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#2052668 - 03/22/13 06:38 PM Taking the plunge  
Joined: Apr 2006
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
After researching what is available, I thought I'd enter the 21st century and try out a Fujan lever.

Please, tell me I'm doing the right thing...



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2052669 - 03/22/13 06:41 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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accordeur Online content
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accordeur  Online Content
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Québec, Canada
I love mine!


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
#2052690 - 03/22/13 07:40 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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DavidWB Online content
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Grand Junction CO
If I were you, I'd also check out hammers made by Charles Faulk.


David Bauguess
#2052693 - 03/22/13 07:49 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: DavidWB]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by DavidWB
If I were you, I'd also check out hammers made by Charles Faulk.


I did. It looks like a lot of his aren't available, and I'm not wild about having a knob on the end of the handle. I'm getting the 13" Fujan with a straight handle.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
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#2052695 - 03/22/13 07:51 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Well, it could come in handy when doing 100-200 cent pitch raises on pianos with Delignit blocks. Just sayin'.

#2052709 - 03/22/13 08:34 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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David Boyce Online content
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Scotland
You did the right thing! It really does eliminate a variable that wastes bairn and muscle power - compensating for flexing of the shaft in traditional levers. It gives a very positive direct feel of connection to the pin. I have briefly tried a Faulk lever too, and it's good as well. But I do prefer my Fujan.

#2052774 - 03/23/13 01:38 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Jim Moy Offline
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Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
I've got one, and never regretted the purchase. Many people talk about the stiffness, but for me the weight is probably as significant a factor (it's very light).


Jim Moy, RPT
Moy Piano Service, LLC
Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado
http://www.moypiano.com
#2052777 - 03/23/13 01:56 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Thanks, all.

This will be a big step for me; I bought my Hale extension lever from Tuner's Supply back in 1976.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053228 - 03/24/13 12:10 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Dave B Offline
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Philadelphia area
Jim, I'm also considering the Fujan lever. I'd like your feed-back if you decide to order one. What tip and head set up are you going to use? And, I'm wondering what your objections to the rounded ball handle end are? I often wish my hammer had one because its a comfortable arm position that reduces flag poling effect on the pin.


"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
#2053260 - 03/24/13 01:44 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: Dave B]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Dave B
Jim, I'm also considering the Fujan lever. I'd like your feed-back if you decide to order one. What tip and head set up are you going to use? And, I'm wondering what your objections to the rounded ball handle end are? I often wish my hammer had one because its a comfortable arm position that reduces flag poling effect on the pin.


I'll be more than happy to!

In reading up on it, I came across this article by an RPT by the name Michael Musial. I really liked how he went about his research and could relate to his perspective. So, based on his experience and recommendations, I went with the long tube with the straight extension handle, the 10 degree head with the 5/8" extension; I saw the logic in his choices.

I have yet to tune with a ball handle end, and have only held a few of them. They feel clumsy to me. I can probably blame that on motorcycle riding more than anything else; I like the feel of something the diameter of a motorcycle grip, where I can wrap my hand around it easily if I want.

I can always go back and add a ball end if I want later.

I think another part of it is my backward tuning technique; I tune left-handed, with the handle usually in the 9:30-11:30 position. FWIW, I've never had an issue with flag-poling, and I'm inclined to believe my handle position has something to do with that.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053280 - 03/24/13 05:02 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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robnewman Offline
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Cambridge UK
Had mine for a couple of years now. It cost an arm and leg to get it over here (UK), but worth every penny. Does just what I want it to do. Occasionally have to revert back to old Steinway pattern leaver (oblong pins, thin walled head etc), and the difference in stability is stark

#2053418 - 03/24/13 11:23 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Emmery Offline
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
I have exactly the same set up as Michael on my Fujan, 10 deg head with the 5/8 extention. I made a 1/2" extention on my lathe which has a 5 degree bias indexed on it for some grands with higher struts.

Although I got the big rosewood knob for the end, I never warmed up to it. It feels unnatural after tuning many years with a conventional straight hammer. I think that knob actually weighs as much or more than the whole carbon tube does FWIW. Considering that the exceptional lightness of this hammer is one of its best attributes, a big solid wood knob just doesn't fit the bill for me.

I ended up molding a straight cap to cover the end threads out of polymorph plastic. This lets me tune farther up into the treble on grands before I stand and step around the edge for the last few notes. That big knob would always want to bang into the edge of the rim.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#2053433 - 03/24/13 11:56 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Thanks, Emmery. That increases my data point spread. laugh



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053435 - 03/24/13 11:59 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Just a thought about this.

To me, this is kind of like riding a motorcycle or playing golf: The tool should enhance the preexisting skill, not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so to speak. I.e., if I'm a lousy tuner to begin with, this lever isn't going to magically make me into a good one. Conversely, if I'm a good tuner to begin with, this lever should make my job that much easier. Or, at least, that's how I see it.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053454 - 03/24/13 12:26 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
My feeling as well. I tried one, and did not like it. Having spent years building up a technique, there was no advantage changing it for a new tool.


Semipro Tech
#2053458 - 03/24/13 12:31 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
What do you use, BDB?


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053462 - 03/24/13 12:36 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
I have two old Schaff plastic (or rubber) handled extension levers. (I recommend that professionals have two of every tool that they use daily on hand, so if something happens to one, you are not stuck.)


Semipro Tech
#2053536 - 03/24/13 03:14 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: BDB]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by BDB
I have two old Schaff plastic (or rubber) handled extension levers. (I recommend that professionals have two of every tool that they use daily on hand, so if something happens to one, you are not stuck.)


That's what I have, but I only have one. I guess that might be another reason to get the Fujan... wink



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2053776 - 03/25/13 02:08 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
Bruce, I was worried about having to change my technique too when I got my Fujan. Nothing really changes. I still sweep, twist, tap and nudge the hammer the same way as I always did, its just incredibly stiff and light, so the tactile feedback is heightened and this lends to smaller movements being more exact. I would not want to go back to my old hammer now, but as you suggested, I keep it with me as a spare.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#2056901 - 03/30/13 02:18 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: Emmery]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Emmery
Bruce, I was worried about having to change my technique too when I got my Fujan. Nothing really changes. I still sweep, twist, tap and nudge the hammer the same way as I always did, its just incredibly stiff and light, so the tactile feedback is heightened and this lends to smaller movements being more exact. I would not want to go back to my old hammer now, but as you suggested, I keep it with me as a spare.


It arrived today.

This is my concern as well, so it's nice to read what you have to say about the difference, Emmery. I'm looking forward to using it this week. I have to touch up a couple of notes on my piano, then I think I'll use it at the Shout House next.

I am amazed at the difference in weight, and I like the feel of it in my hand. I think I'm going to be glad I went with the straight handle extension.

I assume I can use my regular tip wrench?


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2056957 - 03/30/13 04:17 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Morgantown, West Virginia
I bought the ball end with mine, but I felt it was too large and round. I used a belt sander and made it smaller, and more of a pear shape. I tried my older cigar shape lever and I missed the pear shaped handle.


Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.
#2057019 - 03/30/13 06:31 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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That Guy Offline
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Lincoln, NE
Yippee! You have made the right choice. I have a straight handle and the ball. I like to use the ball on grands and the straight on verticals. Also, on the grand I have the 20 degree head. I have really ended up liking it on grands and even some verticals that have a real thick plate so it's hard to get to the pins.

The inventor, Steve Fujan, is from my hometown, Lincoln, NE. He's lived in Oklahoma for a long time now but still has family here. I had a problem with the threads on my head and he was coming to visit so came to my house and swapped out the part for no charge.

By the way, if you want a super light lever leave the end off of it and put a plastic cap that goes on a chair leg on it. It's handy too if you're tuning an Acrosonic-the kind where the whole top lifts up.

Enjoy!


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#2057027 - 03/30/13 06:48 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: That Guy]  
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accordeur Online content
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accordeur  Online Content
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Québec, Canada
Originally Posted by That Guy
Yippee! You have made the right choice. I have a straight handle and the ball. I like to use the ball on grands and the straight on verticals. Also, on the grand I have the 20 degree head. I have really ended up liking it on grands and even some verticals that have a real thick plate so it's hard to get to the pins.

The inventor, Steve Fujan, is from my hometown, Lincoln, NE. He's lived in Oklahoma for a long time now but still has family here. I had a problem with the threads on my head and he was coming to visit so came to my house and swapped out the part for no charge.

By the way, if you want a super light lever leave the end off of it and put a plastic cap that goes on a chair leg on it. It's handy too if you're tuning an Acrosonic-the kind where the whole top lifts up.

Enjoy!


I have had excellent service with Mr. Fujan as well! I bought an aluminum Fujan about a month before the carbon fiber came out. He gracefully replaced it. I only had to pay the difference in price. He even included a 5/8" extension no charge.

I like your idea of removing the handle and putting some kind of rubber cap on in difficult and tight spaces!

Thanks!



Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
#2058303 - 04/02/13 12:52 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
I used the Fujan for the first time today on one of my more problematic pianos; a 1980 Baldwin SF-10, with the many-laminationed pin block and jumpy pins.

What an incredible difference it made in the ability to make small, precise, movements! I tuned with both the tip and handle extensions, and it felt great.

I'm also very happy I chose the straight handle extension; It felt completely normal to grip.

Also, a LOT less effort.

Money well spent.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2058578 - 04/03/13 07:47 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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David Boyce Online content
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David Boyce  Online Content
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Scotland
Great!

I find that the Fujan really does give a very firm sense of connection to, and control over, the pin. No brain or arm power are wasted in computing and correcting for flexing in the shaft of the lever.

#2063095 - 04/11/13 07:45 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Update:

After two weeks of using it, I think my tuning time is as much as 1/3 shorter than it used to be. This lever rocks!



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2063105 - 04/11/13 08:21 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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accordeur Online content
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accordeur  Online Content
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Québec, Canada
That's what happened to me when I got it.

I especially like the texture of carbon fiber when handling from pin to pin. Or "choking" when nudging.

Top of the line for sure.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
#2063147 - 04/11/13 09:55 PM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Rochester MN
And thus: the debut of Le Petite Shout House

Phew! [Linked Image] I'm outta here.

Oops - fergot me beer!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2063240 - 04/12/13 01:26 AM Re: Taking the plunge [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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OperaTenor  Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
And thus: the debut of Le Petite Shout House

Phew! [Linked Image] I'm outta here.

Oops - fergot me beer!


laugh

Funny you mention the Shout House...

I tuned both pianos in an hour today.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind

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