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New York Production Models
-- Piano Glossary & Index --
Also called a 'Wrest Plank,' the pinblock occupies an essential position in the construction of the piano. It is a wide, thickly glued, lamanted hardwood block with a series of holes drilled virtically to hold the tuning pins around which will be wound the stainless steel and copper wrapped strings draped taught across the piano's soundboard.
The pinblock must exhibit superior strength to hold the pins in place.
The photo to the left shows a Steinway worker preparing and installing a pinblock to an upright piano.
The pinblock is a thick piece of layered, laminated maple with grain alternating between laminates, called the 'pinblock core." The pinblock is attached to the plate and to the cabinate of the piano. When the piano is in place, ready to be played, the plate hides the pinblock from view. (Some older pianos allow you to see the pinblock because the plate was what is called a 'three-quarter' plate. The three-quarters plate was strong, but not strong enough for a higher tension stringing scale. The full plate completely replaced the three-quarter plate, passing technologies, one eclipsed by another. The three-quarter plate is but history now, although pianos built with three-quarter plates are fine for what they were built for, worthy of care, restoration and repair.
Photographs by Robert Callaghan, RPT
Barron, James. Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand. New York, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2006.
Closson, Ernest. History of the Piano. New York, St. Martin's Press, 1944.
Fletcher, Neville H. and Thomas D Rossing. The Physics of Musical Instruments. New York,Springer, 1998.
Loesser, Arthur. Men, Women and Pianos, A Social History. New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1954.