Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 4 – Friday, May 28:

Goals: Continue trying to free the soundboard from the piano. Clean what can be cleaned. Tune it one time at the right pitch.
Music: The Crystal Method’s “Community Service”; Moby’s “Play; The Crystal Method’s “Legion of Boom”

My tuning hammer arrived, and I was of a mind to see if I could tune the piano properly. Unfortunately, the mutes that were supposed to be in the “kit” did not arrive. I made an attempt to tune the piano without them, but it was decidedly more difficult than I anticipated. The smallest turn of the tuning pin can make a difference of three, four, or more notes. Without the mutes, I’m pretty sure it would be basically impossible to tune a piano unless one was an expert. At any rate, I didn’t have the patience last night, and since I’m taking the piano apart anyway, I gave up the tuning idea until after I figure out what to do with the old strings. (I don’t think they are salvageable.)

As a sort of warm up, I worked a little bit on the bench that came with the piano. I swear to God I pulled forty or fifty nails, staples and screws out of that sucker just to remove the sagging bottom that wasn’t holding anything anyway. I’m sure I’ve got a serviceable piece of wood somewhere that will make a better bottom when I reattach it. I oiled the wood to perfection and will attempt that simple repair at the next session.

For the rest of the evening, I grabbed up my big honking slotted magnetic screwdriver and had at the pin block (what I’ve been calling the soundboard), trying to remove the screws holding it down. I decided it would be a good idea to track those screws, since they might have something to do with the leveling of the pin block, so I also had to draw a pin diagram. Even with the big-ass screwdriver, I couldn’t get some of the screws to budge, so I tracked down my can of WD-40. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the little tube that goes in the nozzle allowing you to focus the spray and since I didn’t want WD-40 all over my piano, I got me a piece of foil and built a little collector/funnel and dripped a good amount of WD-40 over and around each of the screws. I also loosened all the strings, to allow me to get at all the screws, including the ones under the strings.

Just that took the majority of the evening, almost three full hours of work. I’ve got less than a quarter of the pin block’s screws removed, so that’s going to be my focus today (May 29).

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