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Kimball upright balance rail

  • 1.  Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-13-2018 03:38
    I just serviced an old, heavily decorated Kimball upright, probably circa 1900 with an unusual balance rail.  The balance rail pins swivel with the key in slots in a separate guide rail (see photos).
    Has anyone seen these before.  It appears to be serviceable, though nearing the end of its practical life.

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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  • 2.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-13-2018 05:30
    Since the top pin is fixed I the key, what stabilizes the key at the bottom, pivot location?

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
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  • 3.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-14-2018 02:46
    Removing one key to see how it works would involve disassembly of the fall-board and key rail; eventually I probably will pull a few keys out.

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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  • 4.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-13-2018 08:37
    I haven't seen anything like that. Interesting.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 5.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-13-2018 09:10
    Interesting arrangement. The keys are much stronger this way, less prone to break. No chance of chucking keys, since there's no rocking at the balance rail hole. I guess if you need to square the keys, you'd have to bend the pin. Looks easy to replace the bushing felt. Would have been nice to get a photo of the rail under the keys. My imagination is that the pins are inserted into a wooden dowel, drilled in the center, and held by a long metal rod, which would act as the pivot. Or, a bushed slot underneath, like a key button with the pin inserted from the top.
    Too bad, Kimball did actually know how to make a good piano. At least back then.
    Paul McCloud
    San DIego


    I just serviced an old, heavily decorated Kimball upright, probably circa 1900 with an unusual balance rail. The balance rail pins swivel with the key in slots in a separate guide rail (see photos).
    Has anyone seen these before. It appears to be serviceable, though nearing the end of its practical life.

    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170





  • 6.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-13-2018 12:37
    If all keys pivot along a straight line, naturals and accidentals will have different key ratios.

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 7.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-14-2018 02:47
    Perhaps one reason why this is not more common?

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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  • 8.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-14-2018 14:55
    Thanks for posting this Duane. I have never seen this before. I am dying to know how they fixed the key at the bottom. Are there key leveling screws you can access from the underside of the key-bed?

    Please get this information and post it. I would even pay for it I am so curious.

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    Edward McMorrow
    Edmonds WA
    425-299-3431
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  • 9.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-14-2018 14:56
    Ah crap, I meant Blaine! Brain fart on my part. SORRY

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    Edward McMorrow
    Edmonds WA
    425-299-3431
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  • 10.  RE: Kimball upright balance rail

    Posted 01-15-2018 04:04
    I expected many comments like, "Oh I just did one last week" or "I see these all the time".  If this is very rare perhaps I can schedule a free service call to take a few more pictures.  Otherwise I will see it next year.

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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