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Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

  • 1.  Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Posted 15 days ago
    Just took a look at an old Chickering upright - about 1879 - for a couple minor action repairs. I'd be interested to learn of some of the basics of this unusual type of action. Also, am I understanding things correctly if I am thinking that I need to remove the action to remove a few hammer butts?

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 2.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Looks eerily familiar to one here in NH I have had to wrestle with. Terrible pain in the neck. At 140 years old, quite honestly i think its time to retire. As I recall there is also a lot of brass in there? Or even cast iron. Trying to forget it.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 3.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    From the pictures it looks like the hammer butt is affixed to the damper, perhaps you can unscrew the damper flange and the hammer but will come up with it?
    I recall working on a Chickering from the 50's with something similar only it was a drop action. I think there were actually two separate stacks nested together all below the level of the keybed. No brass involved on that one.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 4.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Posted 14 days ago
    Steven R. - you are correct that the butt and damper are on the same flange, much like an old Steinway. However, there is a bridle strap that attaches to the butt and then somewhere towards the back of the action way down low. Looks like no way to get to it without removing the action.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 5.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    That is a new type of action to me. I would like to see more. Is the jack spring pushing into the butt like the standard upright or do I see a separate rest point for the jack? And where exactly in the action chain is the back check engaged?

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    Edward McMorrow
    Edmonds WA
    425-299-3431
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  • 6.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Posted 14 days ago
    James Kelley - here is your photo!


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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 7.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 13 days ago
    Terry,

    If you do get the action pulled can you take a plan view side photo of the action and post, too?   

    Period Piano has an 1883 Iron Action that I will also soon be photographing the action of, but we don't have this earlier action.  Sometimes the bracket blocks the view, and sometimes we remove it successfully for a photo, too - we've even made a plexiglass bracket for a good photo but that's asking a lot.....

    Regards,

    Bill

    Bill Shull, RPT, M.Mus.
    www.shullpiano.com
    www.periodpiano.org
    909 796-4226

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 8.  RE: Old Upright Chickering Action Type?

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi William. I will take more photos of the action if I ever remove it - but I seriously doubt I ever will. My guess is that it is likely that another area tech (and PTG member) will be working on this piano in the coming months. If you'd like more info on that, please email me privately.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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