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Gulbransen action removal

  • 1.  Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
      |   view attached
    Hi all,
    Having an issue removing the action from a very small (4'?) Gulbransen, probably about 80 years old. Inherited from Grandma. The action is coming out to a point where the hammer rail is bumping into the stretcher. And not just drop screws are touching--grossly high. It probably needs about 3-5 mm more to clear, judging by a small mirror I used to view things. The piano was recently moved from out of state (NM). Had been in a bar for some period of time, but mostly in good condition and restored at some point, maybe 30-40 years ago. Hole punched through bottom of keybed on one side. No idea how that happened.

    Here are some things I've looked at:
    -Glides pushing it up to far? No.
    -Foreign object underneath? No. I can lift the action enough to seen underneath with a flashlight. No pencils, etc.
    -Long shot possibility #1: maybe the stretcher was somehow too low? No.
    -Long shot possibility #2: ​Middle legs of the 6 were slightly off the floor for whatever reason. Remote possibility of some kind of deformation? Don't think so.
    -Action stack screws? Tightened.
    -Screws protruding too far into the keybed from below? No.

    Anything I'm missing? Badly needs a regulation, but the owners, newlywed students, are not likely to pay for one anytime soon. Only compelling reason to remove the action is for a loose hammer flopping around in there. No one plays, but they want to take some lessons.
    I've attached a photo just because it's kinda pretty.
    Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
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  • 2.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    Scott

    Doubke check the stretcher.  There might be screws holding the stretcher through the plate in front of the tuning pins.  If this piano was restored at some point the stretcher might have attached too low.

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 3.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    Scott

    Doubke check the stretcher.  There might be screws holding the stretcher through the plate in front of the tuning pins.  If this piano was restored at some point the stretcher might have attached too low.

    ------------------------------
    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago

    Willem,
    If it was a rebuild issue, how would they have gotten the action back in if the stretcher was too low? 





  • 5.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    It could have shifted during a move, or just by putting pressure on top of the stretcher

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    Willem "Wim" Blees, RPT
    Mililani, HI 96789
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  • 6.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    I would check in two places screws or aprons holding the legs on and the screws for the lyre and trap works. I had a grand piano on which the action would not budge . It turned out movers or someone had used too long screws in the blocks the legs where secured too. In another case which was a Steinway M the lyre screws where too long. It does not take much to snag or push the frame up. i know you said you did not see screws but sometime they are not totally visible but are hiding from view. try turning some screws under the keybed by a small amount there also could be two sets of glidebolts one coming up under the front rail and the other at the balance rail.

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    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 7.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    Edited by Steven Rosenthal 9 days ago
    I have seen pianos where the stretcher needs to be removed in order to pull the action, some of the "European" style Kimball grands from the 70's are like that.
    If the fallboard is clearing the stretcher, then it's most likely not lower than its supposed to be.

    It's not an ex-player, is it?

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI

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  • 8.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    Nope, not a player. Nothing sticking into the action cavity. I had assumed the stretcher was structurally integral to the piano. 

    --
    Scott Cole, Registered Piano Technician and Doctor of Music
    Serving Southern Oregon and Northern California
    (541)601-9033

    PTG Journal Editorial Staff/TTT (Tips, Tools & Techniques)





  • 9.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 9 days ago
    The tell-tale on the Kimballs is a row of brass screws across the top of the stretcher but I've also seen them screwed in through the plate and at the ends.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI

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  • 10.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 8 days ago
    Not a resolution but have seen several grands that have oversized pin blocks, notched at each side to allow excess block drop lower to action. Some with screws filed lower to accommodate action. I guess this is before growing action brackets. Interested in solution. 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 11.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hi Scott.

    Does the soft pedal shift the keyboard over a bit when pressed?

    When the piano is on it's side the action frame has room to wobble around.  Sometimes the una corda lever gets out of place and when the piano is set up on it's legs, the frame ends up riding on top of the una corda lever.  Normally it is in a cut out or recess found under the frame.  Take a thin piece of sheet metal or a "sound board steal" found in the Schaff catalog and "feel" around under the action frame to locate the culprit.  Most of the time you can simply pull down on the lever to get it to relocate to it's proper place.  You'll hear the satisfying sound of the frame dropping back down.

    Put a straight edge on the keybed from underneath and see if it has warped for some reason.

    Some Kimballs do indeed have removable stretchers.

    It's a little cutie isn't it?  Maybe if you pour water in it (leave it out in the rain), it will grow to be a bigger one someday..  Some piano fertilizer might help with that.

    Happy New Year.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Fisher
    Owner, Chief Grunt, Head Hosehead
    Vancouver WA
    360-256-2999
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  • 12.  RE: Gulbransen action removal

    Posted 8 days ago
    It went in, so it must come out.

    Hitting only the stretcher but NOT the pinblock?

    Interested in your response to the others. I'm not seeing anything different.

    Pwg

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