The Piano Team: Strings, scrubs pants and fireplace fodder

The intrepid Caped Regulators continue to share piano work in Greater Sydney and beyond. 

Workshop wallflowers.

Sidekick stealthily steals snapshots.

Purposeful pounding of pins.

Piano work is amazing. It can seem foundry one minute, and Tonia Todman the next. Here's a bit of crafty filigree-n - this must surely be 'women's work' - let me at it!

A piano receives a new set of monochords (single strings). 

It is important to support the pin block on a grand piano before pounding in new pins with a hammer and punch. The action is removed and a support is placed between the keybed and the pin block.

This little sidekick usually takes the wicket keeper position for shared stringing... or is it Scrubs Nurse?

This sight in a surgeon's office, where his piano is our patient, seems uncanny. 'Sidekick, take those pants off this minute!'

The dampers are returned after the new strings are in.

Here's an unorthodox twist on a legitimate interim measure - deployed so that the client could still have his all-time favourite single string note to pound into next week (literally and metaphorically) until the replacement string arrives. Normally... ideally... a splice (a knot joining the existing broken string length to a new piece of music wire) sees the knot itself, with all its cheeky McGyveriness, positioned in the non-speaking (non-sounding) part of the string. Here, some of the string's copper winding is removed and the splice is successfully executed.

Adequate for the client's rock and roll relief after knock-off. I would have been more likely to urge the client to transpose or learn a new song until a replacement string is made (1) because it is handy to be able to provide the broken string for the string maker to copy (convenient, but not essential, if the correct measurements are taken) and (2) I'm not as deft at whipping up splice knots in tenacious music wire as my fellow Caped Regulator.

The Economics of Regulation*. So, is this book about how to make a zac or two tweaking the way pianos respond to pianists? Given the texts surrounding it, I doubt it, but the notion amused me as I briefly stepped away from toiling at a piano. 

But hey, if regulation doesn't pay (and it's cold) there is always the strategy of pensioning off piano parts. Keytops and key leads can be salvaged if they are thought of as being valuable for elephants who like to fish. Or, a quick-acting bandsaw can provide for a cosy keystick fire in no time!

Mmmm. Back check barbecue!

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* Regulation is restoring the optimal relationship between the many precision moving action parts to permit maximum energy transfer from player to instrument - bizarrely fiddly-diddly adjustments. A piano action is a complex machine comprising wood, felt, cloth, leather and metals. Even paper and cardboard are legitimately used in piano adjustment.