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#2051083 - 03/19/13 10:32 PM String Lifting Tool  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 413
woodfab Offline
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woodfab  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 413
Stoneham, MA
I broke my String Lifting Tool half way through the treble section and then again on the second unison of bass strings.
[Linked Image]
Now I need a new tool

Whitch one should I BUY?


Dan (Piano Tinkerer)
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#2051135 - 03/20/13 01:02 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,001
Gene Nelson Offline
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Gene Nelson  Offline
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Posts: 2,001
Old Hangtown California
I keep several, I like to have a collection of all possible coil lifters.
I like the one in your photo - the long neck makes it useful where the one with the short neck has a problem.
I also like the Scirotino (spelling is probably wrong) coil lifter - it has a sliding counterweight that sets coils very nicely.
Never broke one.


RPT
PTG Member
#2051152 - 03/20/13 02:53 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
My 36 year-old Tuner's Supply lifter finally began to bend out of shape last year, so I bought one of the plastisol-coated ones from Schaff. It's bulky and doesn't fit easily under coils or between pins. IOW, I wouldn't recommend it.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2051177 - 03/20/13 04:21 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Dan,

Was the tool that broke a Schaff tool? Which number?

Jim,

I haven't seen any mention of plastisol-coated string lifters in Schaff's catalog. Would you happen to have a part number for the one that you bought?


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
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#2051244 - 03/20/13 09:14 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 413
woodfab Offline
Full Member
woodfab  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
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Stoneham, MA
It's a STRING LIFTER AND SPACER 134

I guess I'm just pulling to hard.

In my opinion I would say it's much to brittle.

Last edited by woodfab; 03/20/13 09:16 AM.

Dan (Piano Tinkerer)
#2051280 - 03/20/13 10:40 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,677
Ed Foote Offline
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Ed Foote  Offline
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Posts: 1,677
Tennessee
Greetings,
It seems that there must be a lot of force being used in the stringing to break steel tools. I have evolved my stringing over the years to avoid, as much as possible, having to use force. I have it pretty well isolated to the hammers, with a bit of effort when it comes to coiling wire, and on a small, intense, scale, really concentrated force when moving beckets in or out with heavy wire.

If the tang doesn't protrude, the coil can be lifted higher than level on the pin and fixed there with the initial tensioning of the wire. I try to coil and tension so that when I first tighten the string, the coils are left tilted above the hole opposite the becket's entry. After the first two chippings or so, when I know the tension isn't ever again going to drop so flat as to loosen them, I tap the coils level. This will simultaneously tighten the coils, even out the top strings various angles to bearings, (all the pins are evenly driven by now, eh?), level the coils, and allow the tension of the speaking length to move up the string, taking some slack out of the coil, itself. This is a boost to stability, since the coil contains approx. 150 cents worth of slack after the first chipping, and tightening the coil pays off in a lot faster stability. I use small, custom ground, Vise-Grips to give the coils a twist after the second chipping. It is not uncommon for a note to drop 100 cents, even after being at pitch for a day or two. Moving the coils to level, under full tension, helps reduce this.

This way, I never have to force the lifter, instead, just use it to start the coil off high. Takes little force to hold it up while the pin turns it tight. The hammer does the forceful work, and they don't ever break!
Regards


#2051281 - 03/20/13 10:43 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Ed Foote]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kpembrook  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
Michigan
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Greetings,
It seems that there must be a lot of force being used in the stringing to break steel tools. I have evolved my stringing over the years to avoid, as much as possible, having to use force. I have it pretty well isolated to the hammers, with a bit of effort when it comes to coiling wire, and on a small, intense, scale, really concentrated force when moving beckets in or out with heavy wire.

If the tang doesn't protrude, the coil can be lifted higher than level on the pin and fixed there with the initial tensioning of the wire. I try to coil and tension so that when I first tighten the string, the coils are left tilted above the hole opposite the becket's entry. After the first two chippings or so, when I know the tension isn't ever again going to drop so flat as to loosen them, I tap the coils level. This will simultaneously tighten the coils, even out the top strings various angles to bearings, (all the pins are evenly driven by now, eh?), level the coils, and allow the tension of the speaking length to move up the string, taking some slack out of the coil, itself. This is a boost to stability, since the coil contains approx. 150 cents worth of slack after the first chipping, and tightening the coil pays off in a lot faster stability. I use small, custom ground, Vise-Grips to give the coils a twist after the second chipping. It is not uncommon for a note to drop 100 cents, even after being at pitch for a day or two. Moving the coils to level, under full tension, helps reduce this.

This way, I never have to force the lifter, instead, just use it to start the coil off high. Takes little force to hold it up while the pin turns it tight. The hammer does the forceful work, and they don't ever break!
Regards



I take a similar approach. Lift coil "too high" on initial stringing. Tap down and compact later.


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
#2051282 - 03/20/13 10:44 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kpembrook  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,620
Michigan
Originally Posted by woodfab
I broke my String Lifting Tool half way through the treble section and then again on the second unison of bass strings.
[Linked Image]
Now I need a new tool

Whitch one should I BUY?


Best string lifter you can get is to make your own out of a single-string-unison bass string. You don't need one that looks like the photo.


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
#2051466 - 03/20/13 04:51 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Mark R.  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,265
Pretoria, South Africa
Keith,

I'm always very interested in making my own tools, but I'm battling to wrap my mind around the shape that this thing would take. Do you perhaps have a picture of such a self-made string lifter?


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
#2051492 - 03/20/13 05:44 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
WIth a string it is a hook, you need proper technique, the coil lifter is useful, can be made with an old large enough screwdriver.

I like the one sold by Jahnn, with a wooden handle but the light tool pictured there is useful, it tend to wear if misused (not enough force. The comb side is also very useful to make a fiorst spacing


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2051518 - 03/20/13 06:56 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Mark R.]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Mark R.
Dan,

Was the tool that broke a Schaff tool? Which number?

Jim,

I haven't seen any mention of plastisol-coated string lifters in Schaff's catalog. Would you happen to have a part number for the one that you bought?


Yes, it's part # 134. In the catalog, it's shown as their standard, plain metal lifter, but the one I got looks like this:

[Linked Image]



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2051794 - 03/21/13 08:10 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
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
the half round seem to be too small for a tuning pin is not it ?


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2051865 - 03/21/13 11:07 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Ed Foote]  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,205
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Dale Fox  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,205
Nor California Sacramento area
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Greetings,
It seems that there must be a lot of force being used in the stringing to break steel tools. I have evolved my stringing over the years to avoid, as much as possible, having to use force. I have it pretty well isolated to the hammers, with a bit of effort when it comes to coiling wire, and on a small, intense, scale, really concentrated force when moving beckets in or out with heavy wire.

If the tang doesn't protrude, the coil can be lifted higher than level on the pin and fixed there with the initial tensioning of the wire. I try to coil and tension so that when I first tighten the string, the coils are left tilted above the hole opposite the becket's entry. After the first two chippings or so, when I know the tension isn't ever again going to drop so flat as to loosen them, I tap the coils level. This will simultaneously tighten the coils, even out the top strings various angles to bearings, (all the pins are evenly driven by now, eh?), level the coils, and allow the tension of the speaking length to move up the string, taking some slack out of the coil, itself. This is a boost to stability, since the coil contains approx. 150 cents worth of slack after the first chipping, and tightening the coil pays off in a lot faster stability. I use small, custom ground, Vise-Grips to give the coils a twist after the second chipping. It is not uncommon for a note to drop 100 cents, even after being at pitch for a day or two. Moving the coils to level, under full tension, helps reduce this.

This way, I never have to force the lifter, instead, just use it to start the coil off high. Takes little force to hold it up while the pin turns it tight. The hammer does the forceful work, and they don't ever break!
Regards



Hi Ed,

I like and use your method of pulling the coil too high initially and then tapping down to level. I was taught to do it that way a few decades ago by some guy named Fandrich in a little shop in Sacramento.

It is my observation that many of the problems that people have getting the coils lifted in the first place has to do with the extreme back angle that most manufacturers seem intent on drilling their pin blocks. It's really hard to keep those coils from crawling down the pin toward the plate on most pianos where the angle of the pin is approaching 7 degrees or so. We rarely drill at more than 3 degrees except for the occasional upright pin block in the bass where the is no pressure bar.

BTW, if the tang is allowed to stick out beyond the side of the pin, you are prevented from leveling the coils to the most efficient path around the pin. The coil is best when the top of the wire at 180 degrees from the becket, bisects the hole opposite the becket, as this eliminates any ovoid tracking. The best path around the pin is also the shortest. Imagine a screw thread if you will.


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding
#2051881 - 03/21/13 11:35 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
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
Good description by Ed, that is how I was shown, with the upper coil covering the hole in the end


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2051894 - 03/21/13 12:01 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Dale Fox]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Dale Fox
Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Greetings,
It seems that there must be a lot of force being used in the stringing to break steel tools. I have evolved my stringing over the years to avoid, as much as possible, having to use force. I have it pretty well isolated to the hammers, with a bit of effort when it comes to coiling wire, and on a small, intense, scale, really concentrated force when moving beckets in or out with heavy wire.

If the tang doesn't protrude, the coil can be lifted higher than level on the pin and fixed there with the initial tensioning of the wire. I try to coil and tension so that when I first tighten the string, the coils are left tilted above the hole opposite the becket's entry. After the first two chippings or so, when I know the tension isn't ever again going to drop so flat as to loosen them, I tap the coils level. This will simultaneously tighten the coils, even out the top strings various angles to bearings, (all the pins are evenly driven by now, eh?), level the coils, and allow the tension of the speaking length to move up the string, taking some slack out of the coil, itself. This is a boost to stability, since the coil contains approx. 150 cents worth of slack after the first chipping, and tightening the coil pays off in a lot faster stability. I use small, custom ground, Vise-Grips to give the coils a twist after the second chipping. It is not uncommon for a note to drop 100 cents, even after being at pitch for a day or two. Moving the coils to level, under full tension, helps reduce this.

This way, I never have to force the lifter, instead, just use it to start the coil off high. Takes little force to hold it up while the pin turns it tight. The hammer does the forceful work, and they don't ever break!
Regards



Hi Ed,

I like and use your method of pulling the coil too high initially and then tapping down to level. I was taught to do it that way a few decades ago by some guy named Fandrich in a little shop in Sacramento.

It is my observation that many of the problems that people have getting the coils lifted in the first place has to do with the extreme back angle that most manufacturers seem intent on drilling their pin blocks. It's really hard to keep those coils from crawling down the pin toward the plate on most pianos where the angle of the pin is approaching 7 degrees or so. We rarely drill at more than 3 degrees except for the occasional upright pin block in the bass where the is no pressure bar.

BTW, if the tang is allowed to stick out beyond the side of the pin, you are prevented from leveling the coils to the most efficient path around the pin. The coil is best when the top of the wire at 180 degrees from the becket, bisects the hole opposite the becket, as this eliminates any ovoid tracking. The best path around the pin is also the shortest. Imagine a screw thread if you will.



This is very interesting.

Back in the Dark Ages when I apprenticed (1976 & 77), I had been taught to always have the tang protrude approximately the diameter of the wire from the pin, and to lift the coil against it. For me, that never took a lot of force unless I tried to lift a coil that was tight (which is why my 36 year-old lifter slowly bent out of shape).

But, I get Dale's point about shortening the path around the pin, and will give it a try today at the Shout House.


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2051895 - 03/21/13 12:02 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Olek]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,556
Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Olek
the half round seem to be too small for a tuning pin is not it ?


It is big enough, but the arms are so thick it's sometimes difficult to get it between the pins.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2051905 - 03/21/13 12:11 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 24,966
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
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Oakland
It can be worthwhile modifying tools with a file or grinder to make them fit better.

Remember to lift, not pry.


Semipro Tech
#2051913 - 03/21/13 12:25 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member
Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Ah yes the glory of tools made overseas from compressed grass clippings. Someone clearly needs to go over there and say add SALT ! I think if they would ever get that these tools need to be hardened or annealed then they would actually survive useage. I think they make those string lifters down at the "Bendzalot" flatware factory when little Johnny forgets to tack on a spoon they just make it a string lifter.

I experimented with some new piano dollies a couple years ago which looked to me like they were made from old pallets but they were still 200 bucks. Bored holes through knots in wood? Why were there Knots anyway? How can you pre-stress wood with knots in it? So now we just make everything ourselves.

My personal favorite is if it's a flawed casting .. throw some paint over it ! At least we will never have to worry about the Naval ships since they do not xray their welding processes.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
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Through restoration/renovation
#2051936 - 03/21/13 12:53 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 403
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member
Dan Casdorph  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 403
Morgantown, West Virginia
I have an old APSCO "heavy duty string lifter" that is made from hexagonal stock, with the ears groung to a point. Its a lot better than the Schaff tool pictured, but I don't know if Schaff kept that tool after they bought APSCO.

EDIT: I see they still have it, Schaff part number 3164


Last edited by Dan Casdorph; 03/21/13 02:10 PM.

Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.
#2052166 - 03/21/13 10:19 PM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 413
woodfab Offline
Full Member
woodfab  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 413
Stoneham, MA
Thanks guys for the helpful hints and advice.

I didn't want to wait five or six days for a new one to come so I made a quick one out of a cheap wrench.

I heated one end till it was white hot and let air cool.

Then cut, ground and bent it into the shape I wanted.

I heated it up to red hot and dipped it in water.

I think it will hold me over until I buy a new one.
[Linked Image]


Dan (Piano Tinkerer)
#2052285 - 03/22/13 06:02 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
WHen the coils are well done prior tuning pin insertion, no much force is needed, and in any case the coils with be tightened and tapped later. A good handle is a must.


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2052339 - 03/22/13 08:45 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
Joined: Mar 2006
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BoseEric Offline
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BoseEric  Offline
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Posts: 733
Fairfield County, CT
Hey Ed Foote!

I'd love to see a photo of your modified vicegrips. And I remember one of your other postings, you twist the coil in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction?

#2052345 - 03/22/13 08:57 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: BoseEric]  
Joined: May 2003
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Ed Foote Offline
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Ed Foote  Offline
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Posts: 1,677
Tennessee
Originally Posted by BoseEric
Hey Ed Foote!
I'd love to see a photo of your modified vicegrips. And I remember one of your other postings, you twist the coil in a clockwise or counter clockwise direction?


I got no picture,but it is a simple thing. I used a grinding ball on the Dremel to make the jaws have a slight concavity to them where they meet. This keeps them wrapped around the coil more securely than if I were grabbing the round coil with flat surfaces. I set the adjustment so that the jaws are just short of locking on a firm grip, mash the becket as flat as possible, and then I twist the coil in a counterclockwise direction, massaging the string along its length of the coil. This moves some of the slack from farther up in the coil and seems to let the string settle. It is normal to see pitch drop 150 cents when this is done after the first two chippings.

I have also ground the jaws down to be smaller for reaching in tighter places.
Regards,

#2052378 - 03/22/13 10:09 AM Re: String Lifting Tool [Re: woodfab]  
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
Not to try to look different, but I hardly experienced any large drop when massaging the coils that way. But I tried after reinserting the becket and tapping the coils. And after 3 chippings/Tunings

If done before may be it shows the drop some stated to me.

I have also tried once after mounting a new string, without much drop too, a little, indeed, so I will adopt the technique..

I have yet a freshliy stringed vertical to tests...


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

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