At Oxford Piano Service, we have more than a decade of restoration experience. You can be confident that we will pay meticulous attention to every detail of the rebuilding process. Many older pianos are worth restoring. Originally built with the finest of craftsmanship, these pianos are given a new life in our piano shop.
Below is an overview of some of the most common repairs and reconstructive services we provide. Follow our Facebook page for updates on current projects in our piano shop!
“We hired Oxford Piano Service to completely restore our beloved Heintzmann piano that has been in our family for years. They did an exceptional job. The cabinet looks fantastic, and the piano plays and sounds great. I would highly recommend Oxford Piano Service for any level of piano repair or rebuilding.”
– Bill Mardemae
“We had Mitchell and his team restore our 1920 Heintzman grand piano. It was in very poor condition and I had no idea that it could be transformed into the beautiful instrument it is now. It was completely rebuilt and restored to absolute perfection. The finish was excellent. The tone and playability is outstanding. I would highly recommend Oxford Piano Service for their expert piano restoration services.”
– Isabella Barber
Bridge Repair and Reconstruction
Bridges transfer the vibration of the piano strings to the sound board, which amplifies the sound. The piano strings pass over the bridges and are held in place at high tension between metal pins.
As pianos age, bridges can split and crack. This interferes with the resonance of string vibrations and causes poor tone and a thin sound. Cracks typically occur in the top portion (the cap) of the bridge. The solution to this is to reconstruct the damaged bridge using new wood. Here’s how we do this:
- The cracked cap is removed, and a new cap is constructed out of maple wood, which is extremely hard and durable. The new cap is glued firmly into place.
- Once the new cap is set in place, more than 400 holes are drilled to hold the new bridge pins, through which the piano strings will pass.
- The wood is notched by hand using a chisel, which ensures that the piano strings will make contact with the bridge at precise angles to optimize sound resonance, volume, and sustain. After notching is complete, new bridge pins are hammered into place, and the piano is ready for re-stringing.
Bridge reconstruction requires careful attention to detail and quality materials. When done properly, your piano will sound its best, and the new bridge will last for decades to come.
Sound Board Repair
The sound board is a thin wooden sheet that amplifies the sound produced by the piano’s strings when they vibrate. It is made of many planks of Sitka Spruce wood glued together. Sitka Spruce has a long, straight grain, which allows for the optimal transmission of sound.
Cracks in the sound board are common in older pianos and can cause buzzing, loss of volume, and poor sustain. Smaller cracks may not impact your piano’s sound enough to warrant repair; however, many grand piano owners opt to repair even the smallest of sound board cracks, since the sound board is often visible during performance.
It is important to note that a cracked soundboard does not mean your piano is ruined. Cracks can be repaired and your soundboard can be restored to produce the same vibrant and full tone as before. Below is the process that our technicians use to repair your sound board:
- Using a router and a custom jig, we remove the cracked wood and create a smooth, even groove.
- The damaged wood is removed, and a carefully crafted wooden shim – made of the same high-quality Sitka Spruce wood as your original sound board – is glued into place, filling the gap seamlessly.
- Once the glue is completely dry and the shim is firmly in place, we plane, sand and refinish the surface of the sound board. Your sound board will look and sound as good as new.
Over time, piano strings can become worn, rusty, and corroded. If you notice that your bass notes sound weak, or your upper octaves have lost their liveliness and dynamic range, it may be time for a new set of piano strings to bring your instrument back to life. Here is a look inside the process of restringing a piano.
- First, we take several measurements to ensure that the new strings will be created and installed according to your piano’s specific scale and design. We send this measurement data off to a specialty string maker, who will custom-make new bass strings for your instrument.
- The old strings are loosened from the tuning pins. One by one, each string is removed from the piano.
- Each new string is wrapped around the corresponding tuning pin and secured. Once complete, all 230 strings are spaced and aligned perfectly, according to the piano’s original scale and design.