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Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? #2833016
03/30/19 11:38 AM
03/30/19 11:38 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 477
UK
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Goof Offline OP
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On my large 1945 Brock upright the hammers starting on the base bridge strings are angled to the left - plainly for more contact. And this seems usual on overstrung bases.
These hammers are only 9,5mm wide and for obvious reasons can not be angled to the same angle as the overstrung base strings - all of which are copper wound.
The hammer contact on these strings especially on the first six bichords inspite of my adjusting and reprofiling the hammers is - I think - the cause of an out of phase vibration. I say this because if only one string is played the sound is fine.
I have seen ( can't find the site now) photographs of hammers where their angle to the left matches that of the strings. Those hamers had their sides "filed" top-left and bottom right in order to facilitate overlapping.
Now I'm no great pianist but I would be interested to hear if any body has seen a piano with the hammers I describe above ?

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Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2833229
03/31/19 02:10 AM
03/31/19 02:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,353
Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
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I’ve had several out of phase issues with wound bichords on uprights but the solution was not the angle of the hammer in relation to the string plane.
It was the strings.
Most uprights don’t have agraffes in the bass so the upper termination is a gently curved pressure bar and many don’t even notch the bass bridge in an effort to help get the speaking lengths somewhat equal on bichords unisons.
Most string makers know how to deal with this and it’s usually not a tuning issue but sometimes the strings just need to be replaced.

Last edited by Gene Nelson; 03/31/19 02:13 AM.

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Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Gene Nelson] #2833487
03/31/19 05:41 PM
03/31/19 05:41 PM
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Goof Offline OP
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Yup! Idid replace those first six bichords and the replacements are slightly smaller in diameter - can;t say that this made much difference.

Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2833512
03/31/19 06:38 PM
03/31/19 06:38 PM
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Gene Nelson Offline
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If you are still inclined to think it’s hammer angle, why not pull the action and remove the hammer and play the unison with the hammer squared to the string??


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Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Gene Nelson] #2836004
04/06/19 08:08 AM
04/06/19 08:08 AM
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Goof Offline OP
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Good idea !
I am going to look for some used upright hammers so that I can test with out damage to the present hammers.

Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845300
05/05/19 02:03 AM
05/05/19 02:03 AM
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Goof Offline OP
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Well ! The problem is definitely the hammers not striking the strings evenly.
I rubbed graphite on the strings so as to get marks on the hammers - the result was plain the - right string of the bichord was leaving a longer mark than the left - the left string's mark was sometimes nearly absent !
Next I played the note and, whilest holding it, down brought the hammer gently back to touch the strings. With out fail the right string would be damped with minimum pressure but the left would keep ringing !
A lot of number 80 grit emery paper has been used to reprofile the hammers so that both strings are hit similtaneously.
Looking at Hecksher(sp) I see that they sell Able hammer sets, 10mm wide, where the base hammers are described as "cut" - this must mean that these are trimmed on opposing top-bottom sides so as to allow complete alighnment to the bi chords.
Anybody seen these trimmed hammers in a piano ?

Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845301
05/05/19 02:10 AM
05/05/19 02:10 AM
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Goof Offline OP
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Well ! The problem is definitely the hammers not striking the strings evenly.
I rubbed graphite on the strings so as to get marks on the hammers - the result was plain the - right string of the bichord was leaving a longer mark than the left - the left string's mark was sometimes nearly absent !
Next I played the note and, whilest holding it, down brought the hammer gently back to touch the strings. With out fail the right string would be damped with minimum pressure but the left would keep ringing !
A lot of number 80 grit emery paper has been used to reprofile the hammers so that both strings are hit similtaneously.
Looking at Hecksher(sp) I see that they sell Able hammer sets, 10mm wide, where the base hammers are described as "cut" - this must mean that these are trimmed on opposing top-bottom sides so as to allow complete alighnment to the bi chords.
Anybody seen these trimmed hammers in a piano ?

Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845459
05/05/19 01:38 PM
05/05/19 01:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,597
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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New Hampshire
Charles Walter pianos tend in that direction.

Sounds like you are talking about mating the hammers to the strings rather than hammer angle. That makes much more sense. Very important to good time.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845672
05/06/19 06:26 AM
05/06/19 06:26 AM
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Goof Offline OP
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Yup ! "mating hammers to strings " is all I can do at present and probably all I will do as I'm 83yrs and I do not suppose I'l become a fantastic pianist who needs a fantastic piano !
However it bugs me that the manufacturer of what is other wise a good sounding piano did not overcome what to me is a design fault ?
I will contact Hecksher and ask about the "cut" hammers.
Again, just to HAMMER my point ! These hammers on the base cross stringings could at least have been 10mm wide and not just over 9mm, all the treble hammers are 10mm.

Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845725
05/06/19 09:49 AM
05/06/19 09:49 AM
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P W Grey Offline
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New Hampshire
The reason is due to weight. Bass hammers on a vertical are longer and heavier than tenor. They decided to deal with that issue by narrowing them. Not a bad decision.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845846
05/06/19 05:39 PM
05/06/19 05:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,597
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
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New Hampshire
Actually I realized I realized I had that wrong...bass hammers are longer in a grand, thus can sometimes be narrower. They are shorter in an upright. So forget what I said above. Oops!

Perhaps for clearance they were made narrower. That makes more sense.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 05/06/19 05:41 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Changing Shape of Base Hammers ? [Re: Goof] #2845855
05/06/19 06:17 PM
05/06/19 06:17 PM
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Making hammers the same width allows one to make a jig for boring them at any angle without a lot of trouble. Changing the width can be done, but it adds an extra complication.

Trimming hammers so that they do not rub against one another is a somewhat common practice in cheaper pianos. This can be trimming the felt in front, or the tails in back.


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