Soundboard making, known in the industry as ‘belly work’, involves sourcing timber/panel stock, shaping the periphery, dimensionalizing and setting a radius, tapering , making ribs, affixing ribs, shaping ribs and locating bridges in their proper place. While all of the rebuilding steps are crucial, the belly is often regarded as the most important.

There are various types of spruce that are used in pianos, but suffice it to say all of the soundboard material is spruce. Rib stock can vary even more and consists of the various types of spruce as well as sugar pine. All of our soundboard material is aged for many years, and kept in a ‘hot box’ to draw out any excess humidity. Throughout the process, the soundboard will continue to return to the hot box to insure uniformity and proper moisture content. Our facility is also humidity regulated to insure the health of our finished pianos.

Steinway ribs have been pressed and the final crossmember is pressed in.
Steinway soundboard clamping
Steinway technician, Robert Linton is with Joel Peyton pre-fitting ribs in a Steinway Model O.