Thursday, 10 January 2019

Red Strap, Green Strap

Happy New Year!

A new year and new challenges.

We've been back at Bonani's new music school in Nyamirambo, helping to fix his Nordiska. It's in very good condition, except around 14 of the leather bridle strap tabs had been damaged or were missing. As the rest of the tabs look fine, and it's not that old an instrument, it may have been rodents having a nibble.

Marion took out each of the hammers, whilst Bonani cut off the old straps, measured the new ones to length, and glued them back onto the hammers.

Unfortunately, the new straps aren't great quality. They were cheap on eBay from China. The tabs are the leather bits on the end that provide support for the cotton braid. These kept falling off or tearing, and required gluing. 

We're desperate to try to find as many local alternatives as possible. Bulk-buying cheap items like springs and bridle straps is fine, but good quality foreign products edge up the cost of the build, and, at the end of the day, we want to make an African piano with African parts. So we're putting it to the Kigali hive mind to see if anyone can come up with an alternative to cotton braid.