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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755061
08/01/18 01:45 AM
08/01/18 01:45 AM
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Oakland
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Steinway uprights are very difficult to restore well, so you should not only ask if there is an upright he has restored, but a Steinway upright. Steinway hammers require special voicing techniques, but I have found nothing else that sounds like them. If they are not voiced properly, though, the results are bad.


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755135
08/01/18 09:34 AM
08/01/18 09:34 AM
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Posts: 82
Twin cities MN US
pianosuzemn Offline OP

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He says that he has done this in Steinways "many times" before and has a story of a Steinway piano he restored that was then sold by Lindeblad for many thousands more. It's difficult to do this long distance but my father insists on this manner of doing things. So although I'm scared, I'm also "stuck" and will go with this plan and then when the piano gets here to Minnesota in January I'll have to deal with the consequences then. I am going to hope for the very best. Thanks all.


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755151
08/01/18 10:45 AM
08/01/18 10:45 AM
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It is not as difficult as BDB suggests once you learn to make the right accommodations for what it is. The parts are very expensive, and only available from Tokiwa. Myself, I junk the damper system and retrofit damper blocks and felts that resemble what you see on a Yamaha U1 or U3. (available from Brooks, Ltd). The double flanges and the tubular rails are obsolete in my opinion, but workable. As for as any restringing, pinblock, or board repairs; not so different from anything else.

One does not have to use Steinway upright hammers in order to get a very good Steinway sound. I am using Weikert felt hammers from Ronsen that will very closely resemble the sound of the original, and with little to no lacquer.

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755239
08/01/18 06:36 PM
08/01/18 06:36 PM
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Posts: 2,263
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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New Hampshire
This work will put it in playable/serviceable condition. It is not a complete overhaul. The cost is reasonable for what is contracted for. The original action is junk and unusable, therefore it makes sense to concentrate on that. I have come across Steinway uprights in which the superstructure is in amazingly good shape...just the action is shot. (I currently have two like that).

Sounds like you will be in good shape...physically and emotionally.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755246
08/01/18 07:07 PM
08/01/18 07:07 PM
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Posts: 82
Twin cities MN US
pianosuzemn Offline OP

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Thanks very much! If it were entirely up to me, I would absolutely have the piano sent to one of the people on this site who do restoration! But it’s not up to me, and I am more at ease with this plan after reading the above two posts. We shall see. I suspect that it will be wonderful to have my mother’s piano and perhaps after the restoration, my 60 year old musical ear—along with my arthritic hands—won’t notice things quite so much anyway : )


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755248
08/01/18 07:11 PM
08/01/18 07:11 PM
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Florida
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I don’t have any words of advice, but just wanted to say ‘congrats’ on getting your mother’s piano. I hope you will keep us posted, and of course share pictures once it arrives at your home.

Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755351
08/02/18 10:24 AM
08/02/18 10:24 AM
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Posts: 21
NH
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Good luck with the action rebuild! Happy to hear you are rescuing another one of these incredible tone production machines.

In my case, I am very happy with my Wessel Nickel and Gross carbon fiber action replacement (with Abel hammers). This old Vertegrand (with its new engine) brings so much joy, every day.

Tokiwa would have been more straightforward to do (I am told) and (I am guessing?) closer to what the original action would have been like. Let us know how it works out!

Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755362
08/02/18 10:56 AM
08/02/18 10:56 AM
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New Hampshire
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FWIW WNG does make Steinway replica upright parts. But.if the guy is used to using Tokiwa, probably better to go that route.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755369
08/02/18 11:26 AM
08/02/18 11:26 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 144
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My son has a 1906 Steinway. Pin bock and sound board are great. It required a lot of work, but I did this myself.

It is a very nice sounding piano with a silky smooth action, and nice sound.

It should provide another 2-3 generations of enjoyment.

I suspect your piano will do the same.

Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755377
08/02/18 11:59 AM
08/02/18 11:59 AM
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Reseda, California
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There's one thing about putting a WNG action into an upright -- If you ever play with the front off, it doesn't have the same look as a traditional wooden stack. On an upright it's much more in your face than on a grand. That may or may not matter to some people.....


-- J.S.

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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: P W Grey] #2755379
08/02/18 12:06 PM
08/02/18 12:06 PM
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New Hampshire
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WilliamTruitt Offline
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New Hampshire
Peter, the WNG replica parts are not an exact copy of the original, not even that close. They are an adaptation of the WNG upright parts already available. I modeled one note based on samples sent to me, and there was too much friction at the butt leather -jack interface, and the down weight went way up. I ordered the Tokiwa parts instead.

Will


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755398
08/02/18 12:54 PM
08/02/18 12:54 PM
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Oakland
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It is difficult to separate friction from the effect of the springs in an upright piano. Unlike a grand action, the jack spring compresses as the key is pressed. The spring tension relaxes some as the action wears in.

I have found that Steinway upright parts vary some over time, and that the replacement parts sometimes do not match the originals, so some modification has been necessary to get them to fit.


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755466
08/02/18 05:16 PM
08/02/18 05:16 PM
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New Hampshire
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There is always friction in any piano action. Indeed, it is necessary to have some for the action to function well. This is true for the top of the jack and the butt leather. But there was an excessive amount due to poor alignment to each other. I made the judgment call that there was too much difference in the layout of the whippens and also the butts (I measured all these things and compared them to the originals). I do not believe that this action would ever play well, even with my best efforts.

If these parts had been an exact reproduction of the originals, save the use of composite materials, I believe the result would have been better.

Will


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2755468
08/02/18 05:28 PM
08/02/18 05:28 PM
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Posts: 2,263
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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Will,

Yrs, the samples I got seemed to work pretty well...though I admit I was not well enough convinced to go ahead and use them. More study needed. I have yet to actually make a detailed comparison. I was disappointed that the parts were not set up for the Fandrich spring mod like the complete replacement action is.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847387
05/11/19 03:35 PM
05/11/19 03:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 82
Twin cities MN US
pianosuzemn Offline OP

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Hello again,
I've decided to write because i haven't given any updates. I am concerned and a little embarrassed too. You might remember that my father in Ohio was having my mother's 1906 Steinway K upright piano restored. It was going to be restored by a person in Ohio and then sent to me in Minnesota. I've been waiting and waiting and it's just awful. The piano was sent to the restorer in November and he said it might take up to 4 months to be restored. I've been calling every month for an update and he's just not responsive. He says things like "I'm hoping it'll be by the end of the month.". He has 50% of the quoted cost already and I feel like I'm just totally stuck. And my father wants total control of the whole process so I'm kind of walking on a tightrope.

Should I make a surprise visit to Ohio and look for myself to see what is going on? Ask for the restorer to send the whole thing back to me? I worry that he wrecked it somehow and I feel so foolish even though it wasn't my decision to choose this person. My father, who is 90, is wanting to do this but he's wanting total control of the process. (this is his personality characteristic and is not likely to change). I think I will call the restorer and tell him that I'd like him to send me pictures "so I can watch the process". I worry that the restorer is a fraud. He probably isn't but his behavior is so suspicious. I'm sorry this is how things are turning out and I just can't imagine that I'll ever see my mother's piano again. Or if I do I'm afraid it'll be in horrible shape and in pieces.


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847399
05/11/19 04:36 PM
05/11/19 04:36 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 476
North of Los Angeles
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Learux Offline

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North of Los Angeles
I am sorry to read this, If I would have been in Ohio near the piano i would have gone myself to go check on your piano.

Picture do not sound unreasonable.

Good luck

Last edited by Learux; 05/11/19 04:38 PM.

When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847401
05/11/19 05:02 PM
05/11/19 05:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 932
Santa Fe, NM
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To ease your mind perhaps you could visit your dad and then go to the piano rebuilder with your dad to see the progress on your mom's Steinway. That way it's not a "surprise" visit; it's just a chance to see your dad and have an outing.

If you're paying for the restoration, the rebuilder answers to you. If your dad is paying for it, then you probably can't do much other than be grateful and patient.

I looked at your rebuilder's website, and he doesn't strike me as a fraud at all. Still, I understand your concerns. Five to six months does not seem unreasonable for rebuilding an old upright, especially if the case needs refinishing. He should be well into the rebuilding at this point and be able to give you a revised completion date.


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Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847406
05/11/19 05:46 PM
05/11/19 05:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,263
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
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New Hampshire
If it's any consolation, I don't promise less than one year when a piano comes in for major work. I don't spend ALL my time on just that one piano. Usually there are lots of different things going on in and out of the shop.

The suggestion to go "visit Dad" is a good one, and an opportunity to take a field trip to the piano shop. I would strongly suggest that you not put pressure on the fellow. HOWEVER...if you were to arrive and see that absolutely nothing has been done to it...THEN I might get a little concerned.

Generally speaking we (piano repair people) dont respond well to "helicopter" clients (not saying that you are one...just try not to become one). We tend to take on more than we can reasonably handle and then get overwhelmed with stuff. It comes with the territory except in a few highly disciplined cases.

My advice is to stop calling. Just make a friendly visit. Maybe something DID go wrong and needs to be fixed. We don't like to talk about this with the owner...just fix it and continue. Owners don't understand this. Technicians do. Be patient. Let him know that you're more interested in quality work than a specific time frame (and mean it).

Let us know how it goes.

If any other restorers want to chime in here to corroborate my viewpoint that might be helpful to Suze. If you think I'm full of baloney I suppose you could say that too...😢

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847434
05/11/19 08:24 PM
05/11/19 08:24 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 476
North of Los Angeles
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Learux Offline

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North of Los Angeles
Not to insult the piano rebuilders but imo asking for a status update once a month is not unreasonable.

Especially for a 4 month job.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: 1906 Steinway upright [Re: pianosuzemn] #2847500
05/12/19 09:32 AM
05/12/19 09:32 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 173
Tampa, FL
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Big projects can easily last 4 or 5 months in my shop. I send emails with pictures as the piano progresses. That way my customer knows and sees how their piano is coming along. Very easy to do.


Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com
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