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Showing posts from June 3, 2017
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Before I can start to remove the pin-block, I would like to remove all the plate struts, except the center strut which is built into the stretcher. To do this I must cut apart the welded-in cross bars which are not original to this piano. In the photo above, the sound-board is protected with cardboard, and thin plywood before the bars are cut apart with a Sawzall. This is brutal work, and thankfully takes only a few minutes.


The plate struts are screwed into the piano. On the hitch-pin panel they rest on, and are screwed to steel stanchions (stand-offs). These small blocks of metal form the head of a bolt which passes through the hitch-pin panel and into the inner rim. In the front there is a similar arrangement, with small metal blocks, whose lower part forms a machine screw that passes through the shelf, and is secured from below with a round nut. Between these are a series of nose, or pillar bolts, that pierce the sound-board, and likewise through the strut, then being retained at…
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Most of the obvious damage to this instrument is in the pin-block area. The pin-block in this Erard is built of three layers of Beech. The first layer, which I will call the shelf, is a tapered board, consisting of two pieces edge glued together, with its thick edge towards the front of the instrument. The second layer is the pin-block proper. Like the shelf, the grain of the pin-block runs side to side, rim to rim, but while the shelf has one joint parallel to the grain, the pin-block has joints perpendicular to the grain, and is screwed, as well as glued to the shelf.
The third layer is the stretcher, which has decorative veneer (Courbaril) on its upper surface. All three layers extend to the front of the assembly, but only one, the shelf, is mortised into the rim on each side. The other layers simply sit on the shelf, and between the sides of the instrument. My miserable description will become more clear when we start to take apart the instrument, as the entire pin-block stretche…