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  • 1.  Common Sense Voicing

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-16-2022 22:36
    Start with the finest felt, carefully bored, installed and fitted to strings. Consider that hammers need to be most dense at the molding. It makes sense to apply
    chemical hardeners just above the apex of the molding by side application. The practice of drenching the entire hammer destroys the resiliency that is
    required for wide dynamic range and color. Side application allows hardener to go where truly needed. That said, a firmly pressed hammer will produce the
    best tone, albeit with more work.

    Parker Leigh
    Winchester VA
    (540) 722-3865

  • 2.  RE: Common Sense Voicing

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-17-2022 10:24

    Hi Parker,

    I assume you're talking about "cold-pressed hammers," or hammers that need some kind of chemical hardener to produce a good tone. (Such as Steinway hammers or Bacon-felt hammers.) I would not use chemical hardeners on "hot-pressed hammers," or hammers that are designed specifically to not need chemical hardeners to get good tone. (Such as Renner Blue Points, Yamahas, etc.) There are different ways to bring up the tone in those ones as needed.

    With that said, the benefit of what you're describing (side lacquering) is that you can do different strengths of mixtures in different areas. Full strength under the strike point and half strength under the shoulders if you want. You can "bring them up" easier the first time around with not as much needling work to do. (In theory.)

    Dunking the hammers typically requires more needling to "bring them down," and some people prefer that process. It's more work, but it could be faster. I think it comes down largely to individual preference and the methods individual technicians are taught. 

    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (256) 947-9999