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Birdcage problem! #2749042
07/03/18 01:24 PM
07/03/18 01:24 PM
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Beemer Online content OP
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Today as a favour to an acquaintance I agreed to try to tune a freeby piano he had obtained. On arrival I found
it to be an overdamper (birdcage) construction.. This was new to me and I was unable to insert my mutes from around c4 upward. Apart from the wires obstruction the choir strings were too close together to permit rubber mute insertion. I had to resort to pulling back the action and pinging tne strings with my nail.

Any advice on a better technique welcome,

Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
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Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749057
07/03/18 02:04 PM
07/03/18 02:04 PM
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Beemer Online content OP
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Has it always been a 30 minute limit afterwhich an edit is not allowed?

To add: The piano was a Cramer model'

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749087
07/03/18 03:49 PM
07/03/18 03:49 PM
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MU51C JP Offline
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Using a paps wedge is the easiest solution Beemer smile


Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 52 years in the United Kingdom
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: MU51C JP] #2749090
07/03/18 04:10 PM
07/03/18 04:10 PM
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Beemer Online content OP
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The over damper woodwork is massive in this Cramer so much so that inserting wedges from above is not possible from C4 upward.

Provided I can tune one string with my ETD I can tune the others aurally without mutes but this piano is a problem.

I would need to use two paps wedges. There is no way that I could get my single one to isolate the centre string as the strings of the choir set are too close together.

Thanks for your suggestion.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
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Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749100
07/03/18 05:01 PM
07/03/18 05:01 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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Ian, you do not need to isolate the centre string. That's a very fiddly thing to try to do with a Papps Mute through a birdcage action!

Close the ends of the mute together, and shove them between the left and middle string, or between the middle and right string.

With a little practice you will find that you can "pluck" the strings with the end of the Papps Mute, to determine which note/string you are at, without having to peer through the action.

Last edited by David Boyce; 07/03/18 05:11 PM.
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: MU51C JP] #2749164
07/04/18 01:22 AM
07/04/18 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MU51C JP
Using a paps wedge is the easiest solution Beemer smile

Better to use a papps wedge 😄, (your mom will appreciate it...)

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749166
07/04/18 01:48 AM
07/04/18 01:48 AM
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My preferred method of dealing with birdcage actions is to find another piano for them that is cheap. Otherwise I lean the action back, strip-mute the entire gamut, and pull out the strip as I tune, using mutes in the few places necessary.


Semipro Tech
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749176
07/04/18 03:54 AM
07/04/18 03:54 AM
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Beemer Online content OP
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Thanks to all for the suggestion but there is no way that a papps mute can be inserted between any two strings in the triple choirs. I have never seen choir string set so close together. As I could not complete even a good first pass I will return and take some photographs illustrating the issue.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749179
07/04/18 04:18 AM
07/04/18 04:18 AM
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David Boyce Offline
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Ian, maybe you can get a single side of the Papps Mute to go in. I've tuned an awful lot of birdcages (and a lot of awful birdcages), and never had one where I couldn't get a Papps Mute in, in some way or another. If the trichord strings are actually touching, and there is no way to separate them and get them to stay separate, I'd forget attempting to tune that piano.

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749180
07/04/18 04:21 AM
07/04/18 04:21 AM
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David Boyce Offline
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Quote
Otherwise I lean the action back, strip-mute the entire gamut, and pull out the strip as I tune, using mutes in the few places necessary.



That just sounds awfully cumbersome. The Papps Mute and unisons-as-you-go is fast and easy once you are used to it.

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: David Boyce] #2749220
07/04/18 10:44 AM
07/04/18 10:44 AM
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I hope I will never get used to it.


Semipro Tech
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749283
07/04/18 02:34 PM
07/04/18 02:34 PM
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Florida
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I don't know what's worse, a piano with a birdcage in it, or a cage with a bird next to the piano!

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749295
07/04/18 03:52 PM
07/04/18 03:52 PM
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P W Grey Online content
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Whoever designed those things must have had some special tools in mind. They are frankly a pain in the neck (literally).

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
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Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Bob] #2749302
07/04/18 04:16 PM
07/04/18 04:16 PM
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Beemer Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Bob
I don't know what's worse, a piano with a birdcage in it, or a cage with a bird next to the piano!

As the OP I am sad to report that I'm looking after my daughter's macaw for two weeks frown When I play it makes a horrible racket. However the real problem is that I can't tell if it is singing along, or trying to make me stop playing!

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749335
07/04/18 06:49 PM
07/04/18 06:49 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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Where is this Cramer birdcage piano? Is it very far away from me?

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: David Boyce] #2749679
07/06/18 06:44 AM
07/06/18 06:44 AM
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Beemer Online content OP
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David,

My acquaintance has a son in a pre-school nursery in Lanarkshire. As a favour to him I agreed to tune the free piano without reward. At the time he said the piano was "old and rusty" but I did not realise that the piano was a birdcage until I arrived. It is sat in an entrance hall and when I was tuning it there were two dozen screaming kids around! Nobody there plays piano and I was told they accepted it to let the the under fives play it! Perhaps one of their mothers think their kid could be next Lang Lang smile

I now have a very thin bladed flat screw driver and when I have time I will return and try to separate the too-close choir strings to let me use my papps mute as you suggested by feel, i.e. pinging along. Mark Ceresano has a video showing that technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeYOu0gDi-w

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749805
07/06/18 03:48 PM
07/06/18 03:48 PM
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Just did a birdcage today. Used my usual procedure of tipping out the action, installing strip mute through out, and tuned away. Pull strip mute out starting with tweezers, then fingers.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: P W Grey] #2749808
07/06/18 04:00 PM
07/06/18 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Just did a birdcage today. Used my usual procedure of tipping out the action, installing strip mute through out, and tuned away. Pull strip mute out starting with tweezers, then fingers.

Pwg



That's what I do too. Very easy to tip the action.

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749837
07/06/18 06:29 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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Ian, in the Cerisano video, he appears to be using the Papps Mute to isolate the middle string; the two tips of the Mute are not together. Trying to use a screwdriver to space the strings might or might not help - the may just drift together again. I'd just push the closed-together tips of the Papps Mute between two strings, isolating either the left or the right string of the trichord. Don't try and isolate the middle string.

If the together-tips simply cannot get between two strings, because they are SOOO tight together, try inserting just one on the tips of the Papps Mute. But if they are as tight together as that, you'd have to consider whether it is worth trying to do anything at all with the piano.

Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2749917
07/07/18 05:04 AM
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David,

thanks,

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Birdcage problem! [Re: Beemer] #2750029
07/07/18 01:30 PM
07/07/18 01:30 PM
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I hardly ever put the doubled tips on the Papps mute through. I normally use only one, and I grind down that little hump so it does not deflect quite so much. If it doesn't mute completely, just angle it to the right a little.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 07/07/18 01:37 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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