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Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking #2918159 11/30/19 01:16 PM
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Chemblue Offline OP
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Hi

I have today had my Upright Steinway piano tuned. I wanted the piano checked over after purchasing second hand in July ,however, I was more interested in him stopping my pedals creaking and squeaking when depressed especially when legato pedalling. He was here for less than an hour charged me £60 and sprayed WD40 on my pedals which is of concern inferred on this forum. They are no better but I am more worried about potential damage this may have caused. Please sdvise.

Blessings to you

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Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918173 11/30/19 01:44 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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A common problem is treating the symptom rather than the problem. One must isolate the source of the noise before one can silence it. It is also possible that there are several "sources" of noise here, all sounding at once.

How old is this piano? Do you know what model? Can you describe the noise, e.g., squeak, creak, grunt, etc? Where and when does it happen? Did the sound go away initially after he "treated" it?

Unfortunately without being able to examine the situation it is very difficult to figure it out from here. Some pianos can be very problematic in their pedals. I recall a SS upright that I thought I could fix quickly, but ended up having to completely remove all components and lube everything from the ground up. Not easy or quick.

Have you called this person back? What made you call him in the first place?

Pwg

BTW £60 is mighty cheap for a tuning.

Last edited by P W Grey; 11/30/19 01:46 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918214 11/30/19 02:59 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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Tunings are too cheap in the UK! It's extraordinary really.

I rather enjoy tracking down and fixing pedal noises - and random WD40 spraying certainly isn't the right approach! I don't like the sound of that at all. As pwg says, one has to isolate the source of the noises (and of course there may be more than one).

I don't think WD40 on the pedal mountings at the bottom is likely to do much harm. But as you have found in this case, it hasn't done any good either. WD40 on tuning pins, as one "tuner" in my area used to do, is another matter entirely!

Pedal noises are so obtrusive and annoying, and must be properly dealt with.

Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918230 11/30/19 03:30 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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I'm going to drag this off-topic in this response (sorry) for a minute.

I don't know why there is the perception in Britain that the skill of a piano tuner is worth next to nothing.

If you have a problem with some household appliance, you will find that a plumber or electrician or gasfitter is likely to have a CALL-OUT charge of at least £60 just for coming to your house, before even doing anything at all.

On top of the call-out fee, you will pay for labour and parts for any repair. Sometimes by the quarter-hour. And although background knowledge is called for, there may not be a great deal of skill involved in making the repair - fitting a new part to a washing machine or electric stove, for example.

When the piano tuner comes, he or she is using a VERY highly skilled set of muscular movements and listening skills for the WHOLE of the time he or she is working.

You won't get an electrician to come to your house and work hard for an hour, for £60.

Yet the market in many parts of the UK simply won't bear higher prices for tunings. That is (partly) why not so many these days can earn a fulltime living with piano tuning/repair work. I gave up on the idea in 2014. It is especially difficult, of course, in areas that are more sparsely populated, and in recessionary times when local authorities are cutting back financially in every way they can.

As an experiment, Chemblue, call an electrician and ask what it would cost to call out to your house and do an hour's very demanding and complicated work.

None of this, of course, is an argument for poor workmanship by any piano technician. There is no excuse for that, really.

Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918428 12/01/19 02:37 AM
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Quote

I don't know why there is the perception in Britain that the skill of a piano tuner is worth next to nothing.

That attitude is not unique to Britain. smile

In the OP, it's stated that this piano is recently purchased. Maybe there is a warranty if purchased from a store?

It's absolutely correct that the root cause should be found and corrected. Otherwise, any fix will only be temporary.

WD-40 should not have been used. But considering it was used on the pedals (which are pretty isolated from the rest of the piano), I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.


Joe Gumbosky
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www.morethanpianos.com
(semi-retired)

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -Marcus Aurelius
Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918430 12/01/19 02:45 AM
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The first step in ridding the pedals of noise is to figure out where the noise is coming from. Lubricating the pedals will not help if the action is creaking on the action bolts, for instance.


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Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918505 12/01/19 09:08 AM
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David Boyce Offline
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I tuned the fine old Bechstein upright of a regular customer, and noticed pedal noise which hadn't been there on previous occasions, and she confirmed that it was annoying.

Careful listening showed two components to the noise - a clicking sound and a creaking sound. The clicking was one of the usual suspects. I forget exactly what, now, but quickly fixed. The creaking was harder to track down.

It turned out that the glue joint at the left hand end of the toe rail (if that is the right term - the narrow batten the pedals protrude through, beneath the kneeboard, and integral with the sides on the case and the baseboard) had failed. Pressure on the pedal caused the baseboard to flex a little and movement of the end of the toe rail against the side of the case made a creaking sound.

I tried running some low viscosity CA glue into the dry joint, and the problem was solved almost instantaneously.

Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918512 12/01/19 09:31 AM
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The correct lubricant is pedal grease made as follows:
Quote from USA Piano Technicians Guild

VJ Lube

1 part pure Lanolin
1 part petroleum jelly
Talc

Heat in a small can in a pan of water until it's turned to liquid.
Add as much talc as it will absorb.
Store in the small film containers.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2918552 12/01/19 12:10 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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Depends what for.....

Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2919200 12/02/19 08:08 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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The OP has not gotten around to answering any questions. I wonder if he got it fixed?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: P W Grey] #2919284 12/03/19 03:50 AM
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Chemblue Offline OP
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Steinway upright 1925
Squeak creaking sound when depressing the pedal especially legato pedalling
I found him in google and he inferred that he had specific knowledge about Steinway which is what I was looking for.
I wouldn't have him back after he sprayed WD40 on the pedals after reading not advised

Re: Upright Steinway pedals creaking and squeaking [Re: Chemblue] #2919289 12/03/19 04:16 AM
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David Boyce Offline
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You inferred, he implied......


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