Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
62 registered members (Beemer, AZNpiano, anotherscott, Bett, 14 invisible), 784 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2009212 - 01/05/13 12:59 AM Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Blues beater Offline
Full Member
Blues beater  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Austin, Texas USA
I have owned some really wretched pianos over the years. In my drinking days, I was just happy to beat out the blues on a piano if all the keys returned. Now I expect more out of a piano, but, I am sure, not remotely close to what some do.

I recently acquired a 54" upright, old-school pre-1929 of uncertain make. It says "Whittier NY" and somebody told me that means it was made by Kimball. It was essentially unplayable and I have done the following:
** Restrung the 25 bass notes -- at which time I filled cracks in the bass bridge with epoxy.
** Replaced the hammers.
** Replaced the keytops.
** Done extensive work on the action. I had a free piano that didn't work out due to pinblock separation and loose ribs on the soundboard etc., but it had the same type of action with the exception of shorter stickers and that action donated a whole lot of hammer butts and whippens to to the decrepit action in the current piano.

I am not at all unhappy with the result and have less than $1k total in the project --and lots of hours! I have made a lot of mistakes such that I think I would prefer not to post pix of my work in order not to offend the squeamish smile but I don't think any of the mistakes are fatal. I have learned a LOT, and learned how much more there is to learn, as well.

What still needs to be done:
** Final professional tuning after the bass strings get a little more stabilized. I am tuning them myself with the help of a smartphone app that has an "Equal temprament -- streched" option.
** The 17lb Abel hammers are considerably heavier than what was on there and tomorrow I plant to try lightening the touch weight. I am fortunate in that the keys have weights behind the balance rail that I can remove. Not too concerned about lift weight, because it is currently over 30 grams -- nice aspect of used broken in parts! smile
** Properly regulate all the dampers. I ordered a spoon bender for uprights today.
** Perform a more thorough and precise regulation of the action per Reiblitz after the used parts get better acquainted with each other. At this time I have done little beyond hammer stroke, lost motion and let-off. Some of the capstans were getting a little wobbly in the keys because they had to unscrew further so I put a few drops of blue Loctite at the base of the threads. It seems to have wicked down and tightened them up nicely.
** Would like to address two items: The Bb at the bottom of the trichords is noticeably brighter and stronger than the A at the top of the bass. It was like this before I did anything, but I was hoping it was just dead bass strings. As you go down the bass gets a lot stronger. Comments? My understanding is that this is transition can be very challenging and, perhaps, the nature of the piano and something I will have to live with to a degree. I put hardener on the top bass hammers and can't tell any difference.
The other items is around the top of the octave above middle "C." Sometimes the notes have a metallic ringing, much more evident with all the panels removed than with the piano closed up. I swear sometimes I hear it and it is annoying, and sometimes I don't. It is maybe weather dependent (??) or 66 year old hearing. Prying the strings sideways on the capo bar I didn't see any grooves. There are TINY cracks coming from the bridge pins no more than 1/4" long. They are thin and hard to see. I am considering removing the bridge pins and reinstalling with epoxy, possibly longer pins and drill the holes a little deeper. But I wonder if I should better let this sleeping dog lie.

Comments welcome! I know what I have done to this instrument does not come remotely close to being considered a true "restoration," but it is all relative and the piano is relatively a thousand times what it was. While I have been frustrated at times, and am not happy with my ragged job of hammer installation, I am overall quite satisfied with the project and looking forward to continuing to make enhancements.



Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
(ad 800)
PTG Journal
PTG Journal
#2009330 - 01/05/13 09:21 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 419
Goof Offline
Full Member
Goof  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 419
UK
Yep the transition from treble to base bridge is a problem it is discussed elcewhere in this forum. I have eaxctly the same problem as you on a 54" Brock upright from 1956. The only difference is that on the Brock the break is after base D3.
I have made some improovement by carefully sanding off the nose of the hammer so that both strings of the bichord are struck evenly.
I used a graphite stick to rub on the strings and mark the hammer face. Did this about three times - i.e. removed hammer and shaft and shaped the felt on 200 grit sand paper laid on a flat surface; and this after fitting a new pair of strings!

#2009358 - 01/05/13 10:33 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 121
wcctuner Offline
Full Member
wcctuner  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 121
Princeton, NJ
The bass bridge might be coming unglued from the soundboard. If you can slip a business card between the bridge and the soundboard it needs repair. That would account for the reduced volume and poor tone. If this is the problem and you already added hardner to these hammers, you will probably have to voice these hammers, as those notes will be way too bright.

Last edited by wcctuner; 01/05/13 10:37 AM.

Dave Forman
Piano Technician, Westminster Choir College of Rider University
#2009367 - 01/05/13 10:48 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: wcctuner]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Blues beater Offline
Full Member
Blues beater  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Austin, Texas USA
Originally Posted by wcctuner
The bass bridge might be coming unglued from the soundboard. If you can slip a business card between the bridge and the soundboard it needs repair. That would account for the reduced volume and poor tone. If this is the problem and you already added hardner to these hammers, you will probably have to voice these hammers, as those notes will be way too bright.


Before I brought this piano home I was seduced by a "free" piano with beautiful tiger oak panels and carvings. My tuner pointed out to me what a POS it was for, among many other reasons, the bridge lifting from the soundboard. But all was well as the piano was the donor of lots of decent hammer butts and whippens. I knew to look for the bridge gap before taking in this latest piano. As you go a little further down in the bass it becomes quite aggressive with no hardener.

Thanks! Don


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2009368 - 01/05/13 10:55 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Goof]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Blues beater Offline
Full Member
Blues beater  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Austin, Texas USA
Originally Posted by Goof
Yep the transition from treble to base bridge is a problem it is discussed elcewhere in this forum. I have eaxctly the same problem as you on a 54" Brock upright from 1956. The only difference is that on the Brock the break is after base D3.
I have made some improovement by carefully sanding off the nose of the hammer so that both strings of the bichord are struck evenly.
I used a graphite stick to rub on the strings and mark the hammer face. Did this about three times - i.e. removed hammer and shaft and shaped the felt on 200 grit sand paper laid on a flat surface; and this after fitting a new pair of strings!


I am considering having my tuner voice the very bottom of the trichords a little softer. They are unnecessarily bright. I don't know why because I did not mess with those hammers. I don't think I want to attempt the needling at this stage of my "skills." I have to live with the embarrassment of not having lined up the hammers very evenly, smile so I don't want to bring him in until I have, at least, got everything else as good as I can make it and the bass strings are relatively stabilized.



Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
#2011586 - 01/09/13 08:41 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Blues beater Offline
Full Member
Blues beater  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Austin, Texas USA
I have been puzzled by the fact that when playing the newest piano I seem to be losing my (limited) talents and playing an inordinate number of wrong notes. Its like I lose my place on the keyboard. 66 years old but hope I don't have Altzheimers yet! Discouraging.

Figured it out last night and verified the problem by comparison to my other two pianos. The new keytops I put on are way thicker than the old ones so the black keys do not project adequately above the white. I have a substantial task ahead of me and will order a big assortment of punchings. Won't be sitting in front of the TV bored watching reruns of "Cops" anytime soon.


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
#2011587 - 01/09/13 08:43 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Goof]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Blues beater Offline
Full Member
Blues beater  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 282
Austin, Texas USA
Originally Posted by Goof
Yep the transition from treble to base bridge is a problem it is discussed elsewhere in this forum......


Could you do me a big favor and direct me to that discussion?

Thanks....Don


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
#2021544 - 01/26/13 10:13 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 419
Goof Offline
Full Member
Goof  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 419
UK
Sory but I can not find the exact post but I do remember the point was made by Del Fandrich.
Try using the Google SEARCH at the top left hand corner ot this site's main page.
It does as it says "works much better ---".
Type in "discussions on piano briges" - there are plenty and very informative they are - too!

#2021572 - 01/26/13 11:25 AM Re: Introduce myself and my DIY project -- long [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
it is better to take off enough material from the key before gluing new tops? the other solution is to use taller sharps

Problems may arise with the board at the end of the keys , if the new tops are higher, but mostly you are obliged to raise the sharps and that is detrimental to touch. (plus you may need to add so many cardboard punchings under the sharps that the white keys will touch them)





Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

Moderated by  Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
Free piano ebook for review
by jjjkay. 10/18/17 10:46 PM
Free piano ebook for review
by jjjkay. 10/18/17 10:39 PM
Corrosion on Plate
by Bob. 10/18/17 08:11 PM
European Piano Party 2018 in Germany?
by patH. 10/18/17 05:26 PM
Home made tape deck Electone - awesome!
by Doug M.. 10/18/17 04:15 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,365
Posts2,665,567
Members88,990
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
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 |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0