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MMD > Archives > October 2000 > 2000.10.07 > 03Prev  Next

Expansion Crack in Piano Soundboard
By Patrick Boeckstijns

Hi,  So digging a bit further into the guts of the Steck (UK) Pedal
Electric Duo-Art piano I made the following discoveries :

There is a crack in the soundboard.  Well, it's actually the opposite.
There is no space, but it looks like the soundboard didn't crack
because of shrinking, but because it has expanded.

It cracked in an oblique plane.  One side slides 1 mm towards the
inside of the piano, the other side 1 mm towards the outside.  Sliding
your finger over it you can feel a little "edge" or rim.  Both parts
cannot be pushed into the same plane.  This may be recent .  The piano
was fairly dusty and the section of the crack looks completely clean,
with no discoloration and untarnished.

Fortunately, it is close to the top left corner and is nowhere near any
ribs that could come loose because of it.  No glue joints have become
loose.  Can this be caused by humidity ?  The Reblitz book describes
how to fill the gap caused by a crack but not the opposite.

Someone once told me not to worry since almost all of the 70+ year-old
pianos have soundboard cracks.  Is this so ?  The plate is only gilded
for the upper 1/3 the rest is painted black.  There is "Made in Great
Britain" cast into the metal.

I also removed the action.  I'll have it looked at by a technician.
I noticed most of the repetition springs have snapped.  When I touched
a few testing them by pushing gently they simply broke where they are
glued to the hammers.  I hope these parts are still available.  I guess
hundreds of different systems can be found in piano actions.

The only reason the piano still could be played is when played loud
enough the hammers just bounce back.

Comments ?

PS : If these mails are out of place in the MMD forum please let me
know.  I am on some kind of fascinating expedition into unknown land,
but I can imagine that most, if not all, of it is "utterly" boring to
a lot of members.  If so, I apologize.


Patrick Boeckstijns

 [ Don't be concerned, Patrick.  A piano is at the heart of mamy of the
 [ commonly seen large mechanical musical instruments, and its repair
 [ is quite complex.  Most of us have seen pianos with the problems
 [ you describe, and we're interested in the solutions.  Good luck
 [ and "Carry on!"  -- Robbie

(Message sent Mon 2 Oct 2000, 15:28:26 GMT, from time zone GMT+0200.)

Key Words in Subject:  Crack, Expansion, Piano, Soundboard

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