Pianotech

  • 1.  Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Posted 5 days ago
      |   view attached
    So I went out to a church way out in the boonies (an hour away from my house) to help them diagnose a damper problem.  I pulled the action out and determined that the 2 extreme side pieces on the lifter assembly were non-functional. The pedal actually lifts the bar and most of the dampers will rise, but the bass dampers stay down. Some tooner had tried to fix it by putting a rubber band around it to hold it in place.  It looks like an oversize flange and I think the pin has worked its way out on each end and the rubber band is some sort of stopgap to keep the pin from working its way out.  I enclosed a picture with the flange highlighted.

    By adjusting the pedal rod, I was able to get the bar to lift the bass dampers just enough to sustain.  It is a very temporary repair.

    So to fix it, do you all think I should get new "oversize" flanges to hold the side wood pieces stationary?  Also, do you know where I can get those sorts of parts?

    Thank you in advance!


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    Patrick Greene
    OWNER
    Knoxville TN
    (865) 384-6582
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  • 2.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 5 days ago
    Patrick

    I can't quite figure out what the problem is, but it looks like the rubber band is holding the lever that holds the tray to the flange. Maybe the screws that hold that lever are loose. Or, perhaps the flange that holds that lever to the back rail is broken. It doesn't need a bigger flange, but you might have to repin the flange with a thicker center pin).  In either case, it might be necessary to remove all the dampers and take the whole back action out to see what the real problem is. 

    Perhaps the previous tuner knew that this is what needed to be done, and gave an estimate to the church, and they said they couldn't afford it. That is why he rigged it with a rubber band. In other words, you need to warn the church that this might be an expensive repair. 

    Wim 





  • 3.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Posted 5 days ago
    Wim,

    Good eye.  I don't think the flange is broken, just worn out.  I believe that you are correct in that I will need to remove the back action to get at the problem, I just want to make sure I take my time and do it 100% correctly.  I have been tuning a long time, but haven't done this sort of repair work.  I don't want to refuse these folks because the tuners for that area are dead or retired.

    Thank you so much for helping me with my own dilemmas over the years.  I hope that these questions have helped other piano tuners figure out how to repair their own thorny issues.  :-)

    Patrick

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    Patrick Greene
    OWNER
    Knoxville TN
    (865) 384-6582
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  • 4.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Member
    Posted 5 days ago
    Oftentimes, The screws that mount the arm to the lift tray become loose. To tighten them, you need to unscrew the rail from the bulkhead and pull it forward enough to get a   l o n g   phillips screw driver down between the strings.
    For this, you can keep the dampers in place. Once the lift tray has beed secured, screw the rail back to the bulkhead.

    If the center is too loose; raise the upstop rail, raise the tray to access the screw and unscrew the flange. Unscrew the arm from the tray. No need to remove the dampers.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 5.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi, 
    Yes,  because you are talking About a church and they are notorious for not having ideal climates the screws holding the tray to the flange probably came loose.  Sometimes they split sometimes the flange with the pivot splits or bushings wear. 

    Make a note of where the damper stop rail is Loosen the damper stop rail screws push the stop ra up as high as possible.  Then you will be able to see the heads of the screws and more of the flange itself.  You have to do more investigating don't forget there is usually one in the middle.  

    For these pianos you need the very long Philips and also an offset ratcheting screw driver the shortest one you can get ( I had to grind the head off mine to make it shorter )and patience.  The rest is easy.

    Jessica Masse RPT
    --
    Sent from Gmail Mobile





  • 6.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Posted 4 days ago
    Thank you Jon and Jessica.  From the excellent way you described the process, I know that I can repair this.

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    Patrick Greene
    OWNER
    Knoxville TN
    (865) 384-6582
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  • 7.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 4 days ago
    Contact Kawai for the rest of the story


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    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes
    www.lacrossepianotuning.com
    ljmesserly@gmail.com
    928-899-7292
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  • 8.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 2 days ago
    I recently came across a problem with the tray on a KG-2A. It wasn’t loose screws, but center pins walking out of the flanges and a wallowed out bird’s eye. Not having a new tray flange on hand, I filled in the wallow with a strip of buckskin and used a new center pin as a caul until it was dry. I shaped the bird’s eye with a razor. Thankfully I had to work on the underlevers and retime the dampers anyway, but if you can get away with leaving the dampers in place, absolutely do so!


    Joe Wiencek
    NYC




  • 9.  RE: Kawai Damper Lifter Assembly question

    Member
    Posted 2 days ago
    I was on a cruise when the damper lift tray failed in the piano bar. I made the mistake of telling the pianist I was a piano tech. Anyway after the last show in the main theater we went to the piano bar to relax and it was silent. All of a sudden the pianist yells out there he is, there he is to the cruise director. Next morning I went to the bar and checked the piano which was a Yamaha. pulled the action out and saw that the pins on the end flanges had walked out . No piano tools or parts but I went to the casino manager who gave me access to the casino machine repair tool room. Damn. Long rows of Craftsmen tool cabinets and tools. Got pliers, screw drivers, wire cutters. Found some pieces of piano wire on the floor under the piano and jerry rigged the flanges with piano wire twisted tightly . Worked like a charm for the entire cruise. Every time we visited the bar the pianist recognized me and drinks where on the house.

    Moral lessons from  the story- Piano technicians like challenges ;     You are never really on vacation if you are a piano technician

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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