Grand Piano Repair Question

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    Brian O’Connor


    (If this is the wrong forum to be posting in, please let me know and I’ll redirect it to the proper place.)

    I’m repairing/rebuilding a 1913 Blüthner grand piano and could use some advice. The hammer rail (a piece of 1” x 1¾” x 4’ maple (?) that the hammers are affixed to) has numerous splits and stripped screw holes. Because the placement of these screws is of vital importance, I’m very trepidatious about how to go about repairing it. Misaligning the hammers by as little as 1/2mm will negatively affect the sound.

    So far, I see my options as a) cut off the offending chunk of the rail and join a replacement to it, b) drill out the holes and go to town with a bunch of epoxy, or c) use a plow plane to remove most of the damaged area and replace that with a new piece of maple. I had planned on b until I saw how extensive the damage was when I removed the hammers today.

    I have more questions, but I’ll start with this. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    (For reference , I’m a novice woodworker, but not a total beginner.)


    Others might have a better idea than this, but I would approach it like this.

    Make a copy of the piece, at least the area where the holes are, and replicate in it the holes from the original to the precision you need.

    Then I would fill the original piece with a mixture of epoxy and sawdust.

    Once dry and sanded I would use the copy as a template to replicate the holes precisely in the now filled original piece.

    Good luck!


    Glynne Pritchard

    I would copy and replace. Unless you used an epoxy to fill the voids you will never repair that timber. Looking at the pictures it seems that the screws where installed as a repair to prevent the timber splitting further.

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