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Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys #2542973
05/24/16 08:31 PM
05/24/16 08:31 PM
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Ahmedn1 Offline OP
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I got an old piano and I'm working on the repairs myself. Here is the thing that I don't get. The sustain pedal was not working at all so I checked it and the wooden thing attached to the pedal was out of its place so I put it back and it worked but the thing is that the pedal now is working on some dampers but not the others. Some dampers don't move at all when I press the pedal.
The problem is not cleaning the dampers cause they move pretty fine when I press their key but not with the pedal.
The piano is a Weber piano from 1878.

Any help?

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Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2542983
05/24/16 09:35 PM
05/24/16 09:35 PM
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If it is a range of dampers that do not lift, it is probably a bad damper lift bar hinge in the back of the action. If it is individual dampers, it might be that the damper lever cloth is eaten by insects. Either way, it should be easy to see from the back of the action.


Semipro Tech
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2543193
05/25/16 04:46 PM
05/25/16 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I was going to check as you said so I removed the hammer mechanism to be able to see better.
What I found is that the sustain pedal rod is not pushing high enough to push the dampers far from the strings. because when I manually pushed the metal thing in the hammer mechanism all the dampers moved fine.
So, does this mean the rod got shorter somehow? (probably eaten by ants or whatever)
Is there a standard length for the rod so I can replace it?

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2543201
05/25/16 05:33 PM
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What you need to do is adjust the nut on the screw that goes up from the pedal, so the rod is pushed up higher. It is accessible when you remove the bottom board.


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Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2543250
05/25/16 08:33 PM
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ok I will try that

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2544567
05/29/16 04:57 PM
05/29/16 04:57 PM
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Ok so now I fixed the pedal thing. The problem now is that when I try to put back the Action mechanism All the keys are stuck I cannot press any of the keys down. And I can see that all the hammers are pushed all the way to the strings and I cannot pull them back to normal position.
I'm pretty sure I'm putting the action back as I took it off. The metal rods are all in place and the sides are in place and the hammer bottoms are all on top of the metal things attached to the keys. But I don't know what happened.

Last edited by Ahmedn1; 05/29/16 05:00 PM.
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2544573
05/29/16 05:23 PM
05/29/16 05:23 PM
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If you have an old piano with broken bridle straps, that will keep you from putting the action back in the piano. You need to replace the bridle straps, making sure the jacks are under the hammer butts when you do it.


Semipro Tech
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2544600
05/29/16 07:18 PM
05/29/16 07:18 PM
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BDB is right about the bridle straps.

However, you can remove all the keys, put the action back in and reset each hammer butt/jack mechanism by hand using a small screwdriver and replace that key (with the action in place) and it should remain in the proper position and play; you will have to put some upward pressure on the sticker once the mechanism is reset until you get the key back in place. The only thing is, you will have to do this 88 times.

Or, you can leave the action in, loosen the nuts that hold the action firmly in place (to relieve some pressure where the hammer is pressed up against the strings), and try to reset each hammer butt/jack mechanism while the keys are in place. I've done this several times on old uprights, and helped a friend with his old upright.

It is tedious but can get you back to playing without replacing the bridle straps right away. You just have to figure out how to reset the jack under the hammer butt on the action assembly; once the individual action assembly is reset, the hammer shank will rest properly on the hammer rail/rest like it should, instead of the hammer strike-point being pushed up against the string.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2544682
05/30/16 03:12 AM
05/30/16 03:12 AM
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Ok I watched a couple of videos on that and I ordered a set of "Clip-on Bridle straps" seems easier for me than Standard style and I cannot know what is the suitable size for Cork straps.
So, the thing here, all the old straps are torn apart so I have no way of knowing what was their length. Any ideas if there is a standard length for the strap? Or should I just try on one hammer multiple times till I get the right length?

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2544871
05/30/16 04:50 PM
05/30/16 04:50 PM
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Get Riblitz book, http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Servicing-Tuning-Rebuilding-Professional/dp/1879511037 . Used is fine. No need to be flailing around in the dark.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2544900
05/30/16 07:47 PM
05/30/16 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ahmedn1
Ok I watched a couple of videos on that and I ordered a set of "Clip-on Bridle straps" seems easier for me than Standard style and I cannot know what is the suitable size for Cork straps.
So, the thing here, all the old straps are torn apart so I have no way of knowing what was their length. Any ideas if there is a standard length for the strap? Or should I just try on one hammer multiple times till I get the right length?

Not one of the most critical adjustments on your piano. You can accommodate the length of the strap by bending the wire the strap attaches to.

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.
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Blues beater] #2545723
06/02/16 03:57 PM
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Ok I got the straps and I tried to install them many times but I fail. I push the clip to the hammer and then put the other end to the wire. I make sure that there is a space between the hammer butt and the wooden thing that hits it. Make sure the strap is tight. But after all this, when I try to put the action back, the same thing happen. The hammer is pushed all the way to the string. The wooden thing is very very close to the hammer butt (sometimes touching it) so I cannot push the key down enough.

What am I doing wrong? I watched some videos and I'm doing as they say in the video.

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Rickster] #2545729
06/02/16 04:30 PM
06/02/16 04:30 PM
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Ok I got the straps and I tried to install them many times but I fail. I push the clip to the hammer and then put the other end to the wire. I make sure that there is a space between the hammer butt and the wooden thing that hits it. Make sure the strap is tight. But after all this, when I try to put the action back, the same thing happen. The hammer is pushed all the way to the string. The wooden thing is very very close to the hammer butt (sometimes touching it) so I cannot push the key down enough.

What am I doing wrong? I watched some videos and I'm doing as they say in the video.

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2545739
06/02/16 04:56 PM
06/02/16 04:56 PM
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You might be doing it so that the jack (the wooden thing that hits it) is pushing on the very bottom of the hammer rather than on the butt. The butt will be a rounded leather part that stick out a bit. You will have to trip the jack forward and lift the whippen up a bit to get the jack to the right position before installing the strap. When correct, the top of the jack will be resting on a felt butt pad and be about one or two mm below the leather butt.

When done like this, the hammers effectively holds the whippens up enough so that you can install the action in the piano easily.

A diagram of the action of an upright piano will show all this to you. Google an image of "upright piano action" if you don't have one.

Last edited by Chris Leslie; 06/02/16 05:01 PM.

Chris Leslie ARPT
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Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Chris Leslie] #2545755
06/02/16 06:13 PM
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Thank you so much. This solved the problem. Now doing this for the other 87 hammers laugh

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546022
06/03/16 12:31 PM
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Ok I really appreciate your help guys so far. With your help I was able to fix most of the problems in the piano. I just need to tune it and it will be ready to go. But just one more quick thing: The Sostenuto Pedal.
Well, now I'm pretty sure it is not important to fix. I know it is very rarely used in piano music. I've been playing for about 3 years and I never needed it. But if fixing it is not much work it would be nice if I can do it before putting back everything together.
Now my problem is I don't know what to do because whenever I search for anything to show me the anatomy of this pedal and its rods and how they are supposed to be so I can know the problem, I find nothing. Whenever I google for "sostenuto pedal something" it leads me to the sustain pedal.

What I have is the pedal is pressing fine and there is a rod on the right side of the strings that moves up and down with the pedal and there was a black thing lying next to that rod (all in the attached pictures). But I have no idea how they are supposed to be put back together.



Any ideas?
Again I know this is not important at all, but if it is not much work it will not harm t fix it.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546050
06/03/16 02:15 PM
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That probably would have been for a moderator felt for an apartment mute. Pressing the pedal down would have dropped a strip with some felt between the hammers and strings.


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Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2546073
06/03/16 03:57 PM
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I thought the job of the middle pedal is to sustain the notes that were pressed when I press the pedal. Something like the sustain pedal but not for all the notes.

So? Any pictures or diagrams showing how this is supposed to look like?

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546078
06/03/16 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ahmedn1
I thought the job of the middle pedal is to sustain the notes that were pressed when I press the pedal. Something like the sustain pedal but not for all the notes.

So? Any pictures or diagrams showing how this is supposed to look like?
Not necessarily. In fact, in vertical pianos it's much more likely to be a "quiet" pedal rather than a sostenuto.

Does your piano's middle pedal slot have a notch to lock the pedal in the depressed position? If that's the case, it's definitely a "quiet", not a sostenuto pedal.

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: oldmancoyote] #2546087
06/03/16 04:41 PM
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Nope there is nothing like that. But even if that's the case then how it is different from the Soft (left) pedal?

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546104
06/03/16 06:11 PM
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The soft pedal on an upright does almost nothing. The apartment mute does too much!


Semipro Tech
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2546147
06/03/16 10:04 PM
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Ok but either way if it is Mute pedal or sostenuto pedal I need diagrams or pictures to follow so I can fix it. But I can't find any.

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546151
06/03/16 10:23 PM
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Whether it is sostenuto (it is not) or apartment mute, there is no standard way they were implemented in vertical pianos. You have to figure it out from what is left in the piano, or improvise.


Semipro Tech
Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: BDB] #2546158
06/03/16 11:59 PM
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Ok I think I figured it out. It is indeed the Mute pedal you guys were talking about. It seems that there should be something called "Muffler Rail" that has a felt for each key. When I push the pedal down this rail is pushed down so the keys hit the felt not the string directly.
The thing is I can find online the felts but I cannot find a place that sells the entire rail.

Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546185
06/04/16 03:48 AM
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The place that sells muffler rails is the local hardware store. You will need to make one up with wood and using common sense.


Chris Leslie ARPT
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Re: Upright piano sustain pedal doesn't work on some keys [Re: Ahmedn1] #2546738
06/05/16 10:13 PM
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Last step in the piano repair, The Tuning.
So I got everything, the tuning software, the tuning tools but I just need a low-noise condenser microphone recommended by the software to catch very low and high notes.
Do u guys have any cheap recommendations? I mean I will only use this mic for the tuning so I don't want to buy an expensive one.


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