Camp & Company upright

A case study example of restoring a Camp & Co. upright piano, the initial inspection of the piano.

Action checklist

We check the action for worn parts, felts, leathers, rubbers, etc. Anything that we believe needs replacing within the next few years. We also have a checklist that we go through to check each piano when they come in.

Mating the hammers

The hammers are designed to hit the strings straight on, centered. At least that’s the aim of the designer. Humidity in the air can cause the hammer to warp sideways. Meaning that the hammer blow is offset. In many cases, it is difficult to hear the difference when it slight. But uneven wear travels all the way through the action causing uneven wear of parts as well.

We are currently using a common household extended lighter, other tools are also available. We aim not to scorch the wood by moving the flame up and down the shank quickly.

Using heat to bend wood is common in boat making, where steam is introduced to preserve the wood from cracking. Incredibly the hammer can be bent to a greater angle than necessary before breaking. It can also be bent backwards. Great care, and focus is required to do this job carefully.


Camp & Company

Hobart M Cable

Cleaning under the soundboard

Cleaning inside a grand piano can be tricky, we’ve been working to improve our techniques. Surprisingly there are several ways of cleaning underneath the strings of a grand piano. Here is a video.

Updating our processes

Improvement come with a focus on the details, we want to improve our process, and daily explore pianos and their production to see how we might improve our craft.

This small workbench has been a big plus for regulating key height on upright pianos.

Refinishing vs touching up

The video on the left shows the process taken to ‘touch up’ a piano. Refinishing is a different process, stripping down the finish removing the clear, and the color to polish in a different tone and seal with a clear. The process a take mutiple days to weeks. Touching up takes a lot less time, and is less expensive.