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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527533 04/04/16 05:54 AM
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Vonette, I feel your pain. I'm not a church musician at the moment, but church people are sometimes the most difficult people on the planet to deal with, when it comes to boards and committees. They sort of forget why the church is there, and they spend time and energy on things like making sure things look 'just so', even if that 'just so' is actually causing damage or not in the best interests of the church or anyone in it.

Not all church people are like this, of course, and many are open minded, open hearted, and willing to take advice....

My advice would be to tell someone, gently, that keeping the piano lid open in this position is a compromise to the piano lid, and keeping the lid open all the time is not the best thing to do for the piano, as closing it between uses protects the strings and action from anything that might fall inside it, dust and grime, and reduces the effects of the atmosphere. I would advise the same person that getting a cover for the piano would also be a good idea when it's not being used, and when the sanctuary is in use, the piano can be uncovered if people feel it is unsightly. Remind them that having the music desk on the piano is the best thing for all musicians concerned unless there is a solo recital or concerto taking place and the pianist wishes to play from memory, and finally, that not using the piano at all, and only using the Roland digital, means that the M and H has been nothing more than a vanity project, although you might want to be careful how you word that last sentence.

I have found that being a church musician means you have to be very careful how you talk to others in the church so as not to cause offence, but that they don't seem to bother about how they talk to you in return because 'we've done it this way for 50 years' or something.....

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527557 04/04/16 08:21 AM
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Two points.

With the front part of the lid permanently flapped forward, in addition to the risk/likelihood of the screws pulling out, is there not also a risk of this front part of the lid gradually twisting into a warp? The weight is supported only at the hinge, resulting in a permanent twisting torque.

Secondly, keeping the piano this way shows a disrespect both to the instrument and to any pianists in the congregation. I would cringe if I saw a piano like this. Is this message of disrespect really one that the church is comfortable with?

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
DrewBone #2527561 04/04/16 08:43 AM
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I realize the mechanics of piano lid hinges is somewhat OT, but I find your explanation regarding the forces on the long piano hinge confusing.

Disregarding for a moment the position of the lid (up on a stick or down), let us consider only the force on the screws.

If the lid is folded back, the hinge has only the force of its own gravity (trivial compared to the mass of the articulated part of the lid) and the torque of the screws holding it in place. I know this to be the case because I own an M&H BB and have removed and replaced the piano hinge and it is easily held in place by tape without screws.

If the lid is unfolded and supported by the rim of the piano, there are no additional forces on the hinge either, except those caused by small anomalies in the eveness of the lid supports.

Now, if you open the lid to the full stick height and the lid is folded back, there is a small additional force trying to slid the lid and hinge sideways due to gravity.

But, if you open the lid to the full stick height and leave the articulated section unfolded, the hinge will now have to carry the full weight of the articulated lid, which is now cantilevered by the hinge. This scenario has IMO never been a part of the design parameters and is the only scenario that will eventually lead to catastrophic failure.

edit: spelling, as usual

Last edited by prout; 04/04/16 10:14 AM.
Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527563 04/04/16 08:50 AM
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I'd hate to be the pianist when this hinged part fell on them. Not only could it cause debilitating injury, but possibly considerable damage to the piano.

I think if you didn't speak up, and someone was injured, you would wish you had said something.

A piano lid is designed that way for a reason.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
prout #2527566 04/04/16 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by prout
I realize the mechanics of piano lid hinges is somewhat OT, but I find your explanation regarding the forces on the long piano hinge confusing.

Disregarding for a moment the position of the lid (up on a stick or down), let us consider only the force on the screws.

If the lid is folded back, the hinge has only the force of its own gravity (trivial compared to the mass of the articulated part of the lid) and the torque of the screws holding it in place. I know this to be the case because I own an M&H BB and have removed and replaced the piano hinge and it is easily held in place by tape without screws.

If the lid is unfolded and supported by the rim of the piano, there are no additional forces on the hinge either, except those caused by small anomilies in the eveness of the lid supports.

Now, if you open the lid to the full stick height and the lid is folded back, there is a small additional force trying to slid the lid and hinge sideways due to gravity.

But, if you open the lid to the full stick height and leave the articulated section unfolded, the hinge will now have to carry the full weight of the articulated lid, which is now cantilevered by the hinge. This scenario has IMO never been a part of the design parameters and is the only scenario that will eventually lead to catastrophic failure.

edit: spelling, as usual


That is how I assess the situation too, prout. Your description is vastly clearer than Drewbone's.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
DrewBone #2527572 04/04/16 09:30 AM
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Respectively answered.

I am not an engineer, so maybe an engineer may "know" better, however, I have been a piano rebuilder for 25+ years and I can only speak to the condition I find lid hinges in when they have had a history of maltreatment.

However, I stand my original assertion. Most makers recess the hinges so this adds to the "shearing" forces which would work to pull the screws out of the lid. The leveraging force which the fold over part can apply to the screws would be pretty significant. It wouldn't take much additional abuse to simply pull all the screws out.

Piano lids were never designed to be used in this fashion.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
anrpiano #2527576 04/04/16 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by anrpiano
Respectively answered.

I am not an engineer, so maybe an engineer may "know" better, however, I have been a piano rebuilder for 25+ years and I can only speak to the condition I find lid hinges in when they have had a history of maltreatment.

However, I stand my original assertion. Most makers recess the hinges so this adds to the "shearing" forces which would work to pull the screws out of the lid. The leveraging force which the fold over part can apply to the screws would be pretty significant. It wouldn't take much additional abuse to simply pull all the screws out.

Piano lids were never designed to be used in this fashion.


I wonder if we are not all speaking about the same scenario. On my lid, the hinge is recessed, but there are no forces acting on the hinge when the lid is folded back. The articulated part of the lid is supported by the main lid, and the hinge serves no function and is under no strain in this situation. If I remove the hinge, the lid pieces remain where they were.

The shearing forces due to the recessed hinge could be a problem if the recess is too deep. Screwing into the end grain, as you mentioned, is a poor way to secure anything.

I assume mistreatment of the piano lid includes the OPs scenario along with dropping the whole lid, not maintaining the security of the hinge screws, etc.

Last edited by prout; 04/04/16 09:51 AM.
Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527580 04/04/16 09:52 AM
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Yes, I suspect we are. Folded back and not lifted.. no problem. Lift it without folding it back... problems. That should be simple enough.

As with much of life, if we can observe a little mistreatment, there is often much more mistreatment going on which we may not be aware of. This is why I tend to react pretty quickly to this kind of stuff, I worry about what else might be happening.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
prout #2527585 04/04/16 10:17 AM
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Prout, the long piano hinge and its associated screws are always carrying the complete weight of the articilated section regardless of what position it's in when the lid is up; the forces of gravity, torque, tension, compression, and shear all work together accordingly, and depending soley upon what position the section is in are either applied differently or are omitted completely.

Unfolded it might seem as if the hinge and screws are now baring more of the brunt of the forces working upon it; these parts have always done so, but now there are different forces placed upon them - along with the fact that we're just not used to seeing the lid in this position! But since torque has been eliminated from the menu of forces acting upon the hinge and screws with the lid section unfolded, there is now one less force working on the hinge and screws than there were before the section was unfolded.

I'll agree that if the hinge screw holes were in terrible shape, and there were numerous screws missing or loose, there would undoubtedly be more of a tendency for an unfolded lid section to come crashing down, but on a piano with tight and the complete number of hinge screws present I don't think there would be a catastophic problem other than damage to the piano's case that I mentioned above, coming as a result of the lid making contact with the corner of the piano where the cheek meets the top of the rim on the piano's longside.

Needless to say, I don't see any advantage to this, it certainly wasn't designed to be so, and I'm not championing the idea for one moment. As far as I'm concerned, for aesthetic purposes and not wishing to damage the veneer and finish on my Yamaha in any way, I would never raise the top without first folding it open, and once it was open, that's the way it would stay until I was finished playing and it got closed up proper.

If I were in a position to do so I would be of a mind to dismiss this person that the OP stated is responsible for the above discussion not only on that note, but on being deemed unapproachable as well, for after all, it's a Church, and not a workhouse.

Regards,
Andy


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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527588 04/04/16 10:23 AM
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This may be drifting just a bit OT, but I wonder if most piano dealers (all, hopefully) give their customers who purchase new/used grand pianos the proper training in folding back the fly-lid, (or not) and raising/propping the lid properly, short-stick and long-stick?

If not, it'd be a good idea. I have a suspicion a lot of baby-grand/grand piano owners simply do not know the proper procedures for safely raising-propping-lowering the lid.

Rick


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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
DrewBone #2527592 04/04/16 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DrewBone
Unfolded it might seem as if the hinge and screws are now baring more of the brunt of the forces working upon it; these parts have always done so, but now there are different forces placed upon them - along with the fact that we're just not used to seeing the lid in this position! But since torque has been eliminated from the menu of forces acting upon the hinge and screws with the lid section unfolded, there is now one less force working on the hinge and screws than there were before the section was unfolded.

I am afraid I don't understand this. Why has torque been eliminated? A diagram might help! When the front section of the lid is not folded back, the lid will surely tend to pull out from the screws?

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
DrewBone #2527594 04/04/16 10:39 AM
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I must respectfully disagree with your first paragraph.

Looking closely at the hinge/lid interface I see that the hinge indeed supports a portion of the weight of the articulated section, but the weight is transferred directly to the wood due to the fit of the hinge in the recess, and thus the screws bear no strain other than torque. The remainder of the weight is born by the support pads at the other end of the articulated section.

If the hinge and screws were solely supporting the weight of the articulated section of the lid when folded back, then removing the hinge screws would cause a change in the measured weight of the articulated section since some of the weight would have been previously transferred to the main lid by the hinge, but a spring scale test using a small piano hinge simulation shows no change in the measured weight.

As you say, and we all agree, leaving the lid unfolded and up is not appropriate.

Edit: To clarify my thoughts, here is an extreme example -

Articulated Lid folded back on main lid on high stick and hinge removed - Articulated Lid may slide sideways gently.

Articulated Lid unfolded and main lid on high stick and hinge removed - Articulated Lid is now somewhere in the body of the piano or has crushed the pianist's hands.


Last edited by prout; 04/04/16 10:50 AM.
Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527600 04/04/16 11:17 AM
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Putting it bluntly, raising the lid unfolded looks very dumb. I'd guess that many non pianists will also notice something looks wrong even if they don't know exactly what. I think that besides the possible harm that's been mentioned the piano is much less appealing aesthetically this way.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527608 04/04/16 11:54 AM
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Erroneous opening prevention mechanism for a grand piano lid
US 6506966 B2
ABSTRACT
In an erroneous opening prevention mechanism according to the present invention, a hook and a hook support are loosely engaged with one another when a front lid, folded back on a back lid, is unfolded, or laid flat. If an attempt to raise the whole lid laid flat on a grand piano main body is made, it is impossible to raise the lid due to the locking of the hook and the hook support. When the front lid is folded back onto the back lid, on the contrary, the hook and the hook support are released from one another and, therefore, the whole lid can be raised. Accordingly, the erroneous opening prevention mechanism prevents the whole lid from being raised without first folding back the front lid.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527748 04/04/16 06:23 PM
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I would suggest that the OP encourage the idiot who positioned the lid this way to LOWER the lid by holding on to the front (hinged) end of the lid with their left hand, while disengaging the prop stick with their right hand. Or better still, have a child do it. It won't end well, I can assure you.

This folks, is the primary danger involved in raising a grand piano lid in a way it never was intended to be raised. Talk about liability ....GEEZ.





Last edited by Carey; 04/04/16 06:24 PM.

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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Rickster #2527761 04/04/16 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
This may be drifting just a bit OT, but I wonder if most piano dealers (all, hopefully) give their customers who purchase new/used grand pianos the proper training in folding back the fly-lid, (or not) and raising/propping the lid properly, short-stick and long-stick?

If not, it'd be a good idea. I have a suspicion a lot of baby-grand/grand piano owners simply do not know the proper procedures for safely raising-propping-lowering the lid.

Rick


Rick - good idea - though both of the dealers of the grands I bought checked that I knew the correct use of short/long (and in case of Schimmel, medium) stick. And in the case of the Grotrian, the importance of parking the music rest completely back when folding the piano (there is no extra clearance).


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Carey #2527788 04/04/16 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Carey

I would suggest that the OP encourage the idiot who positioned the lid this way to LOWER the lid by holding on to the front (hinged) end of the lid with their left hand, while disengaging the prop stick with their right hand. Or better still, have a child do it. It won't end well, I can assure you.

This folks, is the primary danger involved in raising a grand piano lid in a way it never was intended to be raised. Talk about liability ....GEEZ.





Oh my! Very good point! I had not thought of that--I suppose because I am too familiar with pianos to ever consider doing such a thing, but you are right that someone just might try that.

Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
Vonette #2527824 04/05/16 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Vonette
Originally Posted by Carey

I would suggest that the OP encourage the idiot who positioned the lid this way to LOWER the lid by holding on to the front (hinged) end of the lid with their left hand, while disengaging the prop stick with their right hand. Or better still, have a child do it. It won't end well, I can assure you.

This folks, is the primary danger involved in raising a grand piano lid in a way it never was intended to be raised. Talk about liability ....GEEZ.


Oh my! Very good point! I had not thought of that--I suppose because I am too familiar with pianos to ever consider doing such a thing, but you are right that someone just might try that.
Most likely some poor, unsuspecting soul who doesn't know anything about pianos. smile


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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
prout #2528067 04/05/16 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
I must respectfully disagree with your first paragraph.

Looking closely at the hinge/lid interface I see that the hinge indeed supports a portion of the weight of the articulated section, but the weight is transferred directly to the wood due to the fit of the hinge in the recess, ....


I think what you're saying here is that with the fly lid in the down position and the main lid up, the hinges of the fly lid are flange to flange, and the wood touches across the bottom edge of the interface between the fly and main lids.

That results in the fly lid acting as a lever, trying to rip its hinge screws out, until the bottom front corner touches the case. After a while, that makes the screws loosen and strip out.



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Re: Is this a safe way to position a piano lid?
JohnSprung #2528072 04/05/16 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by prout
I must respectfully disagree with your first paragraph.

Looking closely at the hinge/lid interface I see that the hinge indeed supports a portion of the weight of the articulated section, but the weight is transferred directly to the wood due to the fit of the hinge in the recess, ....


I think what you're saying here is that with the fly lid in the down position and the main lid up, the hinges of the fly lid are flange to flange, and the wood touches across the bottom edge of the interface between the fly and main lids.

That results in the fly lid acting as a lever, trying to rip its hinge screws out, until the bottom front corner touches the case. After a while, that makes the screws loosen and strip out.



Actually, I was thinking more about when the main lid is resting on the piano rim and the fly lid is folded back. In this case the hinge is open and transfers a portion of the fly lid weight to the main lid through the hinge. But, since the hinge is recessed, most of the weight is born by the hinge structure and not the screws.

You are correct that when the fly lid is not folded back and the main lid is open, the fly lid is a lever with its fulcrum being coincident with the hinge - a very dangerous condition.

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