Stage 1: String rubbing
Jerry first makes a pattern/rubbing of the bass strings so that they can be sent away and a new set made. Yes, made! All bass strings are made to pattern by a very skilled technician in the UK.
From the rubbing, the string-maker can copy the exact length and gauge of each individual string.
Making a new bass string starts with a steel core, a “whip”, and the eye. A copper covering is then spun onto the steel. The length of the string and thickness of the copper covering determines the pitch of each string.
The photos below are documenting the pattern rubbing process and the removal of the strings. We are only at stage one of the restoration and I’m already falling more in love with the process. In a world of high-end tech, the very first step of this piano rebuild involves a skilled human being, handmaking a replacement part.
Who would like to learn more about the string-making process? I certainly would. Over the following months, I will see if I can gain access to the string-makers workshop