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There is a crack inside of my piano! (Read 2784 times)

Offline mark1

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There is a crack inside of my piano!
« on: March 01, 2004, 06:42:30 AM »
The other day I was cleaning off my piano and I opened the top and noticed a 12 in. crack running from left to right. I'm not sure if it's bad but  its the big thick piece of wood that everything attaches to... the sound board(I'm guessing) attaches to it. I also noticed when I moved it to another room(level rolling) the lower 3 octaves have a certain drone to them. The tuner is coming in about 2 weeks...am I in trouble here? My piano is a kimball spinet, mid eighties or so. Any words of wisdom or a comforting pat on the back would be nice. Thanks!                                                  Mark :'(  
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline allchopin

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #1 on: March 01, 2004, 11:20:40 PM »
Yeh... you can shop for new pianos here http://www.bondypiano.com/
;D
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Joffrey

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #2 on: March 23, 2004, 01:29:57 PM »
Um, I don't know for sure, but I am guessing you're talking about your pinblock... If this is the case, well... *comforting pat on the back*

Joff

Offline mark1

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #3 on: March 23, 2004, 06:09:10 PM »
I had it tuned yesterday and my tuner told me the bad news... :'( It is repairable but at a cost that exceeds the pianos worth. He said it should be fine for a while, but it will only get worse. I also found a piece of mail my kid shoved in the keys!!! That explained the bass notes sounding like crap. ;D(I couldn't tell you how he did it) Thanks for the sympathy!                                     Mark :)
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline allchopin

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #4 on: March 23, 2004, 11:37:32 PM »
Quote
It is repairable but at a cost that exceeds the pianos worth.

Are you the first to total your piano simply from playing on it?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline mark1

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #5 on: March 25, 2004, 06:55:50 AM »
This is a good example of what happens when you don't take care of your piano!... Remember to watch the humidity levels and get you piano tuned regularly.  That sounded like a public service anouncement, but it might have prevented my situation.
Take care(your piano too)                                     Mark
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #6 on: April 15, 2004, 02:54:14 AM »
A wooden pin block?  Wow.  That's an old piano or a really cheap one.  Does it have a wooden frame, too?

Oh, it's a spinet.  Yeah, you just bought a real piano!  Congrats! :)

But it probably wouldn't look as elaborately decorated. :P

Offline jr11

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #7 on: April 15, 2004, 06:39:23 AM »
So you have a crack in your pin block... so what? Does it still play okay? Does it hold tune? You might have a tough time selling it, but it could still serve you well for many years.

I moved my grand from a balmy coastal climate at sea level to northern interior Canada at 1500m. Very dry and cold. Cracks developed in the sound board, which was very disturbing, but it still played and sounded fine. A few years later we moved back to the south coast, and within a couple months the cracks closed back up!

I know a soundboard and a pin block are different animals, but it still makes for an interesting story.

Offline tosca1

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #8 on: April 15, 2004, 08:35:51 PM »
Just this week my piano tuner told me that he had just finished tuning a Challen upright for a client when suddenly he heard an extremely loud bang from the piano.  It sounded as if someone had struck the piano with a sledge-hammer.  Then a a few moments later there was another bang of similar magnitude from the piano. He said that the noise was so loud that  it resounded through the house like a heavy door being slammed.  
The explanation for this was that the iron frame or plate of the piano had suddenly cracked and a fissure 3cm wide was visible along part of it.
He said that this was the first time in many years of tuning pianos that this had happened just on completion of a tuning.
The piano went completely out of tune, but, according to my tuner,
it is possible to "stitch" the iron frame and repair the crack.  This would however be a very expensive option and cost more than the value of most upright pianos.  

Kind regards,
Robert.


Offline bernhard

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #9 on: April 15, 2004, 08:48:24 PM »
Quote
Just this week my piano tuner told me that he had just finished tuning a Challen upright for a client when suddenly he heard an extremely loud bang from the piano.  It sounded as if someone had struck the piano with a sledge-hammer.  Then a a few moments later there was another bang of similar magnitude from the piano. He said that the noise was so loud that  it resounded through the house like a heavy door being slammed.  
The explanation for this was that the iron frame or plate of the piano had suddenly cracked and a fissure 3cm wide was visible along part of it.
He said that this was the first time in many years of tuning pianos that this had happened just on completion of a tuning.
The piano went completely out of tune, but, according to my tuner,
it is possible to "stitch" the iron frame and repair the crack.  This would however be a very expensive option and cost more than the value of most upright pianos.  

Kind regards,
Robert.



This is an amazing story.

What exactly caused it? Was the piano tuner in any way responsible? (or perhpas more to the point, was he held reposnsible?) It  must be a bit unsettling to say the least to tune a piano just for it to crack down!

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline tosca1

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #10 on: April 15, 2004, 09:04:46 PM »
Dear Bernhard,
My reaction to this story was the same as yours. Was the tuner blamed for this unusual event?  Fortunately in this case he was not and he told me that as the piano had been quite out of tune he did not attempt to bring it up to full pitch.  

He also consulted another colleague about this incident and another explanation could be a hidden defect in the iron frame which suddenly gave away under the enormous pressure (about 20 tons) of the strings.

However, although this occurrence is extremely rare it does highlight the importance of regular tuning and maintenance for all pianos.

Kind regards,
Robert.

Offline Joffrey

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #11 on: April 16, 2004, 11:09:56 AM »
Quote
A wooden pin block?  Wow.  That's an old piano or a really cheap one.  Does it have a wooden frame, too?

Oh, it's a spinet.  Yeah, you just bought a real piano!  Congrats! :)

But it probably wouldn't look as elaborately decorated. :P


What are you talking about?? Every piano has a wooden pin block.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #12 on: April 16, 2004, 12:36:01 PM »
Yeah, but the spinet doesn't have a brass frame around the pin block, that's what I was referring to.  So the pin block and the frame is made of wood and since the wood is cracked, so is the pin block.

Offline Joffrey

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #13 on: April 16, 2004, 03:48:15 PM »
Quote
Yeah, but the spinet doesn't have a brass frame around the pin block, that's what I was referring to.  So the pin block and the frame is made of wood and since the wood is cracked, so is the pin block.


i think that with spinet he is referring to a mini piano (90cm) where the action is mounted below the keys. I am sure it has a cast iron frame.  Brass is never used.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #14 on: April 17, 2004, 12:41:27 AM »
Yeah, but it's painted brass color usually. ;D

Offline CPS_Pianotek

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #15 on: May 07, 2004, 03:32:07 PM »
Greetings fellow piano lovers!  :D

First, there is a big difference between a crack in the soundboard and a crack in the pinblock. The soundboard crack is only a problem if it has an effect on the tone (usually by transecting a rib) and or tuning stability of the instrument. A pinblock crack is a lot more serious and usually leads to the scrapping of the piano if it is not replaced - which in a vertical is often more difficult and costly to do than if it was in a grand.  A possible inexpensive solution to your problem that could stave off the demise of your instrument that you may want to discuss with your technician is the use of CA glue to fill the crack.

As for the plate cracking.  It is unlikely for a piano tech to do anything in the course of properly servicing the piano that would cause him to be responsible for cracking the plate.  It is not only extremely rare (and dangerous) - but as was said earlier, usually is the fault of a flaw in the casting coupled with poor maintenance history on the part of the instrument's owner.

I suggest you look at the positive - this is an opportunity for you to upgrade and get a better, more expressive piano.

Good luck! - RC

Offline mark1

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Re: There is a crack inside of my piano!
«Reply #16 on: May 07, 2004, 05:55:00 PM »
I thank everyone for their replies and comments! :) I'm going to play it into its grave I suppose...Even though it was tuned recently it has lost a lot of its sound quality. :( ...it is a good excuse to upgrade though ;)         mark
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."