Fun Facts

Most pianos have around 40,000 lbs. of tension. That is 20 tons of string tension.

There are 52 natural and 36 sharp keys

Most new pianos are finished in polyester not lacquer.

Hammers are made of compressed wool that is under high tension at the surface or crown of the hammer. The wooden moldings are usually made from mahogany, walnut, maple or beech woods.

Soundboards are made of spruce and are approximately 3/8” thick.

The harp or plate is made of cast iron, which is where most of the pianos weight comes from and is necessary to support all the string tension. It was developed to increase string tension, which increases volume.

Small upright pianos only weigh 300 to 400 lbs. because they have a smaller cast iron harp than big uprights or grand pianos. Big uprights run from 500 lbs. thru 800 lbs. (big player uprights can even hit 900 lbs.). Grand pianos run anywhere from 500 to 1200 lbs. Most grand pianos that are 4 1/2' to 6' long weigh in between 500 and 800 lbs.

All pianos are veneered for the purpose of keeping the wood from warping and allows for fancy and ornate grain patterns.

Keys are made of sugar pines that were usually covered with 2 piece ivory. Today keytops are usually a man made imitation ivory or plastic. The sharps were usually made of ebony wood on high-end pianos and stained wood on most others. Today plastic sharps are used except on high-end piano.

In a grand piano key action, there are about 10,000 parts. The action consists of felt, leather, hard and soft woods, ivory, plastic, brass, nickel and steel materials.

Usually good tonal life for a piano is about 30 years. Pianos will continue to sound good for many more years after that because the deterioration of tone is very subtle and gradual.