Harpsichord

  • 1.  shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 09:32
      |   view attached
    No thread, antique-type tuning pins.  What's the best way to shim loose ones.  On pianos I've always just used a small strip of cloth-backed sand paper--not lining the entire hole--but these threadless pins slip out again.  Ugh.

    Then I tried some veneer strips-they're not so great, either.

    Help!
     
    Please!
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    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    near Peoria, Illinois


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  • 2.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Member
    Posted 11-17-2011 09:43

    How loose are these?  Usually antique style tapered pins don't get so loose, and can just be pounded in a bit deeper.

    Otherwise, usually we just use slips of lightweight paper the height of the hole, working out how much of the cylinder circumference they need to cover for the desired tightness.  Remember that the pins only need to be tight enough to hold under tension, which is NOTHING like piano tuning pins.  Usually a tap deeper with the tuning hammer is sufficient to do the trick.


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    Anne Acker
    Anne Acker Early Keyboards
    Savannah GA

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  • 3.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 09:53

    Anne!  I'm glad you said that!  That's what I do, but wasn't sure if that was a "no-no".  I feel better now! Thanks :>)
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    Paul T. Williams RPT
    Piano Technician
    University of Nebraska
    Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
    pwilliams4@unl.edu
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  • 4.  RE: shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 10:53
    I use acid free rag paper, learned that from Bill Dowd, play with how much you need around the pin for desired tightness. They don't need to be that tight. Antique pins are usually tapered so it depends on how deep they are in the hole. ---Dave On Nov 17, 2011, at 8:32 AM, Barbara Richmond wrote: > > > No thread, antique-type tuning pins. What's the best way to shim loose ones. On pianos I've always just used a small strip of cloth-backed sand paper--not lining the entire hole--but these threadless pins slip out again. Ugh. > > Then I tried some veneer strips-they're not so great, either. > > Help! > > Please! > ------------------------------------------- > Barbara Richmond, RPT > near Peoria, Illinois > > > ------------------------------------------- > >


  • 5.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 11:42
    Barbara,
    I can't tell from your picture if this is the case for your pins, but some I have come across are not actually tapered nicely along their whole length, but rather are cylindrical with a fairly sharp taper added at the bottom. Your pins could be like that - the taper is rather extreme at the bottom. The result is that the tapping solution doesn't really work. The tapered bottom doesn't contact the wood, and the rest is just contacting that much less wood than it would without the taper (there is less of it), and adding a bit more surface doesn't do a lot.
    So if shimming doesn't work for you (though it should with the right material and thickness), a change of pin might be in order (if it is as I describe - use a micrometer and see). Sorry, but I don't know a source for good tapered pins. I don't know what the current Zuckermann pins are like. (Some of the early ones, from the 1970s, were as I describe). I guess another possibility is swabbing the hole with CA, to size it smaller.

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    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
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  • 6.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Member
    Posted 11-17-2011 12:22
    Good point about the pins being possibly too cylindrical, Fred.

    Many of the pins available are too slick..

    You all need to know about The Instrument Workshop, evidently, which is the U.S. source for materials, but the owner is currently in the hospital, so my new front pin order last week went to Vogel in Germany.

    Shimming should work fine.



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    Anne Acker
    Anne Acker Early Keyboards
    Savannah GA
    912-704-3048
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  • 7.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 15:04
    Thank you, all, for your responses.

    I took a look at the pins--the taper is only at the bottom. 

    It only seems to be a problem in the bass--is that normal?  I tap them down, tune and then go back a little later and they've gotten loose again.  Actually, I just received new pins from Zuckermann--they're beefier, with the hole already drilled, but they aren't tapered the whole length of the pin, either--so I guess I won't bother with them.

    I'll try some different shimming material, etc.

    I wonder if swabbing with CA would help in this big-humidity-swings environment.

    Thanks, again.

    Sigh...

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    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    near Peoria, Illinois


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  • 8.  RE:shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 11-17-2011 14:33
    Just to add a little more detail, maybe 25 years ago I bought a Zuckermann Flemish kit instrument (owner had abandoned the project unfinished) to use as a rental instrument. I completed it, and found that the some of the pins didn't want to hold. I would tap them down, and they were still very unpredictable, would simply give way entirely while I was tuning (which isn't fun when you have becketless pins, and now you have to fuss with that as well). I was also perturbed by the difficulty in removing pins to replace a string: they were not overly tight, but getting them all the way out of the hole was a real chore. It didn't make sense, since the pins were supposed to be tapered. But they weren't, as I found out when I checked. They were cylindrical with about 3/4" of tapering at the very bottom, and were very slick surfaced as well.

    My response was to drill out the holes and replace all the pins with zither pins, which has worked well for all the ensuing years.

    But the bad taste left in my mouth is still there, compounded by some other Zuckermann quirks of the time. This is around the time Wally Zuckermann sold the business to David Way, who later called himself D. Jacques Way. There was a lot of rhetoric coming from the company, all about its wonderful "authenticity." But the authentic stuff seemed to be mostly things that really didn't matter and were just annoying and troublesome, like becketless pins (that were pseudo-tapered), registers without levers to shift them, and jacks without screws. On the other hand, things that actually mattered, like the tongue design, were a quirky modernistic abomination. A standard, historical tongue has a hinge pin of some sort and a spring (boar bristle). The Zuckermann tongue "cleverly" combines pivoting and springing, so that the pivot IS the spring. In its original incarnation, it meant the spring would give before or while the plectrum bent, giving a spongy, inexact feel to the pluck, and requiring more key dip. They later added a couple strips of plastic to the molding of the jack body, limiting that springy action of the tongue, so it is better now, but I have to ask why in the world a company that had "seen the light" of historical authenticity would find the need to do that kind of reinvention.

    End of rant. Bottom line, though, I suggest you might consider following my example by converting to zither pins. It might be the simplest solution in the long run.

    -------------------------------------------
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico
    fssturm@unm.edu
    "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." - Einstein
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  • 9.  RE: shmming tuning pins

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 5 days ago
    Hi Fred,

    Well, ten years later, here we are-I was doing a search- low and behold, deja vu!  This particular Flemish Zuckermann is coming back into my shop and I want to convert it to zither pins. Do you recall any of the details for converting?  The poor dear is suffering & the owner hates the pins it has.

    Thanks!

    Barb

    As Don said, "On to the next Z-box!"   :-)

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    Barbara Richmond, RPT
    Bloomington, Illinois
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