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#1925887 - 07/12/12 03:28 PM Grand hitch pins  
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michaelopolis Offline
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Hi Everyone
First post here so go easy on me smile been lurking a while and love these forums and i have a question regarding hitch pins.

[Linked Image]
Grand hitch pins by Michaelg127, on Flickr

Im thinking some of these strings need tapping down into place, and
presume the piano will not achieve stability till they are,, would you loosen the tension first before tapping the strings down ?

Thanks
Michael

Last edited by michaelopolis; 07/12/12 04:42 PM.
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#1925890 - 07/12/12 03:31 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Yes, they need tapping down. Loosening them is probably not necessary. They will loosen as they go down.


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#1925894 - 07/12/12 03:50 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Thanks,,
How do you think they will affect tuning stability as they are ?

#1925902 - 07/12/12 04:08 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Michael:

Yes they do need tapping down, without doing this you run the risk of having the hitch pins bend. The stability should improve with doing this, but the tuning will most likely go wildly out, so it needs doing at the time of your next tuning visit.

If you are going to tap them dowm, make sure you use something that is softer than the steel strings ... I always use something brass when pianos have tension on the string.

Best wishes.


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
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#1925908 - 07/12/12 04:16 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I think it is less that the hitch pins will bend, and more that the loops might move on them.

A piece of wood is sufficient to protect the wire and the finish on the plate. It will not last as long as brass, but it is less likely to scratch or chip something.


Semipro Tech
#1925933 - 07/12/12 05:17 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: BDB]  
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Thanks for the tips guys, my old tutor tech taught me to tap the strings down using a blunted flat screwdriver,, but a softer material makes more sense.

One wonders why the string moved in the first place, and to be devils advocate if i tap them down is it not possible for them to slide upwards again causing greater instability.

#1925944 - 07/12/12 05:44 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Michael,

It almost looks like the pins are coming out of the plate from clicking on the picture and looking at it closely. That could be a problem...

Your mentor is wrong. Never use a screwdriver or anything similar with a sharp edge to tap on the wire. You are asking for a dented wire or worse yet, a broken one. Something soft like brass or a wooden shank, dowel or something like that is good to use.


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

We love to play BF2.
#1925952 - 07/12/12 05:57 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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It's hard to tell exactly whether the hitch pins have moved ... but in my experience it is more likely to be the pin has bent with the tension of the strings, not having been fitted and tapped down.

VERY rarely ..if ever ...do the strings creep up a hitch pin that much - Almost certainly a case where the strings weren't tapped down in the first place. wink



Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
#1925955 - 07/12/12 06:06 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: MU51C JP]  
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Thanks jerry
The piano (under 20 years old) needed a pitch raise of 9 cents approx,, hadn't been tuned in five years apparently., tuning didn't seem any worse in those areas pictured.

I would expect tuning to have degraded badly if the pins were moving. Just a thought.

hypothetically, if they are moving or coming out, what's the solution ? arnt they part of the cast iron frame ?

#1925961 - 07/12/12 06:27 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I think the strings were not tapped down when they were installed.


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#1925979 - 07/12/12 07:19 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Your question has already been answered Michael - They need tapping down ... if they haven't broken off by now and if the tuning isn't going out seriously on those particular notes, you should get them tapped down at the next tuning. The pins are not part of the casting and can be eased back to where they should be without fear of snapping off.

Apart from anything else, the down bearing will be better, and the strings will never bend the hitch pins again ... lending itself to perfect stability ... at least where that particular area is concerned.


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
#1925987 - 07/12/12 07:39 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I agree with BDB and John too. Probably been like that for a while...

John and BDB, do you think that some of the pins look like they've been "rapped on" with a hammer or something? They looked "funny." Bent on a screwy angle... ?

I wondered about something being "funky" because the pins on those wires that are raised up on them are more straightened up than the others which are bent like someone hit them with something...



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

We love to play BF2.
#1925988 - 07/12/12 07:46 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I think it is the angle of the photograph, but the hitch pins were probably pounded in and bent over by hand when the piano was made.


Semipro Tech
#1925990 - 07/12/12 07:50 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Thanks Johnkie,,, Personally I'd be inclined to not ease the pins back in fear of weakening them further,,, I think when the string is seated properly they won't be a problem as they are.. Btw How would you ease the pins back, pliers ? I take it you've done it before ?

#1925993 - 07/12/12 07:55 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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If they are tight, I would leave them alone. Sounds like they are from your description of things. I was just curious because of the pictures is all.



Jerry Groot RPT
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www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1925996 - 07/12/12 07:56 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Hi Jerry - hope you are well and had a great time when you were away!

I am inclined to think that the bent hitch pins are meant to be - Quite a few pianos have the hitch pins inserted and then using a tool that slips over, the pin is slightly bent so that the string seats easier when tapped down. You can see the tool mark on the second pin quite clearly. The straighter pins I believe to be the result of the tension bending the pin because of the extra leverage applied through not being seated correctly on the plate.

Greetings from over the pond wink


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
#1926093 - 07/13/12 12:20 AM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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the plate looks like it have been paint as plated pins are generally installed after paint on new pianos.
Not seated strings have bent back the pins. They could be left like they are but a light bend again for cosmetics will probably not break them. If it does the pin can be changed so it is not such a concern, but it is not always easy to get the old pin out or push it out thru the plate.

I have seen broken pins in that situation, so seat the strings first.

Last edited by Kamin; 07/13/12 12:49 AM.

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#1926121 - 07/13/12 02:00 AM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I'm thinking it might be prudent to release the tension of the string before tapping. In the small example shown, only the wires on the front row of hitch pins need adjustment. This sharper angle might also effect the voicing of the strings.

I'm wondering the make of piano and if there is a tuning/ voicing issue?


"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
#1926153 - 07/13/12 05:26 AM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: Dave B]  
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Originally Posted by Dave B
I'm thinking it might be prudent to release the tension of the string before tapping. In the small example shown, only the wires on the front row of hitch pins need adjustment. This sharper angle might also effect the voicing of the strings.

I'm wondering the make of piano and if there is a tuning/ voicing issue?


You don't have to release the tension to seat the strings. This is normal prep work on any new piano. I use a brass rod , small hammer and a light tap to seat the strings. This is one item that get overlook at the factory.


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
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#1926255 - 07/13/12 12:36 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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You know, I just don't like the looks of those hitch pins. An obvious WHACK mark on the one means that someone intentionally hit it to bend it. Why? Most pianos do not have bent hitch pins.

Those that are straightened out again, why? What happened to cause this to occur?

Same with the strings that are up so high on those same hitch pins. Why?

I wonder how cheaply made the piano might be? Or, if another tuner did this? Again, why?

Was the piano rebuilt and if so, why do things look the way they do... I think, something is fishy myself.


Jerry Groot RPT
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1926293 - 07/13/12 02:20 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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The piano is a high quality English made Broadwood,, it hasn't been rebuilt and was manufactured in the nineties, it sounds really nice,, broadwoods were one of the best English makes with a long heritage behind them.
I was surprised when I seen the strings like this on such a high quality piano, that's why I wanted to get a second opinion on it. looks like I was the first tuner to notice it in 20 years.

I do agree with others that it probably left the factory like this, and as another knowledgeable member pointed out , the pins are shaped like that in the factory, I'm sure different factories have different manufacturing techniques .. it was recently moved but I doubt that has anything to do with it.

#1926304 - 07/13/12 02:33 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Broadwood building pianos in England in the 90s ? that is a first to me, I would believe that if the brand is on a piano it was make elsewhere, in asia or East Europe, I'll be glad to be corrected.

Broadwood is the most prestigious brand for England, and I appreciated every instrument I have seen, but they where historic instruments or from the 30's or most recently may be 1950.

Jerry, to me most hitch pins are installed with a slant so they have to be bend slightly (like the balance pin in many keyboards) or the drilling have to be inclined.

It is supposed to help stringing, but of course the strings have to be tapped.

If the angle from the hitch pin to the downbearing colth is huge I would feel more secure with that bend, but indeed I dont recall any occasion where the string raise on the pin.

I cannot see on the picture if the gold paint is just mirrored in the pins or if the pins are painted, most generally, plated hitch pins are not painted, as they can be installed after the golding of the plate. On some pianos where the plate does not have a final clear coat they can be paint, and any mark touched up easily.

Last edited by Kamin; 07/13/12 02:38 PM.

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#1926346 - 07/13/12 04:02 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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Right Kamin,

They are installed on a slant but, I can't recall seeing anything that were intentionally bent at the top of the pin like these are. Unless I'm just not paying enough attention or forgot...

The straightened out pins seem odd too which is what brings the possible quality to mind. Could the piano be a stencil brand?


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

We love to play BF2.
#1926352 - 07/13/12 04:14 PM Re: Broadwood grand hitch pins [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Oh , just the string tension is largely enough to bend back a pin, I have seen that yet, and sometime it can also break if not corrected in time (it happens most often when a new string have been installed, more rarely on a factory piano, even if some tapping is often useful)

I thought of a rebuild or a stencil indeed.


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#1926354 - 07/13/12 04:17 PM Re: Grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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These 3 pictures are what I am picturing when I refer to something that is not bent backward but instead, only angled...

As we can see, they are only angled into the plate. Not bent backward from top to bottom with the bend half way down the pin or am I missing something?

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Jerry Groot RPT
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1926377 - 07/13/12 04:58 PM Re: Grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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You are right, I believe I have seen both, I dont really notice, but bend pins may be more often on vertical pianos.

To me the Steinway pins can be bend and not noticed, due to the punching, I dont recall at the moment how they are installed wink

Last edited by Kamin; 07/13/12 05:00 PM.

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#1926380 - 07/13/12 05:06 PM Re: Grand hitch pins [Re: michaelopolis]  
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I have seen both types. Drilled perpendicular to the plate and bent afterwards, or drilled at an angle.

I agree with Kamin that the bent type is most often seen in uprights, but I have seen them in grands.

I remember having to twist one on a grand when restringing where the pin had gotten loose and rotated. It turned freely in it's hole until tension was applied.

Anyways, those strings should be tapped down no doubt.



Jean Poulin

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