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Depth of Becket

  • 1.  Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    I thought the becket should exit the tuning pin approx the thickness of the wire. I find the becket in my Yamaha C3 is approx 2mm shy of exiting the tuning pin hole.
         How deep should the becket rest in the pin to allow stability?!

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    Thomas Black
    Decatur AL
    256-350-9315
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  • 2.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Two mm in is risky. Don't try to copy it!

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 3.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    I agree. I try to get mine just barely poking out of the hole a bit before making the first turn on the coil. When it's tightened, I want it flush with the hole.

    It'll let you know if it's too short when it acts like it's holding tune, but it slips down soon afterward.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 4.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    I agree. I have the wire hanging out a couple of millimeters before I start turning the coil. I make sure that the first bend is very sharp and abrupt, and when the coil is made and installed I want the becket end exactly flush with the surface of the tuning pin. It's also important, of course, to keep squeezing the becket tight into the hole as one pulls up the slack, to prevent any curve being introduced into the becket.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 5.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    I don't like the becket to show at all. If the wire is set flush with the side, the act of creating the coil should draw it inwards a little.  I've never measured the depth of the end of the becket.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 6.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Thanks Guys,
          I just tuned a rebuilt 9' Baldwin Grand. No becket exiting the hole.

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 7.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Sorry, accidentally sent to Soon. No becket exiting the hole. Socks pulled up at angle 5-6mm from plate to bottom of coil.Pin felt like 2/0 replaced in original pin block, little on the loose side. Going back to inspect depth of becket . Piano will not hold!!!! Not even for one performance! Pins flagpoling, socks crooked, pins loose, and who knows what else!

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 8.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Forgive my ignorance but what are "socks"?

    Are many pins riding the plate holes?

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 9.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Socks....the supposedly 3 tight coils on the tuning pins.....socks 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 10.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Edited by Susan Kline 27 days ago
    That sounds dire. When you say "socks" do you mean plate bushings? Are the tuning pins too high, with the coil too far from the plate?

    Given good pinblock support, a punch with a piece of hammer shank taped to it to show the desired tuning pin height, and owners who understand the problems and are willing to pay for improvements, you could level the tuning pins.

    Newport's 1970 SD-10, rebuilt, had terrible tuning stability, but it was nothing to do with the pinblock or the stringing, it had more to do with my lack of understanding and concert experience. About the fourth concert, I realized that the rendering in the capo sectiion (with those strange fittings) was very difficult, and that I had to whack the notes a lot harder than I realized. I also changed my tuning hammer technique somewhat. I got okay at that, and then I slacked off the wire a note at a time, pulled it to the side, shoe-shined the main bearing with strips of medium emery cloth, and loaded the long grooves in the counterbearing with graphite from a 6B pencil. Incredible improvement.

    At their best, I really like the sound and touch of one of these big Baldwins, with the long Renner wippens and substantial hammers, but they can certainly be a handful in some respects.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 11.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Coils, socks, are 5-6 mm from top of plate to bottom of coil and in most cases push up above hidden becket hole too high. No tuning pin bushings. Flag poling pins. String don’t touch stringing felt in last two treble sections. Pins too loose for newly restrung piano.
    Yes, I know everything that needs to be done. A newly rebuilt piano should not contain these issues.


    Sent from my iPhone




  • 12.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    P.S. After leveling the tuning pins and tightening and pulling up the tuning pin coils, any looseness can be treated with CA glue, not much. You don't want the tuning pins seizing in that multi-layer pinblock with all that heat set glue between the layers. A little CA should go a long way in a situation like that.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 13.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 27 days ago
    Loose coils do not account for instability, just tidiness/craftsmanship.

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    Regards,

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



  • 14.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    I,too, had never measured the end of a becket until today.

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 15.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    I like the becket to exit just enough to allow the coil to be lifted against it. There's a bit of drawback as you wind the coils around the pin so I extend it thru a couple of mms I suppose. Never really measured. I've seen some short beckets slip so I definitely want to see the end it protrude just slightly so I can identify where it is. 

    David Love
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    415 407 8320





  • 16.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
      |   view attached
    These little pliers are almost exactly as wide as the tuning pin diameter.
    I ground one side of each jaw to a round contour.
    This allows a becket bend slightly acute of 90 degrees.
    The becket is just the right length, and fits very close on the pin.
    8 seconds to make the bend gives a controlled becket length and a nicely seated becket when I neaten the coils after installing the string.

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 17.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    Thanks Ed, but not exactly clear about grinding one side of each jaw to a round contour. 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 18.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    The jaws were originally flat on the sides, only allowing a scant 90 degree bend. I rounded the outer contour, as shown in the photo, so that I could bend a little further.
    Needle nose pliers typically have a rounded outer contour, but they are tapered. These pliers were exactly the right width, so I can insert the wire across the jaw and not be faced with the deep existential question of exactly where in the taper of a needle nose should I make the bend.
    When I have 228 little bends to make, I don't want to spend neuro-chemicals making 228 decisions. If possible I want my tools to do that job.

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 19.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    Thanks Ed,
         I completely understand. 
                Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 20.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    While we're on the topic, I'd be interested in hearing about different methods of measuring the wire length for the coils.
    I've always laid string across my fingers and that has worked well for me (with some intuitive compensation for wire length and size); I've had to adjust over the years as my fingers have gotten thicker-along with the rest of me.
    Other methods?

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 21.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    Ed, you lazy bum, you need to make those decisions to keep your neurons firing!  🤣

    Actually I like your idea and have a spare set of pliers that would probably do the trick which I can grind as you show.  Though typically I have always made the bend right in the tuning pin, your bend appears sharper which may in fact improve stability. I have had a few travel out on me requiring replacement. Arrrgh!

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 22.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    One good point of altering pliers for this job is that one would no longer need to dent one's aging left thumb to make a very sharp bend in the wire. Make the very sharp turn, then insert the wire into the short dummy tuning pin, and use the crank to make the rest of the coil as usual.

    Jon Page years ago sent me a lovely little jig he designed to make the length of wire completely uniform so all the coils end up the same.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 23.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 26 days ago
    Susan, the tool is called the Becket Tool. It's in the archives.

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    Regards,

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



  • 24.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 25 days ago
    Thomas,

    You should also contact Jon Page and obtain some of his counterbearing lubricant. I think it will help you not only on this Baldwin but on all your other high friction challenges. Works great!

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 25.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 25 days ago
    Thanks peter,
              I've been using a combination of Pro Lube and Pro Tec.

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 26.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 25 days ago
    Thomas,

    I used to do exactly the same. Then I tried Jon's stuff...leaves Protek in the dust. I highly recommend it.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 27.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 24 days ago
    Ok thanks

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 28.  RE: Depth of Becket

    Posted 25 days ago
    Functionally, it depends on the size of the becket hole versus the string diameter. The closer they are in size, the less becket penetration is needed, since friction will do the job. If the hole is too big for the wire, it will need to go through and have a little Wurlitzer style kink in the end to hold. This is common with harpsichords, where the becket hole is enormous compared with the wire diameters.

    But generally I make it flush. I use a coil crank, holding the tuning pin with a glove protected hand - with additional leather sleeves over my thumb and index finger. Put the wire through, hold pin with crank at enough angle to make for some friction, pull pin/crank until the end of the wire just barely shows, thumb on wire, make a quick crank. I learned that way 38 years ago, and it has served for many a restring.

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    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    http://fredsturm.net
    http://www.artoftuning.com
    "We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same." - Carlos Casteneda
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