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#2853321 05/28/19 10:27 PM
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Sorry in advance if this isn't the right place for this! My first time posting so please let me know if I should be posting this elsewhere....

So, my main question is, is this pin block shot? Should I cut my losses and not put anything more into this piano? Or will it hold up to repining and restringing?
I recently bought an old Aeolian baby grand. I was aware that it was going to have issues going into it and didn't pay very much for it (at least not in terms of a baby grand). The lady I bought it from was selling it for a church and didn't know much if anything about it. After some research, I have dated it to about 1930's.
My plan was to put a little work into it myself (I'm a big DIY person, so I'm not intimidated by the work and I didn't invest much into it so not afraid to 'mess' it up) I mainly wanted to sort of use this as a 'learning instrument' to learn about the ins and outs of a piano and repair work. What I want to do is replace the damper felts, the hammers, and have it repined and restrung.
So, I took the action out and got a good look at the pin block. Firstly, it appears to be solid wood and not layers of laminate as I've read is the norm for modern pianos. It appears that there are some hairline cracks on several places. I will link to/attach some pictures of the pin block to hopefully help with my question.
The pins and the piano in general look fairly decent and clean, at least for the age of it. There doesn't appear to be any build up of 'dope' around the pins, and the coils of the wires are neat and where they should be (not tapped down toward the plate). I can't tell what size the pins are so I don't know if they've been replaced and size increased. A couple of them do look slightly bigger, but I really can't be sure.
I had a tuner come out and tune it. He didn't say anything about the pins being loose, but he was wary about tuning the bass strings and said that they needed to be replaced and he was afraid that tuning them would break them.
Unfortunately, I didn't check with my tuner app when he left, to see how good of a job he did (he didn't seem very knowledgeable about the piano and had to call his mentor during the visit, so I'm just skeptical of his work) but I just checked it and several of the keys are now out of tune. It's been about 3 weeks since he tuned it. Since him tuning it, I have adjusted the dampers (they were terribly crooked and weren't working at all. It was a quick fix though and now they work well), and I also filed the hammers. I'm not sure if any of that will affect the tuning, so that is one question I have.
The main question I have is whether or not this pin block is going to hold up to the work I'd like to do to it. I had figured on doing the other work I mentioned and am totally fine with that, but I know replacing a pin block is an extreme amount of work and not something that I want to try and take on myself. So, if the pin block is beyond use, then I don't want to put my energy into the other work that I want to do. Thanks in advance for any help or guidance you can offer me!!!
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http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2853325/pin-block-pics.html#Post2853325

Here's the pics of the pin block. I couldn't figure out how to add them to my original post. Thanks!

Last edited by PianoNewbie123; 05/28/19 10:48 PM.
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If you want to post pictures, you need to put them in the Piano Photo Gallery and then link them to posts elsewhere.

But I do not judge pin blocks (or just about everything else in a piano) by how they look.


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As a newbie, there is an important thing that is extremely difficult for people in the internet age to get their heads around: There are some things that you can't get answers from on the internet -- and this is one of them. That's not to say that people might offer opinions -- but as an admitted newbie, how will you evaluate those opinions?

Other than the general principle that a piano of that age and condition automatically should get a pinblock, there's really no substitute to have someone in the know actually inspect your pinblock (photos don't count) and try the torque and offer boots-on-the-ground evaluation. Anything else -- by any of us -- is pure speculation. Some opinions might be more and some less well informed but in the end, it's all speculation.

Who knows? Maybe your pinblock could be repinned and serve your anticipated use adequately. But you need someone to look at it. Then you could share here their findings for additional comment.


Keith Akins, RPT
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BTW, this is the right place... and welcome to the forum.


Keith Akins, RPT
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"he didn't seem very knowledgeable about the piano and had to call his mentor during the visit"

I'd suggest you get a more experienced technician to evaluate the piano.


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

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