8.10.2010

pf TLC for #175246

I would never have thought of buying a piano from a place called Bobbi's Boutique. Especially for $50. Yet here it is, in our living room, under strenuous resuscitation, investigation, and compassion. 

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It's an upright Kimball. I can't find a date yet, but its manufacturing number (and family name, at this point) is 175246. A schnazzy plaque honors the Kimball manufacturing company at a the world's Colombian Exposition in 1892 for "Superlative Merit" and the "Highest Standard of Excellence". The most obvious problem, encountered in the musty, doilied atmosphere of Bobbi's, is the loose ivory key tops. Nothing a little PVC pipe glue won't fix, though I'm thinking I'll shoot for clear glue as opposed to blue. (Blue PVC glue gives it a veined, human sort of look.)
I've removed all the panels I can and vacuumed and wiped the whole thing out. Most astonishing were the following hidden treasures: candy wrappers, cigarette butts, poker chips, a 1971 penny (wedged under d), more cigarette butts, cigarette wrapping paper, cobwebs, tobacco, and more candy wrappers. Obviously the previous owner loved their smokes and sweets and music. I've taken out all the keys one by one and cleaned them and inspected their works. Aside from several that rub up against each other too tight (an easy fix), D has lost the connecting pin between the Extension and the Wippen. Bugger of a thing to stick in and even more bugger to find out that a paper clip will not fit.
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At first I thought the Sustain Pedal was completely kaput. But it's just a little too short. I think it may have had some sort of rubber top to it that's worn away. I still have no idea what the Middle Pedal does yet. The last little repairs that I've caught are some missing Bridal Pins and Bridal Straps. Not much to do with weddings however. They help pull back the hammer for quick repetition. Kind of like a mini stagecoach driver reigning in the hosses.
I'm looking for a good piano technician to give me an estimate. Neither tempered nor tuned and F# is missing a string. Before I hand it over to a professional I might like to give it a try with my Piano Tuning book by J. Cree Fischer (any relation to Ariadne?). It would be wonderful to hear those throbbing, pulsating dis-unisons and octaves. I would also be using the tuning hammer used by I believe my great-uncle David, a blind organist/pianist. Jessica is really looking forward to hearing the piano in the house again.
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