A Twisby over the Threshold

We had a very wearing Wednesday, which in retrospect, was due to a significant extent, to Twisbies. Or at any rate, an individual in human guise which only revealed its twisbotic nature as events proceeded. An ancient and exotic keyboard instrument specialist. We have a square piano, which has been unplayable due to the absence of a part. A recent visit to the man who gave it to us produced, after a cellars-to-tower hunt, a mysterious piece of wood which was supposed to be the answer. But no! there was another missing piece of wood, we were told, without which the pedal would not function. The notion of ‘bodge’ does not readily enter the world of rare instrument specialists, but beyond that, there are personalities who delight in the negative and we certainly seemed to have found one. There was quite a bit of argy-bargy establishing what the missing bit of wood should actually do (it needed to tilt the aforementioned large piece of wood through about fifteen degrees if you put a foot on the pedal. This, obviously, could be achieved by pulling down the near side, causing the far side to tilt up). Then it was a journey through impossibilia. He admitted that this end might be achieved by cutting a bit of wood a quarter inch thick, only we didn’t have one and there was nothing to cut it with. I took the back off a drawer of a not very valuable bit of furniture, and we borrowed a hacksaw from our friends at the garden centre. The next triumph of the negative was that — being a not valuable bit of furniture — the drawer back was deal, i.e., soft pine. Alas, alas, it would split, it couldn’t be done, and so on. I was getting a bit cross by then. The next thing I produced was my draughtman’s set square, one of the large things people used to use for architectural drawing before computers. Having produced a variety of wallpaintings in our various houses, I have a use for such a thing. The twisby concluded, with ill grace, that it was hardwood and might do. He cut a piece, with Calum-the-Garden-Centre’s hacksaw. Remember this was Wednesday towards a Friday occasion. ‘The glue won’t be dry within 72 hours’, he warned. ‘What about screws?’. Screws were produced. Screws were, with a somewhat ill grace, screwed. And the end of the story is: this very expensive chappie left after what was officially, a half day, rather than going off to tinker in his workshop (add three hours), back the next day (another three hours), at which point, we might have been thinking about remortgaging. The square piano is working, a good thing in itself. And, for Friday’s concert, the musician contingent who have meanwhile eventuated have decided they would rather use the grand piano in the sitting room, which leaves us feeling really quite good about not spending an absolute fortune on the square piano, or rather, its attendant Twisby.

One Response to “A Twisby over the Threshold”

  1. Lampy Says:

    All I can say is that this lack of optimism seems to predominate in the world of recherché keyboard instruments, I have been leaping through an assortment of inconvenient hoops with a Goble double manual harpsichord, not a pretty sight or a pleasing experience.

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