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Hi all - I recently purchased a piano (Baldwin Model L) from a neighbor, and noticed multiple areas of the strings had this read thread/cloth weaved through (see image). Could anyone explain what this is for? Can it be easily/safely removed? Thank you!

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It is to damp vibrations in those parts of the strings which you do not want to vibrate. This is standard for pianos. If you took out the red felt the piano would sound very strange.

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Glad you found a piano,

Basically you WANT that felt (cloth) in the piano like David said, it is there from the making of the piano.

Is that felt or some other cloth? Maybe some pianos just use something else? (or different type of felt)

I’m not sure if that’s a shadow or the cloth is dirty on the top left piece of cloth (non focused one) but I like to brush it with a soft paintbrush and vacuum.

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I know it as Listing felt; it's there to stop the non-speaking parts of the string from vibrating (as others have already mentioned!).

Out of curiosity, I tried leaving the listing off a Style-VIII Blüthner (with the Aliquot strings) a few years back, to hear what it's like. The piano sounded quite bizarre, and definitely not in a good way! Listing was added, and the piano sounded very nice smile


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

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By the way Hockyfan, congratulations on your Baldwin! It would be great to see pictures of it.

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Thanks so much for the warm welcome and for the information on the listing felt - glad I didn't touch it smile

I attached some photos here - the outside unfortunately has a few nicks/scratches on it (any tips on how to fix those?), but the inside is beautiful - it's been well taken car of and it really plays wonderfully.

While I'm here - just going to hijack my own thread - I also attached a photo of this piece of wood that sits on the bottom of the piano, near where the metal poles of the pedals insert into the body of the piano. It seems this may have broken in the move - though the pedals work completely fine and that wooden piece doesn't appear to do much? Is this something that should be fixed? Could it simply just be glued? Thanks all!

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Last edited by hockyfan; 06/26/22 11:54 AM.
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Are your pedals on the floor or crooked? Yes I would fix that broken lyre support. I would just glue and clamp it for 24 hours but I'm not a tech.

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Yes, probably moving damage. Glued and well clamped for 24 hours is a viable repair. It does not take any stress in usage, but when banged around across the grain it is not terribly strong.

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Got it, thanks! Any special glue or regular wood glue ok?

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I mean it is just wood... I don’t think there’s a PIANO GLUE. Just research the brand/product.

Don’t listen to me yet... wait for others

Last edited by probably blue; 06/26/22 06:14 PM.
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Another question for the techs: can this gluing be done with the rods in place? Common sense would say to me that it would be easier to do a better job if the rods are removed first. But this then becomes a bigger job, perhaps needing a professional? Maybe that's not necessary?

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That depends on how careful you are, and how well you plan clamping it. The rods are probably not a problem, just the geometry.


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I would also inspect the break closely to determine whether it may have been glued previously. If it has (which I suspect may be the case), then the correct choice of adhesive and possible removal of old glue residues becomes more of an issue.


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Mark brings up a good point. Are you experienced with woodworking or are you a newbie with that as well? This is basic woodworking 101.

Take the thing off and look it over carefully. Remove the rods but make sure you put them back in the proper places. If there is glue residue at the joint (indicating prior "repair"), then you SHOULD remove as much of it as possible before regluing. Make sure the pieces mate together as perfectly as possible. Two decent bar clamps should do the trick. Use a decent adhesive such as Titebond 3 (or yellow aliphatic glue). Do a dry run for proper clamping and alignment, then apply adhesive and put it together. Leave it clamped for at least 24 hours. Then re-assemble.

Done.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Edit: Removal of old glue usually requires moderate heat from a heat gun or hair dryer. Hopefully you won't need to deal with this. But if so I'm sure there are plenty of videos on how to remove glue residue

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/27/22 08:22 AM.

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Two comments:

1)The backscale muting felt can be as much or as little as you prefer. It is part of the voicing of the piano. Some players like to have it muted all the way the the top. The Baldwin backscale can be particularly noisy in some pianos. My guess is that young players hear it more.

2)You may need to add some reinforcement to the broken wood plate, brass mending plates or wood strips.


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Or use a couple of dowels for a nice job.


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Thanks again! No appreciable residual glue so hopefully should be good to go then with the Titebond. The mending plates are a good idea too, as this is an area I presume may not hold all that well on its own/with glue alone.

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If you do a good solid glue joint you don't need anything else there. It takes zero stress. Nothing more than a guide block. Only abuse would break it. Keep it simple.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


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