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18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

  • 1.  18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-18-2020 16:29
    It's tough to be stuck at home with no work, but it gets a little better if you look at this as an opportunity to become a better technician. Here are 18 ways to use time well and come out on the other end of a pandemic a more organized and competent tech.

    1. Clean out your home-service tool bag. Take everything out, throw away the little bits of felt and pieces of string floating around, give it a solid vacuum, and then reorganize the tools you put back in making sure each one has a designated place.
    2. Refill your liquids. Don't wait until you're out in the field on your last drop of protek! Make sure your glues are fresh, cleaning and polishing stock is filled, and lubricants are topped off.
    3. Work on your website. There's ALWAYS a way to make it better. Update graphics, photos, and verbiage to make sure your site is coming up on search engines.
    4. Catch up on reading your favorite Journal series that you haven't had time for in the past six months...
    5. Deep clean and detail your car! This is always on the bottom of my list when I've been out on a long day of tuning, but you'd be surprised at how your quality of life increases when you ride around in a clean car with no protein bar wrappers and old receipts flying around when you roll down the windows!
    6. Go through the pile of old tools laying in your shop. Which ones should be thrown out, and which could you pass on to a starving new technician who is building up a toolbox?
    7. Put together a chapter technical presentation so that the next time your president calls you up for ideas you can be ready.
    8. Practice string splicing. You don't need a piano to work on knots, and if you get comfortable with it now, you'll be far less frazzled when you need it in the field!
    9. Practice setting an aural temperament on your home piano and then tune it. It's probably been years since that thing got any attention...
    10. Write up the TTT or Journal article you've had on your mind but didn't have time to pursue.
    11. Organize your punchings box that has been completely scrambled after one too many sharp turns in the car. Find a new box that will keep them separated permanently so you never have to sort it again.
    12. Clean out your client contact list and make sure you have a plan for rescheduling the March appointments that were canceled so that you don't get overwhelmed when it's time to go back to work.
    13. Read the piano books that you've had stacked up on your bookcase.
    14. Learn about the latest products from piano manufacturers. What are the differences between a Kawai GL and an RX?
    15. Change the bag in your portable vacuum cleaner. It's probably the reason your vacuum is overheating and making a shrill whistling sound.
    16. Make a better system for taxes. Are you familiar with Quickbooks?
    17. Become a Dammp-Chaser installer by taking their online test and add that skill to your website.
    18. Start practicing for the RPT technical exam. You probably have most of the material laying around already, and preparing for the time allotments will make you a more competent technician in the field.

    How are you passing the time? Post your ideas here!


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    Hannah Beckett
    Reston VA
    910-231-3595
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  • 2.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-18-2020 17:53
    Nice, thanks! Any ideas on number 11? My punchings keep getting mixed up no matter how many times I sort them. I've just learned to live with it, but it would be nice for a fix. Ideas?

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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (805) 315-8050
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 3.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-18-2020 18:03
    i use the Festool systainers and for the punchings i have the little organizers which fit inside the systainer and then the lid has a foam insert which keeps each and every punching in its own little organizer
    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 4.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-18-2020 18:12
      |   view attached
    forgot the picture

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 5.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-18-2020 22:53
    I lined the top of mine with cheap felt. Works well.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 6.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-18-2020 18:47
    Yes. I use a plastic punching box, and sometimes packages come with a thin layer of foam plastic, not brittle like styrofoam, about 1/4" thick. I cut a piece to fit in between the lid and the tops of the compartments. It ends up with impressions from the compartment sides on it but the lid can still snap shut.

    Some thin punchings still manage to sneak into the neighboring boxes, but not so many it's hard to put them back where they belong.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 7.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-18-2020 23:14
    I use one of these. I found this pic on the Jendco Safety Supply website. Think I found mine at Harbor Freight. Top level holds balance rail punchings, felt & paper. Bottom level holds front rail punchings, felt & paper. Compartments big enough to hold more than you would even need in the field of every available thickness. It lives quite casually in my car and has never had a problem with leakage from one compartment to another.

    Akro-Mils® Portable Storage Organizer 46 Compartments 15"L x 3 1/4"H x 11 5/6"W - 06115AM

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    Geoff Sykes, RPT
    Los Angeles CA
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  • 8.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-19-2020 00:06
    I intend to practice more bagpipes which also helps with social distancing. 😜🤣

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    Maggie Jusiel
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
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  • 9.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-19-2020 06:32
    Spot on Maggie! You'll have zero worries of virus transfer from or to me!!!

    PS:  Q:  What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?

            A:  No one cries when you cut up a bagpipe!

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 10.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-19-2020 06:28
    Geoff - I have FOUR of those exact "punching boxes"! One is for punchings, but I also keep an array of repair parts (springs, etc.) in others. They have worked very well for me also! I think I found mine at a local lumber yard/hardware store.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 11.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-19-2020 11:39
    Excellent Post Hannah!  Love your ideas.  We need to all stay positive!  Each of the things you mention add to the quality of life during (and after) this time.  Work smarter ... :)  Interestingly we have seen a spike in work over the past few days as technicians are preparing to stay busy with shop work.  Action work done in you home can be a great income while you're unable to be on the road.... some university work may be able to be done while closures are in place.


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    Melanie Brooks
    Brooks, Ltd. Piano Products LLC
    Uncasville CT
    860-848-6605
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  • 12.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2020 21:41
    Here's another revolutionary idea to try. We could... wait for it... actually play the piano! That is the point of caring for them, after all.

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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (805) 315-8050
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 13.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2020 23:05
    I keep my punchings in 1/2 sized sandwich ziplocks and carry those in a small tupperware. I am usually just using a few  smaller paper sizes, I spread out about 20 at time of each size on the tupperware lid which can sit on a part of the keyboard I'm not working on yet within easy reach. I always had trouble digging punchings out of the little cubbies in the cubical storage boxes, I've found it easier to pick them up from a flat surface and there's no wasted space in the storage.
    Almost all the pianos I work on are fairly new so I don't do that much leveling and when I do the adjustments they are pretty small.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 14.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Posted 03-20-2020 00:01
    Might I also suggest streaming some free virtual concerts, operas, or other performances? Here's a list of upcoming free livestreams put together by NPR: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown

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    Andrea Hackbarth
    Palmer AK
    907-435-7697
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  • 15.  RE: 18 Ways To Get Happy About Being Stuck At Home

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-20-2020 16:24
    9. Practice setting an aural temperament on your home piano and then tune it. It's probably been years since that thing got any attention...

    Here's a variation on this: Find a tuning mentor who will join you on FaceTime/Skype for a tutoring session. Not only will you be working on your own piano to practice aural skills, but you'll be learning new internet skills and getting one-on-one help.

    Richard West


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    Richard West
    Oro Valley AZ
    402-570-4409
    440richard@gmail.com
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