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Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
#2839807 04/16/19 09:29 AM
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Duaner Offline OP
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I have a customer whom I just tuned his piano (smallish apartment size I forgot the name) last week. When I left all was well and he was there and he played a piece and was very pleased. So, I received an email from him stating that he is finding that the A4 is sticking now about every second time he plays that note and that it is enhanced or seems to be worse when the sustain pedal is engaged at the same time. I realize this could be a number of things and I have an idea what I will do of course but still I want to throw this out to the more experienced techs to give me your thoughts on it. I am scheduled to go back tomorrow morning as I'm in the area so I'll need ideas soon. What do you think? tks....dgg


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
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Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839828 04/16/19 10:46 AM
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Grand or upright?


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839836 04/16/19 11:01 AM
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upright.....sorry


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839853 04/16/19 11:55 AM
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It could be that the head has moved, that the spring is out of place or weak, or that the felt at the bottom of the lever is worn.


Semipro Tech
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
BDB #2839860 04/16/19 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
It could be that the head has moved, that the spring is out of place or weak, or that the felt at the bottom of the lever is worn.

or a tight key bushing


Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839876 04/16/19 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Duaner
,,,,,,and that it is enhanced or seems to be worse when the sustain pedal is engaged at the same time.


....the confusing part to me was how is the damper pedal making the hammer not fall back consistently.....as his email contends? Can you zero in on that as well....tks.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839897 04/16/19 01:52 PM
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At some point, you need to figure these things out for yourself. We can give you pointers, but you are in a better position to see what is happening than we are.

The suggestions that I made could prepare you with what you need to bring: you may need a small screwdriver to tighten the head, a long screwdriver to remove the lever, a damper flange, and felt for the lever end.


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Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
BDB #2839947 04/16/19 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
At some point, you need to figure these things out for yourself. .


.....just looking for options......sorry for your trouble but thanks for your contributions BDB.....


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2839965 04/16/19 05:21 PM
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The damper spring causes the damper lever to push back on the whippen spoon............


Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840030 04/17/19 02:49 AM
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I looked at the original question and see that I had thought that the note was sticking by not damping. I was in a hurry to get out of the house and did not read carefully enough. If the something other than the damper sticks more with the damper pedal pressed, that means anything from the wippen and below can be sticking. That can be tight joints, tight key bushings, dirty keys, or something rubbing against something else.

Of course, if it is the damper which is not damping, then my previous advice is good.


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Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840117 04/17/19 09:25 AM
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A tight key bushing (or two) on a marginally working note CAN produce precisely the symptom you describe, and can easily be missed in the course of tuning, as well an initial test piece after the tuning which doesn't use that key under all circumstances. IOW, he loves your tuning so much that he is now playing more impressively and the problem has "manifested" itself since.

IF that is the case you need to diagnose it and also check for others. Isolate the key movement from the action movement and test each separately. Then track down the exact source if friction. One or the other will show it up.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840124 04/17/19 09:39 AM
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This is common -- and a classic way to diagnose location of the problem of poor repetition in a vertical piano. It would be one of these:
1) tight butt-flange bushings
2) broken/misplaced/weak butt return spring.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840131 04/17/19 09:49 AM
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Also, if it happens to be console with direct blow action, occaisionally you come across keys that are "front heavy". They worked ok when new (but marginally so). As time goes on and things wear, the slightly front heavy key does not want to return well since sources of friction have now increased somewhat. Add to that possibility a big favor in the whippen cushion...you get the picture.

Successful cure depends on accurate diagnosis. 🤓

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840221 04/17/19 01:52 PM
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Thanks to all of you....just returned and can report that the entire piano is in need of a good regulation overhaul. Every key is in need of adjustments in their function. I presume that may come soon as the customer will mull over my suggestions.

Anyway, the visit was a success I think. It was A4 sticking and just when I thought I was done A4# decided to stick and babble also. I adjusted the let-off and adjusted the capstan to get a balance then noticed it was still wanting to stick (which looked like the end of the jack when attacking was leaving its proper position (not every time which was odd) and shooting up too far jamming the butt forward. This of course prevented staccato which was the customers original complaint.

So I decided to check out the key bushings and polished the key pins while I had several keys out. Then dry lube A4 & A4# (actually several keys in the area) key bushings. This, I think, saved the day by decreasing friction (and apparently some sticking at these points too) resulting in freedom in the overall function. In the end it came together pretty good and the customer played some tunes and was happy with the result. Got a feeling though that I'll have to return sooner than later with that little piano as the poor overall regulation settles in. It needs a damp chaser also. ......that's my fun for the morning.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840278 04/17/19 07:06 PM
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Great job Duane!

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Sticking Key enhanced by Sustain Pedal
Duaner #2840307 04/17/19 10:05 PM
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Thanks, Peter. Piano regulation work is so essential and of course, in my inexperience it is something else I am going to have to prepare myself for and I will. Never a dull moment with this trade but as always knowing what your options are going into a situation and being prepared for the challenges is so essential.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."

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