When a piano is of historical significance, special guidelines are used during restoration. I approach the piano as though you are a museum curator, and together we devise a "Mission Statement". The primary concerns in conservation are preserving the artifact as a document, and reversibility. Authentic parts and processes must be used, and removal of original finishes and parts is avoided. At the same time, I try to meet the goal of making the piano as playable and usable as it can be, without violating conservation standards.
Below are examples of processes and techniques I employ. Very good musical and cosmetic results can often be achieved in this way. At times, with very significant pianos, preservation "as-is" is the only goal. At other times, the original parts are labeled and put into storage, and reproduction parts are put into use so that the piano may be enjoyed.
1905 Steinway and Sons, original finish
The same piano, original finish French-polished, gold leaf restored
Removing pinblock for careful reproduction
Cleaning an original piano plate, or "harp"
Steinway soundboard that has cracks which need to be repaired
The same soundboard with repairs completed
Completed Piano Conservation