Well, no one said building a piano would be easy. You weren't expecting updates full of sugar and sunshine, were you? Where would be the fun in that?
We've been a bit quiet because we're still waiting for Indiegogo to transfer the funds. Apparently it takes up to fifteen business days from the close of the campaign, and we're only on day ten. Hopefully it'll come through soon.
We're still struggling with the three fundimentals:
- String Frame
So, basically, the whole piano.
Here's where we're at...
Our first attempt at a string frame didn't work out so well. Alex didn't have some of the equipment he needed to make the mould smooth. Unfortunately, it's not to the quality we'd need to build one. He's ordered more equipment, so we might give it another shot once that arrives but, in the meantime, Désiré took the frame to Chillington, an industrial metal manufacturer down some very dusty back roads. It's quite hard to find, but worth the trip.
They've come back with a quote that looks very good, and would significantly reduce the cost of our final product. The only problem is that they just called to say they're not sure they can make the tuning pin holes accurate enough. We're dropping by on Tuesday to discuss.
If they can't, that might be an end to the idea of building piano frames in Rwanda, and would require importing - which would push the cost right up. We won't worry too much until we know for certain. There may be a solution.
We've got a real problem on this front. We're looking to purchase from Hellerbass, only we should have taken the string measurements before removing them from the piano. There are also hitch pin measurements we apparently need to take whilst the frame is in the piano. Unfortunately, the frame is at the forge and the piano is in pieces.
Someone with a similar model Lirika very kindly offered to take measurements for us - but we haven't heard from them since.
If you know anyone who has a (roughly) 1960-80s Soviet Lirika piano and might be willing to help us out, we would be extremely grateful. Any help spreading the word is very much appreciated. Without the measurements, we can't order the strings.
We're still none the wiser as to whether we can use flipflops for piano hammers.
Funny quirk. You can send a human being from Kigali to Nairobi in 24 hours.
It takes over two weeks for a small parcel to arrive.
That's where we're at for the time being.
One of these problems has to give. Hopefully in that order. No point ordering strings if we haven't got a frame, no point building an action if we haven't got strings.
We are committed to finding local solutions wherever possible.