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older Baldwin hammer tails

  • 1.  older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-24-2019 20:02
      |   view attached
    Hi all,
    A question for those who've had experience with older Baldwin grands. The piano is a 1938 L, and the angle of the tails, which had been replaced about 20 years ago, were about 20º off from parallel with the back checks. It should be clearly visible in the photo. All of the hammers up until the 0º in middle were like this.

    They were not contacting the back checks properly. Hard to believe I got them to check. I've had one suggestion that older Baldwins may in fact have had hammers like this (and that the replacements were just duplicates of the originals). Any idea?

    thanks,
    Scott

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-24-2019 20:51
    Improper installation. The installer either didn't have the tools to square the tails, the knowledge, or ambition.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-24-2019 22:37
    Jon,
    That was my assumption. I figured that I should investigate in case I was wrong.
    Here's a profile of hammer #1. While I'm not a hammer expert, the tail doesn't look terribly well executed to my eye.
    hammer1.jpg

    --
    Scott Cole, Registered Piano Technician and Doctor of Music
    Serving Southern Oregon and Northern California
    (541)601-9033







  • 4.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 09:42
    The owner should be informed that this will eventually contribute to premature backcheck wear as well as possible damage to pinning, if not corrected. (You have probably already done this) Not a really huge job, but several hours altogether.

    Pwg

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



  • 5.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 11:14
    Peter,
    The piano is way past that: worn backchecks, loose pinning.The customer was informed.

    My job was not to make it perfect, but more of a "triage" regulation: The keys were so low that there was zero aftertouch. Get the keys to the right height and make the thing work. That I did.

    --
    Scott Cole, Registered Piano Technician and Doctor of Music
    Serving Southern Oregon and Northern California
    (541)601-9033







  • 6.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 12:07
    To square off the tails, prop them up high with a straight edge. Use a belt sander lightly while bracing the shanks. For a brace, I use foam pipe insulation on a pipe or dowel.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 18:27
    That would have been my next question.
    Thanks,
    Scott




  • 8.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 23:44
    Jon said:
    Use a belt sander lightly while bracing the shanks
    Are you referring to an Erwin mini-belt sander or something else?

    ------------------------------
    David Skolnik [RPT]
    Hastings-on-Hudson NY
    914-231-7565
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 16:35
    Are those original hammers? I've never seen an original Baldwin done this way. 

    There are several imported pianos that do it now -- they angle the backcheck to match the angle of the hammers -- but it is definitely not recommended. 

    ddf

    --
    Delwin D Fandrich
    Fandrich Piano Company, Inc.
    Piano Design and Manufacturing Consulting Services -- Worldwide
    6939 Foothill Ct SW -- Olympia, WA 98512 -- USA
    Phone 360.515.0119 -- Mobile 360.388.6525





  • 10.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 18:45
    But wait! I'm not sure there's enough moulding left to correct these hammers.
    They have already been thinned on the wrong side. To correct that you'll need to cut far into the bass corners of the moulding.
    You may need to replace some of the wood that was tapered off on the wrong side. Medium visc. CA glue to the rescue.
    Or just turn the backcheck heads to match what's there.
    More photos might help.

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-25-2019 18:54
    Hi,

    Interesting thread.

    During the period that S&S was having some serious plate-height issues,
    Ken Sloane came up with a whole procedure for trimming and lengthening
    hammer tails as part of a larger project of compensating for the
    presenting problems related to plate height. It's a process that I've
    used (when necessary) many times. The first time through can be tough
    sledding; but, in the right circumstances it can be a real help.

    I seem to remember that the process was eventually written up and
    published in the Journal; but do not remember when that might have been.
    Maybe Ken has some idea around that; or, might be willing to share the
    process here.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    On 1/25/2019 3:45 PM, Ed Sutton via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.
    >
    > But wait! I'm not sure there's enough moulding left to correct these hammers.
    > They have already been thinned on the wrong side. To correct that you'll need to cut far into the bass corners of the moulding.
    > You may need to replace some of the wood that was tapered off on the wrong side. Medium visc. CA glue to the rescue.
    > Or just turn the backcheck heads to match what's there.
    > More photos might help.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Ed Sutton
    > ed440@me.com
    > (980) 254-7413
    > ------------------------------
    > -------------------------------------------
    > Original Message:
    > Sent: 01-25-2019 16:34
    > From: Delwin Fandrich
    > Subject: older Baldwin hammer tails
    >
    > Are those original hammers? I've never seen an original Baldwin done this way.
    >
    > There are several imported pianos that do it now -- they angle the backcheck to match the angle of the hammers -- but it is definitely not recommended.
    > ddf
    > --
    > Delwin D FandrichFandrich Piano Company, Inc.Piano Design and Manufacturing Consulting Services -- Worldwide6939 Foothill Ct SW -- Olympia, WA 98512 -- USAPhone 360.515.0119 -- Mobile 360.388.6525
    >
    >
    > Original Message------
    >
    > Hi all,
    > A question for those who've had experience with older Baldwin grands. The piano is a 1938 L, and the angle of the tails, which had been replaced about 20 years ago, were about 20?? off from parallel with the back checks. It should be clearly visible in the photo. All of the hammers up until the 0?? in middle were like this.
    >
    > They were not contacting the back checks properly. Hard to believe I got them to check. I've had one suggestion that older Baldwins may in fact have had hammers like this (and that the replacements were just duplicates of the originals). Any idea?
    >
    > thanks,
    > Scott
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Scott Cole, RPT
    > rvpianotuner.com
    > Talent, OR
    > (541-601-9033
    > ------------------------------
    >
    >
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  • 12.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 08:11
    For something like this it's simpler than adding a hammer tail.
    Just glue on a few layers of overlapping veneer to fill the space needed, then round them off with the sander.
    You can remove them from the stack and use a Spurlock tail-arcing jig, or leave them on the stack and do it faster like Jon Page says: support them with a board or long hammer shank clamp (a la Spurlock) and shape them with a belt sander (a regular hand-held belt sander, not the little mini-sander). It's scary at first, but really not hard. Just eyeball it and lightly kiss the tails with the sander with the belt traveling down along the lengths of the tails.

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 09:51
    Appreciate the clarification re: belt sander, but would also appreciate more specific dimensions of tool.  I'll try to look them up later, but I wouldn't want to use the variety I currently have.

    As to tail shape, I'm frankly confused by the photos.  The one that shows the mis-angled tail appears different from all the others.  As best as i can see, that one was aggressively coved, and the tail appears genuinely thin, but none of the others do.  Based upon the photo of #1, I'd say that Scott could sand (which ever method) and slightly relieve 'bump'.  That would allow hammers to check higher without rubbing on the way up.  He is surprised that they check as well as they do, but when the basics are right (check to tail interface), miracles can happen

    ------------------------------
    David Skolnik [RPT]
    Hastings-on-Hudson NY
    914-231-7565
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 09:55
    Hi Scott, Just taking some time to go through the postings..
    If the hammer assemblies and the back checks are in good enough shape,  you may square the back  checks to the tails.
    I have done that myself a few times and have (so far) not seen any problem being caused by that.
    Question to colleagues;  is that an option and if not, why no?
    Peter


    ------------------------------
    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 11:31
    A back check which is angled to match the tail nudges the hammer over a bit on check. Over time, this will wear the bushings. The only reason for angling is time savings = cost at manufacture. Square to the shank is best.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 13:19
    Hi Petrus,
    Squaring the backchecks to the tails was the solution in this case for those hammers that wouldn't check any other way. I did tell the owner that it would cause undue wear to the flange. I don't really have the experience yet to properly re-shape the tails properly myself. I'd rather not start on a paying customer's piano...

    Just to clarify: these were not the original hammers. Hung about 20 years ago. The question is: did the tech simply duplicate what was there? Maybe he
    did angle them--but made a mistake and turned them upside down or something when doing it. Then, realizing his mistake and not wanting to buy and bore new hammers (or admit the mistake), simply put them on, thinking no one would notice as long as he could get them to check somehow. Perhaps he assumed that he would be the only tech to work on the piano for the foreseeable future. At the time, he might have been right, but not anymore.

    This would seem to be the kind of job that would best be performed on some other piano with hammers that are scheduled for replacement and thus expendable, or perhaps my own piano. I do own a grand that I may hang new hammers on--that would be a good place to try these skills. The realistic option in this case (considering the customer's budget and motivations) is to simply work with what's there while explaining the ramifications. The hammer pinning was pretty loose anyway. Just one problem of this old grand. The hammer job in general was not well done--many of the hammers were poorly bored, with obviously deviating angles.


    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: older Baldwin hammer tails

    Posted 01-26-2019 14:22
    When ordering hammers, I get them without the cove. Many times, the cove is too deep for proper tail dressing.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------