Sunday, 16 June 2019

Bugesera Bound



Marion took a little trip out to Bugesera yesterday, where we're helping to fix up a 1947-52 Hamilton. It's about half an hour by moto, down through the wetlands. 

We're going to do some more work on it, replacing all the springs, improvising some new key punchings and replacing a couple of action parts, but it's now had an overpull and it looks like we can get it back to full playability. 

New Spring Makes a Difference

Jocelyne put on a wonderful lunch again.

 


Always a pleasure to visit. 

We've been really quiet recently just because we're waiting on parts. We ordered some hammer shanks on 9th May, to repair a Kimball, and centre and rail pins for ourselves on 23rd May. They were dispatched the same day, but no sign of anything yet. Post can be excruciatingly slow at times, regularly taking anywhere from three weeks to three months for parts to arrive. Eventually we'd like to make all our own parts, but we need samples in order to do that - hence the order. 

Once the pins arrive, we should be able to finish the keyboard off and try testing the piano with the old Lirika action. That will be an exciting time.

We were hoping to have an international volunteer here to help us, but despite initial enthusiasm, that's fallen through. They found a piano expert, but he wasn't willing to come because he felt the project wasn't viable. That was a real kick to all the hard work everyone's put in so far. When we first started out, people were saying it would be impossible to make a string frame here - but we found Chillington, and we made one. So, we're forging on without a volunteer. As always, we're turning negativity into positivity and we're determined to finish the project, with something playable to show for it. 

Whilst we wait for the post to arrive, we're continuing to help out with fixing other people's pianos and trying to get more working instruments in Rwanda.

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