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Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
#1768568 10/11/11 09:40 AM
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I initially posted this requst in the Piano forum and was directed to post here. I have a two year old Kawai that has two plate bolts sheared off at the first tuning. I have been working on this for over a year with Kawai, the dealer and the tuner and have not been able to resolve it.

I would like a recommendation for a technician in the Denver, CO area to extract and replace two broken plate lag bolts

Thanks in advance for any help

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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768637 10/11/11 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RM User
I have a two year old Kawai that has two plate bolts sheared off at the first tuning. I have been working on this for over a year with Kawai, the dealer and the tuner and have not been able to resolve it.

I would like a recommendation for a technician in the Denver, CO area to extract and replace two broken plate lag bolts.

Thanks in advance for any help


A two yr old Kawai is still under warranty. Having a technician undertake any type of investigation or unauthorized removal of parts could result in the voiding of said warranty. The warranty is held by the manufacturer not the dealer.

Those bolts have a pretty large diameter stem. Something is really wrong for the heads to have sheared off….not easily done to a 5/8 stem…….

Over a yr and no solution? I would be in communication with legal counsel immediately.
You need to shake things up right away.Not much point in being nice about this any longer.

Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768642 10/11/11 11:34 AM
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Wow. The plate bolts sheared off during tuning? I'm trying to envision how such a thing could happen.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768645 10/11/11 11:41 AM
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The whole story is in the PIano area.

I am not familiar with technicians in any area enough to know who might have the skills for this job, but you might try calling some machinists. It is more likely one of them could help you. There is nothing that is specific about pianos that they would need to know.


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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768657 10/11/11 12:04 PM
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Thanks for the heads up. I just read the other thread. This is key to the entire matter;

Originally Posted by RM User

Kawai believes it was the tuners problem of apply too much torque and they won't cover it under warranty (like breaking a string when applying too much pressure). I did talk to the tuner about it and he indicated that all he did was attempt to snug at the first tuning (which from what I understand is normal for a piano that has been transported over 100 miles with temperature and humidity changes, etc., and particularly from Japan to the high Rockies). He has over 30 years of experience and rebuilds piano's himself and at his word has never had this happen to him. Perhaps I am working off wrong assumptions, but I assure you, I am not the cause of this problem.

Although I firmly believe this is a warranty issue, since the bolts appear to have broken under the tuners care, he is responsible. Due to the way things have been handled by Kawai, the dealer and the tuner, I sought from this forum with my initial post some advice on a good, reputable piano technician in the Denver, CO area to possibly get the work done. We've been working for a year and a half with the principals to get this issue resolved and at this point I don't know who to trust anymore.I greatly regret purchasing this Kawai.


This needs to be resolved between the technician and Kawai. It is easy to remove those bolts and have them tested for breaking strength by a machinist. To break a 5/8 stem it could not be done with an open end wrench 8 inches long or even a socket of same length unless one really cranks and even then I don’t believe one would have enough leverage to tear the head away.

Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768662 10/11/11 12:13 PM
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What I'm trying to figure out is, why even mess with the plate bolts? I've never touched them unless I was removing a plate of course. Certainly now while the piano is under tension.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
Loren D #1768673 10/11/11 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Loren D
What I'm trying to figure out is, why even mess with the plate bolts? I've never touched them unless I was removing a plate of course. Certainly now while the piano is under tension.


This is good prep procedure. If you've never done it, you will be surprised at how often plate bolts are loose. This certainly cannot benefit tuning stability. It is always appropriate to test plate bolt tightness on a new piano or one you've never serviced before.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768674 10/11/11 12:30 PM
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Loren. Snuggling the plate bolts was part of the Yamaha USA service bond in the '70's. Don't know whether it still part of it.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
kpembrook #1768675 10/11/11 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by Loren D
What I'm trying to figure out is, why even mess with the plate bolts? I've never touched them unless I was removing a plate of course. Certainly now while the piano is under tension.


This is good prep procedure. If you've never done it, you will be surprised at how often plate bolts are loose. This certainly cannot benefit tuning stability. It is always appropriate to test plate bolt tightness on a new piano or one you've never serviced before.


I stand by my methods. In 30 years of full-time service, I've never had an issue with tuning stability due to plates being loose.

On the other hand, we now have someone who is dealing with sheared bolts.

I'll stick with my way, thanks!


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768677 10/11/11 12:35 PM
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I'll grant you that "snugging" certainly can't hurt anything. But breaking them off is certainly more than what anyone would reasonably call snugging, don't you think?


DiGiorgi Piano Service
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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
Silverwood Pianos #1768678 10/11/11 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
Thanks for the heads up. I just read the other thread. This is key to the entire matter;

Originally Posted by RM User

Kawai believes it was the tuners problem of apply too much torque and they won't cover it under warranty (like breaking a string when applying too much pressure). I did talk to the tuner about it and he indicated that all he did was attempt to snug at the first tuning (which from what I understand is normal for a piano that has been transported over 100 miles with temperature and humidity changes, etc., and particularly from Japan to the high Rockies). He has over 30 years of experience and rebuilds piano's himself and at his word has never had this happen to him. Perhaps I am working off wrong assumptions, but I assure you, I am not the cause of this problem.

Although I firmly believe this is a warranty issue, since the bolts appear to have broken under the tuners care, he is responsible. Due to the way things have been handled by Kawai, the dealer and the tuner, I sought from this forum with my initial post some advice on a good, reputable piano technician in the Denver, CO area to possibly get the work done. We've been working for a year and a half with the principals to get this issue resolved and at this point I don't know who to trust anymore.I greatly regret purchasing this Kawai.


This needs to be resolved between the technician and Kawai. It is easy to remove those bolts and have them tested for breaking strength by a machinist. To break a 5/8 stem it could not be done with an open end wrench 8 inches long or even a socket of same length unless one really cranks and even then I don’t believe one would have enough leverage to tear the head away.


Interestingly enough, the only time I ever had this happen was with a Kawai-built Baldwin Howard. (My brother's, no less) shocked

If the plate bolt broke it was almost certainly a manufacturing defect -- either a garbage bolt or the hole in the wood too tight, or both. If the plate bolt had been properly seated to the plate, and the threads were free, there would simply be too much friction between the head and the plate to turn and any rotation of the bolt would increase that friction. Thus excess shearing force could not be applied to the head. However, if the bolt is not firmly seated and the threads are tight and the bolt weak, it will be likely to shear off.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768680 10/11/11 12:42 PM
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Why continue after the first one broke?


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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768682 10/11/11 12:51 PM
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Well Loren,
To be fair the question should be; why didn’t the other 25 bolts shear off? I am sure the technician tried all of them not just a select few.

Yes Keith I am interested to see how much material was left under the shear as per your observations…..still not sure if this could be accomplished with an 8 inch spanner.

Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768684 10/11/11 12:57 PM
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Ugh, I give up. Yeah you're right, 2 out of 25 isn't bad. Pure craftsmanship!


DiGiorgi Piano Service
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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768686 10/11/11 01:02 PM
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Haven't done it for years. They were only ever loose in deepest midwinter in coastal Va.. No need in Britain except as part of routine for hunting down elusive noises. Even then as a last ditch effort.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768690 10/11/11 01:14 PM
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The heads of the bolts are 5/8 phillips but the shaft looks like 3/8 or 1/4. One of the bolts broke off just above threads in the wood, and the other broke off inside the wood. Interestingly enough, on one of the broken bolts I can see very uneven (one sided) friction wear on the seat. The other broken bolt seat is uneven as well but not as remarkable.

Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768700 10/11/11 01:33 PM
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There used to be a few good rebuilders in the Berthoud/ Ft. Collins area (about 50 miles closer than Denver).


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768710 10/11/11 01:44 PM
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I did a quick search and founmd the following online. Since this is freely available to anyone with a PC, I'm not violating any confidences by posting this.

This is from the Kawai Grand Piano Regulation Manual Ver 1.4 2011/7/21:

1.Tighten all Plate Screws
The plate will have countersunk screws which
should be checked for tightness using ratchet
handle with Phillips No. 4 head, or similar. On a
new grand piano the screws should be checked
carefully, because the bolts are lubricated when
installed and can be overtightened. Even on an
older piano we would not expect to get much more
than one quarter turn on some of the screws.
For Shigeru Kawai pianos only, plate screws have 2
types. There are hexagonal head screws around
the outside, countersunk Phillips screws on the
pinblock section. These should be tightened with a
17mm socket for hexagonal screws and Phillips No.
4 head for the countersunk screws, as with the
regular Kawai models.
*Note: Shigeru Kawai pianos now use a machine
bolt around the rim perimeter. This is threaded
into a steel plate support, and should not need to be
tightened.
*Some old Kawai pianos use 14mm screws around
outside and a pin block area.
Caution: Do not tighten the nose bolts.
Other case parts such as hinge screws, music desk
glide screws, lock bar screws, etc. may be tightened
as required.
BE CAREFUL TO NOT OVER TIGHTEN
SCREWS. THEY CAN BE OVER-TURNED OR
BROKEN.


http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/PDF/Regulation%20GP-English%201.4.pdf

Edit: If this is a new Shigeru Kawai, be careful about removing the screw stub so as not to damage the steel plate support.

Last edited by daniokeeper; 10/11/11 02:51 PM.

Joe Gumbosky
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Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
RM User #1768846 10/11/11 06:00 PM
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Doesn't matter if there are 2 or 25. If two of them broke during tightening, IMO, whoever did the tightening, more than likely reefed on them over tightening them. They should be snug, not reefed tight.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
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We love to play BF2.
Re: Piano technician in Denver, CO area to fix Kawai grand
daniokeeper #1768938 10/11/11 09:44 PM
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Quote
This is from the Kawai Grand Piano Regulation Manual Ver 1.4 2011/7/21:

1.Tighten all Plate Screws


My memory was just jogged, but when I attended Yamaha's "Little Red Schoolhouse" back in the '70s, they also made a point about tightening plate screws.

My point being this is standard quality piano work, not some kind of wild cowboy approach.

The comment about not overtightening without providing a torque specification can be taken two ways. One, just a general common sense reminder and, Two, "if it breaks, that means you overtightened it" thus allowing the manufacturer to wiggle out of its responsibility.

I would say that, in the absence of a specific torque specification that if the head breaks that is prima facie evidence of manufacturer's responsibility.

One thing for sure, I don't think there is any record -- ever --- of plate bolts breaking on S&S, Baldwin or Mason & Hamlin. I doubt that it would be humanly possible to break one of their plate perimeter bolts. I have broken a plate screw in the tuning pin field that went into an improperly drilled Falconwood pinblock. (I learned from that experience)


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
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