The Restoration Journey
Recently, we completed some much needed restoration work on a Zeitter & Winkelmann baby grand piano. Take a look at how we brought this piano to life -
Before the Restoration
Before we began restoring this Zeitter & Winkelmann grand piano, this is what it looked like. Filled with dust, cobwebs and dirt, we knew we would have to work harder than ever before.
Time to Disassemble...
Before we could start any restoration work, our team had to carefully take apart the piano, including the action, the strings and the frame. This way, we could clean every corner no matter how hidden. This also allowed us to assign technicians to different parts.
Sanding the Soundboard and Cabinet
Our next job was to sand the soundboard, cabinet and legs. This would allow us to properly apply the new layers of paint.
Polishing the Castors
Using various buffing machinery and polishing compounds, we also had to polish the castors as well as other brass parts. The above image is a clear example of how the change was night and day.
Shimming the Soundboard
We also noticed there were numerous cracks in the soundboard. We fixed these using small pieces of timber called "shims" that were inserted into the cracks.
Restoring the Keys
The keys were one of the most vital parts of the restoration as they are what allow the pianist to play the piano. Not only did they have to look fantastic, they had to operate well.
Preparing the Cabinet with Primer
Before it was sprayed, the cabinet had to be prepared using primer. Primer prevents the paint from being soaked up by the wood. We also applied a layer of white primer.
Spraying the Cabinet
After applying the primer, the piano had to go through various levels of sanding before our team could apply the marvellous top coat of white.
Spraying the Soundboard
After spraying the cabinet, our cabinet restorers then had to spray the soundboard to give it a fresh, glowing interior.
Spraying the Frame
Left: Old Right: New
Spraying the frame was a vital part of the restoration process. Here, you can see the stark contrast between the dusty chunk of metal and the new, golden, ornate frame.
Restoring the Action
During the restoration, the action was one of the most important parts - you can't play the piano without an action. We full strip cleaned and lubricated it and installed replacement parts throughout.
Restringing the Piano
Along with the action, we also had to restring the piano. This involved replacing the old strings with brand new ones.
Restoring the Dampers
Another equally important part of the restoration was the dampers, which were given new felts, new paint and refitted on top of the strings.
Once we completed the technical aspects of the piano restoration, we began restoring the finer details - starting with fresh new felts.
The Finishing Touches
Finally, we began work on final details of the piano, such as this black cord extending along the rim of the interior frame.
The results of the restoration was a stunning grand piano with a luxurious cabinet of angelic white that contained vibrant felts, a resplendent frame and soundboard. With a brand new keyboard, action and strings that resonated with melodic potential, this beautiful Zeitter & Winkelmann made the perfect grand piano. This was, by far, among our most impressive restoration projects yet.
By Joshua Wardle