Seeing the woods for the trees: identify and care for your piano parts
We posted a blog earlier last year about the numerous different wood types used in various aspects and stages of piano making, including the pinblock, soundboard and action mechanism – and, in particular, about how their varying structures and qualities will have a significant impact on the sorts of tones and resonances your instrument will be capable of producing.
These are all important things to bear in mind when selecting a new piano and deciding what sort of price range you’re looking to buy into. But what if you already have an older or even antique piano and are looking into getting some repairs done, or perhaps hoping to pick up a pre-owned instrument in the near future? Being able to identify the origins and wood types of its various components is important here, both for making sure you get good value for money and for selecting the right approaches to treatment and wood care in order to maximize the sound quality and longevity of your piano.
We’ve spotted one potentially useful online tool for helping to confirm which type of wood has been used in specific parts of your instrument: this handy interactive guide, put together by a specialist UK wood care company, is particularly convenient because it allows you to narrow your search from a wide range of potential wood types down to the most likely candidates. You can then click through to learn more about each variety’s typical characteristics, and the best ways to treat and protect them respectively.
Combined with some of our previous posts right here on Piano Emporium about the construction of specific components, the importance of humidity control, tips on key care and how to protect your case finish, you should be well on your way to a good understanding of how those parts all play their own unique and important roles – and why each needs to be identified and cared for appropriately.