Just below the line of wrest pins should be figures to indicate the size of the wire used; for all notes between any 2 of these numbers, the size indicated by the lower is to be employed.
The wire, in bulk, is sold by the pound, for which weight the price is 2s. 6d, whether plain steel or covered. The latter kind is also sold by the single string, from Ad. for the thinnest to 1s. for the double covered.
Wires are frequently found to accumulate rust. This arises solely from damp, either a damp atmosphere in the room generally, or damp ascending from the floor. The latter may be checked by covering the floor beneath the piano with a sheet of waterproof paper, either Willesden paper or ordinary brown paper well dried and coated with linseed oil varnish on both sides, laying it under the carpet.
To remove rust from the wires, rub them lengthwise with a piece of fine chamois ("shammy") leather with emery flour or crocus powder spread on it, thoroughly removing every particle of the powder afterwards with a clean leather.
To soften the tone of a piano, use is made of a pedal action which shifts the hammers so that they strike less wires - 1 instead of 2 in the bichord, and 2 instead of 3 in the trichord. By the Celeste method, the hammers strike always the same number of wires, but the softening effect is gained by interposing a layer of felt between the hammer and the wire.
On taking away the upper and lower panels and the action frame, and supposing the remaining fixed part and the right pedal lever removed, there are only the back, body, strings, and soft pedal lever left. At the back of the action frame runs a strong board, which keeps the stickers and hammers in position. This is held firm by a strong spring at the right end, and at the left end will be found a lever, whose lower left end rests on the upper end of the upright rod which springs from the side end of the pedal lever, while the upper end of it fits into a notch cut in the board. When the pedal is depressed, the rod is raised, and the board is pressed sideways. With the Celeste, this square lever is no longer required; it is unscrewed and removed.
For fitting with the Celeste pedal, 2 pedal levers are required, in order to support and work the 2 side rods that carry the lath to which the felt is attached. One pedal has to draw down both levers, so that the division between them must be shaped accordingly. The ends where friction occurs are covered with baize, and then rubbed with yellow soap. Generally the height of the side rods is determined by the height of the hammers. The damping felt is 1 in. wide at the treble end to 1 1/8 in. at the bass end, and 1 1/4 in. is glued on to the lath. The length of the felt is just a trifle over what is sufficient to cover the wires. The lath is 1 1/4 in. deep and 1/4 in. thick, and fits into a slot at the upper end of each side rod, so that the top edge of the lath is level with the end of the rod. The side rods rest on the extreme ends of the pedal levers, to which they are attached by leather hinges; the mode of attachment will best be observed from the discarded side rod, which will be too short for use. These rods must run up quite close to the side walls of the piano, and their length will be such that the upper edge of the felt will rest ordinarily 1 in. below the line on which the hammers strike the strings.
At about 6 in. down, a mortice is cut in each rod, and this works on a l 1/2-in. screw, driven into the side wall. The length of the mortice is such, that when the pedal is down, and the rods are raised, the felt will cover the line on which the hammers strike the strings. A small circular felt washer lies between the rod and the wall, and another between the rod and the head of the screw. A strong band spring attached to the under side of the right lever, and acting on the floor of the piano, completes the mechanism. - (W. W. C.)