• 1.  Practical Technician challenge

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-20-2022 23:53
    Greetings all,
    I have a Practical Technician article challenge that grew out of a broken string last summer.
    Generally, broken strings don't give me any issues. However, this one was one of the lowest plain wire tenor strings on a large, old Steinway, maybe an A.

    I eventually installed a new wire, but it wasn't easy on a long, under-strung tenor. Even getting the correct-size wire out was a challenge; luckily the customer helped me. After we got the proper amount of wire out, he left to pursue other activities, leaving me to get this coil
    on the hitch pin and then somehow not tangled in the other wires on the way to the agraffe. And of course without scratching the soundboard. So, yes, I was able to do it, with a few extra minutes. However, I figured there must be tricks and tips to working with very long plain wire, especially in under-strung sections.

    Here's the challenge: The next time you have to do this, take a bunch of photos and show us your methods for making this job easier.
    It would make a great Practical Tech article for the Journal!

    thanks, and Happy Holidays

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 2.  RE: Practical Technician challenge

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-21-2022 01:21
    Scott, do you own "The Stringer II", sold by Pianotek? The Stringer I was excellent, but II is right off the charts. Three tubes can be screwed together (or two or one as needed for shorter pianos) and the wire inserted into them, with the bent end for the hitch pin barely protruding.

    I'll see if we can get a link. The Stringer II, $68, Part # STG-2000, there are two holes in the end of the last tube, which will be furthest from the tuning pins. That keeps the wire from twisting around itself. Once the bend is around the hitch pin, something like small vise grips can be used to be sure it can't come off, then the tubes are gradually pulled off, leaving the untwisted wire to be caught near the tuning pins as the last one comes off. Since there are three tubes, the total length inside its case is small enough that it can fit in my stringing kit, which is a small suitcase.

    Pianotek Supply Company - Products - Parts

    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon

  • 3.  RE: Practical Technician challenge

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-21-2022 11:12
    The cheap way to go was the old-fashioned curtain rod extender, which is what I have used for 40+ years. Not sure they are still made, but you could probably find them somewhere. It is a little tricky to keep track of which free end of the wire is which, and the opening (along the whole length) needs to be enlarged a bit to make removal easier, but it has worked well for me so that I have never considered buying something better. 

    Fred Sturm
    "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." Brecht

  • 4.  RE: Practical Technician challenge

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-21-2022 12:21
    I guess it's still around. Target Walmart quite cheap.
    Fred Sturm
    "When I smell a flower, I don't think about how it was cultivated. I like to listen to music the same way." Mompou

  • 5.  RE: Practical Technician challenge

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-21-2022 12:31
    Yes, curtain rods (and I've used folded sections of newspaper) are a help, but $68 is not an exorbitant price to pay Pianotek for such an excellent device.