Piano tuning Albuquerque: Plate Re-gilding

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Plate re-gilding can sometimes be a tricky project. In our shop we’re presently doing just that to one from a ’33 Mason A. After thorough cleaning a lacquer based primer was applied to a small section for test. There were problems; it seems that when the instrument had been re-pinned/ strung some 40+ years ago an automotive type metallic paint was used to spray the plate. This explained why a lacquer based coating would crinkle – a lot. Blasting w/ a very gentle abrasive quickly removed this problem layer of enamel. Now lots and lots of gentle sanding . . .
I have been working on a Steinway 1098 action which was attacked by mice. The nest was located, not under the keys, but right in the action itself. Nearly an octave’s worth of hammer butts, shanks, backchecks, etc were gnawed away to make room in addition to damage to keys and other stuff. Quite a clean-up project w/ the case. Replacing the hammer butts and so forth has been a challenge. Since orig. parts are not available it was necessary to use the best fitting butts, an asian style with flanges slightly larger than those in the action. These flanges were switched out. Now it remains to install and regulate, which will be the true test. In the meantime wire mesh was installed along the bottom of the piano as a preventative (this is where the nearly 100 year-old tilter comes in handy).