Bridge Repair

Once the plate is removed from your grand piano the sound board and bridges are exposed for repair as needed. Bridges crack when a soundboard swells from moisture and when string tension increases especially on the ends (upper treble and bass) from infrequent tuning and sporadic playing. We suggest five minutes of chromatic scales in all seven octaves twice weekly to minimize these two repairs.

Sometimes a bridge may be repaired but in most cases they need either a new cap or to be replaced.

Part 1: Partial Bridge Cap Replaced

In this video, Frederic “Ric” Sterry Smith and his technicians will replace part of a split bridge.

First they create a bridge pattern with the new cap (1). The new cap is cut out, shown here with the original split bass bridge. (2)

The treble bridge pins are pulled (3) and the cable player bridge is routed. (4) The new cap is sanded, shaped and lacquered before is it secured in place (5)

Here you see the original split bass with the pins removed (6). The bridge is routed and the new cap is sanded, sealed and installed. Bass bridge split, routing the surface (7). Bass bridge routed (8). Bass bridge with new cap installed (9). Bass bridge with new sap sanded and sealed (10).

Now we use the old pattern to drill for new pins (11). The Acrosonic piano is on the tipper with new bridge cap (12). The new cap drilled following the pattern (13), and graphite is applied (14). Finally the bridge pins are installed, and the repair is complete.

Part 2: Full Bridge Cap Replaced

(Same Video) In the case of this Cable piano, the entire bridge needed to be replaced.

First, a bridge pattern was made for the new cap (1). Frederic “Ric” Sterry Smith is seen here micing the original bridge pins for proper fit (2). The new cap is cut out, shown here next to the old bass bridge (3). The bridge is routed (4) and the new cap is sanded, shaped and lacquered before being secured in place (5).

Want to see more? See bridge repair on these fine instruments:

Steinway “L” Grand || 1915 Steinway || Steinway “M” Grand.

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