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Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
#3012970 08/12/20 09:59 AM
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In the process of rebuilding a petite baby grand (1935, 4'6" Gulbransen). When I disassembled the strings, the pegs felt pretty decent/secure to me. I saw no signs of cracking on the peg board and the piano was largely in tune in spite of having set on it's side in a warehouse with no climate control for about a decade (back east with plenty of humidity and temperature swings).

My understanding is that when you restring that you should increase the pin size. The originals were 2/0. I bought some 3/0 - but now the questions:

1) Do I need to ream these out prior to putting in the larger pins? Was I wrong to increase the pin size - i.e. should I try with some 2/0 pins instead?
2) Do you really hammer these in place (to get them in the rough spot first) or is it better to twist them down?
3) How should I align these prior to turning on the 3ish turns of wire?
4) Is there a video or technique that is recommended? I see some people pre-bending the wire on a mock peg first. I can also imagine just bending the first part and then wrapping on the string as I screw in the peg.

I understand that golfing gloves are the preferred hand protection. Anything else that I should keep in mind?

Thanks in advance for your tips!

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Re: Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
Svensson #3012987 08/12/20 10:45 AM
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I don’t ream and usually go to a size 3.5 pin but I use the lo torque pins where the threaded part is 3.5 and the tip remains 2.0. It makes tuning a bit easier. But try a sample first. Pick a pin that is tighter and see how the 3.5 feels. Reaming is an option.

Hammer in the new pins but be careful to support the pin block.

As for alignment, I like to put a couple coils on the pin before hammering it in. Experiment so that you end up with about 3-1/2 coils when the wire is close to pitch.

Don’t know about videos - you’ll need to search for one.


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Re: Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
Svensson #3013092 08/12/20 03:58 PM
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Old rule of thumb is up 2 sizes. 1.5 sizes is OK.
I use the lo-torq pins, as well.

I recommend using a driving fluid like lacquer sanding sealer or shellac. Less destruction to the pinblock, lower working torque while stringing and a higher ending torque after the fluid dissipates.
This was published in the Journal as an experiment conducted by North Central Wisconsin PTG Chapter.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
Svensson #3013098 08/12/20 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Svensson
In the process of rebuilding a petite baby grand (1935, 4'6" Gulbransen). When I disassembled the strings, the pegs felt pretty decent/secure to me. I saw no signs of cracking on the peg board and the piano was largely in tune in spite of having set on it's side in a warehouse with no climate control for about a decade (back east with plenty of humidity and temperature swings).

My understanding is that when you restring that you should increase the pin size. The originals were 2/0. I bought some 3/0 - but now the questions:

1) Do I need to ream these out prior to putting in the larger pins? Was I wrong to increase the pin size - i.e. should I try with some 2/0 pins instead?
2) Do you really hammer these in place (to get them in the rough spot first) or is it better to twist them down?
3) How should I align these prior to turning on the 3ish turns of wire?
4) Is there a video or technique that is recommended? I see some people pre-bending the wire on a mock peg first. I can also imagine just bending the first part and then wrapping on the string as I screw in the peg.

I understand that golfing gloves are the preferred hand protection. Anything else that I should keep in mind?

Thanks in advance for your tips!

Reaming is unnecessary, and may be detrimental. 3/0 pins are fine if the pin block holds tuning well on every note, as long as all the pins are 2/0.
I have tried installing the pins first, but wrapping the wire on the pin before hammering it in works better.
If you are regular in cutting the wire to length, the wraps should be fairly uniform.

I use canvas gloves to protect the strings.

People who cannot tune pianos with larger pins should learn how to tune.


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Re: Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
BDB #3013140 08/12/20 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
3/0 pins are fine if the pin block holds tuning well

Sometimes this is true. But we can't know that for sure before trying. It partly depends on climatic situation and R.H at time of pin installation.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Restringing - 1935 Gulbransen - Tuning pins
Svensson #3013251 08/12/20 11:07 PM
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I too use Lo-Torq pins. Expensive, but very good for restringing.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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