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Amherst Piano Co. (1922) Piano Restoration

This piano  is a fine example of the craftsmanship that came out of the Amherst Piano Company, a company that lasted from 1912-1928 and which was named after the Nova Scotia town in which the instruments were expertly manufactured.  This particular model doesn't bear the Amherst name, and was instead labelled "Symphonic" -- a "stencil name" that was applied before it was sold at a Nova Scotia retailer.

The owner of this instrument had dubbed it the "Worlds Saddest Piano".  I've certainly worked on much, much worse, but it's undeniable that this was a diamond in the *substantially* rough.  Click the images to expand:

After bringing all the "guts" back to my shop, I set about dismantling the action and re-shaping the hammers.  (This is done first because filing hammers is a very dusty process.  That way I can consolidate all of the cleaning as I process the rest of the action parts.)

In this case, the original hammers and damper felts were worn little enough that they didn't need replacing.  After the hammers were re-shaped, the felts of the dampers were "livened up" with a Dremel brush:

The old bridle straps had all but disintegrated, so they needed replacing.  Also, the old green felts on the hammer butts were replaced with fresh new red ones.  Additionally, the action rail and brackets were brought back to a mirror-finish on the buffing wheel before the action was re-assembled:

My attention was then turned to the keyboard.  The piano had been lightly played, and the original key bushings did not need replacing.   The old ivories were in very sad shape, as were the keybed felts.  I re-covered all of the keys with plastic and leveled the keys. Regretfully, I don't have pictures of this process.

This particular piano suffered from having loose pins.  Using a handy contraption generously given to my by Tyrell Pearson, RPT, and my father, I tilted the piano to apply pinblock-tightening solution:

After standing the piano back up, I regulated the action, twisted the bass strings, and tuned the piano.  Here are the "after" shots!

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