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Removing mangled tuning pin

  • 1.  Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-10-2018 04:12
    I am near the end of a trip in Central Asia and was asked to tune several pianos while here. I knew I would be at a disadvantage with just a basic bag of tools instead of a pickup of tools and supplies.

    Today I managed to mangle a tuning pin among the bass bichords. It was previously driven in too far so that a neighboring string became an obstacle, so my hammer did not properly fit on it to tune. That began the mangling. I asked for a vice grip, thinking that I could nudge it in the right direction, but that only mangled it worse. The vice grip no matter how tight would only slip and chew on the pin.

    So my question now is: What works to remove the pin? I have nothing with me to remove the pin, but I would find or buy the tools necessary to do it. Otherwise the piano is fine and ready to go. I have the string temporarily blocked so the piano can be played.

    Any suggestions will be helpful. I leave this area in about 48 hours.

    Arlie Rauch
    (normally from Arizona)

  • 2.  RE: Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-10-2018 06:29
    Vertical: Very carefully drill a hole from the back until you touch the tip of the pin with the drill bit, then use a steel rod smaller than the pin diameter to drive it out.
    Grand: Find or make a small screw jack and push the pin out with a small steel rod from below. Or drill a hole through the keybed and drive it out with a long steel rod.

    Ed Sutton
    (980) 254-7413

  • 3.  RE: Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-10-2018 06:34
    I would suggest removing the encroaching wire. Then use a mill bastard to clean up the buggering so that your tuning lever fits. Remove that pin, make a fix to the pinblock (CA or sandpaper). Replace everything.
    (Formerly in Arizona)

    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes

  • 4.  RE: Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-10-2018 19:50
    Mr. Rauch,

    on grand I'd just remove the string and drive the pin  down all the way through the block. You can use a flat blade screw driver as a punch if you're careful.Then proceed as Mr Messerly suggests. That way you can re-use the pin assuming you can't locate a replacement.

    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL

  • 5.  RE: Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-10-2018 22:15
    If you're lucky, just remove the strings/coils that are in the way and see if the tuning "Hammer" can bite enough to unwind the pin. Then fix a loose tuning pin as usual.

    45 2020
    "Americanism, not globalism will be our credo"

  • 6.  RE: Removing mangled tuning pin

    Posted 07-11-2018 11:34
    Thank you all for the good suggestions.  I could see how they should work.

    In the end, we left it with a wedge in place to mute the string that was off.  The family plays casually only, and they said it was like other things that happen there, in that something is not quite right.  We didn't actually have all the tools at hand that were needed to do it properly.

    Arlie Rauch

    Arlie Rauch
    Piano Technician
    Sierra Vista AZ