The Plate or Harp as it is sometimes called is the back bone of the piano. Made from solid cast iron, it is also where much of the weight in the piano comes from. The strings, when stretched across the piano, exert 20 to 25 tons of pressure across the instrument. The plate literally prevents the entire piano from crumpling under that pressure.
The plate is first washed and cleaned thoroughly. It is then refinished to the original color – or a custom color if preferred – in a process referred to as reguilding the plate. After the new finish is set, all of the lettering and logos are reapplied by hand by a professional artist on staff.
Finally, the plate is reinstalled and reset into the piano. The plate must be installed in exactly the same location it came from so as to ensure proper down bearing – meaning it distributes all of the forces stretching over it correctly.
The piano is now ready for stringing!