2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) SWEETWATER Cyber Week Deals
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
79 members (An Old Square, anotherscott, accordeur, BWV846, brdwyguy, bsalad, 21 invisible), 874 guests, and 472 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
C
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
Beale pianos were manufactured in Sydney, Australia, from very early last century until the early 1970's - http://www.overspianos.com.au/beale.html
Tuners in Australia, eastern states at least, commonly come across Beales. Those in good condition can have a superb sound, but more commonly are quite worn out. Their main feature is a cast iron pin block with tapered tuning pins that are held tight by a large grub screw accessible from the back of the pin block. http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5471902/description.html
This tuning system generally ensures good tuning longevity. I find the best hammer technique is, with some pressure taken off the grub screw, to tune smoothly from below and stopping when at pitch.

My enquiry here is just out of curiosity: I wonder how many Beales had made it out of Australia? Have any non-Australian tuners on this forum encountered a Beale piano?

Also, are there other manufacturers that have used cast iron pin blocks with tapered pins?

Chris

Last edited by Chris Leslie; 11/24/11 04:56 AM.

Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,338
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,338
Chris,

I haven't seen Beales in South Africa, but then again, I haven't done much tuning.

What I can say, however, is that August Förster used a similar pinblock design - at least in their "Quattrochord" grand. You can see the system in this video, from 1:20...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KagRqSK377Y

And the next video in the series shows the details of the tuning pins, washers and locknuts, from 1:20 to 1:40...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDC6uTqtl5M&feature=related

The pins are conical, and the threaded part that sticks out below the plate has a groove (visible at 1:20-1:22 and again at 1:28) into which a little tongue on the first two washers fits. This keeps the whole assembly turning together as one unit. The tightness of the pin is adjusted by tightening or loosening the locknut below the plate, pulling the pin into the conical hole, as shown at 2:50.

This seems to me a very durable, practical construction. I wonder why it hasn't caught on?


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
C
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
Thanks Mark. The August Förster system is similar, but the Beale pin taper is in the other direction so the pins come in from the bottom (grand) or back (upright). Beale has no washers or nuts but a single large grub screw, wider than the pin, that pushes the pin forward against the taper inside the pin hole. The pins come out backwards if removing.

I too wonder why the system had not caught on. Beale used it for over 50 years of manufacture of their own pianos, yet all of the pianos that Beale built for other companies, e.g. Palings, used conventional pins and timber pin blocks.

The only problems I have encountered are:
1) If the screws are not loosened then the pins are so tight then they can shear when tuning (don't ask!).
2) It takes time to slacken/tighten all of those screws.
3) If the screw is loosened too much then the pin may release and unwind all of the string tension instantly.

If treated correctly, the system will last indefinitely with no such thing as retiring with age due to loose tuning pins.

Last edited by Chris Leslie; 11/24/11 11:29 AM.

Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,155
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,155
It would also be much more expensive to manufacture, especially when there are so many in a piano. Machining metal is more expensive than machining wood, and there is much more of it to do. Stringing a piano would be restricted to putting the pins in before the strings, which some people do, but it is slower. The benefits seem quite limited compared to the cost.


Semipro Tech
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
C
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,717
Originally Posted by BDB
It would also be much more expensive to manufacture, especially when there are so many in a piano. Machining metal is more expensive than machining wood, and there is much more of it to do. Stringing a piano would be restricted to putting the pins in before the strings, which some people do, but it is slower. The benefits seem quite limited compared to the cost.


At least that did not bother Beale. They went further and redesigned the iron pin block for a new breed of smaller budget pianos after WW2 complying with industry trends at the time (e.g. Beale Bijou) and continued for another 20 years with it.


Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
Pianos - Organs - & Keyboards, Oh My!
My first professionally recorded piece
---------------------
Visit Maine, Meet Mr. Piano World
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
I saved myself $50k by getting tinnitus
by qpalzm - 12/07/21 03:54 PM
MP11se / CA79 / CA99 - Ex-classic pianist
by srodrigo - 12/07/21 02:56 PM
Got an NU1X. First impressions.
by total_beginner - 12/07/21 01:50 PM
What piano was used on Spirited Away soundtrack?
by An Old Square - 12/07/21 12:32 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics210,429
Posts3,151,238
Members103,550
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5