Our Restoration Shop

A glimpse inside piano restoration


Pianos for Sale:

Central Michigan Pianos specializes in commissioned restorations.


 If you are looking for a classic Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, or other fine vintage piano, we can locate and restore the perfect instrument.


Please call Alex @ 989-620-6294 or email alex@cmpiano.com for more info.


Our Restoration Shop

Since 1984, Central Michigan Pianos has been restoring fine quality instruments for
individuals, schools, churches and civic organizations.


Our mission statement in rebuilding pianos is simple: restore the instrument to optimal beauty and tonal quality while maintaining the integrity of the original craftsmanship.


Many of the older pianos such as Steinway & Sons, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Chickering, Knabe, Bechstein, Schiedmayer, Bösendorfer, and others were built with such quality that the life span of these instruments are sometimes as long as 50-80 years before needing restoration. After restoration and with proper care, these same pianos will last another 50-80 years. We stress the word proper because it is of the utmost importance that the same quality materials and workmanship that originally went into the piano must go into the same instrument when it is restored to achieve this longevity.

Thankfully, the necessary materials are available through notable firms such as Steinway & Sons and Schaff Piano Supply. These include Klinke tuning pins from Germany, Charles House felts, Ronsen hammers from New York, and many other materials of the highest grade. Mohawk Finishes provide excellent lacquers, varnishes, stains and other refinishing supplies to provide the restorer with professional results. Mapes String Co. supplies the rebuilder with some of the world's best music wire. All of the above, combined with old world craftsmanship produces the finest restorations.


 Piano restoration -or as we prefer to describe it, the "remanufacturing" process- can be separated into four distinct groups:


1. Complete Disassembling

When a piano first arrives, the various case parts are disassembled and examined to determine which parts can be repaired, and which parts need to be replaced. The hardware and screws are carefully catalogued and set aside to be polished or re-plated. Thorough measurements are then taken of the soundboard, bridges, and pinblock to ensure precise re-installation of these components. Any inaccuracies from the factory are noted, and appropriate corrections are made.




2. Bellywork  

After disassembly, the original pinblock and soundboard are then removed from the piano. The new pinblock is carefully fit to the plate flange; tuning pin holes are then marked and drilled. The new MaxCrown soundboard, which has been constructed from either Sitka Spruce or Alaskan Cedar, is then installed. The plate or "harp" is then mated with the new Qm7TM pinblock, bridges, and soundboard to achieve correct down bearing. After the down bearing has been accurately set, the plate is prepared and re-guilded. After plate is reinstalled, the piano is then re-strung.




3. Finish

The first step in refinishing is proper removal of the old finish. The substrates and veneers are carefully checked for stability and repaired if necessary. Repairs to damaged corners and missing veneer are made using appropriate materials. Natural wood pianos are stained and filled, ebony pianos are primed, and the initial coats of lacquer are applied. After curing, lacquer is sanded smooth, spot repairs are made, and the second application of lacquer is applied. Piano and parts are set aside to fully cure. Finish is then hand rubbed to a new factory satin finish. High gloss finishes are also available. The piano is then re-assembled with new felts, buttons, and finished hardware.

4. Action

Remanufacturing an action properly requires paying close attention to detail, and an uncompromising dedication in achieving the perfect touch. The keys are carefully cleaned, or in some instances, completely replaced with a new keyboard. Bushings are replaced and new key tops are installed. Proper dimensioned back checks, hammers, repetitions, and hammer shanks are selected to maximize the effectiveness of the action. The completed action assembly is then installed in the piano, and the painstaking process of regulating, tuning, and voicing is then performed.





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