Welcome to the Counting to 100 Pianos series. I am blogging my way through tuning my first 100 pianos. For previous pianos, check out these:
Piano # 6 part of my summer tuning (still catching up!) extravaganza, a good sized Leonard and Co upright. It was a church piano that got passed on to a family but still has some life left. Leonard pianos were actually manufactured in Philadelphia! (Click to read more from the Blue Book of Pianos).
In addition to tuning a piano, I usually note all the things that could use fixing in the future. Many people just play their pianos as is, getting used to the problems areas and just compensating, some times without even realizing that is what they are doing. It's amazing what you can get used to when necessary! This piano had some keys that were double hitting.
Here's how piano action should work: You press a key down. The other end of the key lifts and pushes the bottom of a hammer toward to the strings. Right before the hammer hits the strings, the end of it actually slips off the key (let off) and keeps moving (free fall!) to hit the strings then bounces back and is "caught". If that let off point is too late, the hammer will hit too hard and come bouncing back for a second round. Or if it never lets off, it will just hit with a heavy thud and not bounce at all. The thing I love about the inside of pianos is it is all just mechanics! Next time I go back, I can plan on fixing some of the double hitting so they can play the piano and produce a more clear sound.