Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Special Delivery

Look what we just picked up at UPS!

Thanks to EKA, we now have enough wire to string our piano, and hopefully put the original Lirika back together. We have to string the prototype first because if there are any problems with the frame, we'll need to use the old one to recast it. Once the strings go on, we can't take them off again as it's very expensive to order a full set of bass strings and steels.

You might notice we have a 19 1/2 in there. This is because the Mapes American sizes we originally went looking for are a half-size larger in MWG (music wire gauge) in the UK.



No problem with customs this time as, unlike the bass strings, the order didn't go over the import threshold. They would have delivered direct to the door yesterday, but we were out, so went to pick up from UPS today, which is based at Hôtel des Mille Collines, better known around the world as Hotel Rwanda.

Désiré is busy exploring soundboards and hammering in tuning pin bushings. Once the tuning pins are in and the frame is secured to the piano, it will go to Marion's place so that she can string it up. We'll then need to build the keys and use the action from the original Lirika to pull the strings up to pitch and find out what she'll sound like.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

We've Got The Strings!

Pianos as Art

We've done it!

Strings on their way!

Turns out, we were asking the wrong people. Instead of approaching piano wire manufacturers, we should have been asking restorers and repairers, who have been much more sympathetic to our plight. After a couple of months going nowhere, we decided to try one last desperate mail out... and received a flood of helpful replies.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who responded, and in particular:

  • Martin Robertson at EKA, who sold us the strings - they're on their way.
  • Martin Heckscher at Heckscher & Company and Sharon Doughty at Fletcher & Newman, who also offered to source the strings for us and gave heaps of advice.  
  • David at Courtney Pianos, who put us on to EKA in the first place.
  • Rebecca Doman at Abbey Piano Services for offering to help get the wire out here if we hit problems.

And, again, we want to thank Key-Sure, who really did try for us, and who explained the string sizes we needed. Their input has been invaluable.

We're so excited to get the project moving again and start talking about something other than strings.