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Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

  • 1.  Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-10-2019 20:08
    I've been asked to tune a Harpsichord for a local school in the next couple days, and it has oblong pins.  I have a square wrench, but nothing that will fit the oblong pins.  Obviously I can order a new wrench, which I will do, but I won't have it before the tuning is needed.
    Is there something I can rig up that will work?  Has anyone found a local pick-up tool that will fit the oblong pins?  Maybe a certain size socket?
    I have an agraffe wrench that I will play with modifying in the meantime.

    Any thoughts would help.

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    Dave Foster, RPT
    Waterford MI
    248-431-8804
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  • 2.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-10-2019 20:57
    I would recommend stalling on scheduling the tuning until you have the proper tool , check Harpsichord Clearing House
    https://www.harpsichord.com/Store/store_frmset.html

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    Martin Snow
    Boston MA
    617-543-1030
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  • 3.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-10-2019 21:10
    You might be able to get one from Amazon.com with 1-day shipping.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS
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  • 4.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-10-2019 22:33
      |   view attached
    I just poked around the net and couldn't find an oblong one. Maybe you could fabricate something by making a slot in a piece of metal (brass?). If they're like the ones in this pic they taper opposite of piano pins. I suspect any socket fitting will chew them up.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 5.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-10-2019 23:42
    Buying one is your best option, but that means no profit on the one tuning.

    For making one, you could try small diameter pipe, place one end on an anvil and hammer until the slot matches the tuning pin head. Then insert a piece of wood as a stop.
    -chris

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    Troubles are Bubbles, and they just float away.
    chernobieffpiano.com
    grandpianoman@protonmail.com
    Knoxville, TN
    865-986-7720
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  • 6.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 09:27
    Just checking----you are sure there isn't one with the harpsichord? Sometimes there is one that is meant to stay with the instrument.

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    Cindy Strehlow
    Urbana, IL
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  • 7.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 00:17
    Hi Dave,

    1. It may take a few tries but drill a hole in some round rod.  Heat it up with a torch and smack it until it's oblong.  It it's a good fit, case harden it with salamoniac found at welding supply houses.  Weld that to another piece of rod stock and you're off to the call with a tuning lever.

    2. take a tuning tip, and fill it with epoxy.  Grease an oblong harpsichord tuning pin and slip it in the epoxy filled tip before the glue hardens.  Once the glue hardens remove the tip and you have a one time usage tuning lever tip.  Be gentle.  The epoxy may not hold up very well.  Harpsichord t-pins aren't held as tight as pianos.

    3. You're not able to pull this stuff out of thin air.  Tell the customer you need more lead time for such a request.  Oh wait, there's an aerosol that tunes harpsichords.  Just spray it on and  ............

    4. Amazon Prime.

    5.  Drill two holes in some flat bar.  Space them just far enough apart that you can connect the two together using a cut off disk with a Dremel.  With the appropriate size you should end up with an oblong hole.  Repeat that a few more times on a few more pieces of flat bar.  Match the holes using the tuning pin as an index and bend it all to accommodate the clearances you need.  Glue or bolt them all together and use some grey duct tape to soften up the user interface end of it so your hand doesn't get raw.  Wear a red and green flannel shirt for the call and pretend you're from the Republic of Maine.

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    Larry Fisher
    Owner, Chief Grunt, Head Hosehead
    Vancouver WA
    360-256-2999
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  • 8.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 07:20
    Larry, sounds more like something from Red Green. <g>

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 9.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 08:12
    The hammer is only $35 from HCH

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    Martin Snow
    Boston MA
    617-543-1030
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  • 10.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 08:45
    <<The hammer is only $35 from HCH>>

    But the learning, the new use for duct tape, the triumph over defenseless innocent metals, the business card saying Republic of Maine -- priceless.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 11.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 10:24
    Do you know how to replace a string on a pin with no becket hole? Do you have replacement wire? Consider getting Ed Kottick's book for reference.

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 12.  RE: Need a Harpsichord wrench idea

    Posted 02-11-2019 11:31
    Ed,  was going to mention this also  but thought i'd keep it to just  the hammer choice! , likely if  oblong  historic pins that they're also  not drilled for becket.

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    Martin Snow
    Boston MA
    617-543-1030
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