For 116 years and four generations, Ford Piano has been rebuilding / restoring and refinishing the finest pianos in the world, installing new tuning pin blocks, sounding boards, actions and finishes. Though we take just as much pride in rebuilding Mrs. Jones’ piano from around the corner, we have rebuilt pianos for Duke Ellington (two grands, one of which is in the Smithsonian), Stephen Sondheim (two grands), John Lennon, and a host of well known classical and jazz artists, music schools and concert venues.
MAJOR PIANO COMPONENTS
Piano Tuning Pinblock The “heart” of the piano. It keeps the piano in tune with a life span of about 1/2 to 3/4 of a century, after which time replacement is usually needed. New tuning pinblocks come with new tuning pins, strings, understringing felts, iron frame regilding, sounding board and bridge work, and the all important resetting string downbearing.
Piano Sounding Board The “speaker” of the piano. It picks up the vibration of the strings (via the bridges), with a life span determined mostly by the fluctuation and level of humidity over the decades. A lot of times the board can be repaired by reglueing the sounding board ribs and shimming, but sometimes sounding boards need to be replaced.
Piano Action The “working mechanism” in the piano. The action transmits a touch of the keys to the hammer hitting the string. Life span depends on the use it has had over the decades. There are many parts and variables, but most times hammers need replacement when rebuilding.
Piano Finish The “coating” on the furniture part of the piano. The finish preserves and protects the fine veneer covering the case parts. Life span of about 1/2 century. Old varnish tends to “alligator” (crack) and darken. Usually, refinishing is done along with rebuilding, though “you can’t play on the finish”. Lacquer is the material of choice, with “French Polishing” a possibility.
At Ford Piano, we don’t indiscriminately install all new parts, as sometimes certain original parts are actually better than new. We customize the rebuilding process to achieve the optimal tonal response from each piano.