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How often to hammers need to be filed? #1230616
07/12/09 08:50 PM
07/12/09 08:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 724
New York City
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Grotriman Offline OP
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Grotriman  Offline OP
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New York City
A five year old Grotrian 192 played probably 2 hours a day on average. Would it make sense that these hammers require filing after 5 years?

With this type of playing intensity (and I have to say my older son does like to play his jazz loud) how long do a set of hammers last? (These are Abel if that makes a difference.)





Regards,

Grotriman
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Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Grotriman] #1230623
07/12/09 09:01 PM
07/12/09 09:01 PM
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San Francisco
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Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
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I would suggest that the best person to answer that is the technician who tunes your piano...hopefully twice a year ....
If you're looking for a second opinion then it's not possible to generalize here...the piano needs to be seen...there is no generic answer.




Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician] #1230789
07/13/09 07:45 AM
07/13/09 07:45 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,200
Marietta, GA
Les Koltvedt Offline
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Marietta, GA
Now these are Bad Hammers


Les Koltvedt
Servicing the Greater Atlanta Area.
www.well-lovedpiano.com/atlanta-piano-technicians/
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Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Les Koltvedt] #1230928
07/13/09 12:55 PM
07/13/09 12:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Hammers wear according to the amount they are played or used.

Think of it like the brake pads on your automobile. The more you drive and jump on the pedal, the more you wear the pads out.

If you are a taxi driver you will replace the pads more often than the little old lady that only drives to church on Sunday….

And so therefore, if you play the instrument regularly the hammer set will wear more rapidly. Also heavy play will cause the front of the hammer to harden and ridge, this is a normal process for hammer sets.
The Abel hammer is a good one, I use them regularly for all sorts of restorative jobs and I like them. They are a versatile hammer set, they voice up well, especially the Abel Premium Blues……..


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
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Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1230985
07/13/09 02:53 PM
07/13/09 02:53 PM
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Posts: 724
New York City
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Grotriman Offline OP
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Grotriman  Offline OP
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Wow! M&H Those hammers are unreal!

Thanks Dan. I ask because I just had to reshape them (flattend tops, ridged and rather bright) but at every 5 yrs I am thinking I may be in need of new hammers after 10 or 15 years of use. Didn't think it would be that soon. OTOH I guess I didn't think that both my sons and I would be practicing this much.

The treble was not as bad as was the low bass so those did not require reshaping, just some voicing and a light sanding.

The sound after filing I have to say is wonderful. Wow what a piano. Sounds like a concert grand when you play FF yet very intimate and dark at lower volumes.





Regards,

Grotriman
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Grotriman] #1231158
07/13/09 09:50 PM
07/13/09 09:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,189
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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Olympia, WA
One rule of thumb for hammers is to file them when the groove gets as deep as the diameter of the strings. At this point the string gets buried in the hammer, muting out some of the fundamental.

Another thing to keep in mind: Every time the hammers are filed they will get slightly lighter - generally a gram of weight taken off the hammer will remove around 5 grams of weight from the key.



Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: rysowers] #1231206
07/13/09 11:59 PM
07/13/09 11:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 49
Malvern,Pa.
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Tune Offline
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Malvern,Pa.
Originally Posted by rysowers
One rule of thumb for hammers is to file them when the groove gets as deep as the diameter of the strings. At this point the string gets buried in the hammer, muting out some of the fundamental.

Another thing to keep in mind: Every time the hammers are filed they will get slightly lighter - generally a gram of weight taken off the hammer will remove around 5 grams of weight from the key.



Excuse my ignorance, is there a way to offset that weight loss?

Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: rysowers] #1231238
07/14/09 01:27 AM
07/14/09 01:27 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,930
El Cajon, CA
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
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88Key_PianoPlayer  Offline
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Originally Posted by rysowers
One rule of thumb for hammers is to file them when the groove gets as deep as the diameter of the strings. At this point the string gets buried in the hammer, muting out some of the fundamental.

Another thing to keep in mind: Every time the hammers are filed they will get slightly lighter - generally a gram of weight taken off the hammer will remove around 5 grams of weight from the key.



so it's probably time for hammers to be filed when the grooves get as deep as the one on this hammer? It looks to me like the A0 string is kinda maybe getting buried in the hammer?...

[Linked Image]

laugh






Oh...



do you mean when the string groove gets to be the same depth as the diameter of the strings at C8??


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
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Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Tune] #1231241
07/14/09 01:35 AM
07/14/09 01:35 AM
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Posts: 26,615
Oakland
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Originally Posted by Eric K
Originally Posted by rysowers
One rule of thumb for hammers is to file them when the groove gets as deep as the diameter of the strings. At this point the string gets buried in the hammer, muting out some of the fundamental.

Another thing to keep in mind: Every time the hammers are filed they will get slightly lighter - generally a gram of weight taken off the hammer will remove around 5 grams of weight from the key.



Excuse my ignorance, is there a way to offset that weight loss?

You could not play as hard!

Seriously, by the time you have removed a gram of felt, the hammers probably need replacing anyway.


Semipro Tech
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: BDB] #1231253
07/14/09 02:09 AM
07/14/09 02:09 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,930
El Cajon, CA
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
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El Cajon, CA
BDB!! When did you manage to weasel your way into the 10k post club!??!?! Did I miss the celebration ceremony???

And... only ONE gram of felt? I've played some Baldwin Hamiltons that probably have more than 1 gram of felt removed (combined from all 88 hammers) and still sound quite good.


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer] #1231257
07/14/09 02:19 AM
07/14/09 02:19 AM
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Oakland
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Sound is not the only reason hammers need to be replaced. When they are filed too much, the action is terribly compromised, and fine regulation is impossible.

A gram of felt is quite a lot.


Semipro Tech
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: BDB] #1231264
07/14/09 02:44 AM
07/14/09 02:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,189
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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replacing hammers after losing a gram of felt? Sounds extreme to me. A gram is not all that much - a one dollar bill weights about a gram.



Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: BDB] #1231265
07/14/09 02:44 AM
07/14/09 02:44 AM
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El Cajon, CA
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Would I be correct to assume you mean one gram per hammer, as opposed to one gram total? Also in your experience how deep of a groove would that be? For example in the pic I posted above would that be one gram, or more?


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer] #1231272
07/14/09 03:24 AM
07/14/09 03:24 AM
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Oakland
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A little experiment showed me that a gram is about 3/16" worth of felt. Definitely time to replace them! If you do not, the amount of difference in the weight is not going to make as much difference as the regulation problems.

Anyone who plays their hammers down that much without replacing the hammers is not likely to be concerned with the variation in touch weight.


Semipro Tech
Re: How often to hammers need to be filed? [Re: Tune] #1231377
07/14/09 10:50 AM
07/14/09 10:50 AM
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Posts: 724
New York City
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Grotriman Offline OP
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A fellow who used to play around NYC, John Cage, taught me to put little screws in the hammers, this offsets the loss of felt and brightens the tone at the same time.



Last edited by Grotriman; 07/14/09 10:53 AM.

Regards,

Grotriman

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