New Parts and Supplies

1) From Friends of Square Pianos

I have donated these items to Cats Protection, and hereby arrange for Cats Protection to sell them to you.


  We can make strings for most square pianos, from the earliest up to about 1840.  All strings are made from Malcolm Rose wire.  

  Prices asked are competitive with other suppliers, but all the money goes directly to Cats Protection.

 Plain strings can be supplied in red brass, yellow brass, or iron.  Price £4.50 for single strings.  For full restorations, I strongly encourage amateur restorers to make their own plain strings, and I am happy to offer advice.

 Open-covered strings have brass cores, overspun with red copper, tinned copper, or brass.   £10.50 each except for brass covers (see below)

  Close-covered strings for later pianos are normally red copper on iron.  £14 each.  Occasionally we find close-covered strings which are iron-on-iron.  These require a special soft grade on iron for the covers, which has very limited application.  But I may be able to help - please ask.

  I normally finish the ends of the covered section of strings with a 'swaged' section, to help ensure that the cover remains secure and tight.  (Upper string in the picture above). However, when making brass-on-brass strings, as sometimes found on pianos by Tomkison, and Continental makers, I have found that even the special soft grade of spinning brass is somewhat springy, and does not 'lay' as nicely as copper.  For this reason, I prefer to solder the ends (lower string).  There is a small extra charge for this.

Tuning Hammers

  These are something of a Friends speciality, and the Pussies make every effort to ensure that they are a pleasure to own and to use.  The stems are fabricated from steel, and ideally should be fitted to a sample pin: the wrestpins of old pianos were hand-made, and far from standard!   Or we can do our best from measurements supplied by you.  It is important that the socket should fit the pin as closely as possible.  This not only makes tuning easier for you, but is kinder to the pins and the hammer.  

  Handles are individually turned in fine hardwoods, and currently we can offer a choice from Macassar ebony, African blackwood, rosewood, cocobolo, satinwood, box, tulipwood, burr elm, bubinga, olivewood, purpleheart, and kingwood.  All have brass ends.  

  The price is £35.  As a possibly unrepeatable special, I can make just one with a very rare snakewood handle for an extra £10.  A nice special present for somebody?


  Please also note that we can make an extra-small size to fit the set-off adjusters of early English grand pianos (5th from the left in the picture).


  Please remember also that these fine tools are designed for the sensitive tuning of early clavichords, harpsichords, and pianos, with correctly-adjusted wrestpins. They are perhaps not suitable for the heavier pins and strings of pianos from the 1830s onwards.  And if you have a restoration project where the old pins are seized solid, stronger measures are needed!  


  These are hand-made, forged, and shaped to match originals.  Standard diameters include 4.5 mm, 5 mm, and 5.6 mm, but other sizes are possible.  The standard finish is 'blued' from the forge.  Prices start from £1.80 each, but spear-shaped ends and bright finish (like N°3, to match an early Broadwood) cost a bit more.  

  Also please note that these are hand-made, and new pins from e.g. Vogel are much cheaper!

Wooden Parts

  These have become something of a speciality, and there are not many makers who will undertake this kind of work without having the piano in the worshop.  The principle is that we can reproduce small wooden parts for actions, including hammers, dampers, and escapements.  Anything that was done by hand originally can be done again!  Materials are authentic as far as possible, and include pear, maple, mahogany, and lime.  

  The offer can even extend as far as new soundboards!

  It is not possible to quote standard prices, so please enquire.  

Replacement Threads for Legs

  Failure of the mahogany threads on the legs of pianos from about 1806 onwards is routine.  Mahogany is not the ideal timber for this 'engineering' job - it is far too crumbly.   The last straw was the invention of carpets, when (with the casters seized-up by now) the poor pianos were pushed sideways.  

  The solution is to saw off the broken thread, drill a hole (1" is good) as axially as possible, and glue in a replacement stub made from a sensible timber like apple, cherry, or beech.  Friends of Sqare pianos can provide these with a 1½" x 4 tpi thread and a matching plate (normally lime) for £10 per pair.


Please contact David on for any of the above, or for any more details.  


To send the payment for these donated goods to the Wellingborough & Rushden Branch of Cats Protection, please click on the above image of Smudge and his friends, which will take you to a secure https link which should accept all debit and credit card payments.  


Thank you.  Our volunteers give freely of their time and love, but our vets' bills are truly frightening.  And if you don't really like cats, please remember that our single biggest expenditure by far is the neutering of feral, stray, and uncared-for cats, to do our best to keep the numbers down in the future!  

2) Commercial Suppliers


Iron, Brass, and Red Brass Wire for Strings:

Malcolm Rose  

Covered Strings:

Lucy Coad

Tuning Hammers:

David Law

Hecksher & Co.

Hinges and Brasswork:

David Law

Optimum Brasses

'Broadwood' Cloth, Green Silk :Graham Walker

Replacement Threads for Legs:

Friends of Square Pianos  (1½ x 4tpi only, with matching plates)

Lucy Coad

Andy Durand

Anything Else?  Please ask David  

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© David Hackett