At Oxford Piano Service, we have more than 10 years of restoration experience. You can be confident that we will pay meticulous attention to every detail of the rebuilding process. Here are some of the most common elements of a major piano restoration:
There are two bridges on a piano: a short (bass) bridge and a long (treble-tenor) bridge. Bridges transfer the vibration of the piano strings to the soundboard, which amplifies the sound. The piano strings pass over the bridges and are held in place between metal pins at an extremely high tension.
As pianos age, bridges can split and crack. This interferes with the resonance of string vibrations, resulting in poor tone and a thin, weak sound. Cracks typically occur in the top portion (the cap) of the bridge. The solution to this is to reconstruct the damaged bridge using new wood.
Cap Removal and Regluing
The cracked cap is removed, and a new cap is constructed out of maple wood, which is extremely hard and durable. The new cap is glued firmly into place. The lower right-hand photo shows the newly built bridge cap secured and ready for drilling and notching.
Drilling and Notching
Once the new cap is set in place, more than 400 holes are drilled to hold the new bridge pins, through which the piano strings will pass. The wood is then notched by hand using a chisel, which ensures that the piano strings will make contact with the bridge at precise angles to optimize sound resonance, volume, and sustain. After notching is complete, new bridge pins are hammered into place, and the piano is ready for re-stringing.
Bridge reconstruction requires careful attention to detail and quality materials. When done properly, your piano will sound its best, and the new bridge will last several lifetimes.