the edge of the wires.

Is this common on older pianos and what causes this? With your past experience, is this typically a cosmetic issue or a technical concern?

It plays beautifully and is in remarkable shape.

There are also a couple rusty pins and missing wires but this is the only main concern about the piano.

Thank you for any help.

Christmas present for my budding pianist!

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#1994268 - 12/03/12 07:29 PM Re: Crackeled finish on soundboard [Re: DDOH]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Hello,

finishes crack when they are poured too thick, I don't know how did Baldwin but the soundboard finish is often cracked on some old pianos. (not always badly) I would be concerned if it fall apart as anything free on a soundboard can vibrate, but I doubt it is the case.

Other comments : I guess there are yet plenty on the forum, trying to explain that buying an antique piano in original condition (?) is as having adopted a child, it is not the less expensive option .

The advantage may be that nobody made technical improvisations on repairs, as it is unfortunately often the case. If you feel confident in the piano, have a tech see it and jauge the cost of repairs for the 10 years going.

If strings are missing probably others will break.

A second visit with a few things in mind and a tech is necessary.


Regards

PS if you are new to piano buying and look for a second hand. Chrismas is a little early. Generally speaking it takes a few months to document and have a clearer idea of the operation...




Last edited by Kamin; 12/03/12 07:31 PM.

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#1994272 - 12/03/12 07:36 PM Re: Crackeled finish on soundboard [Re: DDOH]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Supply  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by DDOH
Help!...
There are also a couple rusty pins and missing wires but this is the only main concern about the piano. .
It sounds like you have come to this conclusion on your own, as a lay-person. To avoid a big disappointment, you need to have the piano inspected by a technician before you buy. There are simply too many aspects of piano condition for a player (or parent of a player) to be able to assess the instrument.

The cracked soundboard finish could be indicative of a problem - or not. Only an on-site inspection can give conclusive answers.

#1994294 - 12/03/12 08:17 PM Re: Crackeled finish on soundboard [Re: DDOH]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5
PianoEST Offline
Junior Member
PianoEST  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5
Estonia
This piano is almost 100 years old and there could be a plenty of issues that may be wrong or not. There's always a possibility that some non-professional persons are overpainted the soundboard to get it look like a new one and have used a wrong type varnish wich will react badly with previous layer. Technically it's not a big problem if soundboard is in one peace and doesn't have any gaps. If you like the sound and action of this piano, why not to buy...

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#1994348 - 12/03/12 10:05 PM Re: Crackeled finish on soundboard [Re: DDOH]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Originally Posted by DDOH
Help!

I am new to the piano buying world.

Looking at 1916 Baldwin baby grand.

The finish on the soundboard seems to be crackel. Almost like the varnish is coming apart. Although it does not peel up or is rough to the touch. It also stops a the edge of the wires.

Is this common on older pianos and what causes this? With your past experience, is this typically a cosmetic issue or a technical concern?

It plays beautifully and is in remarkable shape.

There are also a couple rusty pins and missing wires but this is the only main concern about the piano.

Thank you for any help.

Christmas present for my budding pianist!


It shouldn't be the "only main concern on this piano." Being nearly 100 years old and from the description given so far, missing wires, rusting pins, you can almost be guaranteed that there will be other unseen issues on the inside of the action or elsewhere as well besides what you just happened to have noticed yourself.

Jurgen is right. Have a good technician look at the piano first. Then, and only then, will you know what is truly wrong and what the piano really needs over all.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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