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DIY - Success or Failure #2946988 02/14/20 10:56 PM
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Jack Moody Offline OP
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I've noticed that a lot of people are speak strongly against DIY tuning, repair or maintenance. This has made me curious. Who has tried DIY tuning? Who had abysmal failure? Great success?

Who has DIY repaired or restored part of your piano? Who has restrung?

Who has moved a piano? Has anyone ever had/seen a catastrophe?

If you are pro or anti-DIY, tell us why?

It might be fun to get an idea of the frequency of success and failure in DIY piano.

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Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2946999 02/14/20 11:39 PM
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Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by Jack Moody
I've noticed that a lot of people are speak strongly against DIY tuning, repair or maintenance. This has made me curious. Who has tried DIY tuning? Who had abysmal failure? Great success?

Who has DIY repaired or restored part of your piano? Who has restrung?

Who has moved a piano? Has anyone ever had/seen a catastrophe?

If you are pro or anti-DIY, tell us why?

It might be fun to get an idea of the frequency of success and failure in DIY piano.

Another controversial subject on PW, DIY piano tuning, service and repair. Kind of like the "self-taught" piano player/pianist thread. smile

Personally, I try not to talk about it much here anymore, for various reasons, and, although there are a few members here who do tune or touch up the tuning on their own pianos, as well as some minor repair and regulation, they don't talk about it much either, for some of the same reasons as myself, I would imagine.

Many members here wouldn't dare consider learning to tune their own piano, and are quick to criticize those who do. And, they have their reasons, and they are good reasons, I suppose.

I will add that the criticism of DIY tuners here has subsided a bit, but that may well be because the regulars here that do it don't talk about it as much. Who wants to walk the gauntlet line if they don't need to? smile

Getting back to your questions, Jack, I'll go out on the limb here and say that I have had excellent success learning to tune my own pianos, and have tuned several pianos for others for free, just to gain the experience and help out a friend or acquaintance. But I don't do the freebees anymore, because it is just too time consuming. But learning to tune my pianos to an acceptable level required a learning curve, just like learning any new skill. I've been doing it now for several years, and feel very comfortable tuning my pianos.

I have also had good success with some other repairs, and refurbishment, replacing strings, (but not restringing an entire piano) and doing some hammer voicing and regulation. Also, if I'm doing something I have not done before, I do my homework/research, and a lot of it, and give it a try. So far, I have never done more harm than good, and I figure if I screw something up, anything man-made can be fixed or replaced. Plus, I always learn something in the process.

I will say that several of the professional piano technicians here on the forum have helped me out with advice and technical info over the years, when I would ask them, and they were generous with their expertise. I think there is a certain faction here who like to attack the DIYers for some reason, but many of the pros here are very accommodating to DIYers.

Also, FWIW, if you have to ask yourself if what you want or need to do to your piano is worth buying special tools or fabricating them, and going through the learning process, or is your time worth more to you in other ways, and it would be much better to just call a pro technician and pay them for their services. I have asked myself that question many times. Also, a good piano technician earns their money, and are usually well worth it.

Have I ever experienced or caused a catastrophe on one of my pianos due to my DIY efforts? No, at least not yet. smile

Sorry to be so wordy, but I always feel the need to provide an informational foundation and background to support my comments and opinions, for better or worse.

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Rickster] #2947008 02/15/20 12:43 AM
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Jack Moody Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Jack Moody
I've noticed that a lot of people are speak strongly against DIY tuning, repair or maintenance. This has made me curious. Who has tried DIY tuning? Who had abysmal failure? Great success?

Who has DIY repaired or restored part of your piano? Who has restrung?

Who has moved a piano? Has anyone ever had/seen a catastrophe?

If you are pro or anti-DIY, tell us why?

It might be fun to get an idea of the frequency of success and failure in DIY piano.

Another controversial subject on PW, DIY piano tuning, service and repair. Kind of like the "self-taught" piano player/pianist thread. smile

Personally, I try not to talk about it much here anymore, for various reasons, and, although there are a few members here who do tune or touch up the tuning on their own pianos, as well as some minor repair and regulation, they don't talk about it much either, for some of the same reasons as myself, I would imagine.

Many members here wouldn't dare consider learning to tune their own piano, and are quick to criticize those who do. And, they have their reasons, and they are good reasons, I suppose.

I will add that the criticism of DIY tuners here has subsided a bit, but that may well be because the regulars here that do it don't talk about it as much. Who wants to walk the gauntlet line if they don't need to? smile

Getting back to your questions, Jack, I'll go out on the limb here and say that I have had excellent success learning to tune my own pianos, and have tuned several pianos for others for free, just to gain the experience and help out a friend or acquaintance. But I don't do the freebees anymore, because it is just too time consuming. But learning to tune my pianos to an acceptable level required a learning curve, just like learning any new skill. I've been doing it now for several years, and feel very comfortable tuning my pianos.

I have also had good success with some other repairs, and refurbishment, replacing strings, (but not restringing an entire piano) and doing some hammer voicing and regulation. Also, if I'm doing something I have not done before, I do my homework/research, and a lot of it, and give it a try. So far, I have never done more harm than good, and I figure if I screw something up, anything man-made can be fixed or replaced. Plus, I always learn something in the process.

I will say that several of the professional piano technicians here on the forum have helped me out with advice and technical info over the years, when I would ask them, and they were generous with their expertise. I think there is a certain faction here who like to attack the DIYers for some reason, but many of the pros here are very accommodating to DIYers.

Also, FWIW, if you have to ask yourself if what you want or need to do to your piano is worth buying special tools or fabricating them, and going through the learning process, or is your time worth more to you in other ways, and it would be much better to just call a pro technician and pay them for their services. I have asked myself that question many times. Also, a good piano technician earns their money, and are usually well worth it.

Have I ever experienced or caused a catastrophe on one of my pianos due to my DIY efforts? No, at least not yet. smile

Sorry to be so wordy, but I always feel the need to provide an informational foundation and background to support my comments and opinions, for better or worse.

All the best!

Rick


Hey Buddy,

The first time I tried some piano tuning, I found it to be simple. I didn't feel like there was any learning curve, but I'm sure that working with stringed instruments helped. When I bought my first banjo, I was super excited. I went home and recklessly tried to tune it. I broke a string and couldn't get another until the next day. I was so disappointed!

The banjo pushed me to learn, because guitar shops will make a banjo problem worse. I couldn't find a banjo tech. That's how my instrument DIY started.

Fueled by small successes, I built a banjo with no previous experience in finish,fret work, binding, inlay, etc. I had some wood working experience. It came out very nice and played great, but I got the lacquer wrong and it checked badly in a short time. That was my only real instrument fail. I love cutting and inlaying mother of pearl and Ive used that skill on other projects with great success. I'm surprised that I only messed up the finish, because I was younger and very haphazard. That mistake hurt at the time, but it was wonderful, because I learned the need for patience and excessive research!

I later built a mini banjo with a poly finish and it was perfect.

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947018 02/15/20 01:37 AM
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I wouldn’t dare try to tune my Shigeru or my previous RX2 as they are too precious to me and there is a risk I could cause serious damage when I could have just called an expert. That being said nothing stopped me from trying to tune my parents 40 year old young Chang that hadn’t been tuned in decades. It took me 3 days to work on it before realizing it will take 3 or 4 tunings just to get the piano to stay in tune. It’s very easy to damage a pin if you are too aggressive or think you are on the right pin and keep moving the tuning wrench only to find out you were on the wrong pin. I almost did this a couple of times but luckily did not cause any permanent damage. If the piano is worth anything to you I personally wouldn’t do it, but it’s not an impossible task. Probably takes a lot of practice.


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Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947039 02/15/20 03:06 AM
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I think Rick's post is an excellent answer to your questions.

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Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Rickster] #2947122 02/15/20 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Jack Moody
I've noticed that a lot of people are speak strongly against DIY tuning, repair or maintenance. This has made me curious. Who has tried DIY tuning? Who had abysmal failure? Great success?

Who has DIY repaired or restored part of your piano? Who has restrung?

Who has moved a piano? Has anyone ever had/seen a catastrophe?

If you are pro or anti-DIY, tell us why?

It might be fun to get an idea of the frequency of success and failure in DIY piano.

Another controversial subject on PW, DIY piano tuning, service and repair. Kind of like the "self-taught" piano player/pianist thread. smile

Personally, I try not to talk about it much here anymore, for various reasons, and, although there are a few members here who do tune or touch up the tuning on their own pianos, as well as some minor repair and regulation, they don't talk about it much either, for some of the same reasons as myself, I would imagine.

Many members here wouldn't dare consider learning to tune their own piano, and are quick to criticize those who do. And, they have their reasons, and they are good reasons, I suppose.

I will add that the criticism of DIY tuners here has subsided a bit, but that may well be because the regulars here that do it don't talk about it as much. Who wants to walk the gauntlet line if they don't need to? smile

Getting back to your questions, Jack, I'll go out on the limb here and say that I have had excellent success learning to tune my own pianos, and have tuned several pianos for others for free, just to gain the experience and help out a friend or acquaintance. But I don't do the freebees anymore, because it is just too time consuming. But learning to tune my pianos to an acceptable level required a learning curve, just like learning any new skill. I've been doing it now for several years, and feel very comfortable tuning my pianos.

I have also had good success with some other repairs, and refurbishment, replacing strings, (but not restringing an entire piano) and doing some hammer voicing and regulation. Also, if I'm doing something I have not done before, I do my homework/research, and a lot of it, and give it a try. So far, I have never done more harm than good, and I figure if I screw something up, anything man-made can be fixed or replaced. Plus, I always learn something in the process.

I will say that several of the professional piano technicians here on the forum have helped me out with advice and technical info over the years, when I would ask them, and they were generous with their expertise. I think there is a certain faction here who like to attack the DIYers for some reason, but many of the pros here are very accommodating to DIYers.

Also, FWIW, if you have to ask yourself if what you want or need to do to your piano is worth buying special tools or fabricating them, and going through the learning process, or is your time worth more to you in other ways, and it would be much better to just call a pro technician and pay them for their services. I have asked myself that question many times. Also, a good piano technician earns their money, and are usually well worth it.

Have I ever experienced or caused a catastrophe on one of my pianos due to my DIY efforts? No, at least not yet. smile

Sorry to be so wordy, but I always feel the need to provide an informational foundation and background to support my comments and opinions, for better or worse.

All the best!

Rick

I believe that those who are critical of other people tuning, maintaining, and moving their own pianos might have a variety of reasons for it. Three reasons that come to mind are: 1) If they themselves are trained piano techs or movers, they may be speaking out for for the benefit of their trade, truly concerned for people's pianos being optimally cared for. (I'm sure that this contingent has seen their share of amateurs' handiwork requiring their attention. I've seen analogous issues arising in the field of my own profession, medicine. With the amount of information that is easily available online these days, it has become commonplace for people to attempt to diagnose and treat their own ailments, as well as to offer advice to others, sometimes turning to alternative and even fringe medicine in the process. And yes, I've too commonly seen the sad results of patients' own misdiagnoses and self-treatments); 2) If they themselves are trained piano techs or movers, they may feel threatened by others who are horning in on their trades; and 3) If they themselves are NOT trained piano techs or movers, they may need to feel justification for spending their money on professionals to work on their pianos and feel threatened by those of us who have found ways to not spend our money on same.

All of that being said, I agree with Rick here. And like Rick, I routinely work on my own pianos. I can tune my pianos quite well, but it requires about 2 to 2.5 hours of my time from start to finish. So, I'd much rather pay a professional tech and save my own valuable time for practicing. Therefore I now mostly only spot tune my pianos in between my professional tech's full tunings. I've also done myriad repairs and maintenance on my own pianos. I've even had to remedy issues on my pianos that existed on new pianos and a newly rebuilt piano. And on several occasions, necessity was the mother of invention: when my own techs were not successful in troubleshooting problems on my pianos, I've been forced to do so myself. I'm also very fussy about how my pianos sound, so I've had to learn how to voice my own pianos. Interestingly, I myself have found that the techs I've used over the years have been very supportive of my learning to work on my own pianos and have even suggested it. In fact, one of my techs even gave me my first tuning hammer.

Moving pianos, especially grands, can be a dangerous thing. And I wouldn't recommend moving grands oneself unless one is quite familiar with how to do so safely. I'd watched the process many times, and eventually I was called upon to do one myself--and it was my own rebuilt concert grand! The rebuilder delivered it to me on his truck, but there was supposed to be a local mover on my end to help him offload it from his truck, roll it on a dolly into my house, tip it, and reassemble it. Unfortunately, at the required time, it turned out that the local mover was unable to show up and do the job. Since the rebuilder still needed to drive back home several states away that same day, with his instruction, he, a friend of mine, and I all teamed up and did it ourselves without a scratch. Well, on our own bodies anyway; unfortunately the concert grand itself was completely trashed in the process. NO! Just kidding. We successfully got that piano into my house without a scratch on it either. (But I admit that I was sweating bullets throughout the process. And all of us felt the need to say a prayer before we began offloading that piano.)

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947133 02/15/20 08:32 AM
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I've never tuned a piano before but I do object to moving "anything" (not only a piano). For me, it all boils down to "opportunity cost".

There are things one does as a hobby or for fun. Would you hire someone to do them for you? My hobby now is learning and playing the piano. So sure, I could hire someone to play the piano, but why? That's what I am doing for entertainment. The same applied to my other past hobbies.

But there are things I could do, like move boxes around, pack boxes, mow a lawn, and probably many of these I can do as well as anyone. I don't think there are any movers around who can move boxes better than I can give the same equipment (e.g., support belt, dolly, straps, gloves). But I earn money by working with my head, and then I spend that money hiring people to do non-fun, non-hobby activities for me, like mowing a lawn, or moving when I'm involved in a move, or dealing with a plumbing crisis, or doing my present home renovation. This maximizes my efficiency and productivity, and the time I save on these non-fun activities, can be immediately used on my fun activities, practicing/playing my piano, reading a book, etc.

I admire those who have many fun activities and enjoy the process and satisfaction from building their own swimming pool, tuning their piano even if they break it, building a page turning pedal, or taking 8 weeks to design and build an electronic doorbell camera-intercom he could have bought for $150 (an actual example of my good friend). All such people are having fun and their hobbies are in essence, doing these various things.

But who among you would have gotten things so turned around that you prefer spending time tuning a piano, or building a deck, or mowing one's lawn instead of earning the living that serves as one's primary occupation? For example, working and being paid as a doctor, or an engineer? I knew one case of this which I will now tell!

In 1997, I was a senior executive of a major investment bank and had made 6-figure job offer to this fellow to come onboard my bank to take on an information technology cost-accounting role I was trying to fill. It was easily 50% more than he was making. But he turned me down. Why? Because he was building with his own hands his own backyard Finnish sauna which he had planned for awhile. I pointed out that he could hire workers to do this and such a outbuilding sauna (back in '97) wouldn't have cost more than $20K USD to build, which he could more than pay for with even the after-tax difference in salary, that I was going to pay him for our position, versus what he had been earning. But he turned me down because he said, it wouldn't be the same if he were to hire someone to build it instead of building it with his own hands - he would never feel the same when he sat in the resulting sauna to enjoy it. I admired him for being so resolute, and I wondered what his wife thought about his decision, but I've never understood his logic. Maybe one of you DIY folks can explain it to me!


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Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2947143 02/15/20 09:00 AM
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Tyrone: Maybe that guy didn't want to walk that "self-opimization" route all the way down.

This could be an intersting read for you. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", from Robert Pirsig.

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947149 02/15/20 09:27 AM
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Jack - what someone does to their own piano is completely up to them. If someone learns to wrench on their own vehicle or motorcycle, it ain’t my worry. I’ve never tried or thought to try tuning my own piano because it requires a great ear, takes tons of time, and great patience to learn and I have none of those attributes. I went to college and through a 5 year apprenticeship for electronics design, troubleshooting and repair and that’s where I’m skilled. I’m digital not analog.

If you’re interested in learning piano maintenance, 1st thing is to get a free junker piano to work on. If you break something or completely screw it up, it’s part of the learning process. Secondly, take some classes and do research on the art (and it really is science and art) on all the aspects of piano tuning, voicing ( this is where you need several junkers for practice) on voicing and regulation.

My piano technician has 40 years experience, much training and can and does work magic on pianos and personally I think his fees are really reasonable. I take my little BMW to a BMW master mechanic when it needs work. In my mind, some things, especially my hard earned possessions are better off in the hands of professionals.


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Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947152 02/15/20 09:35 AM
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Soon after I graduated from university and landed my first job (where I was also living on the premises), I discovered there was an old grand in the 'mess' - completely out of tune, with a few broken strings, and a few missing ivories on the keytops. It probably hadn't been played in decades.

I bought a tuning fork and a tuning wrench, and set to work, removing the broken strings and tuning the thing to B=440 (because it wouldn't hold at A=440)....and happily played it for the next three years. But I did have to do a touch-up tuning on it before I played it every day. I became quite good at tuning the piano, even if I say so myself smirk .

After I left, I continued to carry my tuning wrench with me in my music bag wherever I went, so that whenever I came across a clapped-out old honky-tonk, I could do a tune-up and play it.

But if (when) I bought my dream Bösendorfer Imperial, would I tune it myself?

No....... whistle


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947158 02/15/20 10:05 AM
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I work on, and tune, my own pianos. I actually took the Randy Potter correspondence course. And passed the PTG written and manual tests, but not the tuning test. My high-frequency hearing is not very good now - requires hearing aids. I use an ETD now. If you are a handy person you can do it.

I keep a low profile about my activities here to avoid controversy...

Sam

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947171 02/15/20 10:44 AM
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Not too many comments about piano moving, so I'll add one. When I realized my grand needed to be repositioned in the room, we ended up deciding not to move it ourselves because of the chance that someone would be hurt (even just from straining to lift, since none of us are professional movers etc.) or the floor/carpet would be damaged. I'm pretty risk averse, so we paid for it to be done. It wasn't a lot, and was definitely worth it.

But the gentleman who I bought my Petrof upright from (the piano I had before my grand) was a crazy fearless DIY mover. He described himself as someone who sells piano as a hobby. He had a couple different dollies and a plank to use to go from a front door to the back of his truck. I watched him move two different upright by himself, on and off the dolly, on and off the truck. Oh, he was not particularly tall or strong/muscular looking. When I expressed surprise, he said "oh that's nothing, I move grand pianos by myself too. I prefer not to, but I can if the need arises. And the need arises more than you might think."

As for tuning the piano myself, I'll pass! I used to play classical guitar, and I was never very good at tuning it. I could tell if it wasn't in tune, but I really struggled to tune it and always ended up relying on a machine tuner to check and guide me. And that was just 6 strings, so I know I wouldn't do well if I had to deal with 230 of them!

But as for people who tune their own pianos.... Well, we're all humans, if a piano tuner can learn how to be a good piano tuner, I don't see why a pianist can't learn to be a good piano tuner. So the "controversy" always kinda bugged me. If someone tunes their own piano, good for them! And far be it from any of us to criticize or question their results. Also, it doesn't surprise me that many people who tune themselves also play a stringed instrument, there's definitely a connection there.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947175 02/15/20 10:49 AM
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I've always tuned my own piano, and with good results. As someone else has mentioned, it takes me a good two hours and lots of patience. I think it's a personality thing too. I'm the type of person who loves to learn a new skill. Whether it's doing drywall joints, welding, small engine repair, fixing tools, etc I just love to learn the way things work. Knowing how to tune is handy in being able to quickly fix a just a few notes that have drifted, without necessarily needing to redo the whole piano from scratch. I say try it and see how comfortable you are with it.


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947185 02/15/20 11:10 AM
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SMA55 and Tyrone,

You guys are absolutely right about the opportunity cost and not doing it if you don't enjoy it. I could easily change the oil in my cars, but I don't. If you have the money, have access to a fair tradesman and don't enjoy the work. Then hiring it out is a great option.

Its just odd when someone discourages others SOOOO strongly. Maybe they are sincerely concerned. I almost think that some enjoy looking at a piano as an enigma. Maybe they think it would diminish the mystical machine it any guy on the internet could maintain it. Pianos are awesome!

My experience with a piano repairman was fantastic, btw. I loved watching him work and hearing him play. He is reliable, fair, decent, honest, sincere and positive. He is also excellent at what he does. I was happy to pay him and I could see the draw of having a guy like that come by occasionally. He was very encouraging. I was interested, so he used me as a helper. He showed me how he did the damper adjustments. He loved my work on the finish. He studied it and said that that he would have no problem turning me loose on a $100,000 Bosendorfer. I learned by reading and watching videos and then I did paint correction on a couple of vehicles and I've buffed stringed instruments. If anyone has scratches or swirl marks on a black gloss piano, I'm glad to give advice.

I grew up with little money. I now live better than I ever imagined. Necessity IS the mother of all invention. I loved finding crafty ways to make, repair, buy and sell. When I was younger, I liked having things that I shouldn't have been able to afford.

Learning new things is my most loved hobbies! This is why music is the best, because it's a constant challenge! There's so much to learn!!

This was my first paint correction. It's a picture of a picture, but you can see the reflective qualities.
[Linked Image]

This in a 1966 C10 that I built from an old farm truck. I had never done anything like this before! I had a shop spray the paint and then I wet sanded and finished it.
[Linked Image]

Last year I put this bike together from a crashed bike. I used to ride bikes constantly, but I have a family now so this just sits in the garage as art. I've rode it 3 times 🙁 but I loved building it.
[Linked Image]

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Sam S] #2947195 02/15/20 11:30 AM
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Jack Moody Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sam S
I work on, and tune, my own pianos. I actually took the Randy Potter correspondence course. And passed the PTG written and manual tests, but not the tuning test. My high-frequency hearing is not very good now - requires hearing aids. I use an ETD now. If you are a handy person you can do it.

I keep a low profile about my activities here to avoid controversy...

Sam


Communication is key to good relationships. Maybe we can put some of the contraversy to rest. I think that anyone who works at learning to play an instrument has to have tenacity(or occasionally just God given talent). I think most of us have that in common. Some just channel the tenacity differently. I completely understand if someone chooses not to apply that tenacity to piano maintenance.

How extreme (crazy) is it to wake up one day, decide to play, and spend years working on it? This is tur thing that we have in common. It's a much larger proposition than just trying to tune a piano!

There are so many awesome and talented people on here!

Last edited by Jack Moody; 02/15/20 11:31 AM.
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947209 02/15/20 12:01 PM
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Jack, your pictures of your projects are fantastic! I'll bet that old restored Chevy pickup truck is worth a good bit of money. smile

And, it sounds like you are a multi talented guy and a fast learner. Good for you! My philosophy is that the more you know about a lot of different things, the better off you will be. Even if you hire a professional to do a job for you, you'll likely know whether or not they do good work, to a certain extent.

I've had professional body shops do auto body painting and repair work for me over the years, and I paid top dollar for quality work, and the end result was disappointing. When I questioned the quality of the work, the response I'd get, (more than once) was "we can't get them perfect", or "we can't replicate a factory paint job". Well, why didn't they tell me that before I let them do the work? So, yea, sometimes you don't always get what you pay for. Okay, sorry for the rant, but I think you get the idea. smile

Jack, maybe you could start a business repairing musical instruments, or even pianos, and reselling them for a profit. I've bought and sold several pianos over the years, in the process of upgrading or just moving on to another piano project. But in my case, I usually sold them for less than I paid, or had invested in them, and they were usually in better shape when I sold them than when I bought them. So, I'd never make it in the piano business.

As for the controversy, I think many members here are very passionate about their thoughts and opinions, and can be assertive, or even overbearing about it at times, especially when someone else has a different idea or opinion. However, I think it all boils down to having respect for others, even if we disagree with them. I've found that showing respect usually garners respect in return, but not always.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947216 02/15/20 12:24 PM
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After a bad experience with a grumpy and impolite "pro technician" on my (then) brand new piano, I've told myself never again and decided to tune and regulate the piano myself. My SO - who teaches piano since a long time - and me are happy since then and it's been almost a decade now. No regrets. I can now tune the piano to my custom unequal temperament and adjust the touch, pedals, dampers etc without having to fight with anyone. A technician should work in partnership with the owner, not forcing his (in the case of the person I met, obsolete) views on what should be done without listening to the owner's needs. Piano tuning and regulation is not rocket science. The good news is If I could do it, many can too I'm sure. It's just a matter of being very patient, careful and meticulous.

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Rickster] #2947223 02/15/20 12:34 PM
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Jack Moody Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rickster

And, it sounds like you are a multi talented guy and a fast learner.

Even if you hire a professional to do a job for you, you'll likely know whether or not they do good work, to a certain extent.

I've bought and sold several pianos over the years... But in my case, I usually sold them for less than I paid, or had invested in them, and they were usually in better shape when I sold them than when I bought them. So, I'd never make it in the piano business.



Rick,

I have developed some skills, but my point is really that if I can do these things, anyone can 😉

Music came very slow for me. I played banjo for years before I could play out with other people and many more years before I was able to play on a decent stage in front of a big audience. I took an erratic and unstructured path.

We've all had disappointment with pros. I hear people say, you get what you pay for. I always want to add, only if your very lucky! Fortunately, I think there are some good piano techs out there.

I used to buy and sell a lot for profit, but that slowed when I started making money elsewhere.

It sounds like you are making the world a better place one piano at a time!! Everybody should love that!!





Last edited by Jack Moody; 02/15/20 12:36 PM.
Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947228 02/15/20 12:39 PM
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I use an electronic tuner to do touch up tunings. A previous RPT encouraged me to maintain it myself. I primarily fix out of tune unisons but have tuned the entire piano but it took most of the day. I am very careful so it goes slowly. I rely on the software and could not tune my ear.

I also take the action out and do a full lubrication - Howard Piano has some good instructional videos on YouTube. It is not difficult but time consuming. You need to be careful about taking the action out and note the sequence of removing screws and disassembly so it all goes back together, and use the correct lubricants. Since I can take my time I can do a thorough job and you learn about the piano too.

It is best to do a bit of education before diving in, like how to work the tuning hammer. There are a ton of resources out there one can leverage.

Re: DIY - Success or Failure [Re: Jack Moody] #2947238 02/15/20 01:02 PM
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I think there's less controversy than you imagine. The most common response to 'can I tune my own piano?' is to (1) do your homework (reading, videos), (2) get a few decent tools, and (3) do no harm--don't learn on your brand new piano (which shouldn't be having tuning and mechanical problems in the first place). I don't see this as people being strongly opposed to doing it yourself, if you like to do that kind of thing.


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