As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I am frequently asked what types of wood are used in a piano. The answer is that there are many kinds of wood that are used, depending on the function of the particular structure. Generally, there are three main structures in a piano. One structure is the main cabinet and everything that supports the piano strings. The second structure is the piano soundboard, and the third is everything that is mechanical, from the keys to the piano hammers which strike the strings, and including the pedals and piano damper mechanisms. This blog article will discuss the types of wood in the main cabinet. The next two articles will discuss the wood used in the soundboard. The fourth article will discuss the types of wood used in the piano action, which is the mechanical portion of the instrument.
It is frequently believed that the main cabinet of a piano is solid wood. That belief comes from the fact that quality furniture is typically made of solid wood. A piano, however, even though it is a quality piece of furniture, is always made of laminated wood. If you think of the shape of a grand piano, there is what is called a ‘curved side” of the piano. In addition, all modern pianos have a rounded tail, as well. If a grand piano case were made of solid wood, it could not be shaped the way a grand piano is shaped, even if it were steamed.
Grand pianos are made of layers of wood. While the glue is wet between the layers, the wood is placed in a press, which keeps the proper shape as the glue dries. Some makers also use a type of glue that will harden faster if an electrical current is run through the structure. Once the glue is dry, the press is removed, and the grand piano cabinet has its unique shape.
The next step is to add a thin veneer of finished wood to the case structure.
Our next blog article will discuss the typed of wood used in a piano soundboard, our third article will discuss the construction of a soundboard, and our fourth article will discuss the types of wood in a piano action. If you have any questions about pianos, please feel free to give us a call. We are your Wilmington DE piano tuning experts. At Kenneth Keith Piano Services we also provide professional piano services in the areas of Philadelphia, Eastern Shore MD and Southern NJ.