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Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way #2875623
08/03/19 10:08 AM
08/03/19 10:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
W
wintersorbeck Offline OP
Junior Member
wintersorbeck  Offline OP
Junior Member
W

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
Hello,

This is my first time posting in this forum so apologies if this has already been discussed somewhere else.

I am in the process of regulating a Mason and Hamlin D upright piano from 1920. When adjusting the lost motion, I notice that at the end of the key stroke, the back of the key doesn't fully return to to its rest position, making the lost motion just set now non-existent i.e. the jack is once again pressing right against the hammer butt. The possible causes I could see for this are:

too much friction between capstan and bottom of whippen
actual key weight off (maybe the wood has dried out the back of the key doesn't have sufficient weight to return?
some sort of geometry issue with height of balance rail vs back rail?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I've seen this on old Steinway uprights as well where lost motion just can't accurately be set due to keys not returning fully. Wondering what I may be missing here. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Re: Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way [Re: wintersorbeck] #2875647
08/03/19 11:28 AM
08/03/19 11:28 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,740
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,740
Oakland
Keys may not all be weighted towards the back, so that some will rest against the back rail felt rather than the front rail punching. Check the lost motion by pulling on the hammer rest rail and seeing if the hammers move.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way [Re: wintersorbeck] #2875658
08/03/19 12:08 PM
08/03/19 12:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,070
Michigan
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kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,070
Michigan
Not likely a weighting issue. Probably (at least in part) a lubrication issue.

First step in preparation to regulate is a complete lubrication of the action/keys. Did you do this?

Swollen or cavitated key bushings? (Balance are usually worst offenders)

And, welcome to the forum!


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
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Re: Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way [Re: wintersorbeck] #2880355
08/16/19 05:13 PM
08/16/19 05:13 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 477
UK
G
Goof Offline
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Goof  Offline
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G

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 477
UK
If you were to remove the action - which is an easy lift for me at 83yrs - you will see if the keys are not free to fall back onto the back felt.
Have you not removed the action and keys to clean up generally - this is really necessary on an old piano ?

Re: Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way [Re: wintersorbeck] #2880357
08/16/19 05:15 PM
08/16/19 05:15 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 477
UK
G
Goof Offline
Full Member
Goof  Offline
Full Member
G

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 477
UK
If you were to remove the action - which is an easy lift for me at 83yrs - you will see if the keys are not free to fall back onto the back felt.
Have you not removed the action and keys to clean up generally - this is really necessary on an old piano ?

Re: Mason and Hamlin upright keys not returning all the way [Re: wintersorbeck] #2880387
08/16/19 06:31 PM
08/16/19 06:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,601
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
2000 Post Club Member
P W Grey  Offline
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P

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,601
New Hampshire
If I am not mistaken, I think that model has auxiliary jack return springs (a little brass leaf spring about 1/2 - 2/3 way up the jack arm). I believe that the design was for it to bear against the inside of the backstop and help push the jack back into place. If this piano is so equipped, they are probably weak and/or breaking. If they're not there than it is a non-issue.

If though they are there, and the action design intended to rely on this spring to get the jack back, and allow greater front weighting of the keys, that might have something to do with it.

Do you have these springs?

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 08/16/19 06:32 PM.

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