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  • 1.  Fazioli chopstick tool

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-31-2012 13:13
    This message has been cross posted to the following Discussions: CAUT and Voicing .
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    One of the highlights of West-Pac was the all-day Fazioli class, where as a bonus they gave attendees a chopstick tool of a very nice design. The chopstick with the needle in it is thin enough to fit between the strings of a unison, and it stores, needle hidden and protected, in a handle. The advantage of the thin chopstick is that you can go in at a more precise angle, especially at the middle string groove of the hammer -  the standard tool can only be inserted between unisons, and so it is at more of an angle to the middle groove in particular.

    I have come to really love that tool, and wanted to have a second one for my other tool kit, but thought that would be very unlikely. Then I happened to be looking at the architectural drawing things in our bookstore, and I saw the handle Fazioli used to make the tool. Turns out to be a 2 mm lead holder, Staedtler being the make ($10 retail, $6.50 web plus shipping). So there was the holder, but how to make the chopstick? Fazioli made it of 2 mm steel, but I couldn't see drilling a 2mm steel rod to insert a needle, so I thought I might try brass rod instead. I found it though Amazon ($1.95 for 4 of them about 1 foot long, plus shipping). 

    Drilling was not easy, but I managed (after two broken bits, I got the technique down). I found it worked best to use an adjustable Dremel running at slowest speed, with a very light touch, almost no pressure, just letting the weight of the tool drive the bit. I inserted the bit so only about 1 - 1.5 cm of the bit were protruding, so the bit would be better supported with less wobble. Center punched with an awl, used a #69 bit. Very touchy to do this, but I managed to get a 1+ cm hole drilled down the center, and glued in a #6 needle with medium thick CA. The brass rod is more bendable than the steel, but it is firm enough to work with care. 

    Photos attached.

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    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
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  • 2.  RE:Fazioli chopstick tool

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-31-2012 17:19

    Hobby shops offer a selection of tiny brass tubing.
    I selected two diameters, very narrow to make a collar for the needle, then a size that slips over the collar.
    Thick CA glue holds the needle in the collar and the collar in the tube. A squeeze with pliers on the collar helps the needle stay in place.
    Flatten out the other end to make a hook to pull the hammer up to check string contact.
    (I don't find a need for the Staedler graphite holder as a handle.)

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    Ed Sutton
    Editor
    Piano Technicians Journal
    ed440@me.com
    704-536-7926

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  • 3.  RE:Fazioli chopstick tool

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-31-2012 17:41
    Tubes one inside the other are a nice idea, probably very stiff. Not needing to drill is a BIG plus, assuming you can come up with a pair of tubes that ends up being narrower than the string spacing - 2.5 mm would be about max for that.

    I like the handle because it protects the needle and also makes the whole tool a smaller length (when telescoped in), with a clip to hold to a pocket in my tool case (or in my shirt pocket). I particularly like the narrower tool for getting at hammers in the capo area. I can insert the tool between strings in the duplex area, and line up the needle very nicely and precisely. I generally want to be right in line with the string cut, starting either right past the middle, at the middle, or sometimes cross-stitching from just in front of the middle.

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    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
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