Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The learning process

Prior to jazz improv class on Monday night, I had a good look at the piano (Yamaha concert grand) and noticed how cleanly and how neatly the strings are wound around the tuning pins. They are even, precise and consistent, nothing at all like the eight pins I did on my piano. I also discovered that mine aren’t even wound in the right direction. (My wound coils are above the insertion point of the wire, not below it, like they are on the grand.) The only reason I strung the coils above the insertion point is because there didn’t seem to be enough room to do them below the wire. Then, all of a sudden, I remembered that we purchased a set of pins that was a quarter inch shorter than the pins that came out of the piano, and that when I drive the new pins in, it doesn’t leave enough room before the wire insertion hole to make two windings of wire without touching the harp and pressing down too hard on the bridges.

Damn. Here’s a shot of my predicament and my shoddy wire windings:

So, I’m going to have to buy the correct length pins. That gives me an opportunity, however, to get the plated ones that look fancier, which is what I really wanted in the first place, even though it leaves me out of pocket for the $68 I spent on the set of pins I’m not going to use (unless I undertake another piano renovation soon – and that’s not happening).

This has me thinking that the best way to complete the finishing work on the piano is just like I did this weekend: finish a small portion of the job as best I can, then check online, check my piano refurbishing book, and look around and think about it, then decide if that is the right way or not. Then I can undo the small portion of completed work rather easily and quickly if it is wrong, or, I can keep going with no progress lost in the meantime if I happen to guess right the first time around.

This has definitely been a learning process, but the piano is getting closer and closer to being finished. My realization of the wire situation even is likely to get me to work on the piano on a weeknight for the first time in a while.

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