The past few days have been spent reading up on the mechanics of the piano and taking apart the spinet to get a better look. I’m going to spend a bit of time doing some general maintenance and cleaning, but mostly want to study the action and all of its moving parts to get a better understanding of how this whole thing really works.
Found a veritable dust storm under the keys, along with a few stale peanuts and a sticker. The floor of the cabinet was only slightly more photographable, and unnecessarily so. There was in fact very little area on the piano, inside or out, that wasn’t covered in dust or some amount of unknown residue.
The keys have no physical damage, but the key tops are pretty badly stained. Scrubbing them with a little water and vinegar mixture removed the greasy feel, but the only fix for the stains will be to replace the tops. The sharp keys fair slightly better, but could stand replacing or touching up the paint.
The soundboard itself is in good shape, but is coming unglued from the frame around the edges on both sides of the piano. The image shows the seam from the inside just below the plate on the treble side, at just about halfway up. This can be glued again, but figuring out how to clamp the two pieces together is going to be a little tricky; not sure yet, but likely will have to attach a temporary block to the floor or to the plate somehow.
The hammers have excessive grooves from striking the strings, somewhat viewable in the above image. The grooves mean that the hammers are not really making consistent contact with the strings, affecting the quality of sound. This is first on the to-do list this week, sanding and reshaping the hammers so that the contact point is flat, but without losing the round shape. The dampers are worn as well, with a few strings that continue to ring a little after the dampers have fallen; still investigating how to fix that.
The key bed cleaned up well enough. The felt punchings that are on the pins on the front and balance rail are worn, flattened and hardened against the wood, as well as the long strip on the back rail; those will be replaced at some point. There is felt everywhere in the piano, all inside the action, and where the hammers and dampers meet the strings. Pretty much any moving part that comes into contact with any other part has felt on one or both contact points. Worn felts are one of the many possible reasons for unwanted noises, various mechanical problems, and for the quality of sound produced.