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Loose pins in Yamaha G2
#1915838 06/19/12 03:47 PM
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Hi all, I have a customer with a 54-year-old G2 with several pins in the midrange that are looser than I would like. I don't have a torque wrench, but some are dropping slightly as soon as I put the hammer on them, and turning them takes minimal pressure on the hammer. I hadn't remembered this from last year and hadn't made note of it, but the customer says I've told him this before. He's concerned, and I've suggested he consider a DC system before, since humidity control in his 12th floor older condo is not great, and I usually have to correct pitch at least slightly one way or the other, even though I tune it every year. His objection has always been that they go away for the winter and he wouldn't be able to maintain it... but today he is saying he could have someone come in regularly, so it might be possible.

At the risk of starting a debate on the relative benefits of DC (which I'd rather avoid), I want to ask those who like them and sell them (as I do) whether anyone has specific experience with a DC improving pin torque. (I don't want to install one and then find it really doesn't make much difference, even though I think it would be beneficial anyway. He doesn't play much, but he'd like to preserve the piano for his wife and grandkids.)

Thanks!


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
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Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915869 06/19/12 04:24 PM
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I would say the horse has truly bolted and the next step is to repin it followed by a DC system installed.
Robin

Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915887 06/19/12 04:55 PM
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I agree with Aussie. DC systems can prevent a lot of problems, but they can't really cure loose tuning pins.
Tim


I'm a piano tech and dealer in Central Ontario.
www.huntsvillepiano.ca
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915898 06/19/12 05:20 PM
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What Tim and Aussie said.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Loren D #1915903 06/19/12 05:43 PM
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Agreed.

Loose pins are not going to 'cure' with humidity control. That boat has sailed, the horse has left the barn, and Elvis...truly...has left the building.

I have a customer with a similiar aged G2. It also has/had loose tuning pins. I treated with thin CA, after removing the action and draping the keybed with plastic, and got noticable improvement in the pin-torque. That was 5 years ago, and the pins are still holding and tunable.

Try?


Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915910 06/19/12 05:57 PM
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Question for you guys who go the CA route. What do you do for ventilation? Those fumes are incredibly nasty.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915936 06/19/12 07:33 PM
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Interesting--thanks for the responses. I'm comfortable with CA, but have only done it on pianos that were much worse than this one. Loren, I bought a respirator for this purpose. It works well. (Safety glasses are a good idea too.)



Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915945 06/19/12 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Anne Francis
Interesting--thanks for the responses. I'm comfortable with CA, but have only done it on pianos that were much worse than this one. Loren, I bought a respirator for this purpose. It works well. (Safety glasses are a good idea too.)



That's good for you, but what about the customer??


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1915952 06/19/12 08:31 PM
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Charge them extra for looking over your shoulder.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916014 06/19/12 11:00 PM
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Anne Francis,maybe I'm wrong, but I strongly recommend reading the topic our forum " Ok, so I've been thinking about Max's cardboard fix". There are a lot of controversy about the use of different shims and CA. However, I'm strongly recommend using corrugated cardboard shim for the experiment, to use only one pin. Then you would be check the reliability of this method of fixation

Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916034 06/19/12 11:22 PM
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For ventilation of fumes, get an old vacuum onto which you can attach a hose to the exhaust port (thrift store Electrolux or a small shop vac) Use the suction hose as close as you can to your work, and the exhaust hose out a window or patio door. You may have to jury-rig some hose to get the length you need, but you can use alomst anything - cardboard (finally a use for that!!!) tube (free if you know where to look/ask). Connect with duct tape if you need to. Not pretty but it saves you and the client the exposure to the fumes.


JG
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916077 06/20/12 04:20 AM
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Thanks, but I'm not interested in experimenting on this piano, for various reasons; not to say that I would NEVER experiment on a customer's piano (we all do this from time to time), but in my circumstances I think CA may be the way to go. Eventually.

In his course, Randy Potter really pushes DC systems for loose tuning pins. I've been skeptical, and it's interesting to get others' opinions! Thanks again.


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916091 06/20/12 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Anne Francis
Thanks, but I'm not interested in experimenting on this piano, for various reasons; not to say that I would NEVER experiment on a customer's piano (we all do this from time to time), but in my circumstances I think CA may be the way to go. Eventually.

In his course, Randy Potter really pushes DC systems for loose tuning pins. I've been skeptical, and it's interesting to get others' opinions! Thanks again.


That is very interesting indeed. I would think the primary benefit of DC would be the soundboard, which it undoubtedly helps. Maybe on an upright where the pinblock is enclosed within the case, it would help; I'm not sure it would help in an exposed grand pinblock, though.

But then again, who am I to argue with Randy Potter?


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Supply #1916092 06/20/12 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Supply
For ventilation of fumes, get an old vacuum onto which you can attach a hose to the exhaust port (thrift store Electrolux or a small shop vac) Use the suction hose as close as you can to your work, and the exhaust hose out a window or patio door. You may have to jury-rig some hose to get the length you need, but you can use alomst anything - cardboard (finally a use for that!!!) tube (free if you know where to look/ask). Connect with duct tape if you need to. Not pretty but it saves you and the client the exposure to the fumes.


I'm ever concerned about liability, as pretty much every business person is. That's why I'd want to make sure I could vent the fumes out a window. Even gluing one action part with CA leaves a pretty strong smell. I could only imagine multiplying that to the scope of the amount used to treat a pinblock.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916120 06/20/12 07:23 AM
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I have to say I'm lucky though, I've never encountered loose pins on a Yamaha. It's amazing how some pianos develop loose pins after only 5-10 years.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Loren D #1916124 06/20/12 07:47 AM
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This may be the oldest Yamaha I've ever seen (54 years), and it's been through a lot--many moves and years in storage.

I don't think the fumes are that big a deal. I warn the customer they may not want to be there while I'm doing it, but the smell doesn't linger long with adequate ventilation and space.


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916126 06/20/12 07:49 AM
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Thanks, Anne. CA is something I've yet to try, but am going to after hearing so many good reports about it. Of course, only if a rebuild is out of the question.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916190 06/20/12 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Anne Francis
I don't have a torque wrench, but some are dropping slightly as soon as I put the hammer on them, and turning them takes minimal pressure on the hammer.


I would suggest that you obtain an inch pounds torque wrench. For tuning pins that have this as a symptom, there is less than 25lbs of resistance.

What is happening is the tuning pins are being dragged towards the hitch pin in the winter and then straighten up in the summer which is making the hole oblong. The only repair is larger diameter as Robin mentioned.

Originally Posted by Anne Francis
(I don't want to install one and then find it really doesn't make much difference, even though I think it would be beneficial anyway. He doesn't play much, but he'd like to preserve the piano for his wife and grandkids.)


A Damp Chaser unit will not result in much improvement, as the humidity damage to the block has already been accomplished. Following a restring then a unit makes sense. At 54 years of age the instrument is due for string anyways... and hammers…and action/keyboard restorations….

Preservation of an instrument such as this does not involve retaining the piano in original condition.

Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916198 06/20/12 10:30 AM
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I've always been a strong advocate of replacing tuning pins with larger ones. Unless the pin block is split or something, it always works.... Doesn't stink either. smile


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: Loose pins in Yamaha G2
Anne Francis #1916217 06/20/12 11:10 AM
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It isn’t the fumes for me Jerry. The more quick fix products we use the more we encourage corporations who make this stuff to further pollute our world.

I try not to contribute to that as much as possible.


I mean the instrument is at that age that I refer to as a crossroads….it gets fixed properly and with the proper parts or someone does the Band-Aid and leaves it the same, with the old worn out wire and hammer sets, which were the weakest part of the early Asian pianos from what I see here.

Hammers and strings, hammers and strings….it will have to be done eventually either by the owner now or the beneficiaries later….


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