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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.


Call: 647-287-2989

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NUUC 1930 Heintzman “E” Grand Rebuild Part 10

Gluing on new Damper Lifter Felt. The masking tape prevents the end of the Felt from being glued to the key. This is so that shims can be added (if needed) to adjust the height of an individual damper.

All done.

With the action stack removed, Lead weights are hung from the Back Checks so that the height of the keys can be regulated.

Using a straight edge, the height of each white key is checked. If it is too low, a paper punching is placed on the front of the key. Then the punching will be placed under the felt punching that is under the fulcrum of the key to raise it to the correct level.

Each one of these punchings will be slipped under the key’s fulcrum to raise the key.

How far the key depresses is called the “Key Dip”. The dip is measured by a small specially-shaped block.

In a similar manner to the balance rail punchings shown earlier, a paper punching is placed under the front rail felt punching to regulate the dip.

The same process is then done with the Black Keys. This block around the first black key shows the height that the Black Key should be sitting.

The Damper action is regulated so that they raise together, raise at the right time, and raise the proper amount.

The action stack is then replaced onto the keyboard, and the action is rgulated. In this picture, the let-off is being adjusted. The let-off is the point at which the hammer stops rising and “Lets off”. Too soon, and the power is diminished. Too late, and the hammer will “Block” against the string, stopped it from ringing.

Here, the Jack is regulated to being at the proper angle.

The Repetition Lever height is adjusted.

and, the spring tension.

Finally, after several Tunings, the Piano is finished!

<- Back | Home | Before and After!

NUUC 1930 Heintzman “E” Grand Rebuild Part 9

Grayson tightening the plate screws

Installing the clean agraffes

Starting the re-stringing process. The green tape on the plate holds down the new Anchor Pin Punchings (little felt washers that protect the plate where the string is fastened at its fixed end.) and the Duplex Bars (Brass bars that raise the strings off the plate to the correct level – see below)  in place.

The top treble section strung. (The Anchor Pin Punchings are the little red circles, and the Duplex Bar is the curved brass bar below them).

The next section completed.

The mid-section completed.

Re-stringing the bass section.

All the strings on.

After the stringing, and a chip tune, I re-installed the damper action and the dampers.

All done for the day. (Compare the above picture with the original!)

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NUUC 1930 Heintzman “E” Grand Rebuild – Before and After

The NUUC 1930 Heintzman Grand Before


The Action – Before

The Action – After

– 0 –

The Tuning Pins Before

The Tuning Pins – After


The Strings – Before

The Strings – After


The Soundboard Before

The Soundboard After


The Damper Action Before

The Damper Action After


The Pinblock and Soundboard Before

The Pinblock and Soundboard After


The NUUC 1930 Heintzman Grand After

See the process from the beginning!

NUUC 1930 Heintzman “E” Grand Rebuild Part 8

Aligning the first hammer.

Gluing on the Bass Hammers

Bass Hammers Done.

Gluing on the Tenor Hammers.

Tenor section done.

After all the hammers are on and the glue has dried, the tails of the new hammers are sanded to remove the excess glue and align them together.

After Sanding.

This step is especially important with the Bass Hammers, because they are glued at an angle. If these tails are not sanded flush, every time the hammer is used, it’s jarred a little to the side because of its shape.

Now, even though the hammers are at an angle, the tails are not.

The finished action, ready for regulation.

(Click here to compare the above picture to the action in its “before” state!)

Meanwhile, back at the church, the bridge notches have been sanded, the bridge shellacked, and the top waxed. Now the new bridge pins are tapped in.

Working ahead of me is Grayson, who is coating each bridge pin hole with a mixture of hot water and fish glue. This will soak into the hole, expand the wood, and then the glue will freeze the grains into their expansion. The pins are tapped in and effectively “glued”, however, the glue is not holding the pin – it’s holding the wood which is holding the pin.

All done, but as you can see from this picture, the pins are too long. You can buy shorter pins, but if they are too short, they won’t work.

So, I grind them down to the right height, a little at a time, using an angle grinder.

Then, I dress the tops of the pins with a file to even them out, and remove any of the burrs left from grinding.

All done.

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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!