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.
The soundboard is a thin wooden sheet that amplifies the sound produced by the piano’s strings when they vibrate. It is made of many planks of Sitka Spruce wood that are glued together. Sitka Spruce is used because it has a long, straight grain, which allows for the optimal transmission of sound.
Cracks in the soundboard are common in older pianos and can cause buzzing, loss of volume, and poor sustain. Smaller cracks may not impact your piano’s sound enough to warrant repair; however, many grand piano owners opt to repair even the smallest of soundboard cracks, since the soundboard is often visible during performance. When a crack is larger and causes the wood to warp, the sound quality will be affected significantly, and you will likely want to repair the damage.
Note: a cracked soundboard does not mean your piano is ruined; cracks can be repaired and your soundboard can be restored to produce the same vibrant and full tone as before.
Routing and Gluing
We use a router and a custom jig to remove the cracked wood and create a smooth, even groove. Once the damaged material has been removed, a carefully measured wooden shim – made of the same high-quality Sitka Spruce wood as your original soundboard – is glued into place, filling the gap seamlessly.
Planing and Sanding
Once the glue is completely dry and the shim is firmly in place, we plane and sand the surface of the soundboard to ensure a smooth finish. Your soundboard will look and sound as good as new.