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Tying English hitch loops

  • 1.  Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 09:18
    English (or French, or high helix) hitch loops.  Anyone have a reasonably efficient way to make these loops.  Yeah, yeah, I know about Schaff's tool, which, though I can kind of get to work, with modifications, twists one leg very close to snap-itude.  I found a video by Mark Cerisano  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w1yan1fE3E  which has another approach which I used to come up with my own tool. But for multiple, Chickering style tenors, where you need a lot of them, Mark's technique and my version, still take a very long time to do in bulk, and the results are not terribly consistent.

    I have actually ditched the high helix loop and just done a single german loop on the last Chickering, but still, would like to beat this bugger...pisses me off when I can't figure something out like this...

    Anyone have something up their sleeve they want to share?

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 09:30
    I think I'd prefer a video from Mapes.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes
    www.lacrossepianotuning.com
    ljmesserly@gmail.com
    928-899-7292
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 09:36
    good luck on that. Mapes has been singularly unwilling to provide any information regarding their products that I have been able to discern.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 11:03
    Jim-
    Maybe....
    Holding the wire with two hands, put it behind the looping pin, cross and swap hands, crossing the wire to make a 90 degree angle where it crosses, each  V leg 45 degrees to the axis of the crank. Turn the crank with a third hand (teenager?) while maintaining tension on each V leg of the wire, watching the helix take shape and adjusting tension and angles to form helix as neatly as possible. When long enough, pull the sounding length of the wire straight out in line with the axis of the crank and pull the short end 90 degrees to the long wire the form the little coil.
    You will have to deal with some springing in the wire, less so if the length is open or long. (You'll see what I mean!)
    Decades ago I saw a device for this in a harpsichord builder's shop, powered by a foot-controlled sewing machine motor.
    Piano wire will need something stronger.
    You also may find YouTube videos on making piano bass strings showing this maneuver on a string lathe.

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-12-2019 12:23
    or French or High Helix Hitch Loops

    A photo of these hitch loops would be good - they say "a photo is worth a thousand words"
    I agree.
    When I restrung my 1875 fish-tail Broadwood small bichord Grand I used a home made tool which gave consistently identical English Broadwood hitch loops.Twice round the pin, three coils round itself, bend up toward the loop, cut off. Done. 
    Michael   UK





  • 6.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 14:06
    Nailed this sucker!   Thanks to both Mark Cerisano and Mark Adams.  Mark  C linked above and Mark A linked me to this excellent but way too expensive, fishing leader tool Du-bro E/Z twist.

    In setting up Mark Cersisano's idea, I did not realize that the angles that the wires are forced into are really important.  Also I did not like having to press the loop into the tool, as it can tend to buckle the twists...but it was a good start...thanks Mark C.

    Then Mark Adams' link to the fishing tool made the necessary angles clear.  And made clear that you want to exert pulling pressure as you turn

    This works...with scrap from the scrap bin.  Video below shows the new entire process including forming the barrel as Ed Sutton suggested



    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 14:54
    Jim-
    Nice tool.
    Have you tried just changing the alignment of the drill to the V, so that the long wire is in the axis of rotation to make the closing coil.?
    There may be no need to switch to the coil looping dowel

    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 15:43
    Man, this group think works!

    Ed...you are quite right.  After forming the twists as in the video, leave the brass rod and everything else connected as during the twist, bend towards the flag length another 45 deg so. The twists will now be coming off the jig 90 deg to the short length of wire. Continue using the drill to twist the barrels.  I'll re-do the video at some point to complete the demonstration.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-12-2019 18:00
    It is important when describing the Hitch-pin Loop to give the correct name. How,or why, the name became known as the English Hitch-pin Loop . . . I don't know. In reality these videos all refer to the Helix - or, even more properly, the Double Helix hitch loop. In the Helix only one of the two wires would exhibit the Helix format. In the Double Helix both wires are twisted helically. This latter, as demonstrated in these video clips, is the most difficult format to get right. The tool, as demonstrated, is most effective and I truly commend it. To create an evenly spaced Double Helix in Roslau Blue is one thing - to create a Double Helix in Brass for a Harpsichord is, very definitely, another! One has to be able to do both to perfection. Then there's the other Hitch-pin Loop - the Double Broadwood Hitch-loop. This is much simpler for it is merely 'twice-round-the-Hitch-pin-thrice-round-itself ' - with the tail-end pointing towards the loop and cut off at 3/16" or so. I have made a simple tool for this. Historically, at one point in Broadwoods' glorious history, one of the stringers would end the Double Helix with a double loop-back - creating the appearance of a figure-of-eight effect at the string-end of the Double Helix.      Michael    UK.





  • 10.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 21:51
    Jim,

    NICE job. This is precisely the setup what I envisioned when I strung my Chickering 121 a couple years ago, but I didn't have the tooling capability to make it.  I ended up using my old Hale loop maker to do it, though it required about 50-75 trial attempts to figure out how to do it. Not fun. Yours would be fun.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 22:00
    Actually no real metal working machinery is necessary. I cut the grooves first with a hack saw, then widened them with a cutoff wheel on my foredom tool. Same with the brass rod...hack saw and cutoff wheel...the cutoff wheel is a dremel wheel...prehistoric man...like the rest of this obsolete piano machine.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 22:12
    Trying to remember exactly what the Schaff machine looks like but would it be possible to cut the V grooves into the anvil of that? Seems like with that set up and the hand crank, one would have more control over the number of twists and overall length without measuring every time.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-13-2019 12:19
    Very nice tool indeed, Jim. Much less expensive than that fishing tool! Well made too. I like those pliers of yours for making the initial loop - you called them: 'Beading Pliers'? I must get some. Also your 'Foredom Tool' - what's that? I noticed there are two tapped holes in the alloy block but you only use one of them. What is the 2nd. one for? Now I must make one of these tools and must source a lump of alloy - it's about 2" square x 1/2" thick? Where does the orange coloured tightening handle come from? This will be a very useful tool when restringing Fortepianos which use brass strings up to 1mm thick (0.039") I guess those slots must take up to about 0.055" - I don't know about Harpsichord brass strings though? What is a High Helix winding? Congrats!   Michael   UK

    ------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 12:23
    Jim,

    Like Michael, I too am impressed with what you've come up with, and also am curious if it can be used on (considerably smaller diameter) harpsichord wire.

    Thanks,

    Alan

    ------------------------------
    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-13-2019 14:10
    Not sure Alan, about the harpichord. I don't have any harsichord wire here...if you have some scrap, send it to me. I'd be happy to try and/or see if the grooves have to be smaller for really light gauge wire.  Smallest I have is 12g piano wire.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 17:28
    I don't think it would work with harpsichord wire. Maybe with brass. 

    The wire doesn't have enough stiffness to stay in the grooves. Part of how this works is the wire fighting back, resisting the twist and also resisting being pulled forward out of the grooves. It might be possible to create a 90 degree feeding device for harpsichord wire, but I think you would need to have the ability to compress and create friction as the wire is fed.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them." Coco Chanel






  • 17.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-15-2019 12:35
    Fred - those grooves are covered by that revolving plate when the tool is in use. But I agree that, apart from thin Roslau, H'chord string can be very malleable and likely to not conform with the requirements needed for making a successful double-helix hitch loop. My wooden helix hitch loop tool for H'chord use, uses leather pads in the clamps to exert the necessary friction required. Maybe this approach can be adopted in Jim's tool for H'chord double-helix hitch loops?  But what of the Fortepiano strings using English Iron type 'B' when forming a double-helix hitch loop? Maybe I'd simply use Broadwood double hitch loops instead (and hang the quenseconces!)  Michael   UK

    ------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 16:07
    The pliers Jim used are, I believe, round/concave jawed, used mostly for jewelry. Here's a source. They also come in stepped versions.

    Thanks, Jim, for that tip as well. I hadn't though how much that would improve on round nose pliers for the purpose. Available right here in my back yard (Rio Grande Jewelry supply), though it's easier for me just to order on line despite the proximity.

    Take a look at all the pliers these guys carry, along with cutting tools, abrasives, etc., etc. It's a good supply house to bookmark, along with places like MicroMark and Lee Valley.
    Fred Sturm
    fssturm@unm.edu
    www.artoftuning.com
    http://fredsturm.net
    "Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." -Gustav Mahler






  • 19.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-13-2019 17:38
    Bradley Snook put me on to these pliers, and I really like them for this purpose. The pair I'm using is stepped.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-14-2019 16:12
    Hello Fred - Thanks for the info on those pliers. I was in the process of ordering a pair from your back yard merchant (RioGrande) when I discovered the postal charges doubled the cost at the very least. So I have ordered them on eBay UK - free post thrown in - for £6.50 total.
    These Hitch Loops comprise many minefields. The correct name is one and the efficiency of getting the same result is another. The third aspect is in making a H'chord or F'piano hitch loop in more malleable strings they use than the Roslau Blue Steel of the Piano.
    Correct names:
    Double-helix (the one illustrated in the Video) he calls it the French hitch loop.
    English Broadwood double hitch loop: (twice round the hitch pin, thrice round itself and the tail bent towards the loop and cut off.
    There are many other hitch loops as illustrated in Hubbards Catalogue on p.3 - unfortunately these are not named!!
    Broadwood were used to use felt-cloth sleeves to their covered strings as they went over the Bridge (what that did to the tonal structure I don't know) For this they used heavier gauge bridge pins and they protruded further.    Michael  UK

    ------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-12-2019 23:10
    Ted Sambell found a 19th century broken and discarded machine for doing this. He rescued and repaired it, and it ended up in the Banff shop. Many photos and his explanation are in his memoirs, 98% of which have been handed to the Guild Foundation, and the other 2% of which I REALLY need to get done with. I've been ill.

    I'm attaching a few of the photos. It works great, of course. His description of the process is meant to go with the "explanation" photo. It has a foot pedal to spin the hook.

    << 1. Double wire around the hook and clamp both wires. 2. Spin the hook to make the twists. 3. Open the vise and bring the end portion of the wire to a right angle. 4. While holding the end, spin the hook to make the coil. 5. Bend the end to form a right angled crank. 7. Rotate the cranked wire like an old car towards the hook. This breaks the wire flush. Do not use cutters, they leave a nasty little end. >>

    ------------------------------
    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-12-2019 23:36
    Steven, re the shaff tool, which I'd be happy to move on to a happier customer, it has a number of fatal design problems, in my view. One is that since the clasp is hinged, it cannot physically restrain two legs of wire...the wire closest to the hinge will always be the only clamped wire.

    Second, the way the short leg is inserted and restrained in the tool, that leg gets hyper twisted. It is close to the breaking point when the barrels start, and often breaks as the barrels start turning. Proving the point, using softer wire like Paullelo in the low tenor, type 1, the start of the barrel snapped every time...the short leg is taking way too much of the twisting internally.

    Third, I found the hook itself to be a big part of the problems I experienced with the tool, as the wire was not held in a single position relative to the bend. It constantly shifts around in motion on the hook. The shifting around to various parts of the hook are what causes un-evenness in the twists.

    re the measuring every time...actually just counting the revolutions gets a uniform length string to string. I stuck with the Schaff tool for way too long, because of this perceived advantage, but frankly as I got my tool working, the length became a non-issue...just count the revolutions and you're good.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 00:23
    Jim, thanks for the clarification, been a long time since I've seen one. Those set-ups for fishing line look impressive but nothing like the 18th cen version in Susan's pictures. If I understand the picture right that's a chain clutch, must make a heavenly noise working that machine. It looks like it could go on for another 500 years.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-13-2019 11:09
    Just an update...I posted a revised video above which includes the improved way to form the barrel coils, as suggested by Ed Sutton.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 11:57
    Link?




  • 26.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-13-2019 14:12
    its embedded above in this thread.  here's a separate link English hitch loop piano wire bending tool

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 12:10
    Jim,
    Very nice video and design. If I have another occasion to tie multiple loops, I'll certainly give that a try.

    FWIW, Schaff has two different "looping machines." I have #115, while I think you are describing #114​​​​. I recently restrung an 1851 Montal pianino, tying individual French loops for every string, using #115, and did so pretty successfully. It took a bit of experimenting to get the knack, but once I had it, it went quite smoothly. Not as neat as yours, but certainly passable and quite quick to do. It was helpful that I was using Paulello wire, 0 and 1, which are a good bit less springy than standard.

    I'll have that piano in Tucson, and will have my Schaff tool at the PTG Foundation booth to demo and allow people to try it. If I come up with enough time between now and then, I'll see if I can put together your jig as an alternative. ​Or if you are coming, you could bring yours.

    ------------------------------
    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
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-13-2019 14:15
    Fred, I'll bring the tool to Tucson.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-13-2019 20:04
    I'm makin one of those. Oh, how much nicer it would have been had I put my thinking cap on and made it earlier...

    Actually though my thinking was along the line of modifying the Hale loop maker...I had the principle right, just didn't follow through.

    Yours is elegant in the extreme.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-14-2019 11:17
    I'm going to try to embed a YouTube video of the use of the Schaff #115 looping tool to make a French loop. In case the embed doesn't work, here is a link.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/x-mMcBIsupY" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> ​

    ------------------------------
    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
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-14-2019 16:27
    Thanks for posting the video of the Schaff #115 Looping machine. This is certainly food for thought - but I think I like Jim's better - with more control and the variable built-in 90 deg. for the two tails of the string. Using those Concave - Round-nosed​ pliers might make the Schaff#115 tool more predictable?  Michael  UK

    ------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-14-2019 19:09
    Jim, thanks for posting the video.

    I have done this by hand for a couple of Chickering Quarter Grands that had a
    much wider helix, probably 3 - 4 times fewer turns per inch. That's the way they
    were in the original, so I just practiced making them until I became proficient and
    could do them consistently. I wonder if using a more acute angle like 60 degrees
    for the slots would accomplish this?

    Where did you get the screw clamp? I remember seeing those somewhere, but
    dang'd if I can remember where.


    ------------------------------
    Dave Conte
    Owner
    North Richland Hills TX
    817-581-7321
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-15-2019 01:34
    Dave, I already asked Jim about the Orange screw clamp, for I too have seen 'it' somewhere . . . If these are not generally available my alternative would be based on a bicycle quick-release hub lock.  Michael  UK





  • 34.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-15-2019 09:04
    think the lower angle would  space the twists out wider, also pulling harder while turning would widen the spaces.

    Mcmaster carr is where I get these jig handles    https://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/125/2299.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-15-2019 11:34
    Thanks again, Jim.

    It might be handy for anyone using this method
    to have a few different angles available. 

    A colleague presented a technical class on 
    using this method for harpsichord strings. Much
    smaller diameter slots, to refer to an earlier 
    question. 

    Did you opt to use the threaded handle or stud 
    for this application?

    --
    Dave Conte, RPT, CCT
    Dave Conte Piano Works
    817-581-7321

    Picture





  • 36.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-15-2019 16:13
    stud...because I already had one in stock...this adheres to the "use what you got" theory of the cosmos.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-16-2019 05:33
    Fred and I have 'nailed' loop nomenclature. It's either - a French or German double-helix loop and barrel or - it's an English or Broadwood simple loop with barrel. The Broadwood version has two loops round the hitch pin.
    Next:
    I need to design or modify an existing hitch loop-making machine for either English Iron, brass or steel for Piano, F'piano or H'chord which (and this is the important bit) is designed to save cutting off a length of string from the spool before making the required hitch pin loop - thus saving un-necessary string wastage. 
    There are two types of spool for wire - either the APSCO tin for steel piano wire or the plastic spools for H'chord or Fortepiano brass or English Iron type 'B'  I refer you to 
    www.malcolm-rose.com
      whom I have watched Malcolm, whose workshop is only about four miles from me, fascinated, whist he draws iron and brass string for me.
    Basically there needs to be a form of 'clutch' temporarily attached to the spool which should be be easily detachable/attachable to any type of spool used for piano/H'chord/F'piano wire/string and designed to gently, but firmly, grasp the wire to stop it from un-spooling (disaster!). This clutch, when attached to the spool, will probably utilise a form of simple adjustable cam to grip the string.
    In essence the spool and its contents provide weight to assist keeping the string taught whilst loop-making. The string will be able to twist as required and will be fed over a grooved disc/wheel - such as that used in the string stretcher tool - whilst the spool dangles free.
    So those are the criteria. Now to the drawing board!
    Michael   UK





  • 38.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-15-2019 10:41
    Michael,
    I agree, I think Jim's method is likely to lead to neater and more consistent results, and maybe making an initial bend with pliers for the Schaff tool would be a good idea. I simply did it the way I had when stringing the piano, though that wire was softer Paulello, and the wire I used for the video was Roslau, a good bit harder to control.

    Another benefit of the Schaff #115 is that it can also be used to make "German loops" (single loop around the hitch, then some number of barrel loops) by adjusting the crank to have the hook right by the clamp. That's what I got it for, 20 odd years ago, when I had an old English overdamper to restring. Made the job much faster than doing them by hand.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    University of New Mexico






  • 39.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-15-2019 11:56
    Fred - So you call a 'Once-round-the-hitch-pin, thrice(?)-round-the-string' a German hitch loop. Similar to the Broadwood Double hitch loop which is 'Twice-round-the-hitch-pin-thrice-round-the-string' &c. We're gradually achieving nomenclature clarity here!!  Next we must consider the 'Double Helix' nomenclature.   Do have a look at (and comment on) the Hubbard Catalogue, page 3. for colour photos of several hitch loops. All, of course, H'chord type.  Michael  UK.

    ------------------------------
    Michael Gamble
    semi retired
    Brighton
    01273813612
    ------------------------------



  • 40.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-15-2019 20:33
    Generally speaking, what we see are double helix with a barrel twist at the end, and once or occasionally twice around the hitch, and barrel twist around the wire. The former was pretty consistently used by French makers, the latter by Germans, and later copied by Asian firms like Samick. Those are the terms I have heard most often, so I use them.

    Of course there are lots of variations when you look at harpsichords especially, and I don't see the point of trying to name them. The main distinguishing feature is whether it starts with double helix or not. At least that's my take.
    Regards,
    Fred Sturm
    "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." Brecht






  • 41.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-16-2019 02:13
    Thanks, Fred. 
    For the record - there are two types of hitch pin loop: 
    1. Those you were referring to with double helix: French - OK.
    2. Those I was referring to have no helix but are a simple loop and barrel.
        Those with two loops round the hitch + triple barrel are Broadwood .
        Those with one loop round the hitch pin + triple barrel are English.
    Hope we have jointly clarified Nomenclature!
    Michael  UK





  • 42.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-16-2019 02:16
    Sorry, Fred,  I missed out your German hitch loop! Just add it to the very short list!

    Michael  UK





  • 43.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Member
    Posted 06-16-2019 06:53
      |   view attached
    Hi All,

    I sure have come late to the party, but I just want to mention how I used to make my English knots before winding my bass strings (before I came to visit a few piano workshops, technicians and a factory, experience July 4th and then went to last year's awesome convention (2018)).
    I say used to because after returning to South Africa I had sort of lost my skill at making the knots and reverted to Double German knots.

    I used an 8mm bolt neck to hold my loop while keeping both hands locked onto the string at 45 degrees, twisting and somehow swapping hands and keeping the string taut-ish. I finished it with a barrel, keeping a 5mm tail.
    On the string lathe I would grip the barrel with the help of the tail using fencing pliers, using the bottom grip. The heart-pounding step was to slowly wind the string till I got a tight helix - if you go too tight then it snaps due to the twisting. Also, the string tension needs to be just right so that the string doesn't snap. The string is made tighter as you spin the lathe. Then with the tail, you wrap it one more time around the string before trimming it. Finally, I would loosen the lathe, remove the eye from the hitch and let the string spin back to normal, then replace it onto the hitch and continue to make my wound bass string.

    A bit long-winded, but that's from what I was taught and my own refinements. If I'm not clear then it is due to never having to explain my process in words.
    I actually think my understanding of these knots is lacking - don't they have to be pulled tight when twisting them?
    Or does the pull from the installed and tightened string make the knot function as intended?
    Also known as a fisherman's knot, so the above question would make sense that it functions when pulled.

    ------------------------------
    Malcolm Lunt
    5th-year apprentice
    Pretoria, South Africa
    IG: @that_autistic_piano_guy
    #actuallyAutistic
    ------------------------------



  • 44.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-17-2019 11:19
    To give some historical perspective, here is how Montal described making such loops 180 years ago. Thinner wire, and more malleable, but still of interest (especially for harpsichord and early pianos). He talks about doing it purely by hand, then with a couple tool/jig methods.



    ------------------------------
    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
    ------------------------------



  • 45.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 06-17-2019 16:11
    Montal's method using the hand vise seems appropriate for harpsichord wire. He described the tool as having lead or leather faces. I looked for hand vises, and found a couple I think might be workable. This one  is fairly close to the one Montal pictured, and I guess you could either glue on leather facings, or maybe make a kind of leather sock/mitten for them. This one seems like you could make it work, and the brass might be fine as is.

    The idea is to have something to hold the two ends of the wire while you rotate a hook, probably the one in the handle of a T hammer. Holding the vise with one hand, the hook with the other, seems doable. My fingers and thumb can't usually hold the wire with enough controlled friction, bare or with a glove, and clamping to a table requires more equipment, so I have just clamped a hook in place and rotated the wire manually with two hands, as a method where I know I get good control and good results (with harpsichord wire).

    ------------------------------
    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
    ------------------------------



  • 46.  RE: Tying English hitch loops

    Posted 06-18-2019 03:05
    Hello Fred - Your Montal instrument continues to be an amazing source of instruction! Thank you for posting the 'Loop-Page'. The string Montal would have used must have been of the same malleability as the current string, both brass and English Iron (type 'B') which Malcolm Rose draws in his Lewes Workshop. It is this string which I shall be using on the 1819 Broadwood F'piano and making a Looping Tool for, based on Jim Ialeggio's splendid example with the addition of a leather pad attached to the clamping plate - or plates - to hold the string in those 90deg. slots. allowing the string to twist sufficiently. I have another Looping Machine made of wood which is designed purely for H'chord string and its clamping blocks are just as you were proposing - faced on the clamping side with leather but there are no slots for the string to sit in, just a plain hardwood surface - where the clamping pressure is adjustable and provided by fairly robust plastic knobs.
    From this design must follow the design for that reel clamping device which can be used on any string container - APSCO or plastic reel - and can be transferred to any other spool or container.
    What a 'melting pot' we have here!
    Thanks for your information - extremely detailed and to the point as usual!
    There is another, quite disturbing fact which has come to light and it is that the wrest pins Broadwood used at the time were cold forged out of square iron by their Blacksmith. There was, it appears, a semi-circular profiled slot on the Anvil into which these wrest pins were placed and which provided the profile for the 'round-ness' (or not) of the pins. This is the problem. Those pins certainly would not have passed close tolerance inspection now-a-days with the result that as time went by the wrest-pin plank holes would conform to the individual pin pounded into it - making accurate tuning impossible. Now, 200 years later, these pins are a real pain and something must be done to satisfy this. The only real way forward is to replace the old Broadwood pins - and maybe ream out the pin-holes. . . . 
    Michael   UK