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#2242158 - 03/06/14 12:10 PM So what tool(s) do you techs have....  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Emmery Offline
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
....in your tool box or in your shop which you resent having spent money on or building yourself? No need to name specific manufacturers or vendors, simply explain why you feel it didn't perform or do what you thought it would when you got it.

I personally have no need or use for string stretching gimmicks, sticks, wheels, or any variant. Unless you are manipulating tension to the yeild point or past, pysics dictates you are not stretching the string. Conforming the string to its bearing points better can be done by simply being careful on installation.

As for an indispensible tool I just don't leave home without, I have a german made flat blade screwdriver which is finely split diagonally up the shank and out to the tip. It has a collar which when slid forward, lets the blade firmly grip the screw in its slot, better than any other type of screw holding driver I've seen. The screw can be worked past obsticles without it popping off like magnetic or claw held types.



Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
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#2242170 - 03/06/14 12:40 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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UnrightTooner Offline
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Bradford County, PA
I have a number of backcheck benders. NONE of them are made to work from the side that the bridle strap ISN'T. I almost always just use my finger. (gasp!)

Then there is the false beat eliminator. It does help, but not worth the time. And it doesn't fit between the hammer butts like it says it does.

Forked spoon bender. What a name! How could something named like "square wheel" or "abrasive lubricant" be taken seriously?



Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#2242183 - 03/06/14 01:10 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Zeno Wood Offline
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Brooklyn, NY
Silly - it's a forked tool that bends spoons, not a tool that bends forked spoons. If that's what it did, it would be called a spork bender.

Last edited by Zeno Wood; 03/06/14 01:11 PM.

Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College
#2242192 - 03/06/14 01:23 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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BDB Offline
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I have not found any spoon benders that work very well, not even Uri Geller, except maybe the band I Am Spoonbender.


Semipro Tech
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#2242294 - 03/06/14 05:57 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada

The one piece rubber gang mute never worked so well. Neither did the rubber muting strip, as it got dirty, then hard, then began to crack…..

The clamp for the hammer head and butt extractor. In 1974 one of the first things I did was take out the hinge pin of the clamp and used an electric wire feed to weld the two pieces to a set of long nose vice grips….. then some ten years later I am looking at a supply catalogue and the new tool is a vice grip clamp for the hammer head and butt extractor…..

The tuning pin crank. I could never get that one to work like it should.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2242302 - 03/06/14 06:13 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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David Boyce Offline
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Scotland
Heehee I posed a similar question on the old Pianotech list a few years ago.

For me, a pair of ferocious "hammer shank bending pliers". Useless for anything to do with hammer shanks. I have them to an horologist friend, to bend grandfather clock pendulum rods.

Also, the brass hammer iron, which you are supposed to heat up and then use to iron individual hammers.

I extended my version of this to parts and materials, and included metal tuning pin sleeves for loose tuning pins.

#2242345 - 03/06/14 08:04 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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BenP Offline
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South Jersey
I have this wooden-handled lever with a star tip. Every time I tune a piano I end up fighting with the darn thing for over an hour. Seems like they could invent a tool that does it faster.


Ben Patterson, RPT
South Jersey Piano Service, LLC
www.sjpianoservice.com
#2242364 - 03/06/14 08:48 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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Jon Page Offline
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Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Part number; TLRG. Available only at Pianotek. Hammer removing pliers from Piano Forte Supply. Maninno Bushing Burnishers from Schaff.


Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com
#2242379 - 03/06/14 09:25 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: BenP]  
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David Jenson Offline
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Maine
Originally Posted by BenP
I have this wooden-handled lever with a star tip. Every time I tune a piano I end up fighting with the darn thing for over an hour. Seems like they could invent a tool that does it faster.


Just be patient. I'm working on a gasoline engine model that will spin the star tip one way or the other with great ease. At this development stage I'm working on the clutching mechanism to get some finesse in the movement. Once I get the muffler system perfected and the weight reduced, It'll be ready for the orders to come streaming in. yippie


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2242384 - 03/06/14 09:30 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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David Jenson Offline
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Maine
I bought one of those fancy coiler tools years ago. I think it was called a Scoritino Insta-coiler when I bought it. I don't use it at all anymore. Winding wire on a dummy pin turned out to be easier and more precise.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#2242400 - 03/06/14 10:08 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: David Jenson]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 186
BenP Offline
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South Jersey
Originally Posted by David Jenson
Just be patient. I'm working on a gasoline engine model that will spin the star tip one way or the other with great ease. At this development stage I'm working on the clutching mechanism to get some finesse in the movement. Once I get the muffler system perfected and the weight reduced, It'll be ready for the orders to come streaming in. yippie


Are you taking pre-orders? laugh Of course, some customers might complain about the gasoline engine fumes in their home; but hey, you can't win 'em all.


Ben Patterson, RPT
South Jersey Piano Service, LLC
www.sjpianoservice.com
#2242404 - 03/06/14 10:12 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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BenP Offline
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South Jersey
I am fortunate to not (yet) have any tools that I feel like have been a complete waste of money. Although I did learn my lesson the first time I bought large quantities of string for a restringing project; I stored the coils with some other materials in my basement, and the damp air rusted them over in a matter of weeks.

As far as indispensable - I don't use them all the time, but I love the Spurlock soundboard cleaning tools. I found out about them on this forum, and picked up a set last year sometime. Combined with a nifty $3 handheld vacuum I got at a flea market, I can clean out a grand piano in no time now.


Ben Patterson, RPT
South Jersey Piano Service, LLC
www.sjpianoservice.com
#2242504 - 03/07/14 05:14 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Mark R. Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Beginner's perspective:

I second Jeff's notion on the backcheck benders. I have had to do some serious grinding to get my bent backcheck regulator (Schaff #472) to work at all.

Also, I second BDB, I haven't managed to find a spoon bender that actually works for compact (console) actions. I haven't used my Schaff #85 once. I was very grateful for Bill Bremmer's posting on how to set damper timing out of the piano.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
#2242551 - 03/07/14 09:43 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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adamp88 Offline
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Omaha, NE
While it's still sort of a pain to use, I've found that the japanese style spoon bender:

[Linked Image]

Can work pretty well in the piano if you introduce a shallow bend to it. A 30ish degree bend up (soon after the section that fits into the combo handle) gives you enough clearance to be able to bend spoons in and out without the handle bottoming out against the keys. That and some tape or other visual indication on the tool itself to let you know how far back to go before contacting the spoons helps speed the process up, too.


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
ASB Piano Service
Omaha, NE
#2242588 - 03/07/14 11:59 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Apr 2009
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Dan Casdorph Offline
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Morgantown, West Virginia
I bought a loop making tool and I was never able to make a loop with it. I broke the string every time I tried, and I finally gave up. Still have it though, in case I need to break some strings and cant find cutters:)


Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
www.casdorphpiano.com
All pianos are bald ones.
#2242591 - 03/07/14 12:06 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
Yes, the only loop making tool that works for me is the one which is simply a dowel with a hole through it and a screw next to it. I have not found a tool that works well for English loops, although I have an idea.


Semipro Tech
#2242834 - 03/07/14 08:07 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Mark R.]  
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Spot Offline
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Australia
Hi Mark,

I have done a few searches trying to find Bill Bremmers post you mentioned about setting the damper timing out of the piano.

I also had a little search of his posts but as you could imagine there are an enormous amount to search through.

Do you have any idea how I might track that down?

Ben


Trainee tuner/technician
#2242845 - 03/07/14 08:30 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ha, yes the problem with the looping machine was not the machine itself, but the instructions. I am presuming the machine being referred to is the one sold by APSCO and then later by Schaff.

If the instructions are followed in reverse the loops come out almost perfectly. If the instructions are followed the machine pinches the wire against the anvil and the wire breaks.

Here is a blog posting I did about the APSCO looping machine in 2011. At the bottom of the posting there is a photo album. Please right click and choose “open in new tab”. Done this way one can toggle back and forth between the blog posting and the photo set.

Also with each photo there are comments and instructions in the tray in the right hand side. Once I reversed the instructions that come with the unit everything worked out.


Here is the blog posting and photo set;

looping machine



Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2242859 - 03/07/14 09:08 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Jon Page]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,042
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by Jon Page
Part number; TLRG. Available only at Pianotek. ...


Yes. It looks great on paper. In practice it doesn't behave too well.


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2242958 - 03/08/14 12:43 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
So far, I've found my bass winding tightening tool to be less than useless.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2242966 - 03/08/14 01:26 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: OperaTenor]  
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
So far, I've found my bass winding tightening tool to be less than useless.


Schaff #262? I use mine fairly often. The last time was Sunday. It was not for a bass string, but a tied treble note which slipped off the hitch pin. I do not use it much for twisting bass strings, but whenever I need to put a string back on a hitch pin, it is really handy.


Semipro Tech
#2243048 - 03/08/14 10:21 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: OperaTenor]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
So far, I've found my bass winding tightening tool to be less than useless.


The spring loaded one? I am wondering what the problem is.
Never had a problem with this tool.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2243051 - 03/08/14 10:42 AM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 17
SPS Offline
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SPS  Offline
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Posts: 17
Minnesota
When I went to school for piano tuning our first tools came with a small Kennedy tool box. The thing is indestructible but doesn't hold a lot and isn't very practical for a tuner. However I used it for years until I got smart a recently and now I keep all my tools in an old flour sack. I lose tools frequently now because it's ripping out at the bottom but at least I don't have to carry that heavy tool box anymore. :p


Scott
#2243120 - 03/08/14 01:07 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Olek Offline
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France
I do not use the jig to glue hammers (Spurlock). Having access to the hammers allows a better gluing, in my opinion.

it is useful for vertical hammers, however, so I use it for that.

Some of the English made handle/blade tools sold in the 80's are badly designed and made in second grade steel. none of them have survived. German made tools did.
But today you can buy tools that look neat but break when they are used, from some German providers as well.

I do not use anymore the hammer extractor that use a bolt, pliers are way more efficient (Apsco style)

and also those tuning tips where only a strip inside the tip have the star shape. they wear fast and rock soon on the pin.

No more use of the Mannino style reamers, too agressive, and generally useless as the cloth can be burnished to size usually, or changed if too much worn (the result of corroded centers, the cloth is only too much compressed at one loctation in most situations)

WIth time , I use less and less tools, when going on site.

Last edited by Olek; 03/08/14 01:10 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2243123 - 03/08/14 01:11 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
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Olek Offline
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France
Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
So far, I've found my bass winding tightening tool to be less than useless.


The spring loaded one? I am wondering what the problem is.
Never had a problem with this tool.


yes I find it very useful (replaced with small vice grips if not at hand)


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2243126 - 03/08/14 01:14 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: adamp88]  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Olek Offline
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Olek  Offline
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France
Originally Posted by adamp88
While it's still sort of a pain to use, I've found that the japanese style spoon bender:

[Linked Image]

Can work pretty well in the piano if you introduce a shallow bend to it. A 30ish degree bend up (soon after the section that fits into the combo handle) gives you enough clearance to be able to bend spoons in and out without the handle bottoming out against the keys. That and some tape or other visual indication on the tool itself to let you know how far back to go before contacting the spoons helps speed the process up, too.


Yes it is a very good tool for some actions. sold in 2 versions, for smaller actions (more bend))and more standard ones.

On old actions sometime not enough space to use it, the S shaped spoon bender is standard (action inclined)

Last edited by Olek; 03/08/14 01:15 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2243128 - 03/08/14 01:22 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]  
Joined: Mar 2008
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Olek Offline
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France
Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos
Ha, yes the problem with the looping machine was not the machine itself, but the instructions. I am presuming the machine being referred to is the one sold by APSCO and then later by Schaff.

If the instructions are followed in reverse the loops come out almost perfectly. If the instructions are followed the machine pinches the wire against the anvil and the wire breaks.

Here is a blog posting I did about the APSCO looping machine in 2011. At the bottom of the posting there is a photo album. Please right click and choose “open in new tab”. Done this way one can toggle back and forth between the blog posting and the photo set.

Also with each photo there are comments and instructions in the tray in the right hand side. Once I reversed the instructions that come with the unit everything worked out.


Here is the blog posting and photo set;

looping machine



I thought it was a machine to make the long twisted loops. (that one is really easy to use and make automatically the last coils)

But those German loops are so much faster to do by hand on a hook, or even using round nose pliers, I do not see much interest to use that sort of setup. They may be tighter when done by hand , also, and if you know how to make the simple loop you will do the double one easily)


Last edited by Olek; 03/08/14 01:23 PM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2243139 - 03/08/14 01:49 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada

Hi Isaac,
You are correct; that looping machine will make the German or the English loop. Here are some English loops I made with that machine.

English loops

My mistake there. What I meant was the instructions that come with the unit for making the German loops are not so good. But if the instructions are used in reverse, going counter clockwise instead of clockwise then the German loops come out real good.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2243145 - 03/08/14 01:56 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: BDB]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
So far, I've found my bass winding tightening tool to be less than useless.


Schaff #262? I use mine fairly often. The last time was Sunday. It was not for a bass string, but a tied treble note which slipped off the hitch pin. I do not use it much for twisting bass strings, but whenever I need to put a string back on a hitch pin, it is really handy.


Hmm, that might be a good use. Thanks! laugh


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#2243148 - 03/08/14 01:59 PM Re: So what tool(s) do you techs have.... [Re: Emmery]  
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Olek Offline
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France
hi Dan, I see, my looping machine is different , may be more practical. The length of the twisted part is regulated, as with yours, but the part that make the coils have a pressure handle to hold the wire during the twisting. Then when you have enough twists you release a little and the coils are made. If well setup the coils are made automatically without releasing but it is useful to be able to master the amount of twisting.

Those machines are easy to use but if too much twist are done the wire may break. a little training is necessary.

best wishes


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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