Like my father and grandfather before me, I am a Piano Tuner, Technician and Rebuilder, and I have worked in the Piano Industry since 1976.

e-mail me:torontopianotuning@gmail.com

Call: 647-287-2989

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Re-imagining a 1931 Knabe Butterfly Grand – Part 8

Boring the new hammers.

Coving the tails.

Coving removes the excess wood from the underside of the tails, reducing the weight of the hammers, which reduces the touch weight.

Trimming the ends of the tails.

Tapering the tails.

The new hammers installed, and the action reassembled.

<- Part 7 | Part 9 -> The Finale!

Re-imagining a 1931 Knabe Butterfly Grand – Part 7

The original Ivories are long gone. Someone replaced them with plastic, but installed them incorrectly, using the wrong glue.

In the above picture you can see that not only do the fronts overhang the key (WRONG!), but he didn’t remove the original celluloid fronts (WRONG!), and they’re not even glued on!

This video shows how poorly these keytops were attached!

After “Popping off” the old keytops, this is what the key bodies looked like. The previous “Technician” not only didn’t remove the fronts, he didn’t even clean the wood, or fill the gaps and tears he made!

Here, you see the key bodies properly prepared, with the new top blanks beside them.

The new keytops glued on, using the CORRECT glue.

This is what the keytop looks like on the key without shaping. Notice the overhang on the front, the sides, and the cut-out where the black key fits.

Here’s the same keytop after shaping.

This video shows the shaping process.

Evening out, and beveling the cut-out.

All done!

Here’s closeups of the keys before:

and after:

<- Part 6 | Part 8 ->


Re-imagining a 1931 Knabe Butterfly Grand – Part 6

The original nose bolts were replaced with special bolts that I made. Not only does the plate contact the bolt on a larger surface (making the connection more secure), but the height of the bolt is adjustable using an Allan key inserted through the plate hole.

The plate in place. Using the adjustable nose bolts, the plate height is adjusted so that the bearing (the amount of force the strings press down on the bridges) is correct.

The re-stringing started.

The original stringing scale (which size string goes where), was replaced by a computer generated scale:

The stringing finished.

The dampers installed.

The action in original condition.

A closeup of the old hammers.

A closeup of the old keys.

The original keyframe.

Next: The Action and keys redone!

<- Part 5 | Part 7 ->

Re-imagining a 1931 Knabe Butterfly Grand – Part 5

<<– Back to the beginning.

The plate cleaned and sanded, ready for priming.

The primer applied.

The gold paint applied.

The Black detailing applied.

Closeup of the Plate Rosette.

The plate after the clear lacquer topcoat, the removal, polishing, and re-installation of the agraffes, and the addition of some of the plate felt.

<- Part 4 | Part 6 – >

Re-imagining a 1931 Knabe Butterfly Grand – Part 4

<<- Back to the beginning.

The case in the refinishing booth, being prepared for stripping.

The soundboard, pinblock, and keybed have been taped and covered.


The case all stripped.


All of the case parts stripped.

The stripped parts assembled. The small pieces of tape that you can see, mark places where a repair is needed.

After filling and repair, the first coat of stain has been applied.

Multiple coats of stain have now been applied to the case and the legs.

The gold accent piece attached.

The cross member (The support for the lid pieces) that I made, painted gold.

The two lid props painted gold.

The lacquer applied.


<- Part 3 | Part 5 ->

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Jamie Says:


"Always keep your piano in tune! All Piano Manufacturers will tell you the same thing: Every Piano should be tuned at least twice a year. This is especially important in Canada where we experience drastic changes in temperature and humidity between summer and winter." If your piano was last tuned six months or more, book a tuning appointment today! torontopianotuning@gmail.com