Tickling the Ivories

Today marked the first day in a long series of work sessions which will involve several unique musical instruments in the City of Golden collection. Dan Holstein, of Dan’s Piano Service in Arvada, began removing all the wires, hammers, and other internal workings from our J.M. Pelton square grand piano. The wires will be sent to a specialty fabricator in Illinois where each one will be meticulously recreated to fit our instrument. Similarly, other piano parts will be rebuilt over the coming months to bring the square grand to its former musical glory. (When Dan tickled the ivories this morning before beginning to dismantle the 1200-pounder, it didn’t sound like a showroom piece.)
Dan’s Piano Service is the lead sponsor for the upcoming music exhibit, slated to open on June 3, 2011 at the Golden History Center. Dan Holstein, a 16-year veteran of the piano-repair business, started working as an auto mechanic before growing to appreciate the fine inner workings of player pianos, pump organs and similar instruments.
In future weeks we’ll continue to watch Dan’s progress on the J.M. Pelton, as well as one of our player pianos, a pump organ, and a melodeon. Enjoy the following pictorial overview of today’s work.
Dan holds the damper assembly.
The bass strings have been removed.
The old tuning pins after removal.
Dan removes the action from the square grand.
Dan holds the hammer, shank, and flange assembly.
Hammer, shank, and flange assemblies after removal.