Bringing a Steinway Back to Life Part II

A short while ago, we shared with you our work on a 1917 Steinway Model M that we were working on restoring. And now, the work is done! We've cleaned the soundboard, replaced all the strings and tuning pins, replaced most of the felt pieces throughout the piano, reshaped the hammers, and much, much more!

Here we are working on restringing the piano with Rouslau premium wire and brand new nickle-plated steel tuning pins. When installing treble wire, the string is wound around one tuning pin, goes across the piano and comes back to form a second string.

During the restringing process, we remove most of the dampers from the piano, which you can see resting in order in the background. This allows us to run the wire all the way from the tuning pin, across the soundboard, above the bridges, around the hitchpin in at the back, and all the way back home to the next tuning pin.

An average piano has around 230 strings, each of which are attached to a tuning pin, so you can imagine how long restringing a piano can take. Here you see us part of the way through, and you can see a set of tuning pins in the background that haven't been extracted from the pinblock yet.

When you put in a new string you have to thread it through an agraffe, which you can see above. It's basically like putting steel "thread" through the eye of a needle, but it helps to create a clear termination point to the vibrating section of the string.

With the action removed, we can easily view the damper assembly. During the restringing process, we remove most of the dampers, but once the new strings are in place it's time to put them back. This photo was taken in the middle of adjusting the assembly, and you can see the finished ones in the background are resting higher than the ones in the foreground.

Here you can see the new bass strings, which give this Steinway a resounding, powerful, yet controllable sound in its lower register. The bass strings are steel wire that is then wrapped in one or two copper windings, which are all custom made for the particular make and model piano. Almost all older pianos have very dull sound in the bass, and that is because as the piano ages, dust becomes trapped inside the copper windings. Replacing the bass strings solves this problem, and is more affordable and less time-consuming than re-stringing the entire piano.

You can see in the picture just how far this piano has come! This was what it looked like before we started our journey of bringing this piano back to life.

And here's the finished product! This beautiful Vintage 1917 Steinway Model M 5’7 partially restored by LeGrand Piano. The piano was completely restrung with Rouslau, German wire along with new, nickel plated blued tuning pins, and new felts. Extensive action work done, including reshaping and voicing the original hammers, new backchecks installed, front rail and balance rail felt punching replaced. Action recently regulated. This piano was manufactured during the “Golden Age” had has the golden, Steinway tone.