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Front key pin depth in key

  • 1.  Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-07-2018 23:45
    Is there any specific distance that a front key pin should be in the mortise ?  i am sure I have read about a minimum such as at least the depth of the bushing cloth. I am about to finish the top stack of a piano that had an action that barely worked however I noticed the front key pins are not that far into the mortise so I will need to work on the height at the balance rail and perhaps add some back rail cloth. This piano had endured a flood but was not buried under water. Someone got it to play but  I am not even sure how they managed that since the regulation was so bad and key end felts as well as backchecks were all dried out ... I had no specs to work from but noticed that key 88 was exceptionally loose . On close exam I noticed that the key had barely any key pin in it a the rest position . Other keys did but not very much. .

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    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 2.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 07:02
    The pin should be at least 1/4" into the key. This will insure solid contact with the bushing.  As it is now, the end of the pin will dig into the bushing causing friction and excess wear when the key is depressed.  Replace the pins with longer ones or alter the key height, it would depend on how the keys fit between the key slip and fallboard for which course to take; also key elevation for optimum regulation. Take special note of the sharps because that keystick is usually higher at the front. This is an important measurement to keep in mind when leveling any keyboard.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
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  • 3.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 07:02
    James,

    I would advise against making elevation changes at the balance rail or back rail solely for the purpose of getting more front rail pin into the mortise in the key. I would sooner either raise the pins that are already there, or replace them.

    Alan

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    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
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  • 4.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 10:56
    Hi, Alan,

    Without necessarily disagreeing (because I am similarly loathe to change
    things that don't need/want changing), it's also important to remember
    that, for some makers, changing the back rail is the primary way of
    establishing a _basic_ (not fine) key height.

    Besides...if we're going to the trouble of raising the keypins, why not
    simply replace what's there with the lovely "new" ones from WN&G?

    I do agree with Jon that making sure that the pins extend far enough
    into the mortises at rest (1/4" is certainly fine) helps with bushing
    life; and much better control for the pianist.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    On 3/8/2018 4:02 AM, Alan Eder via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.
    >
    > James,
    >
    > I would advise against making elevation changes at the balance rail or back rail solely for the purpose of getting more front rail pin into the mortise in the key. I would sooner either raise the pins that are already there, or replace them.
    >
    > Alan
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Alan Eder, RPT
    > Herb Alpert School of Music
    > California Institute of the Arts
    > Valencia, CA
    > 661.904.6483
    > ------------------------------
    > -------------------------------------------
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 03-07-2018 23:44
    > From: James Kelly
    > Subject: Front key pin depth in key
    >
    > Is there any specific distance that a front key pin should be in the mortise ??? i am sure I have read about a minimum such as at least the depth of the bushing cloth. I am about to finish the top stack of a piano that had an action that barely worked however I noticed the front key pins are not that far into the mortise so I will need to work on the height at the balance rail and perhaps add some back rail cloth. This piano had endured a flood but was not buried under water. Someone got it to play but?? I am not even sure how they managed that since the regulation was so bad and key end felts as well as backchecks were all dried out ... I had no specs to work from but noticed that key 88 was exceptionally loose . On close exam I noticed that the key had barely any key pin in it a the rest position . Other keys did but not very much. .
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > James Kelly
    > Pawleys Island SC
    > 843-325-4357
    > ------------------------------
    >
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  • 5.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 12:52
    Why is the key higher than the pin? Was it like that from the factory or has someone changed the back rail felt or pounded it in. Examine the key elevation to determine if the key is resting at the optimal position.

    What is the make? Simple fix is to lever the pin upwards as long as there is enough shank in the hole for support.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
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  • 6.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 13:57
    Hi, Jon, James,

    This is where I was going.

    If the BR felt has been replaced or damaged, there could be other issues.

    For older N/A instruments, finding the "right" BR cloth can be a problem.   Checking with Jurgen would be good.

    Kind regards,

    Horace

      Original Message




  • 7.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 14:57
    Yes, KWYADAWYADI!  (Know What You Are Doing And Why You Are Doing It).

    My first question also was: what has changed, and why is it this way now?  One can create an awful lot of work for one's self if this question is not adequately answered.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 8.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-08-2018 15:16
    As pointed out this piano had been worked on by someone before and the action barely worked. There was only one felt bushing on the balance rail and one on the front pin. All of the hammer felts had popped from the moldings mostly on the tail side, no rep spring strength and very early letoff. Hammer rebound rail felt was replaced with same thickness and new backchecks, hammers shanks and flanges. The secret may lie in playing more with the key height punchings as well as shimming or replacing the back rail felt

    A great article was published in the journal by the late Susan Graham that discusses problems with the various felts. At this point in time the only felt I have not tried changing out or shim is the back rail felt but before doing that I will see what effect changing balance rail punchings has . I have her article in one of my notebooks and will be hauling it out.

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    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Front key pin depth in key

    Posted 03-09-2018 00:33
    My procedure from setting up actions in a shop,,
    The frame is bedded,, ya know,, the glide bolt are set so later you can raise or lower the balance rail without floating any of the rails. A middle position.
    The pin should be inserted all the way into it's hole. Otherwise it just comes loose and keys that are too high, the bottoms are above the keyslip and the cheek blocks are shimmed.

    Put a block or pile of punchings under the front of the key so that it holds the key with 1/4 inch of pin in the key. Measure the key height.
    Then put in back rail felt until you have 1/16 to 1/8 of clearance under the fall board (replace the nameboard felt). put in the cheek blocks and the fallboard without the usual shims.
    This gives you the proper back rail felt thickness.
    Remove the FR block and use the BR punching that puts the key height to your key height measurement,,, minus just a little for papers.
    Level the keys to the measurement you took.
    See that the bottom of the keys aren't showing and when you lift the key, there is the right clearance under the fall board. There should be 1/4 inch pin in the key and all the case parts should fit without shims.
    Keys


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    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-728-2163
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