Pianotech

Subject: hammer technique

1.  hammer technique

Posted 02-13-2014 15:48
There have been dozens of posts under "going faster," when the topic should have been hammer technique.  I would ask those people who have tried to describe hammer technique with long posts, submit to this new thread with an idea to teaching hammer technique.  I'd like to see more concise descriptions.  Here's mine:

I break my hammer technique into three distinct major movements:  jerk, smooth, impact.  Each movement is further broken down into 10 gradations (I could say 20 or 30, but I'll stick with 10 for simplicity's sake).  

Jerk technique:  This involves first applying a little pressure to the end of the tuning hammer, and then, while keeping the pressure on, bobbing my wrist/elbow to get the pin to pop in the pin block, or at least let the pin tell me what it's doing.  I describe is as a Monty Python move ("nudge, nudge, wink, wink).  The variation in initial pressure and bobbing pressure is practically infinite.

Smooth technique:  I use this more often in grands.  Constant smooth pressure is applied until the hammer/string moves.

Impact technique:  I use this more often in uprights.  It works like an impact hammer in that the tuning tip slaps the pin.  My hand literally slaps the end of the tuning hammer to get the pin to move/settle.  The amount of pressure needed is infinitely variable, but care must be taken not to make the tuning hammer fall off the pin.  

Learning to tune well means learning to use the three basic movements in increasingly subtle ways.  This involves three tasks: 1) hearing precise changes, 2) the muscle physicality to control the string well enough to perceive slight changes, 3) having the intellectual tools to know what to listen for, what goal you're striving for, and when to stop.  

Each string has a target.  The outer rings are rings of the target that even laymen can hear.  Technicians work within the bulls eye, the shades of which are so subtle that the layman can't discern the differences except in the overall effect of the whole piano being in tune. We're shooting for the center of the target.  Thats where the best placement of pitch is.  That's where the best stability is reached.  If we are satisfied with leaving the string slightly low or high, when humidity changes and the bulls eye moves, the pitch will fall out of the target and be noticed by the layman.  If we hit the center, the target can move, but the pitch will still stay within the bulls eye, albeit off center. Long term stability is achieved when the pitch stays in the bulls eye even after a few hours of playing and even though the humidity may have slightly changed.  

Hammer position, verticals:  best is 12 o'clock, acceptable range 11 o'clock to 2 o'clock.  Grands:  hammer pointing to the treble, roughly parallel to the pin block, acceptable range pointing to the end of the piano to where the hammer hits the stretcher.

Accuracy:  Working toward good accuracy is like a parachute fall.  In the beginning the goal is far away. The target gets bigger the closer we get. Feeling the pin move in the block controls the initial movement.  But as we're about to hit the target, it blends into the grass and dirt and becomes almost invisible. That's where controlling the string movement is critical.   We have to circle around that target a bit to discern the very center and land right there. Flexing the pin allows for string movement without changing the pin position in the block.  

I'll stop there.  I'd like to see all the ink in previous emails summarized for teaching purposes, boiled down to the essence of tuning in concise language.  And I have a couple final questions to throw out.  Are there techniques that are bad?  What techniques may be acceptable but are just simply inefficient? 


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Richard West
Lincoln NE
402-477-7198
440richard@gmail.com
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2.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-13-2014 16:12
Richard,

I'm very similar to your ways  nudge nudge wink of the eye know what I mean.  Uprights: I try to keep as close to 12 noon (or midnight, depending on the time of day), and even at 11am on the bass strings as that's where they are.  On grands, I was taught to keep about that way, but over the years, I tend to be closer to 1-2pm, being right handed.  I just have better control that way. But that's just me.  On pitch raising though, I will stick closer to noon if possible, since I'm moving the hammer more. I'm not comfortable with 10-11am. I don't know why, it's just how I do it.  25 years gave me either good or bad habits, but the end result is a great tuning with never a complaint from top notch performers, faculty, or students.  I do understand the importance of stabilizing the tuning pins, however; so I've adjusted my techniques over the years to account for that as well.

I've also now starting applying a drop or two of McLube444 on the underfelt I really notice a difference in rendering, especailly on one not tuned in awhile, but have been seen doing this around the school of music on tempermental pianos.  I learned this for Steinway 1098's from Kent Webb at a Steinway/Oberlin seminar 5 years ago.  1098's.  There's another topic for another day!!

It's all good however it works for you!  Keep the information coming.

Paul


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Paul T. Williams RPT
Piano Technician
Glenn Korff School of Music
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
pwilliams4@unl.edu

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3.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-13-2014 19:51
One of my RPT buddies shared with me that McLubb 444 was recommended by Steinway to help string rendering. I used it frequently until I learn they apparently changed their mind and decided that this product Harden felt.

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Thomas Black
Decatur AL
256-350-9315
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4.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-13-2014 23:39
I can't summarize the previous emails on the other subject line (there's too much to rehash) but will disagree with your hammer position on grands--at least based on the way I tune.  I would say somewhere between 11:00 and 1:30.  Never past 3:00 and rarely even at 3:00. The methods I describe in great detail on the other link will help explain why.  The proof is in the speed and stability.  Bad techniques are those that slow you down too much and produce less stable results.  Less bad are slower (less efficient) but still produce stability.  I can't rewrite everything right now.  

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David Love RPT
www.davidlovepianos.com
davidlovepianos@comcast.net
415 407 8320
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5.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-17-2014 12:12
David,

We technicians love to agree to disagree.  I'll try to pay a little more attention to my hammer position and body position as I tune.  I do know that I use the 3 o'clock position in grands but I also move to the noon to 1 position as well, especially in the high treble when it's impossible to use the 3 o'clock position.  I sometimes stand; I don't usually sit parallel to the keyboard but angle my right side in toward the keyboard.  Some technicians use a super long tuning tip so that the hammer is above the stretcher, but I don't like the feel of that.  My tip is close to the pin, and the angle is 10 degrees.  Less than 10 puts the hammer too close to the pins; more than 10 and I feel like I'm in a position that makes me start to flex the pin too aggressively (I think that's also a problem with the super long tip).  Tip length and angle are big choices to the feel and control of each pin/string. I continue to use the traditional hammer.  I've tried some other newer designs, but I come back to my rosewood handle with extendability.  I've rarely have had bodily pain as a result of using that hammer.  One final  note, as my hammer technique improved over the years, my need to beat the piano into stability subsided.  Good technique and mezzo forte blows gets the job done without bodily abuse. 

My reasoning behind hammer position strategy goes back to the traditional explanation that we've all heard.  If you use the 3 o'clock position in grands, the rotation and flex of the pin matches the pitch direction you want to have. That is, rotating the pin clockwise and flexing the pin toward you, raises the pitch and relaxing your pull settles the pin and string into stability, ideally, that is.  In an upright the 9 o'clock position acts the same way, hence the idea that tuning left handed is better for uprights.  I don't tune left handed mostly because I'm too lazy to learn, but also I want to keep my right hand in shape so that I can give my most experienced hand to grands.

Learning to tune well, however, is learning how to deviate from the traditional model to find what actually works.  Here's where agreeing to disagree comes in, because there are lots of things that will work.  We also have to subscribe to the dictum, "Do no harm!"  I'm of the opinion that being overly aggressive with pin flex can result in flagpoling which can do harm.  Dan Levitan proved what we all knew, but were cautious to state:  Pin flex is a given.  Every rotational movement usually involves some pin flexing.  That doesn't mean we have to get carried away with it.  I've removed tuning pins that wobbled out and were clearly bent.  Pin block holes do get loose and not only from spit wood.  I suspect poor hammer technique can contribute.  But that's only a suspicion without actual proof.  Perhaps someone has studied this to determine if tuning enlarges pinblock holes. 

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Richard West
Lincoln NE
402-477-7198
440richard@gmail.com
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6.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-17-2014 13:44
Richard: "My reasoning behind hammer position strategy goes back to the traditional explanation that we've all heard.  If you use the 3 o'clock position in grands, the rotation and flex of the pin matches the pitch direction you want to have. That is, rotating the pin clockwise and flexing the pin toward you, raises the pitch and relaxing your pull settles the pin and string into stability, ideally, that is."

A 3 o'clock position will maximize the amount the pitch of the string will rise (when you are raising pitch), beyond the amount associated with the turning of the pin in the block. The greater the torque on the pin, the greater this effect will be (both pin twist and pin flex - flagpoling). The more you have gone sharp and need to settle back, the less you know where you actually are (where the pin is in the block), and the less likely you are to come to a stable end product, particularly because strings do not settle back very reliably if there is any amount of significant friction at the bearing points.

I guess I need to clarify that "flagpoling" and "flex" are two words for the same thing as I use the terms: vertical plane springing. Both are done well within the elastic limits of the tuning pin - we're not talking about "bending pins" (and it is certainly possible to bend pins with a tuning hammer). I think you are using "flex" where I would use "twist": the amount by which the top portion of the pin moves rotationally before the bottom portion actually breaks friction in the block and rotates in the wood.

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Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
"When I smell a flower, I don't think about how it was cultivated. I like to listen to music the same way." -Federico Mompou
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7.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-18-2014 12:03
Richard: " We also have to subscribe to the dictum, "Do no harm!"  I'm of the opinion that being overly aggressive with pin flex can result in flagpoling which can do harm.  Dan Levitan proved what we all knew, but were cautious to state:  Pin flex is a given.  Every rotational movement usually involves some pin flexing.  That doesn't mean we have to get carried away with it.  I've removed tuning pins that wobbled out and were clearly bent.  Pin block holes do get loose and not only from spit wood.  I suspect poor hammer technique can contribute.  But that's only a suspicion without actual proof.  Perhaps someone has studied this to determine if tuning enlarges pinblock holes."

I'd like to address this notion that the techniques I have been describing "could harm" the piano. Let's start with a grand piano (upright is the same, except 3 o'clock on grand = 9 o'clock upright and vice versa) with a somewhat excessively tight block. If you tune with your 3 o'clock position, you find, I'm sure, that pitch moves up as much as 30¢ and more before the pin starts to turn. What is happening? Two things, flex and twist. Maybe they are about equal in effect, and let's say they are: 15¢ or more worth of flex together with 15¢ or more worth of twist. Regardless how you tune that piano you will introduce that much flex and twist into the pin. You can mask flex by changing your hammer angle to 12 or 6 o'clock, but the pin will still flex the same amount. You can't mask twist. It will happen and create a change in pitch no matter what you do - unless you compensate by consciously adding proportional flex in the other direction.

In the techniques I have been talking about, and that I have posted video of here, it is pretty obvious (I hope) that I am not flexing the pins more than they would be flexed in tuning a piano with a tight pinblock, generally a lot less (unless I am facing a tight pinblock - which I am not in the videos), certainly not enough to cause the pins to bend permanently. I am flexing the pin only enough to counteract twist. 

With respect to "enlarging pinblock holes," all I can say is that if that were a problem, it would show up on those concert grands I have tuned well over 20 times a year for the past 30 years. It hasn't. There isn't an issue. I won't say it couldn't be an issue. It is definitely possible to do brutal things to a piano, and a hammer has plenty of leverage to allow you to bend a pin a lot, to break it, to damage the wood. But I don't think we need to walk on eggshells to avoid that, just use basic common sense.

In any case, anyone who tunes with even a moderate level of skill will be flexing the pins as part of their conscious or "intuitive" technique: you can't achieve stability without it. The flexing may be done by "lifting and lowering" the hammer handle, or it may be entirely done at a right angle to the hammer, but you will be flexing those pins. If you "raise pitch above the target and settle back to set the pin" you are flexing the pin, in both directions. 

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Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
"When I smell a flower, I don't think about how it was cultivated. I like to listen to music the same way." -Federico Mompou
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8.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-18-2014 13:42
Fred,

You misunderstood me.  I was not criticizing your specific technique, on in any way proclaiming that you're wrong.  I thought I was simply stating my basic approach without judgement of what you or anyone else may be doing. I don't know what is "right," and actually there is no right way, IMHO.  Is there a wrong way?  Probably, but I'm slow to judge.

Also, what we do is very hard to describe in words.I think trying to describe what we do can be helpful. It helps to check ourselves, see what others are doing, and learn.  My particular learning curve has actually been a series of plateaus.  I settle on a particular style for awhile.  Something triggers a rethinking of what I'm doing and so I'm willing to consider other techniques that may improve my work. At this point in my career, I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing and comfortable that it works for me.  So I'll admit that I'm a bit dogmatic about my methods, but only because I like the consistency and final results.
 
My feeling is that stability is more related to string manipulation than pin manipulation.  Yes, we put twist into the pin, and flex it.  But the pin has a memory and wants to be straight.  Even if the lower part of the pin isn't absolutely straight in the block, the friction between the pin and pinblock is great enough, that it allows for some forgiveness, not much, but some.  We just have to work with the pin a little bit to let it straighten itself out in the block.  But the string and its bearing points don't cooperate as much.  So if I were to break my tuning pin motion down, I first try to feel the pin in the block and get it at a middle point, so that I can then flex the top of the pin in many subtle ways that involve combinations of different pressures applied rotationally and for lack of a better word, through non-damaging flagpoling, i.e. lifting/pushing down on the tuning hammer. I want to stress the I'm combing the pressures and motions.  Add those to judicious hammer blows, and I can usually find a center point/target that gets the string where I want it.  I'm in search of that elusive center of my pitch target, and I use pin flex to float around that target until I'm confident that I'm centered, the pin flex is gone, and the string is settled in a stable position.   

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Richard West
Lincoln NE
402-477-7198
440richard@gmail.com
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9.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-18-2014 16:20
Hi Richard,
I don't think I misunderstood you. You raised some concerns with regard to the techniques David and I have been describing, saying they might have the potential for creating problems or damage. I tried to address those concerns. I know that it is very possible for techniques to be misunderstood and distorted in such a way as to cause harm - it is a very real danger. People think that if a little of something is good, more is likely to be better, for instance. Steaming hammers comes to mind.

But in this instance, the flexing I am consciously introducing is not at all extreme, well within the range of what we do whether we are conscious of it or not, and that is the point I was trying to make. If you look at the videos I made, you can see just how subtle and controlled it is. I would argue that, if anything, I cause less harm, wear and tear to the piano using my method - and get better results to boot.

I'm going to comment a bit here on a few issues raised in the post by David that came a little after the one I am responding to. I differ from David in that I induce flex consciously in whatever direction suits the particular circumstances, so I flex up as well as down on a grand, pull forward as well as push back on an upright. It depends on the behavior I observe, which is essentially a balance of string friction to pin torque in the block. In cases where there is a lot of string friction, and the pitch is not moving with the pin when all flex is removed from the picture (I stop pressing down on the hammer and pitch still doesn't follow the pin), I induce the opposite flex, raising up on the hammer. I could also move the hammer to the 3 o'clock position, and sometimes I do, but that gives me less control. I prefer to have real time control, adding or subtracting flex as the pin and string are moving.

I don't find lowering pitch all that bad (a good thing, because I do tons of it every fall). The norm on a grand would be to lift on the hammer at 12 o'clock while turning the pin, usually a little less than I would press down while raising pitch (pin twist will usually be enough to make string pitch go in sync with pin turning in the block, more than compensating for string friction). It is essentially the same procedure except that you want the pitch to "go ahead of" the turn of the pin by a little instead of lag behind. I do want the pin itself to go to slightly flat position along with the string so I can be sure of getting a stable result. IOW, I go below by as little as possible, then do what I do when raising pitch. I have found that I can do a very stable pitch lowering of 25¢+ in one pass - it's taken long practice to get there. I have come to prefer the one pass plus a touch up to a two pass procedure. Less fatiguing and a bit faster in the long run, and results are essentially the same. A caveat, though, for extra high friction pianos, where I find two if not three passes are needed.

With respect to angles of the hammer on the pin, 3 and 9 o'clock are polar opposites, and no induced pin flex has any noticeable effect in those positions, as you are flexing the pin side to side (at right angles to the string). At 2 or 10 o'clock, induced pin flex (up or down on the hammer, or fore/aft on an upright) has some effect but it is minimal, a lot less than the flex that is happening naturally. As you approach 12 o'clock (or 6 o'clock if you tune that way - not too likely unless you are using a C hammer), induced pin flex becomes maximum in its affect on pitch.

And the complement of that is that at 3 and 9 o'clock the unavoidable mechanical (not consciously induced) pin flex has its maximum affect on pitch, while at 12 o'clock it has none or next to none. (BTW, I have a handout from a class Jim Coleman taught in the late 70s, talking about using hammer orientation on the pin to your advantage, adapting to the conditions of the piano. This is not a matter of brand new discoveries.)


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Fred Sturm
University of New Mexico
fssturm@unm.edu
http://fredsturm.net
"When I smell a flower, I don't think about how it was cultivated. I like to listen to music the same way." -Federico Mompou
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10.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-18-2014 13:47

Richard:

Many things we agree with but some we don't.  Let's first stipulate to the notion that there are different ways to get the job done, I don't argue with that.  But that doesn't mean that their may not be better ways and by better I mean either more efficient (faster) or more stable, or both.  While the other discussion started out as one addressing efficiency, the stability factor did come into play and might even be more important.  Let's face it, stability is really at the heart of the matter.  With temperaments we have some leeway (think of all the different temperaments being used successfully).  Octaves also can vary as different degrees of stretch are implemented by different tuners depending on stylistic preferences. Unisons, however, are different.  It's pretty much zero tolerance.  Scoring 98% on most other testing will give you an A or A+. But if we tune with 98% stability in unisons then five notes may be out and that's enough to cost us an invitation back.  In a concert situation it would be unacceptable.  So efficiency as it leads to greater stability is also important.  

Many points you made in the first paragraph I agree with.  I do use a 15 degree head and very short tip.  I like the lever long enough but not too long as I do grip it at the end (I use a Faulk hammer that is more teardrop shaped, widest at the end, very light).  The Watanabe tip that I use is beautifully designed to grip the pin as low (near the coils) as possible.  That helps to minimize flagpolling (pin leaning) and twisting.  I sit as you do slightly angled with right side closer to the keyboard.  At the treble end I stand as the lever position required makes it easier on me physically.  I agree that "beat(ing) the piano into stability" is not necessary.  

Where we disagree is with the premise of the traditional strategy.  You wrote "If you use the 3 o'clock position in grands, the rotation and flex of the pin matches the pitch direction you want to have." 

My strategy is exactly opposite to that.  If we understand "rotation" to mean twist and "flex" to mean the direction in which we cause the pin to lean, then I want those two forces exactly opposite to each other.  If that is accomplished then the pin will turn in the block and the pitch change will reflect only the turning of the pin in the block, nothing else.  Of course achieving this goal exactly requires some developed feel for when the pin turns in the block and when it is likely to turn.  Even then it is not always precise as the pin torque will cause those forces to change in magnitude in order to balance.  But that is the goal, along with being able to feel the pin move in the block.  When that can be accomplished the pitch can be moved straight up from the flat side to the target and the only question mark will be the ease or speed at which the string renders through the friction points.  By doing that you not only tune in a more direct line to the pitch, rather than see-sawing up above the pitch and down below the pitch until you settle (hopefully) on the pitch, but you also reduce the variability that will exist at any one time between the string segments that must be accounted for if the string is to remain stable.  That's about as concise as I think I can put it.

The mechanics of this with respect to hammer position become more clear when you think about it in terms of quadrants and vectors.   Each quadrant 12:00 - 3:00, 3:00 - 6:00, 6:00 - 9:00, 9:00 to 12:00 can be analyzed in terms of the leaning force applied to the pin in the direction of the strings.  The magnitude of the force which pushes the pin toward the string (driving the pitch flat) will change as the lever changes position.  However, there will be net positive from 6:00 to 12:00 and net negative from 12:00 to 6:00 (basically).  So from the 10:00 position (grand piano) the turning of the level clockwise will cause the pin to lean toward the string (flat) while the twisting will cause the pitch to rise (sharp).  From that position, depending again on torque), the balancing of those two forces will be somewhat natural as we turn the lever on a horizontal axis.  If the pin is very tight and requires more twist before it moves you can move to the 9:00 position (though it is more ergonomically awkward) where the force causing the pin to lean toward the string will be greater.  In fact, with very tight pins I find that moving to the 9:00 position is helpful.  If you don't want to move to the 9:00 to 12:00 quadrant and prefer to tune from 1:30, say, then you have to lean on the lever a bit pressing down toward the string as you turn to effectively duplicate the force that would be applied from the the 9:00 - 12:00 quadrant.  

The less you are able to do this (offset) the more the pitch will come to the sharp side where you then have to push it back down to a point where it equalizes.  As was pointed out in another post, getting to the pitch from below rather than above may be better in terms of consistency in setting stability.  As an aside, when the pitch is sharp I usually try and bump it down to the flat side slightly first and then come back up.  My hammer technique for that move is more an impact style, a few delicate bumps to try and reduce pin flexing in that direction.  If it's a large pitch correction from the sharp side (my least favorite) then I often still try and "impact it down" but the way the pin let's go in the block is harder to predict that way which is why I don't prefer it.   A better way, in terms of the ideas being put forth in this discussion, is to take the pitch down with the hammer in the 9:00 - 12:00 quadrant where pushing the hammer to move the pin in the flat direction leans the pin away from the strings (driving the pitch to the sharp side) and you can use these offsetting forces to your advantage as well.  However, it can be awkward ergonomically.   

So, just to finish these thoughts,  from the 3:00 position moving toward 6:00 it becomes very difficult to balance these forces of twisting and leaning.  You will now have to start lifting the hammer end (rather than pressing) as you turn.  It can be done but is more awkward.

If we compare uprights and grands we find that since the twisting of the pin (in the direction of raising the pitch) always drives the pitch sharp, the hammer position with respect to pin lean should be one in which the natural tendency is to drive the pitch flat or lean the pin toward the strings.  So on a grand the 9:00 - 12:00 quadrant accomplishes that (basically there are some other complications in vector stuff that we can put aside for now), in an upright the 12 - 3:00 quadrant is what is necessary.  If we don't tune from those quadrants then we need to apply a directional force which causes the lever to act like it's in those quadrants.  

(It may be interesting to note that to increase the leaning force on a grand in the 9:00 - 12:00 quadrant we need to move the hammer starting position counterclockwise--9:00 will cause more pitch affecting lean than 12:00.  But in an upright we move clockwise--3:00 will produce more pitch affecting lean than 12:00.  The respective orientations can be thought of as the mirror image of each other.

With respect to the do no harm, I agree.  But I don't think what I am suggesting will do any harm to the block.  In both methods the pin leans, the only difference is in which direction.   



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David Love RPT
www.davidlovepianos.com
davidlovepianos@comcast.net
415 407 8320
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11.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-19-2014 08:28

All this demonstrates why I use the 'T' hammer for tuning a Grand piano. Albeit I'm left-handed, makes no difference. What does make a difference is that there's no longer an issue with the 'o'clock' position. The hand is right over the centre of the wrest-pin at all times. I simply have a very strong wrist. And I'm sure Fred is right when he states that the position of the lever (as a tuning tool) has no bearing on the wear in the pin-block.

Michael (UK)

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Michael Gamble
semi retired
Brighton
01273813612
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12.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-19-2014 09:38
I would experiment with Michael's t-hammer except mine is set up for oval pins and I'm too lazy to change it.

However it seems to function, as best I understand it, like Dan Levitan's C lever in such that it separates tilting and flexing from turning.  And I will swear that I can feel the difference between the twist in the block and when the pin has moved.  Isn't kinaestheic sense wonderful?

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Larry Messerly, RPT
Bringing Harmony to Homes
www.prescottpiano.com
larry@prescottpiano.com
928-445-3888
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13.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-23-2014 08:41

I have been watching, with mounting interest, the Levitan C hammer youtube.  I thought of many arguments relating to its use both 'pro' and 'con'. One of the 'cons' being its availability in the UK for a test run!! I can see the argument 'pro' this tool: the point of the tuners' 'touch' being  at the same point as the wrest pin within the plank. The 'flag-poling' virtually eradicated except from choice. But the sheer 'bulk' of this enormous tool has me bothered. How do you carry it around? And wouldn't producing such a mammoth tool in the home be a cause for ridicule even? However, if it does the job securely, competently and completely one just doesn't consider these aspects... Does one? For myself I have always used the 'T' hammer to tune Grands - relying on my strong wrist to just 'turn' the wrest-pin without unnecessary flag-poling. For those wrest-pins which are too tight I have to revert to the standard extending Steinway lever which I normally use only in Uprights (Verticals). But Good for you, Daniel, for having the courage to produce such an interesting and useful addition to the tuning kit.  Michael (UK)
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Michael Gamble
semi retired
Brighton
01273813612
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14.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-23-2014 09:49
As paradigm shifts go, this one is hard to take by those happy with their current work habits. The "objection" that the Levitan C Lever won't fit into your favorite compact tool case is easily overcome - buy a new one. It fits very nicely into my ToolPak (ww.toolpak.com), a backpack for tools. ------------------------------------------- Patrick Draine Billerica MA 978-663-9690 -------------------------------------------


15.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-23-2014 09:58
Levitan lever does not fit in my tool case. But I can carry it in the same hand as the tool case.

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Larry Messerly, RPT
Bringing Harmony to Homes
www.prescottpiano.com
larry@prescottpiano.com
928-445-3888
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16.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-23-2014 15:04
I just recently purchased the Levitan C Lever and have begun to use it out in the field, after having practiced with it for awhile on my personal piano.  It may be bulky and look bulky, but I won't leave home without it from now on.  I am totally awed with the control that it gives. 

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Wesley Hardman
Owner Hardman Piano Service
Scottsboro AL
256-574-4761
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17.  RE:hammer technique

Posted 02-25-2014 00:59
  |   view attached
Patrick, Toolpak.com! I have the 4-panel one, and it's been great. Tuck my Levitan Pro down in the middle pocket against a little rag to protect it from my other tools.

Agree with Wesley, I've become very attached to my Levitan Pro after a little more than a month. I have found only one piano so far where the clearance of the Pro was not quite enough, see attached image, it's a small Kawai with a high stretcher. Fortunately, it comes off easily with four screws :-)

Jim