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Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

  • 1.  Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

    Posted 10-30-2018 14:29

    Requesting market interest information regarding this lightweight, portable, cordless electric, height adjustable, Action Trolley and Dip Duplicating Table. I have been designing, fabricating, proving and using this system for a couple of years. After several iterations I have a system I really like. It has attributes I have not seen in other products, particularly the instant convenience of the electric height adjustments and zero-fuss setup. I and am currently using it in the shop and on-site. Youtube presentation embedded here, with a link at the end of the video to a Google Forms doc for feedback.

    Feedback of interest as well as non-interest appreciated and useful.

    We are trying to decide whether a small initial run of the system is warranted or not...I have one and love it....trying to see if others would find it as useful and convenient as I do.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback. 


    Jim Ialeggio
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026

  • 2.  RE: Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

    Posted 10-31-2018 12:18

    Looks like an excellent caddy. My guess is that there would be sufficient
    interest for at least the 15 or so you propose, depending on price, but it
    would be hard to gauge market interest without knowing cost. This was
    a conspicuous omission (no criticism intended) in the video. If you could
    post an estimated target price, it would be helpful and you would probably
    get more of the feedback you seek.

    I teach full time and don't want to instruct to techniques that will not be
    available later. Fledgling techs will probably not have the funds (see
    above statement) to afford expensive apparatus, so I teach to methods
    I have found comfortable and efficient outside the shop.

    You mention flex, and this is a fairly big issue with me. Even resting my
    arms on the front of the table introduces a variable, so this could be
    minimized in your trolley by adding a center struts located approximately
    under the three rails between the spars, or at least under the balance and
    front rails. This would probably stiffen the table in the middle well enough
    to eliminate any appreciable flex.

    Hope this helps.


    Dave Conte
    North Richland Hills TX

  • 3.  RE: Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

    Posted 10-31-2018 21:11
    Edited by Benjamin Sanchez 10-31-2018 21:13
    Hi Dave,

    Jim's price for this invention is listed in the Google Forms link he posted. I believe he didn't post it in the video so he could change it later without having to redo the video. I believe the cost is $2700, as of this moment, but look though the form to be sure.

    I might also add, Jim, that that’s an excellent invention! If I start doing more grand action work I’ll buy it — hopefully next year. Today I serviced a 1903 Kimball grand that had a lot of problems, and pulling that action in and out about 30 times made me want your table...

    Benjamin Sanchez
    Professional Piano Services

  • 4.  RE: Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

    Posted 10-31-2018 21:23
    Edited by Jim Ialeggio 10-31-2018 21:23

    I thought I was designing the "never lift an action again" part of this system for someone other than myself. Many folks have mentioned they never want to lift an action again, so I was paying attention to their desires. However, once I had this trolley working, it took all of 5 minutes of use for me to join the "never lift an action again" crowd. Now I'm spoiled.

    Jim Ialeggio
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026

  • 5.  RE: Cordless, Height Adjustable, Action Trolley- Market Research

    Posted 10-31-2018 21:19
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your comments.  Preliminary pricing based on a 15 unit run is posted in the google forms survey, to see whether the price point, as you rightly point out, was appropriate to the market.  Target price including the trolley, dip duplicating table, and string height target is aiming for $2700.  This is based on quotes I received prior to tariff time. Affordability is a major goal in designing this rig, so I am focused on keeping it under 3k...which is, in my mind, the upper end of affordability.

    Regarding flex, you are correct that flex changes dip. This aluminum panel is really quite stiff...however it does have some minor flex...the aluminum panel is really quite an amazing composite structure, and is amazingly stiff all on its own, even without the struts...but it does has some flex.

    They key to working with portable fixtures like this, is to accommodate inevitable minor flex, with, as I say in the video, technique. Keep in mind this setup uses a Dip Duplicating Table. It is not, intended to duplicate Keybed as Chris Brown's fine rig does. Duplicating dip, is different than duplicating a keybed. It is much simpler, and gives all the control one needs to do an out of the cavity regulation, as long as you have the appropriate technique. Duplicating dip is the traditional approach which the Edwards Caddy took advantage of, and as such, is an approach  appropriate for techs learning regulation. The technique can be used without access to expensive fixtures. The expense of my fixture is a product of lightness and portability, not of exclusive function. The basic function can be achieved less expensively, in a shop fixture, if portability and height adjust-ability is sacrificed.

    1- only a few steps in a regulation require accurate dip; initial regulation proofing, check & drop.  So I don't fret dip at all, until its necessary. Thank goodness letoff is not dip dependent,  as letoff opens the door to develop ones technique outside the action cavity.

    2- I use a version of what Chris Brown calls "Keysteps", to precisely record 6 sample whites at rest. (I don't use the rest of his protocol, which uses another set of keysteps). Chris' keystep idea is a brilliant and simple idea, and is the key on which dip, irrespective of the what the bedding actually is in the piano. can be precisely duplicated. I use the keysteps to record the rest position of those 6 white samples.  One the position has been recorded, dip can be duplicated at any time during the regulation, as long as initial bedding was reasonable (perfect not necessary, but reasonable), and key height at the balance rail has not been changed on the sample notes.

    2-when dip is necessary, then and only then do I refine dip. Using the elevating screws, and an  easily learned technique, the compass wide dip can be nailed in 3 or 4 minutes. One must not blindly assume dip is still accurately set as one proceeds through the dip dependent process. But, it literally takes seconds to locally check the "keysteps" to confirm dip is still correct, and adjust if necessary by turning one or two elevation screws...seconds of time required.

    It works, and is accurate...way more accurate than anything I've done before, and results is complete control in-shop and on-site.

    So the two essential ways to accommodate minor flex in the table are, the use of a "keystep" like product (See Chris Brown's site) and have easily accessible access to all the table's elevating screws.  Flex then ceases to be an insurmountable problem. Interestingly, I thought I would be correcting height adjustment screws throughout the regulation more than I ended up doing. I have a slab in my shop, so this helps. On-site, more vigilance is required. That vigilance, though, takes only seconds to confirm.

    Jim Ialeggio
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026