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1904 Steinway N? upright

  • 1.  1904 Steinway N? upright

    Posted 18 days ago
    Correct me if I'm wrong,,,
    The center pin bushings on an old Steinway were red,,, Yes?
    The whippen friction is so high they don't work and the felt you can see looks blue green, not red.
    Does this mean the verdigris is that bad? Never seen it that bad.
    I can get the whippen flanges but the jack flanges might need replacing also. Are those the standard jack flanges offered by Schaff?
    Thank you in advance.

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Superior Piano Supply imports/sells Tokiwa made replacement parts for older S&S verticals. Brooks Ltd carries the parts too (I believe they get the parts through Superior but I may be wrong).

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Posted 17 days ago
    I googled Superior Piano and get nothing but Vandaking who sells Schaff parts.

    Back to my original question,, the color of the bushing cloth in 1904,,, I hate to assume

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Oops! Brain freeze! I meant Pacific Piano Supply! Sorry!

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi, Keith,

    I'm interested in the build date of this piano.  Could you provide a photo of the serial number?    Steinway didn't universally treat these parts until about 1910 but may have treated some parts before this, and I'm intrigued about earlier dates.  

    Patrick, I'm sure you get most of your parts from Tuners Supply Co and American Piano Supply Co so don't need to notice that Tokiwa is imported by Pacific Piano Supply.  :)  :)    Can't help myself.....

    Bill





  • 6.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Keith,

    Yes, the original cloth was "red", very dense...great stuff. The bluish green is severe "verdigris" or copper acetate I believe is the chemical name (I asked that question here once and I think that was the authoritative answer I got.

    I have had SS uprights as far back as 1897 with verdigris. I have also seen one or two without a trace of it. Every flange will need to be replaced (AFAIK it was only the flanges that they treated with the paraffin oil, the major action parts themselves appear to be untreated).

    Or, if you are talented with replacing bushings themselves you could do that, but I have found that the upright double flanges get weak where the screw hole is and often you can break it with your fingers (not a good situation for long term stability). Replacing the jack flange itself seems fraught with difficulty (though I've never done it).

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Posted 17 days ago
    The date from Steinway is 1905. The owner contacted them. I don't have the serial number

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi, Bill.

    Great to "see" you online. I thought APSCO was gone for good a couple decades ago.
    Along with Ford Piano Supply. I got parts from both that nobody else made.

    ------------------------------
    Dave Conte

    University of Tennessee
    Knoxville TN
    817-307-5656
    Owner: Rocky Top Piano
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    Peter,

    Great info. Thanks.

    I haven't witnessed it myself, but several technicians have said that the contamination wicks into the wood and will
    return by leaching into the new felt and eventually cause the same problem. Probably replacing the flanges will be
    the only permanent solution.

    Dave

    ------------------------------
    Dave Conte

    University of Tennessee
    Knoxville TN
    817-307-5656
    Owner: Rocky Top Piano
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Member
    Posted 17 days ago
    this came from a pamphlet published by Steinway called Steinway Logic

      Steinway action flanges are waterproofed
    by being boiled in paraffin.
    This prevents shrinking which causes
    rattles and non-alignment of the
    action parts.
                                     there are no dates in the pamphlet to help establish a timeline for the practice but perhaps old catalogs have a hint

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi Dave, i know - i was just harassing Pat Draine for referring to Superior Imports in the present.  Clumsy of me but i couldnt resist.   You're right - Ford made some not-so-great copies of Steinway upright parts - the only ones available at the time.

    Bill



    Sent from my Galaxy Tab® E





  • 12.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    I am currently replacing the flanges on a 1905 SS upright due to this very reason. (Its mine, and is a back burner project I am g r a d u a l l y doing. The flanges are Tokiwa. The only problems I have with it is that the wings on the flanges are wider (thinner) than the originals which creates a bit if slop at the birdseye (side to side), but since there is really nothing I can do about I will need to live with it. The second issue is that the damper lever springs are heavier and stiffer than origins, but also wound opposite to the originals meaning that even if I wanted to, I cannot reuse the old springs. This issue now requires me to carve out the recess on the damper lever (originals, but reconditioned nicely). So its a bit of a job to say the least (if not less).

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Posted 15 days ago
    I'm not getting the picture on those damper springs. Mine are the double flanges. The damper lever is centered and the groove is centered. Why would it make any difference which way the coil goes as long as it tightens the coil when the damper lifts? Centering the spring seems to be just a matter of wire bending.
    Pictures?

    I don't like the slop in the birdseye. I wish there was something that could be done about that. Maybe soak them in water until they swell up and glue size. Also dry the flanges for a month in a hot box. Maybe WNG can make some that are dimensiond.  Wait that's not a word,,,

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Member
    Posted 15 days ago
    peter... are you referring to the space between the birdseye and the flange prongs on both sides ? perhaps someone with a 3 d printer can make flanges that fit better. i think schaff has some composite material flanges for older chickerings and someone else, maybe pacific piano supply ?, could fabricate,
    Supply 88 now sells action brackets for actions in grands that have the expansion problem - young chang, piano disc, wurlitzers, webers produced in certain years.

    i am not sure if it could be done but perhaps some shims could be cut to take up the space between the moving parts birdseye and the prongs, glued in and then drilled and bushed . another woodworking approach would be to make a tight fitting block to go between the prongs and then with a jig cutout the space needed for the birdseye. it would take some trial and error but once the fit was right it would be easy to make the cuts

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Slop in the birds eye: a one-off in-the-field "repair" that I've used is having a (small) bag of sequins (from Michael's) in my repinning kit. A tiny dab of glue on the birds eye, let it dry, and it serves as washer/spacer to take up the slop. If there's lots of space, use one on each birds eye.
    Not what one would use for a whole set, but for an occasional flange/birds eye it works for me.

    ------------------------------
    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Keith,

    Yes, I was flubbered by it at first, but in reversing the coil winding on the spring, it flips the side for the tiny little hole in the flange to hold the short end of the spring. Then add several thousandths to the diameter of the wire (which ultimately makes it WAY too strong) and things don't exactly fit as they should. I am using a moto-tool with a diamond burr but to gently stroke one side of the cutout in the damper lever to increase the clearance. Fortunately it works perfectly as not much more room is needed, but you can't just force it in.

    I tried to think of a solution for the slop issue (before I went ahead and pinned them all) but I could not come up with anything that was reasonable. The butts had already been restored with new hammers as well (came out of an identical piano in which I had installed a new WNG action), I was invested in keeping the parts on hand. I can live with the slop. I think what will happen is that with a little but of usage, each one will find its way to a spot it likes and pretty much stay there. Then any final hammer spacing can be accomplished with burning shanks. At least that's my plan for now.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago

    That woud have been such fun to discover as the next technician on the piano! Ruth






  • 18.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Posted 15 days ago
    Perhaps not being boiled in parafin,, the flanges will shrink (and warp) and the slop will disappear.

    Maybe the thinner damper wire on the originals cut the groove deeper and narrow. They don't have the felt pad like some?

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: 1904 Steinway N? upright

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    No, the paraffin soaked parts need to go. That's just the way it is. The Tokiwa parts assume that you are replacing everything (which of course poses little problem).

    We must remember that these parts have gone WAY PAST their design lifespan.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------