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Do these hammers need to be filed?
#2902028 10/19/19 11:30 AM
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12root2 Offline OP
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Hello,

I'm an occasional pianist who's recently taken interest in technician work. I have a Kimball console from around 1960 that I'm practicing on (playing and tuning). Do these hammers need to be filed? They seem pretty grooved to me, and I wouldn't mind learning to shape them, but I don't want to make things significantly worse for playing. I've also noticed several of the trichords are unevenly spaced. Should that be addressed while the hammers are fresh?

Thank you!

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Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902031 10/19/19 11:38 AM
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File them. Spacing should be done after they are filed, but that may be difficult and they may not stay, because there might be a screw in the way, or the tension is too low.


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Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902037 10/19/19 11:50 AM
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Thank you. Is there a procedure for respacing the string? Should I lower the tension before pushing it around?

Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902062 10/19/19 01:09 PM
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I don't think it's all that necessary to re-space the strings, unless they are so close they are buzzing. If you re-space them, they're quite likely to move back to where they have already settled at, I think, over time.

Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902134 10/19/19 06:19 PM
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How does the piano sound? Some pianos sound very good with string marks like those in the picture. In the top three octaves, too deep grooves can damp the sound.

In the treble range of the typical upright the pressure bar holds the strings against the V-bar. It is best to space the strings so they make a straight line from tuning pin to bridge. Less false beats that way. If the strings won't stay straight, that is probably a sign the pressure bar exerts too little pressure on the strings.

Just start slightly tightening the screws little by little. If they feel like they don't want to turn, don't tighten them. You can loosen tight/frozen screws by heating them with a soldering iron. Turn them slightly backward first before tightening them.


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Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2902178 10/19/19 09:58 PM
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I would say the tone is bright for my taste. The pressure bar screws were a little loose, thank you. The tuning pin spacing is a little too close in places and the strings are touching other coils. There's no buzzing, so I think I'll leave it alone.

Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902344 10/20/19 01:34 PM
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Strings that are unevenly spaced from day one and have years of contact with the damper felt will often no longer damp properly when you move them. You can end up creating more problems this way DAMHIK.

Hammer filing is not a normal job for an amateur. It is VERY easy to overdo something inadvertently, again creating more problems to be solved, finally turning it over to the experienced tech to fix (who won't be happy). DAMHIK.

Not to be disparaging in any way, but...its a Kimball...how much improvement are we expecting here?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902691 10/21/19 10:04 AM
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P W Grey, I'm trying to learn the basics of piano servicing and figured I'd learn to file hammers where I was unlikely to do too much damage (financial or otherwise).

It turned out okay, the grooves are still just visible so I'm not sure I took enough off. (Seemed better than too much!) The upper partials are more prominent than I remember, and I'm assuming that means the impact points are still quite hard. Some of the high notes are quite sweet now, though. I'm very pleased with that!

Re: Do these hammers need to be filed?
12root2 #2902900 10/21/19 07:05 PM
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Re: "I'm not sure I took enough off"
A reasonable target (in my opinion) is to take off 1/3 of the groove on each side, leaving 1/3 of the original groove in the middle.


Anthony Willey, RPT
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Willey Piano Tuning

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