Pianotech

  • 1.  Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    I seem to recall someone suggesting alternatives to lead for weighting keys.  What metal was being proposed?  Does anyone recall this discussion?

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    Floyd Gadd RPT
    Regina SK
    (306) 502-9103
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  • 2.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    You could use brass but it would be cost prohibitive.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 3.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    See the April 2016 TTT column for an interesting alternative to lead keyweights.
    Heavier metals allow for smaller weights and less weakening of the key stick.
    https://higherlogicdownload.s3-external-1.amazonaws.com/PTG/PTJ-2016-04.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAVRDO7IEREB57R7MT&Expires=1668037539&Signature=n6KgFYpcSTWV%2Fxdj7aoczl8cmeg%3D

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 4.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    The website mentioned in that 2016 TTT, keyurania.com, is no longer available. I wonder why...
    I would highly doubt that uranium in any form is safe to handle or install in a piano, regardless of weight advantages. This would have to be disclosed to a customer--who would any agree to this? "Would you mind if I installed uranium mine tailings that I concentrated in my own homemade centrifuge into your piano?" Then, the customer eventually sells the piano: "I'll give you a deal--it's got uranium mine tailings installed!"

    Oh, yeah. Just ask Marie Curie, RPT...

    Tungsten would seem to better choice, and weighs about the same per cm3 as uranium.

    https://www.maximum-velocity.com/product/incremental-tungsten-cylinders-3-oz/?gclid=CjwKCAiAvK2bBhB8EiwAZUbP1LRDNodxPHF6Nm2cNnUKvdJE6nOM3CqBfqP26UGSYDE19kgHxAXWzhoCluQQAvD_BwE


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    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
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  • 5.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago

    I had forgotten about the April fools gag in the Journal.  

    I've got this crazy idea of having two different sets of hammers with different weight profiles for a concert instrument, and some less invasive way of adjusting front weight than adding and removing swaged lead slugs. 

    I'm frustrated with a couple of sets of overly massive Steinway hammers that are nowhere near the end of their service life, but I want to leave options open for my successor, whenever that eventually comes about. 

    A couple of my predecessors did some wippen swaps, but archived the old items.  I have been the beneficiary of that foresight. 



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    Floyd Gadd RPT
    Regina SK
    (306) 502-9103
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  • 6.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    David Stanwood has used copper and has brought such a keyboard to conventions.
    I believe that he sells it for that purpose.
    I had thought of copper from electrical wiring since it is plentiful.
    According to Boaz Kirschenbaum, they tried it and found it to be difficult to work with.
    I suggested gold since it is malleable,
    but that more severely gets to Jon Page's point.

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    John Gallen
    OWNER
    S Windham CT
    (860) 428-6045
    1040pianos@gmail.com
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  • 7.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    Copper has lots of value and is often stolen from construction sites , air conditioning units and even out of houses. One alternative to lead is some of the lead free materials being used to make sinkers for fishing. There are some videos on Youtube on how certain types of lead free solders are melted and poured into molds. To do this for piano keys someone would need to work with a machinist to mill molds to cast the lead free ingredients paying attention to weights and shapes. I believe you can already purchase lead free sinkers from places selling rods, reels, fish line. With the right equipment which involves using heat, proper respirators and safety equipment you could make your own.

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 8.  RE: Alternative to Lead for Key Weighting

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 27 days ago
      |   view attached
    I've been using copper weights for several years now.  I had them custom made in two sizes  1/2" x 10g and 9/16" x 13.4g.  They are pure dead blow soft copper.   Attached is a photo of one swaged.

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    David Stanwood RPT
    Stanwood Piano Innovations Inc.
    West Tisbury MA
    (508) 693-1583
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