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Restoring hammer knuckles
#3000128 07/08/20 05:12 AM
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Dr Adam Offline OP
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I’ve had some success in the past in building up hammer knuckles (rollers) which have become flattened, using wool yarn. But I find problems with this: if the leather has become stretchy the shape improves at the expense of firmness.
The knuckle is a bit soft and sometimes ends up misshapen.

Replacement is often not an option. Do people have proven solutions?.

I have considered dampening the leather to tighten it before building up and then working the leather surface to smooth and providing some Teflon powder. But not tried this...

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Dr Adam #3000164 07/08/20 07:52 AM
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I think probably (in the UK anyway), work on restoring rollers (knuckles) is probably quite seldom done. As part of a full restoration or rebuild, new rollers - indeed probably new hammers, shanks and rollers - would be fitted. I don't think there is any way to make old rollers truly 'like new'.

I'm thinking this piano is much older than 1978. How did you get the 1978 date?

Also, as far as I can tell, Kemble never made ANY grand pianos. They were a relative latecomer to the English piano manufacturing scene, and I don't think they ever produced grands. Nor as far as I know did they ever sell grand pianos 'badged' as Kemble (I am entirely open to correction on this). It sounds to me as if some dealer has just attached a Kemble decal to this piano.

Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Dr Adam #3000176 07/08/20 08:41 AM
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Dr Adam,
I recover knuckles regularly.
Remove old buckskin without damaging felt core, and clean up gluing surfaces.
Cut new buckskin into oversized strips; this lets you worry only about proper alignment, not perfect positioning.
The trick is to glue one side of the knuckle first, and let it dry thoroughly.
Clean up squeeze outs before the harden, always.
You are then able to pull the buckskin around the core and hold it in tension as you position and glue the other side.
Clean up squeeze outs before the harden, always.
This gives you a nice tight wrap around the barrel without any sag.
I use strong spring clamps bent into a pincer shape.
Then trim with razors, ends first, then sides.

Craig


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Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
David Boyce #3000189 07/08/20 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Also, as far as I can tell, Kemble never made ANY grand pianos. They were a relative latecomer to the English piano manufacturing scene, and I don't think they ever produced grands. Nor as far as I know did they ever sell grand pianos 'badged' as Kemble (I am entirely open to correction on this). It sounds to me as if some dealer has just attached a Kemble decal to this piano.

I’ve seen and played a new one, about 12 years ago. My recollection is that it was based heavily (and unsurprisingly) on a Yamaha C2.


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Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Craig Hair #3000194 07/08/20 09:18 AM
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Thanks Craig. That sounds like a thorough solution, especially if the cores are still in good condition. I was wondering if there was anything that can be done to renew the existing leathers.

Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
terminaldegree #3000196 07/08/20 09:22 AM
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I assure you that it was not made by Kemble in England. It must have been a 'badged' Yamaha.

That's interesting - I wasn't aware that Yamaha (who owned Kemble) marketed grand pianos under the Kemble name.

The Kemble factory closed down 11 years ago, and they certainly weren't making grand pianos then - nor, as I say, can I see that they ever did.

Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Dr Adam #3000231 07/08/20 11:38 AM
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Dr Adam,
If what you want to do is bolster the knuckles, you might try using a strip of bushing cloth.
This is the one process that I find tearing the strip best; to taper out the effect.
Thickness and width depend on circumstances, but thinner is better.
The leather should then be sanded smooth and round.

Craig

Last edited by Craig Hair; 07/08/20 11:41 AM. Reason: poor composition

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It is never too late for a happy childhood.
Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Craig Hair #3000244 07/08/20 12:12 PM
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That sounds useful. Thanks - i'll try that.
Is there any way to safely tighten the buckskin if it's losing it's resilience?

Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
Dr Adam #3000698 07/09/20 03:06 PM
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Not that I know of; everything makes the leather greasy or hard.
That is why we started recovering.


Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Chesterfield, MA
Conservative Piano Restoration
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It is never too late for a happy childhood.
Re: Restoring hammer knuckles
David Boyce #3001047 07/10/20 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
I assure you that it was not made by Kemble in England. It must have been a 'badged' Yamaha.

That's interesting - I wasn't aware that Yamaha (who owned Kemble) marketed grand pianos under the Kemble name.

The Kemble factory closed down 11 years ago, and they certainly weren't making grand pianos then - nor, as I say, can I see that they ever did.

According to here Kemble Grand Kemble grands (at least this one model) are still being made by Yamaha. In Indonesia of course after closure of the Milton Keynes factory.


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