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Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
#2980193 05/17/20 06:42 AM
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A box of mixed tuning pins in various sizes from UK Supply house Fletcher & Newman, comes with a stick of ordinary blackboard chalk (and some of the horrible metal tuning pin 'sleeves' - yuk).

Mario Igrec in the superlative Pianos Inside Out, on p421 writes about treating tuning pins with Rosin or Talk, to lower static friction and increase sliding friction.

Chalk is calcium carbonate. Talc is hydrated magnesium silicate. Rosin is a derivative of plant resins, mainly Pine.

Do you have a preference for any of these, or prefer not to use any?

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Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980219 05/17/20 08:26 AM
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I thought Mario mentioned using chalk to mark the hammer tails when voicing.
Ian grin


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Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980237 05/17/20 09:00 AM
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Many Russian piano technicians abundantly rub ordinary chalk on circle of a pin before a setting in a pinblock. They hammering in it's using 3 pound hammer

Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980281 05/17/20 10:48 AM
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It's not a topic that I recall seeing much discussion of anywhere. Is there much difference in effect between Chalk, Talc and Rosin? Is it better not to use any? I don't know!

Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980650 05/18/20 07:27 AM
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I assume this box is for repairs. I wouldn't use anything unless I was trying to correct some kind of problem such as jumpy pins.

In new work it depends on what type of pin block you use, how you drill your block, and what brand of tuning pins are used. I use a slight amount of talc with Dendro pins, mostly just on my hands. Diamond brand pins are much smoother and work better without anything. I drill pin blocks for myself as well as for 4 other technicians and they each prefer a different combination of block/pins. These combinations require different technics to achieve the desired results.


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Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980698 05/18/20 10:11 AM
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I don't have data to back this up, but I would expect rosin to increase the static friction more than the sliding friction, leading to even jumpier pins. Putting too much rosin on a violin bow makes it stick then jump. Less rosin gives a smoother glide. And ballet dancers don't rosin their feet so they can slide across the floor more smoothly. They do it for the static friction.


Anthony Willey, RPT
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Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980702 05/18/20 10:18 AM
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I was thinking the same thing!


Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com
Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2980799 05/18/20 03:14 PM
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Bill, yes the box is of mixed sizes of pins, some nickel some blue finish, for the odd replacement job.

Bill and Anthony both - that makes sense, what you say about the rosin. Also interesting what you mention, Bill, and the different preferences of different rebuilders!

The few times where I have replaced a pin, because someone had chewed up the head of an existing pin, or to fit a thicker one (though CA generally works), I have not used anything at all; chalk, or talc, or rosin.

Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2981063 05/19/20 08:13 AM
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Greetings,
Bill Garlick suggested that we use unscented talcum powder on our hands and pins when stringing. He thought the perfume was an oil-based contaminant and should be avoided. I have, for many years, used talcum powder I got from the pharmacy, and I think it keeps any skin oil from getting on the pins. I just toss a tablespoon of it on the box of pins and let it coat my hands as I use them. I don't remember ever having a jumpy pin, either. Rosin is suspect, though I know of violin makers that have their own alchemy of rosin and talc to use on the tuning pegs.
Regards,

Re: Talc, Rosin, Chalk, for tuning pins?
David Boyce #2981208 05/19/20 02:38 PM
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Thank you for that interesting input, Ed.


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