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Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
#3008039 07/29/20 09:14 AM
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Hello fellow piano techs,

Does anybody have any info on how to regulate these actions. I believe they regulate up similar to a modern action but where I'm stumped is spring tension. Spring tension seems to affect whether the jack gets back under for repetition. When the key is released slowly, the jack might not get back under for repeat if the spring tension is too weak. If the tension is too strong, then the jack will get back under for repeat after the key is released slowly but there is some springiness and sluggishness in the touch. With the spring tension too strong, the hammers also won't sit at the same place when at rest after I fluff the keys. I did find the happy medium in spring tension but I had the same issues. Any suggestions on regulation procedure and spec would be helpful. I'm feeling stuck right now.

Thank you all.

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Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008129 07/29/20 02:16 PM
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Hank,

Try Bill Schull in southern California. He knows Edwin Brown actions and he knows Chickerings.

I had a model 106 and it was from the early 1880's. 1857 seems too early.


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008144 07/29/20 03:12 PM
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Thank you Bob, I will try and get in contact with him.

Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008151 07/29/20 03:42 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKM58jz9NHw

Here is a new Edwin Brown action at the Jerusalem Piano Festival.

At another concert it was used at, the pianists were able to get superior pianissimo control than Erard action. No one noticed that it wasn't Erard

Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008169 07/29/20 04:20 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that old springs do not necessarily act like new springs. Metal fatigue sets in, changing their characteristics.


Semipro Tech
Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008183 07/29/20 05:03 PM
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Thanks Steve for the video. It does certainly play well with good repetition. Is someone manufacturing new Brown actions?

I believe a lot of my problem is the replacement hammers that were installed before I got it. They are probably too heavy and what BDB said about the springs, I would also agree with. Plus the

springs do not have their original shape and are misshapen. They are at a slight angle and not pushing straight on. I am now starting to see what I must do for the repetition to work correctly

which needs to be modified because of the heavier hammers. The replacement hammers look like what Schaff was selling in the 70's and 80's. Some key leads have been removed previously

which would indicate hammers are heavy.

Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008464 07/30/20 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank Lea
Thanks Steve for the video. It does certainly play well with good repetition. Is someone manufacturing new Brown actions?

I believe a lot of my problem is the replacement hammers that were installed before I got it. They are probably too heavy and what BDB said about the springs, I would also agree with. Plus the

springs do not have their original shape and are misshapen. They are at a slight angle and not pushing straight on. I am now starting to see what I must do for the repetition to work correctly

which needs to be modified because of the heavier hammers. The replacement hammers look like what Schaff was selling in the 70's and 80's. Some key leads have been removed previously

which would indicate hammers are heavy.

I made the action, a one off. Hammer selection is important and most hard heavy modern hammers cannot work. I had Ari Isaac make a custom set of hammers to match the requirements of the action. Otherwise, it won't work as you've discovered.

Take care,

Steve

Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008468 07/30/20 01:59 PM
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Wow Steve, that must have been some undertaking. Since the original hammers were removed, I'm kind of stuck. I'm going to continue to experiment and hope for an adequate playing piano. If you have any regulation specs you would be willing to share, I'll be forever grateful. I'm going to try and get in contact with Bill Shull and hope he is willing to share his knowledge with me.

Thanks so much Steve,

Hank

Re: Edwin Brown action, 1857 Chickering model 106
Hank Lea #3008655 07/31/20 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hank Lea
Wow Steve, that must have been some undertaking. Since the original hammers were removed, I'm kind of stuck. I'm going to continue to experiment and hope for an adequate playing piano. If you have any regulation specs you would be willing to share, I'll be forever grateful. I'm going to try and get in contact with Bill Shull and hope he is willing to share his knowledge with me.

Thanks so much Steve,

Hank

I don't really have any specs other than the Advanced Bumble Method (tm)

Hammers should be light like most Victorian age pianos. Renner, Abel or Imadegawa will not work


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