Pianos: A good bollocking


Workshop memories. Piano work is diverse. It can seem foundry one minute, and Tonia Todman the next. I can't wait until Tonia eventually gives herself a good googling and learns how many times I've evoked her name in this manner. To be fair, we didn't forge that cast iron frame, but drilly-filly work was part of the assignment, along with customary sanding back and respraying. Removing and re-installing the frame (easily the heaviest part of any piano) requires specialist equipment: A felt-lined clamp and a winch of the type used to remove engines from cars. 


This business name impressed. Are you man enough to be an Embroidery Guy?


No? Bollocks.


Someone I know has a little more patience with this work than I feel I do. These elegant and functional listing felts will be replaced during any restringing.


Each stringing pillow (the green felt piece) is usually replaced, remade, or re-covered.


I see so many amazing houses, it's constantly enlightening. I had no idea that compact fluorescent globes were heritage-listed.


My local fruit shop. It would be churlish to deny a grocer his extraneous apostrophes but part of me was determined to blame the North Queenslanders. Bugger the fruit flies, let's check for apostrophes at all state borders.


To cleanse the palate, let's enjoy a couple of literate examples. I've slipped in another Woodford memory. What a wonderful initiative.


It would appear that the scouts of Orange may have gone several generations struggling along without an apostrophe. Eventually enough lamingtons had been sold and a masonry one was installed - to indicate many scouts (with much fanfare).


A restringing starts. A single wire loop is on, but not at tension. The tuning pins have not yet been driven in to their final height. The coils cannot be further tidied until those other things happen. Another tuning pin masquerades temporarily as a bearing point. The metal bearing piece (removed, not visible) will be whisked back to the workshop to be buffed. The existing stringing pillows (also removed) will be re-covered with new felt. Bamboozling? Possibly.


One of several bloody big drills used to remove tuning pins en masse. The bit is a tapered star tip that fits the pins in the manner of a stringing hammer (or lever).


A crude-but-nifty adaptation of this drill's case means the bit can stay in.


It's hard to know what sector of the piano-coveting community might be attracted to these cabinet stylings. I'm not.


It's reminiscent of the time Homer Simpson ingested Guatemalan Insanity Peppers.


I'm sure it's not just me...


...but I have no idea what (or whom) Royal George felt.


Regular gallery tunings keep me feeling artful. Wow, it's the Crazy Cat Lady when she was a beautiful young woman.


Kitten caboodle.


Everyone is taking phonetographs nowadays.


Strangely the air-conditioning seemed to roar as I tuned again, now in an empty room.


Let's hope the crowd roars where appropriate.


Ill Met by Phonelight. An inspection of a Bl├╝thner upright yielded another nerdy sighting.


Nah, not those key lever back ends, hideous rocker-capstan fittings that are extinct in all piano manufacture (deservedly so)...


...but rather, these hauntingly disembodied dampers. Unusual. We've removed the action, which in an upright usually means that the dampers are removed too (it's all one unit) leaving just the keys behind. You may recall another recent rarity where the action, dampers, keys, keyframe and cheek blocks came out as a unit. The last three in that list were the unorthodox elements (for an upright). Nerd it up, Cazzbo.


Lately I've been blogging in my back room office, a better choice for certain summer days, and an attempt to be more productive. My 'jungle' is looking pretty good. A huntsman spider scampered up the window and propped. I was quick to realise it was on the outside of the window, so everything was (relatively) OK.


Flashback to a decade ago when I first began the 'jungle' plantings. I bought a job-lot of ex-event hire plants on eBay for $90. The moment such plants look imperfect, overgrown or straggly, their corporate days are over.

Never one to pay for delivery (if I can help it) I drove home from the outer reaches of Sydney with my little vehicle crammed to the gunwales. Cazzbo, I'm pretty sure it's not legal to have gunwales fitted to your car in New South Wales.


Fortunately the nursery man knew just how to pack the car, I didn't have a clue. He deftly carried two pots in each hand (gripped by the rims) then piled them in on the oblique. 

I added to these ex-corporate plants with divided cuttings and bits and pieces from a dear friend with a wonderful garden, and I was away! Many new plants (and many losses - I am the Brown Thumb Gardener) later the 'jungle' is increasingly pleasurable.


Ridiculous, but I got there.


My little car has been pensioned off. May it rest in pieces.


It donated its organs so that other Nissan Pulsars could have a better quality of life.


Rusty Rorschach, my car's last anguished cry.




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