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Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions #2935271 01/17/20 10:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2019
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jkess114 Offline OP
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I friend a possible client had his Steinway D mostly rebuilt - everything but the soundboard. The piano was restrung and repinned and a 3rd party who went to check out the work said the piano was hard to tune and inconsistent from pin to pin. My pal asked if the pinblock should have been replaced and I couldn't really answer that properly. I have always though that a pinblock can be repinned once or twice, barring and defects in the block, without issue. But it stands to reason that if there are looser pins than others repinning it is going to yield an inconsistent pin pressure. What is the thinking on this subject?

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Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935306 01/17/20 11:57 AM
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Beemer Offline
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Rebuilding a Steinway is an expensive outlay and I would have expected that your friend would have had a full written report of exactly what work was done on the piano. Are you aware of its serial number and does you friend know the age of the piano? What expertise does the 3rd party you mentioned have?
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935324 01/17/20 12:53 PM
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Gene Nelson Offline
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If your friend a possible client statement is accurate: “everything but the soundboard” then yes, the pin block should have been replaced.
Also, a competent rebuilder knows how to tell if an existing block is salvageable and oversized pins are appropriate as well as how to salvage the block and install oversized pins to achieve a reasonably uniform and controllable feel.


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Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935543 01/17/20 10:11 PM
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OperaTenor Offline
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It's been my perspective for decades that replacing a pin block is much better than repining with oversized pins. My experience with tuning repinned pianos has been really unsatisfactory for me, since the pins almost always feet terrible.

Last edited by OperaTenor; 01/17/20 10:12 PM.

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Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: OperaTenor] #2935547 01/17/20 10:24 PM
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Maximillyan Online Shocked
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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
It's been my perspective for decades that replacing a pin block is much better than repining with oversized pins. My experience with tuning repinned pianos has been really unsatisfactory for me, since the pins almost always feet terrible.

thanks, OperaTenor
on Russian forums of technicians of a piano I found a lot of confirmation of your observation the poor-quality tuning of the piano it's , if repinning was made there. More reliable cardboard, I'm think. But it's long and tedious

Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935629 01/18/20 07:57 AM
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jkess114 Offline OP
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To answer a few questions...

The piano is from the 70's, the rebuilder is of apparent long standing, my friend was not given a written report that I know of - I will ask to confirm this. The repinning and restringing was done by a steinway tech. My pal did some research on the rebuilder to make sure he's been doing this a long time and and it sounds like he has. My pal called me yesterday to tell me that "the piano had some weird high pitched resonance on a few notes" and he and someone visiting tracked it down to the bolt running through the plate to the treble bell. The nut was loose.

I hope to see this piano in the next month to understand his issues better.

Thank you for your replies.

Best,
Josh

Last edited by jkess114; 01/18/20 08:06 AM.
Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935734 01/18/20 12:59 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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In SS construction, when the pinblock was new and the piano strung, IN THEORY no tuning pins touched the plate (i.e. the fronts of the holes [since the bore holes were centered]), and the plate flange is taking the full brunt of tension forces. As time goes by and the pinblock shrinks and compresses (due to the tremendous forces being exerted here), the tuning pins (also slightly bent from tension) creep closer and closer to the fronts of the holes, and some may actually come in contact.

The fact of the matter is that 1970's SS pianos were notoriously sloppy in numerous areas, with pinblocks and stringing being particularly so (rushed pinblock fitting and coils that look like they were done by a newbie). It is not uncommon to see MANY tuning pins riding the plate almost from day one on these, and by the time 30-40 years rolls around the majority are. This is a non-correctable situation that requires quality replacement of the pinblock.

Re-pinning an existing block in this condition directly alters the design parameters of the construction. Oversize tuning pins are now directly in contact with the plate, and when under full tension PIVOTING against the plate holes, pulling the pinblock AWAY from the plate flange, creating a conflicting situation between areas in contact and those not (flange and block). If there are many of them like this it can create an unstable situation at the flange (not to mention the fact that it is really difficult to properly set a tuning pin that is resting on the plate). I have seen this numerous times.

This situation does not occur in a piano designed with tuning pin bushings because the plate webbing is DESIGNED to essentially take the place of the flange...but not so in a SS or similarly designed piano without bushings.

I would suggest that a fatal error was made in not replacing the pinblock in this situation, though close inspection should be made to observe whether the situation I described exists here. It should also be closely inspected to see the quality of stringing that went into this rebuild.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
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pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2935790 01/18/20 03:15 PM
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Gene Nelson Offline
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The Paul Larudee lo - torque tuning pins remain 2.0 at the tip and oversize only where the threads are.
I suppose that I should have mentioned this - am I the only one that knows about these pins?
When you re-pin a block that it is determined that the block is worthy of slavaging, using these pins does not change design parameters and if done correct will give very good results.
I think its a big mistake to replace a block that can be salvaged.

Last edited by Gene Nelson; 01/18/20 03:21 PM.

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Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2936027 01/19/20 04:11 PM
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P W Grey Offline
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I have used Lo-Torq pins many times. I like them best for re-pinning.

However, it must be looked at carefully because if many pins are already riding the plate before dis-assembly, they will still be riding the plate after restringing, and it will only get worse with time. If however the holes are all well away from the danger zone...go for it.

Plus, in a case like this no one but the rebuilder knows the quality of the initial pinblock fitting. One would hope it was excellent, but from that era...who knows?

I wonder where this D came from?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2936060 01/19/20 08:47 PM
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Chernobieff Piano Offline
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Installing a new pinblock is a very fun job. But doing it right takes a lot of practice. Especially drilling the holes consistently. For a while i used the Nossaman style of drilling (a pilot hole the go back drill the final hole). But this is unnecessary and can actually incur more error. Actually when done right no clamping is necessary either. Slow is fast when it comes to drilling. for example, when inserting the drill and if it wants to burn that's too fast. If it wants to lift the block at the end when removing, then the wood didn't remove from the hole correctly because the bit is running too fast. I have a trusty bit for 2/0 pins that I have had now for 15 years. never needs sharpening, so thats another advantage of proper drilling.

Mating the block to the flange is the best part, and it usually just takes me a half an hour. What I do now is get very very close with a die grinder and at the very end cover the block edge with a thin coat of steel epoxy then do the final fit to get a perfect match. Then I prefer to drill the holes on my mill. I drill at 4.68 degrees now and have backed off a bit from 7 degrees many years ago.

The material is crucial too. Recently it seems that the block stock has become inconsistent. If it gets any worse, i'll probably just start making my own blocks. We'll see.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Restrung and repinned piano pinblock questions [Re: jkess114] #2936061 01/19/20 08:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 650
Chernobieff Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 650
Installing a new pinblock is a very fun job. But doing it right takes a lot of practice. Especially drilling the holes consistently. For a while i used the Nossaman style of drilling (a pilot hole the go back drill the final hole). But this is unnecessary and can actually incur more error. Actually when done right no clamping is necessary either. Slow is fast when it comes to drilling. for example, when inserting the drill and if it wants to burn that's too fast. If it wants to lift the block at the end when removing, then the wood didn't remove from the hole correctly because the bit is running too fast. I have a trusty bit for 2/0 pins that I have had now for 15 years. never needs sharpening, so thats another advantage of proper drilling.

Mating the block to the flange is the best part, and it usually just takes me a half an hour. What I do now is get very very close with a die grinder and at the very end cover the block edge with a thin coat of steel epoxy then do the final fit to get a perfect match. Then I prefer to drill the holes on my mill. I drill at 4.68 degrees now and have backed off a bit from 7 degrees many years ago.

The material is crucial too. Recently it seems that the block stock has become inconsistent. If it gets any worse, i'll probably just start making my own blocks. We'll see.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com

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