One of the most commonly mistaken beliefs about pianos is that if a piano has a cracked soundboard, then it is ruined and worthless. While a cracked soundboard is not a great thing , it rarely means that the piano is worthless. The belief probably originated from the fact that a cracked piano pin block means that the piano is ruined. As your piano tuner Wilmington DE, I know that most people have heard of a piano soundboard, but few have heard of a pin block. It would make sense, therefore, that people would easily mix up the two structures.

To explain more, in order for a piano to hold a tuning, there are three structural elements that must be in good condition. These are the piano pin block, the piano soundboard, and the piano bridges. The most important is the pin block, which is also called the wrest plank.  In this article we will explain what the pin block is and how it works.

The pin block is a laminated piece of wood into which the piano tuning pins are inserted. It is located under the cast iron plate, and is not visible. You can imagine where it is by looking at your tuning pins and visualizing that the pins go through the plate and are held tightly in a block of wood on the other side of the plate. The pin block is made of maple, and must be very stable so that the tuning pins are held tightly.  If it dries out or cracks, then the tuning pins get loose, requiring a major piano repair. Replacement of the piano pin block typically costs thousands of dollars, so it is economically feasible to do this only on the most valuable pianos.

It is very important to have a competent Philadelphia and Delaware piano technician evaluate the pin block on a piano (as well as all other aspects of a piano) that you are considering to own, especially a free one. It is not uncommon for people to pay to move a free piano, and then later on they find out that the piano cannot hold a tuning so it must be thrown a way.

If you are considering purchasing a piano or accepting a free piano from someone, please call Kenneth Keith Piano Services, your dependable Delaware piano tuning service, for a professional assessment of the piano’s condition.