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Steinway Lyre Insallation

  • 1.  Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 12:42
    Hello All,

    Anyone have a clever technique on installing the Steinway Lyre single-handedly? Not getting any younger, and struggling with mating the plates, hammering the upper lyre block back into the locking position, while at the same time lining up and inserting the dowel supports has never been an easy one person installation.

    Has anyone ever created adjustable support dowels (or modified the existing dowels) such that these can expand from too short to snug by lengthening same via some sort of screw arrangement?

    Currently working with an old, large and heavy vintage S&S B lyre, the kind where the rear pedals are enclosed in the pedal box.

    Any and all suggestions welcome!

    Nick G

    Nick Gravagne, RPT
    Mechanical Engineering
    Nick Gravagne Products
    Strawberry, AZ 85544

  • 2.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 12:59
    Hi Nick,

    I have picked up two solutions along these lines form the irrepressible Isaac Sadigursky, RPT.

    One consist of two pieces of hardware that screw into the bottom of the keybed and present a cup to the pedal lyre support dowels (which need to be shortened for this application). They function as per your description. I believe these are available form one of the supply houses, although I could not tell you off the top of my head which one. Does someone else know?

    As for something to facilitate installing the lyre itself, Isaac recently shared with our chapter an inexpensive little pump he got from Harbor Freight. Place the inflatable part under the pedal box and it acts like another pair of hands in raising the lyre up into position.

    God bless Isaac, huh?



    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA

  • 3.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 13:08
    Hi Nick,
    Debbie Cyr does! There may even be a video.

    Jeannie Grassi
    PTG Registered Piano Technician
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  • 4.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 13:25

    I don't know if this is any different than how you do it, but this is what has worked for me.

    First, remove the dedal rods. Put the support rods in the bottom box. Lift the whole lure and get the plates to come together, but not lock it in. This gives the lyre a little wiggle room. bring the support rods into the holes in the bottom of the piano, and tap the top of the box into place. You will find that one of the support rods is longer than the other, by just a few mm. So you want put the longer one in first, and then the shorter one.

    It's still a pain the neck, but it gets the job done.

    The only other way is to put on the lyre with the piano upside down. But that creates a whole 'nother problem. lol

    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789

  • 5.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 14:03
      |   view attached
    Hi Nick -
    Just taught this class this morning to the students.  I have a great technique -
    see the attached .pdf   Woud be easier to understand if I could show you the slides, but let me know if you have any questions.
    Its one of these classes that I've taught about 20 times at conventions, and each time I say Surely no one will come cause everyone's already seen it, but its a full room each time, so I just keep teaching it.

    Debbie Cyr
    Registered Piano Technician
    508-202-2862 cell/text


  • 6.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Posted 12-10-2020 11:00
    Steinway parts not longer stocks the old interlocking leg/lyre plate or the teflon pedal bushing; at least the last time I attempted to order.

    John Ginter
    La Grange TX

  • 7.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-10-2020 12:10
    I really like Debbie's suggestion to use rubber mutes to hold up the levers.  I would like to add that once the lyre plates are together but not locked, a wedge placed under the front of the pedals helps to hold the lyre up while you work with the lyre braces.  I use an old gooseneck "emergency" tuning hammer for this.  Put the braces in the pedal box holes, Once the lyre plates are in place, slide the wedge under the pedal box and put the braces in their holes.  Then use the rubber mallet to lock the plates.

    Robert Callaghan
    Reno NV

  • 8.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-09-2020 14:26
    One thing I should probably mention is that you have to understand the locking plates have 3 positions....
    and halfway between.  
    Reinstalling the lyre requires that you find that halfway between place, where the lyre is dangling, and you need to hold it there with left hand while you install the lyre stick with the right hand.  The left hand will want to swing the bottom of the lyre toward you slightly to get the stick on.  Then swap hands to do the other lyre stick.  Works well unless you have lyre sticks that are slightly too long.

    Debbie Cyr
    Registered Piano Technician
    508-202-2862 cell/text

  • 9.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Posted 12-09-2020 16:10
    I usually prop up the lyre with the rubber mallet handle. It acts as a wedge to get just the right height.


    Jon Page

  • 10.  RE: Steinway Lyre Insallation

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-16-2020 19:11

    Hi, everyone. Hope you all are staying safe. I use Debbie Cyr's method exactly as she describes so clearly in her pdf handout.  There are two things I might add:  1) Occasionally, the tops of the lyre sticks are sanded off at an angle. Not always, but now and then someone's done it for some reason. It would be a good idea to mark with chalk or slap a small piece of masking tape on the side of the stick that faces the keyboard, for example.  Make sure the stick goes back in the same configuration, otherwise you are changing the length of the stick.  And 2) after re-installing the lyre when you think you are done, a check to make sure it is returned fully in place is to run a finger all around along the connection between the top of the lyre and the bottom of the keybed. If there is a gap, chances are the lyre is not correctly installed.  Usually it is a misplaced stick either not seated in the lyre box holes or, more likely, the top of the stick(s) is(are) not securely in their respective cutouts in the keybed.

    There is almost nothing more distracting than the lyre falling off the piano during a concert.  It's never happened to me as the tuner but I have had to go up on stage and put the lyre back on when I was in the audience. Nice to get a rare round of applause as an "invisible" member of the team.


    Joel Rappaport
    Rappaport's Piano Workshop
    Round Rock TX