There are some external causes of "buzzing" which demand attention. Thus the piano may be standing on a loose floor-board: the remedy is to fasten the board tightly with screws, removing the loose nails, or hammering them well in. Glass in pictures, mirrors, windows, doors, etc, may be loose or cracked; also gaselier globes and candle. chimneys. The remedies are tightening or placing a piece of cloth between the glass and its support. China ornaments, for a similar reason, should rest on or against a deadening material. The scuttle, fender, and fire-irons also require looking after to prevent jarring. Nothing should rest on a piano while it is being played. If candlesticks are necessary, their feet should have baize glued on, or they should stand on mats.
As the pins and wires of pianos become worn, it is necessary to renew them. First remove the action - the apparatus which sets in motion and includes the hammers. Raise the lid, take out the front by undoing the little button at each end of the top, drawing it outwards at the top, and lifting it from the pins in the upper edge of the fall. Then remove the fall, and the action is fully exposed. Before removing it, observe whether the dampers do or do not form part of the action. If the wire which passes up between the " stickers " (upright rods which set the hammers in motion) goes through the head of the damper and is secured at the other side by a nut, and if the dampers have no independent frame working in its own sockets, as may be known by moving the right pedal, the dampers cannot be taken out separately. Those having such a frame will work in a socket at each end, or a socket at one end and an eyelet-hole on a screw at the other. Turn the buttons and lift up; or turn one button, raise that end, and draw out of the eye.
Fixed to the inside of each end, and 6-8 in. from the top, is a block carrying a button, which keeps in position the upright bars forming the ends of the action frame. Turn these buttons, draw the upper part of the frame outwards, and then lift upwards and outwards bodily. The action is a delicate part, and at the same time heavy, and to remove it without an accident requires firmness and carefulness to exercise equal strength at each end. The slip lying across the keys will be removed by unscrewing at each end, and the keys can then be raised. The keys are all numbered, and it will save much time in replacing if they are put aside in an orderly way.
To substitute new or replace the old pins, the piano should be laid on its back, and this may as well now be done. The pins are slightly roughed on the part which lies in the head-piece; as this roughness is screw-like, there will be but little difficulty in extracting them. To remove a pin, first turn it sufficiently to relax the string. This can most conveniently be done with a tuning key, but a strong pair of ordinary pincers may be made to serve. When turned enough, remove the string, and then extract the pin with the pincers, turning to the left and drawing out.
It is possible the old pins will do with a little help, in case it is not easy to obtain new and larger ones. Take out one of those belonging to each note of an octave in the most used section of the instrument. Thoroughly dust the sides of the holes with dry finely-powdered chalk, replace the pin, and hammer it well in to the proper extent, i.e. up to the head or blackened portion. The great points in repinning are to drive the pin in perfectly perpendicularly to the head-piece, and to drive it well home. The little hole in the pin should be perpendicular to the base line of the piano. As it is of paramount importance that the pin should fit very tightly, it will require the exhibition of not a little well-directed strength to do this properly, but there is nothing really difficult in it.
The removal of one pin to a note will be quite sufficient in the case of a trichord or semi-trichord piano; but care must be taken to remove corresponding pins in adjacent notes by which is meant the pins bearing the ends of one string. Thus in Fig. 191, which sufficiently shows the system of stringing, the pins marked represent those to be removed. In a bichord, both pins must be removed, as the one string furnishes the 2 chords. If the chalk answers its purpose, the string kept by the pins thus treated will remain in tune while the other strings are affected. The difference will first become sensible by a vibration being audible on the one note, and the remedy will be proved, by the difference in pitch on damping the wires in succession, and striking the note if the difference between the number of vibrations of each string is sufficient to be separately appreciable.
In the illustration, a is a monochord double - covered string; 6, a bichord single-covered string; c, a bichord plain wire; d, a trichord plain wire.
Pins are made in 6 sizes. Hughes, 37 Drury Lane, sells complete sets of the ordinary size ("02 A") at 1s. 8d.; and of the largest size ("0000 A") at 2s. 6d.; for numbers less than a set, 4d. per dozen.
The pins being fixed, put in the wires. Of these there are 3 kinds: double covered, single covered, and plain; the first-named being for the lowest bass notes. All the covered ones are fixed singly; each chord is a separate string. The plain ones are fixed one to a note in a bichord, or the bichord portion, and 3 to 2 notes in a trichord. The course of the strings in each case is shown in Fig. 191. Care must be taken that the wires properly traverse the bridges, and are caught by the right pins, which are intended to shut off the part not intended to vibrate from the free part on which the hammers act. The wire is then drawn through the little holes in the wrest pins as taut as possible (a sufficient length in the case of the plain wire being cut off the roll), and given a turn to secure it from slipping. It is then tightened up with the key, and finally tuned. It will have been noticed that below and above the bridges are pieces of braid, flannel, or listing running in and out of the wires. These are very necessary, and serve to deaden the part of the wires beyond the bridges.