Harpsichord

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Hitch pin problem

  • 1.  Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 02-28-2018 10:52
      |   view attached
    Hello harpsichord people,

    I have an Eric Herz harpsichord here and the hitch pins are pulling out.  Any suggestions for a remedy?

    Thanks,
    Zeno Wood

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    Zeno Wood
    Brooklyn, NY
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  • 2.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 02-28-2018 11:03

    This looks like a job for epoxy-man! (with some wood filler maybe), or plug and re-drill.  I bet more of them will also soon split :>(






  • 3.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 02-28-2018 12:39
    Wow, that looks serious! The hitch pin rail has the look of something that was jerry-rigged together at some point, with those dowels, the look of the grain on top and the ragged gap between it and the rim. Judging from the photo, it might have been cut from plywood, rather than being hard wood bent to the shape.
    If it all looks like that, I'd want to remove the hitch pin rail and replace it, having examined what was beneath it and done what was necessary. I don't think patchwork would hold up for long.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them." Coco Chanel





  • 4.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Posted 03-01-2018 04:32
    Are the hitch-pins getting bent?  Michael UK

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    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
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  • 5.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 02-28-2018 14:17
    Here's two more pictures.  The shinier screws appear to be added on, the darker ones I believe are original.  The hitch pin rail is fine for the long section from the treble, running diagonally back to the bass, where it bends and that is where the problem is.

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    Zeno Wood
    Brooklyn, NY
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  • 6.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 02-28-2018 14:59
    The top view seems to show that the grain angle is in line with the pull of the strings, running with the width rather than the length of the rail, which is what seems to be causing the strange splitting - not a crack along the grain, but simply pulling the wood that is in line with the pin/string. I guess you could take that section and replace it. It seems to have been patched together every which way already, with the screws into the rim and the dowels going downward. I'm not familiar with Herz's instruments, so I don't know what is likely to have been original. 

    In any case, it is a structural catastrophe, and it needs to be made solid enough to resist the pull of the strings. I don't see any shortcuts, other than the notion of replacing only a section of the rail.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them." Coco Chanel






  • 7.  RE: Hitch pin problem

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-01-2018 09:05
    I agree with Fred, at the least that section of the rail should be replaced. The whole rail if it is feasible. Hendrik Broekman at Hubbard might be able to help you considering his familiarity with Herz instruments. He may be able to supply you with the proper material to replace the rail.

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    [Don] [McKechnie,] [RPT]
    [Piano Technician]
    [dmckech@ithaca.edu]
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