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Piano Repolishing

Piano re-polishing can be an extremely complex art, or a relatively simple one – when you know how. It is all down to works training & experience. Traditional French polishing is ideal for vintage instruments.. There are those that regularly refinish with a quick colour wash, followed by a spray, and then burnished; at the most highest prices. Spraying of various materials is not that easy, particularly on vertical surfaces. As for polyester, will it last? It is a very hard material when cured, but it is very much an inert substance.

 

Spraying of various materials is not that easy, particularly on vertical surfaces. As for polyester, will it last? It is a very hard material when cured, but it is very much an inert substance, which will not shrink with the timber. Timber does shrink creating bubbles in the polyester and ultimately the polyester will crack. It is not a pretty site. It has happened within 15 years.

 

The piano action is a complex design of leverage, felts, cloths and leathers. It has to enable the pianist to play loud and soft. Unfortunately many imported grand pianos that have been imported from non-europian sources do not accomplish this. It is thought that those involved with what is essentially box shifting are warehousemen or administrators. They have not realised that preparation for performance is required, so pre-sale checks are overlooked. Not all retailers are able to perform these checks; even those who may claim that they are Steinway technicians!

 

Over the last 30 years there have been so many new instruments sold that accomplished pianists have described as “unplayable”. Westminster Pianos have from time to time set up these instruments for clients. A fault that should have been corrected during a pre-sale check. Do these retailers know that such a comprehensive check is necessary? Did the manufacturer or distributor tell them?

 

Beware Of Cowboys

Like any other industry, the piano trade has its fair share of cowboys. Many fine pianos are ruined each year by so-called `technicians' who have either not been (properly) trained, or by those who simply can't be bothered to do the job properly, or by those who are simply incompetent. A young man had been working in a travel agency for some years. He left and opened a music shop a few doors away. He then started to sell old, poor quality pianos from a barn in the New Forest.

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Ready now: RONSON 5 foot baby grand. Polished mahogany. Completely restored.

Coming soon: BLUTHNER Boudoir grand in rich rosewood with original pattern turned legs.

Updated on 3rd March 2010

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Westminster Pianos

About Westminster Pianos

Westminster Pianos was established by Ronald G Ware in 1952 after working for 5 years for a Bournemouth piano company. Westminster Pianos was the contract piano tuners and restorers to Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire for over 30 years until government policy changed and stopped piano contract work with the advent of local school management and decentralization of expenditure.

Westminster Pianos then went on to be school contractors to West Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Surrey throughout the 1990's and up to the present day.

Ronald G Ware's son Nigel R Ware came into the family business from 1984 after leaving school, but had already been working with pianos since the age of 3 years old, having started dusting down piano parts.