I purchased the Charles Stieff grand in 2005. It was this piano that triggered my current development as a piano technician. I’d had prior experience in the field, but with this piano, I decided I wanted to develop real rigor in piano rebuilding. The last 10 years have been quite a journey, and along the way I’ve built and refined many skills. But I have yet to do a complete rebuild of a grand piano. If you are a piano technician who knows me, you also may understand that my personal definition of “rebuild” has evolved as my knowledge and appreciation for the art has progressed.
For this piano, I’ve set the goal of performing a full rebuild with completion by April 1, 2016 (the 64th anniversary of my birth and the 105th anniversary of the original construction of this piano). The scope of the project includes:
- All new Wessell Nickel and Gross action (the original action is Wessell Nickel and Gross also)
- New hammers by Ronsen
- Professional case refinishing (no I will not be doing this work)
- Complete restringing including:
- New pinblock (Bolduc)
- Refinished plate
- Scaling Refinement
- New Sitka Spruce soundboard (panel by Dale Erwin)
I cannot arrive at the level of a top-tier rebuilder with this first significant effort, but at every step, I will be aiming for the top. I’m going to have a very nice piano in my living room next year!
If you are a piano technician or have an interest in piano technology, I invite you to follow along here, to collaborate with me. Thanks!