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Dampers on a Yamaha upright
#2920499 12/06/19 08:44 PM
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My piano's dampers (it's a Yamaha p2) are glued onto a kind of capstan (a dowel with a hole in it that sits vertically on the damper wire), AT AN ANGLE.

Most dampers on uprights are aligned with the string they are damping by BENDING the damper wire. This is fairly easy to do.

On this piano, the damper wires are all totally vertical. For strings that run at an angle, the bass and most of the treble, the damper block is glued on at the angle of the string.

It's a great idea but to put new dampers in you have to know the exact angle for each string in order to position the damper block on the capstan when you glue them together.

Replacing just one damper is do-able inside the piano, by placing the damper block, with freshly applied glue on its back, against the string(s), then pressing the capstan against the block and holding it in place until the glue starts to dry.

But that just does not work for a series of dampers.

I need to put in six new damper blocks in a section of the piano where each set of strings is at a slightly different angle. Doing this using wet glue just does not work.

There has to be some technician out there who works on pianos like this and there must be some easy (or easier) way to angle each damper block at the correct angle OUTside the piano. The capstans could then be placed straight up and down on the already angled damper blocks, and when the glue dries each damper would be angled exactly correctly.

Is there an expert on this particular kind of damper system out there? Does anyone know if all Yamaha uprights are set up like this?

If so, what is the secret to replacing more than one damper?

Juant

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Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2920629 12/07/19 10:20 AM
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So far as I know, the factory process for this piano would have involved gluing in the damper heads in the piano before the hammers were attached.
You could remove the hammer rest rail and remove hammers in the area of the dampers to get better access.
The piano itself is the expert on where the dampers belong.
Use the existing round damper blocks (you call them capstans) to align the new round damper blocks.
Then glue the complete damper heads (thin wood strips with felts on both sides) to the blocks, seating them on the strings for alignment. Put glue on the block face, not on the damper head. The blocks should press the heads to the strings, enough to hold while the glue dries.
If the blocks won't hold the heads against the strings, they won't damp, either. You must trouble-shoot the action and fix it, or get help from someone who can.


Ed Sutton, RPT
Just a piano tuner!
Durham NC USA
Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2920643 12/07/19 11:08 AM
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To add to Ed's description, you can align the damper felts on the strings vertically by using magnets to hold a strip of wood or something to establish a line they should follow. Hold the key down to lift the damper block, and slide the damper down behind it until it stops at the strip, and then release key so the block is pressed against the felt.


Semipro Tech
Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2942792 02/04/20 08:43 PM
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I'm still working on those dampers for that Yamaha. Thanks to the folks who answered my queries last year.

It took forever but I finally got an account with Yamaha (as a professional) and ordered a full set of dampers for my P2, but they had to be back ordered and they just arrived yesterday (2/3/20).

I am now going to very carefully install the new dampers where needed, which is practically all of the bass notes and about seven mid-range notes and seven or so very high notes.

Folks interested in Yamahas might be want to know that the damper 'block' (that IS the proper name for the dowel shaped part) has a LARGER hole for the damper wire to go through than American pianos.

That is, if you buy a set of regular American damper blocks, the damper wire on the Yamaha will not fit through it.

The blocks I just received do fit, so I am ready to go, but now I need to know the best GLUE to use.

I know the glue-of-choice for many piano techs is a hot glue that has to be mixed and heated.

I am not a fan of being around hot mixtures of toxic substances, and would rather go with one of the glues you just squeeze out of a bottle.

In either case, what is the best glue to use?

If necessary, I WILL use the hot glue, being very careful not to breath it in. But if it is not really necessary, which of the squeeze bottle glues should I get?

Thanks again and I will continue to keep you posted on this project.

JT

my direct email is

granjon@sonic.net

and folks should feel free to answer directly to that address; or to this forum, whichever works for you

Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2942828 02/05/20 12:04 AM
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Hide glue is gelatin. It is not toxic.


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Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2942968 02/05/20 09:40 AM
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It's about as nontoxic as it gets.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2943191 02/05/20 03:40 PM
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The yellow carpenter's glues are not toxic, either.


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Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2943328 02/05/20 08:05 PM
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Okay, thanks for those reassurances.

I will buy some hot glue and when it comes, I'll be back on this forum.

While I'm waiting for my glue to come, any suggestions regarding whether to do the whole piano at once or should I do all the notes 1-30, which have different type dampers, and which (according to one source) should actually be adjusted so that they rise sooner than the mid-range dampers, to minimize echo.

Also, it might just be easier to to do the lower notes one day and the upper notes the next.

Anyone see any benefit one way or the other?

Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2948217 02/17/20 07:21 PM
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Hi, I'm back!

I just finished installing a complete set of dampers, acquired from Yamaha, on my P2

I used the hot hide glue, and I have one question.

What is the secret of applying the hot glue to the damper blocks?

This is an upright piano. The damper blocks are right over the whole action. If you apply glue to each damper block, several problems arise.

First, you drip glue into the action. I also got glue on some of the strings.

Are you supposed to do one damper at a time, applying glue to the block and then positioning the damper against the string, pressing them and holding them until they stick? That would take about 2-3 minutes per damper, standing there watching the clouds roll by. Times 88...

Is there a way to apply the glue to a series of dampers all at once? I actually ended up doing that, using a piece of felt soaked in glue to swab the glue along a bunch of damper blocks.

That sort of worked, but I still got glue dripping down below and on the strings.

BDP, I discovered that the copper wound strings are not magnetic, and so could not use your magnetic approach.

One thing I hoped would happen but did not was that the new dampers would actually stay on the strings, from sheer pressure, long enough for me to pick up the action and put it back, damper blocks having been glued while the action was out.

I thought I could then press the still gluey blocks against the dampers, but it did not work.

So, short of just bringing the piano to a shop, how do you apply glue, hot hide or any other, to a large number of damper blocks, without dripping glue into the action? And still have a still sticky surface to apply to the dampers?

h

Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2948255 02/17/20 08:28 PM
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When I replace treble dampers I remove the felt from the block leaving the blocks in place. This can be done with the action on the bench with the dampers facing upwards. I don't see why you are replacing the blocks and getting onto trouble with the angles. Pre-cut treble damper felts are readily available.


Chris Leslie
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
JuanTenorio #2948275 02/17/20 09:45 PM
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It sounds to me like your glue may be too thin.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Dampers on a Yamaha upright
Chris Leslie #2948298 02/17/20 11:41 PM
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It was the bass dampers most that needed replacing, which are at an angle. Treble dampers (there were a few) WERE easier. high notes very easy.


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