Discussion Posts

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Lots of good replies here everyone. Thanks! Many suggestions I've already covered but many I had not thought of. Which is why I posted here. For the stuff I did not think of. Gonna make notes so I remember these things and look into it again, with new ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    I find it odd that if the piano was made in 1971, only now is there a complaint about power loss?  Must have sounded really good at one point for someone to buy it. So how could that be a hammer line problem? If it was rebuilt, wouldn't the power loss ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    In my opinion, the pluck test can be misleading if you are not listening right. When I do this, I listen to the length of the fundamental sustain, rather than any partial higher than the 1st partial. The fundamental can be hard to focus on, as hearing ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    I thought I'd share some general thoughts on things that were raised in this thread, concerning adding hardeners to hammers. Concerning B72, it is an acrylic resin , which has various uses including in conservation techniques (as a reversible adhesive, ...

  • Posted in: CAUT

    I  have always preferred and nowadays insist to have the piano in the shop for a full install of  bass strings  esp. if new damper felts are part of the package  so a roundtrip move of the piano  generally adds  around $650 to the estimate, but you have ...

  • Posted in: CAUT

    According to Joe Garrett's "G Works Repair Labor Guide" he says to allow 4 hours to install a new set of bass strings in a grand less than 7 feet long, not including new tuning pins. 7 to 9 feet, not including tuning pins: 5 hours. Or if the job includes ...

  • Posted in: CAUT

    Cy I would allow about 3 hours to remove and install a set of bass strings. Add an hour if you're also going to take off the dampers, and put them back on. But then you have to add 3 or 4 return trips to tune them again. ------------------------------ ...

  • Profile Picture

    RE: Steinway Model?

    Posted in: Pianotech

    Benjamin Baldwin pianos have the serial number stamped on the top of the leg, not Steinway. ------------------------------ Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT Mililani, HI 96789 ------------------------------

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    On high use pianos I find that brushing the knuckles with a wire brush helps a lot. I use a brush with nylon bristles or even brass. I usually follow that with powdered teflon and regulating jack placement. If the keys don't rest on the back ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Have you tried using an electronic or even a mechanics stethescope to track down the noise ? how is the felt on the key stop rail and the felt on the hammer shank rebound rail ? sometimes noises are blended together and can becoming from several sources. ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    A piano mover also told me that Steinway almost always stamped the serial number on the top part of the leg - the part that no one sees when the leg is attached to the piano. Admittedly not the best place to find it, but sometimes the only place. .... ...

  • Posted in: CAUT

    What's a reasonable time estimate to remove and replace a set of bass strings? This is a 175 with 50 strings total. I have a good deal of experience in stringing, but it's been a long time since I did a whole set. A range of hours would be helpful. ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    " The only thing I noticed that may be a contributing factor is the fact that the back of the key does not actually rest on the key rest felt. It floats just slightly above it " I would think some part of the back of the key rests on something else ...

  • Profile Picture

    RE: Steinway Model?

    Posted in: Pianotech

    Usually, the serial number can also be (usually) found stamped into the keyslip, along with the 4 digit "factory tracking" number used until the piano is fully finished and a serial number is added. ------------------------------ Brian De Tar Portland ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Geoff, I've never encountered a key not resting on the back rail felt obviously you're not referring to the hammer shank not resting on the shank rest strip. Could it be as simple as the key up-stop rail adjusted too far down? Roger ------Original ...

  • Profile Picture

    RE: Steinway Model?

    Posted in: Pianotech

    It's an O with cast in aliquots. Get the serial number from the action frame or a leg near the leg plate and send it to David Kirkland at Steinway to verify and get the povensnce. ------------------------------ David Love RPT www.davidlovepianos.com ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Hi Geoff: You might check to see if the hammer shank is hitting the balancier screw which regulates jack height in the window. I've seen that before. If the hammer rest rail allows the hammer shank to go below a certain point, it may hit the screw and ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    One source of noise could be hard wippen cushion felt. You might consider installing underfelt. As Jim mentioned, the key might be resting on a portion of the back rail felt more forwards. If it is off the rail, the balance rail mortice is impeding key ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Careful assuming back of key is not resting on the backrail felt. Often the end of the key is apparently not contacting, but further up on the back of the key, where you can't easily see, it is in fact contacting in a small area. ------------------------------ ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    The only ways the key cannot sit on the backrail cloth is if the balance hole is restricting movement, if the balance button bushing is restraining movement, or if the back of the key, right behind the balance hole is bottoming out on the wood of the ...

  • Profile Picture

    RE: Brass Lacquer

    Posted in: Pianotech

    Why have you not been satisfied with the Mohawk...issues?    I spoke with a Mohawk tech at length about this, and am not convinced the non-tarnishing additive is necessary. No indications are given as to what it is, and I can find no references to lacquer ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Jon,  do you shim the hitch termination to create the db, or eyeball some small amount of db? ------------------------------ Jim Ialeggio grandpianosolutions.com Shirley, MA 978 425-9026 ------------------------------

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Hi again, As I stated earlier, I totally forgot to do the pluck test, and asked the prof to try it. Fortunately, she indeed recorded one of the worst non sustaining notes, and plucking them sounded nice and clear and sustained! Now, on to ...

  • Profile Picture

    RE: Brass Lacquer

    Posted in: Pianotech

    Mohawk claims there are "anti-tarnishing additives" in heir brass lacquer. I've never been satisfied with Mohawk's brass lacquer. Nikolas lacquer is definitely a superior product. ------------------------------ Philip Stewart, RPT NJ Piano Service 609-774-7571 ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Here is a link discussing denatured alcohol and solvent fumes. Post #6 is an interesting one.​ Clear Spring is not available near me, but I'd like to try it (for shellac, that is). ------------------------------ Philip Jamison Philip Jamison Pianos ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Thanks Jon and Karl. I think you are spot on - it's an O. I do believe this is the first O I have serviced! ------------------------------ Terry Farrell Farrell Piano Service, Inc. Brandon, Florida terry@farrellpiano.com 813-684-3505 --------------- ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Maybe some more information? What is the friction in the wippen flanges?  And the repetition lever centers? Have you measured the grams of friction in the hammer centers? Are the balance rail holes too free? How strongly front-weighted are the keys? ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Hi Geoff: FWIW, I had a Baldwin upright studio that had clacking keys. What I ended up doing was tightening the balance rail hole by rubbing over the balance rail hole with a blunt flat bladed screwdriver (or whatever you got). Maybe glue-sizing the ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Klacking as opposed to Quacking or Squawking. Lovely 2001 Estonia L baby grand. With the exception that whenever a key is released everything in that key bounces and goes klackety-klack. I did some very minor regulation and voicing on it about eight ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Yes, so it's tough going from thread reading before, then a bubble reading after the strings are on. Even a with a wixie we're getting variable readings. Such a small angle. After awhile, I'm just glad it's touching. ------Original Message------ To ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    To prep d/b, I stretch a thread from the agraffe to the hitch area. I doubt the thickness of the thread is a factor with the front termination being so far away. Both pianos had retro-fit vertical hitch pins. ------------------------------ Regards, ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    A tricky beast that bass bridge. The answer to the question might reveal itself with a description of what the prepping is. -chris ------Original Message------ I had something happen twice last year. After prepping the d/b on a bass bridge, the d/b ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    The bridge does not necessarily deflect in a linear fashion. It often sinks in one area, progressing to a pivot point, which then cantilevers a third part up...seesaw like.  But this most often happens in the high load treble. It does happen in the bass ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Mr. Farrell, It's a model O. The O is 5'10 1/2" has 4 plate holes like an L but a thinner string frame without cupola plate holes and it has a round tail like an M. The early model O's had cast rear duplexes and the designation miniature cast into the ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    I always buy the fifth bottles. Usually one will last me for years. Some of it gets diluted 50-50 with tap water, turning it to "vodka", for either voicing down hammers or for softening glue joints when replacing upright hammer shanks. When I was in ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Susan, agreed on all fronts. I use the 190 proof I can buy on my regular visits to Portland, as its tougher to find in Washington after the liquor stores went public. The staff at the store I frequent in Woodstock always tell me I shouldn't be drinking ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Hi, Daniel That toxicity is the very reason I refuse to use denatured alcohol for anything. The other reason to use 190 proof ethanol to make shellac is that it is so dry. It's water contaminating old shellac that makes it turn gummy. So, to make ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Don,  Yes, I was using a more dilute solution than 3:1. However, I am definitely going to try grain alcohol next time, as I am not so fond of acetone. If I can avoid it, I will. Thanks,  Alan ------------------------------ Alan Eder, RPT Herb Alpert ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    The nose bolts not withstanding, there are no duplex bars. When did Steinway start using them? ------------------------------ Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT Mililani, HI 96789 ------------------------------

  • Posted in: Voicing

    *One note with Shellac is that its curing hardness does change with age of the solution. In my guitar finishing I've found it wise to do a shellac test by allowing a small puddle to dry on a piece of glass/mirror and then scraping with your fingernail. ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Can't use the nosebolts as an indicator. I have 2 M's. On the bass strut, one has 1 nosebolt, the other has 2. Each has a different plate number however, One says 9, the other 10. ------Original Message------ Hi Terry, If it is around 5'11" and ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Hi Terry, If it is around 5'11" and has 26 bass notes, it is an 'O'. All the best, Jon ------Original Message------ I tuned a Steinway grand today. Piano was restrung in the early 1970s and the plate may have been painted - no model designation ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    I tuned a Steinway grand today. Piano was restrung in the early 1970s and the plate may have been painted - no model designation or serial number on plate. Piano is close to 5'11" length and looks about 100 years old. Found a number on the bottom of the ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Ultrablonde shellac flakes in 190 proof ethanol is what I have experience with. The 190 proof "Clear Spring" from the liquor store is so dry it makes great shellac. Keep it tightly capped and it has an extremely long shelf life. Plus, both shellac flakes ...

  • Posted in: Voicing

    Alan, The lighter mixes perhaps were dissolved in less than three days but the 3:1 certainly took about three days in the alcohol.  I used the cheesecloth method recommended by Ken Eschete and Dale Erwin. I opened the cheesecloth every day to have a ...

  • Profile Picture

    Brass Lacquer

    Posted in: Pianotech

    We've been having trouble with Mohawk Brass Lacquer, both in dispensing and the lacquer tarnishing new, blasted, brass action rails only handled with gloves.  Never had this problem before, but the last 3 mohawk cans have been really frustrating. Question ...

  • Posted in: CAUT

    And so it is. Thank you, Fred. ____________________________________ Aaron Bousel, Registered Piano Technician info@bouselpiano.com 413-253-3846 Original message ------Original Message------ I've been searching ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    I examined a D in a college. New factory hung hammers had been installed. Dead in the killer octave section.  I thought "they didn't lacquer the hammers." Checking with a needle, the hammers were quite hard. I pulled the action forward as Keith described ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    Paul, Personally, I would sooner want to have the prof pluck the strings for me over the phone than rely on their interpretation of what is being heard. YMMV. Alan ------------------------------ Alan Eder, RPT Herb Alpert School of Music California ...

  • Posted in: Pianotech

    I saw a demo of this arching the hammer line at a Steinway seminar at Oberlin a few years ago, but never have tried it. I was a second opinion on Tuesday, but may bid the job as they don't have an actual CAUT person. I made a goof and didn't pluck ...