Pianotech

  • 1.  What could cause cracks like this?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 23 days ago
    Young Chang G-185 from around 1987 as far as I could find out. Donated to a school I service. Nobody is admitting to knowing where it came from or history. Looks like it's seen better days but I'm worried about cracks in the rim. At  first I thought the piano had been rolled across something but then I looked harder, and while there are scratches that follow the cracks, what I'm seeing are definitely cracks. They run horizontally entirely around the piano and look like they go clear through the finish down to the wood. May even be following wood joints in the rim. Any idea what kind of environment or accident could cause this kind of damage? And what it may mean?






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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 2.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Member
    Posted 23 days ago
    I have seen cold cracks in polyester finishes and on a grand that had been coated with what looked to be multiple layers of bar epoxy. The piano had been refinished in Italy and all of the paperwork was in Italian and hard to decipher. The owner was a retired German physicist who wanted me to fix it but I had no idea what it was and referred him to a refinisher. The piano may have been dropped, damaged in transport, exposed to some extreme temperatures and warmed up too soon. I would check with Allied Piano and also with YC. Is the lid cracked or any issues with the legs ?

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 3.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Posted 23 days ago
    My refinisher tells me that poly finishes are more temper mental and tricky than you would think. For example when they mix the ingredients, they have to be mixed in a certain order or they can explode. Something about cadmium and aluminum oxide. They are time sensitive during the spraying process. They have to be sprayed under practically lab conditions. After hearing the behind stories of these finishes, i'm not surprised at all if they later crack.

    -chris

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    Chernobieff Piano Restorations
    "Where Tone is Key"
    chernobieffpiano.com
    grandpianoman@protonmail.com
    Lenoir City, TN
    865-986-7720
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  • 4.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 23 days ago
    James --

    The lid and legs look fine. No bent or damaged hinges. The only weird thing was that the rubber buttons that cushion the lid around the frame appear to have been slightly age crushed, but a long time ago. Now they are hard as rock. Mostly I'm used to seeing them turn to goo.

    I was going to guess that the piano had been in seriously environmentally uncontrolled storage for a very long time and it happened there. But if that were the case I would have expected to see action damage as well. except for the case finish cracks the rest of the piano appears mostly OK. No critter damage, either. I just wanted to get some thoughts on what may have happened and what I may expect as this piano is once again being played.

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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 5.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Member
    Posted 23 days ago
    The cracks will seriously affect the value of the piano if they are looking for a tax deduction.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 6.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Member
    Posted 23 days ago
    Try contacting the folks at Allied Piano- Ruth Ziener is a polyester expert however she is not doing much in the way of polyester training. Al Guercia in North Carolina knows polyester and I have had instruction from him although I do very little work with it today. If there is a crack that goes through the wood substrate all the way to the inner rim thats big time bad but I think you have a finish failure likely induced by poor storage or exposure from cold to hot too quickly. Don't forget that a piano has about 70% wood content and it expands and contracts. If a piano is sitting in the hot sun coupled with high humidity some finishes will soften. Likewise when finishing you need to be aware of both relative humidity and temperature otherwise the finish will be sticky and may never cure properly.

    the thickness of polyester as well as the process has changed so repairs are difficult and very tricky. If there is no structural damage to the piano it is what it is. many people want a tax deduction for a donation but this type of damage reduces the value. It would cost some $$$$ to fix . In a school setting the piano is likely to suffer all sorts of finish and cosmetic damage. I had a school contract and a really nice Baldwin grand with natural wood finish was donated. Sometime shortly after it was there an aspiring drummer used the cheek blocks as a snare drum....

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 7.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 23 days ago
    OK, that about answers my question and concerns. The piano was donated to the school and now lives in the band room where it will get played a lot by both teacher and students. Aesthetics aren't really going to be a concern. Thanks to all for the replies.

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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 8.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Member
    Posted 22 days ago
    Manufacturers apply polyester over a substance that is similar to the backing on formica. This plastic veneer is applied to the whole piano, I believe.  I don't think manufacturers put polyester directly on wood...but am happy to be corrected if this is wrong or partially wrong.

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    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
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  • 9.  RE: What could cause cracks like this?

    Member
    Posted 22 days ago
    I think the process varies from one company to another and changes with the technology. When I started doing polyester repairs I really enjoyed and after taking many classes and practicing got quite good at it. I once did a repair on the tail end of a Yamaha that had a huge chunk of polyester missing. By taking my time and building it up then blending, levelling, sanding and buffing out the repair was near perfect. The next tuning visit I did I could not find where I had made the repair. Color matching becomes a real chore because there are various shades of black and the same goes for white. It seemed the newer pianos where using combinations of polyester and lacquers . The thickness also became a huge issue since there was less and less material to work with. There are guidelines about buffing out scratches using compounds but with thinner materials you are into the substrate almost instantly. I will not mention the brand but I believe they used an electrostatic process and a waterfall method to apply their polyester. Less and less- almost like tissue paper- means less material and hence less handling. I do not recall an intermediate level between the polyester and wood of the rim but then again it may be why when you are grinding away polyester to fill deep scratches or trying to fix chips on edges you have a white residue . One nightmare job I did involved a C7 where the pedal box was crushed on the top . It seemed like poly but really was some mix of things. The refinisher I used periodically had to remove the polyester and shoot lacquer which was then brought up to a fine mirror shine.

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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