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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Ed Foote #3034486 10/11/20 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
well, if it is a question of three light hammers getting a small weight installed, or sanding 1/2 gram off of 60 others, I think I will stick with my approach.
Fair enough. You have the setup to do that already. And, you know what you are risking. For someone that doesn't do that kind of work regularity, they at least need to know what the risks of adding weight could be. It could come loose. If they wanted to avoid that possibility, at the cost of a little more work, there is a different approach that has a longer history to go along with it. After all, we don't find any 100 pianos with lead installed in the hammers. We don't actually know what will happen with the leads in the hammers 50 years out. Keyleads are known to swell up, change, and come loose over time. This is known. It is easier for people to make a decision as to what is right for them when they have more information.

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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
WilliamTruitt #3034493 10/11/20 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
I am no physicist, but would think that all of the mass of the hammers (and that of the other components of the action train) is acted upon by gravity. Likewise, all of the mass of the upright hammers and other parts are acted upon by gravity. You say that in an upright gravity is mostly counteracted by the shank. Explain how gravity is counteracted by the shank. You cay the jack spring has a big effect on the touchweight. Please explain. Explain why there is no equivalent force in a grand. Are not the hammers and whippens rising in a grand during a stroke, and likewise falling? Are you saying that the mass of a hammer is a minor part of the system mass in an upright? If so, why?

In a grand, you are moving the hammer more or less in direct opposition to the force of gravity to play a note. In an upright, you are moving the hammer on a path that is more or less perpendicular to the force of gravity to play a note.


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034505 10/11/20 01:37 PM
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My process of hammer weighting via strikeweight is very similar to Ed Foote's and achieves targeted strike weights with high accuracy and consistency. I drill holes in the molding as needed, hammer in a piece of lead solder at the target added weight. If it is a tad heavy, I drill out the solder a tad. Then wick in some thin CA glue. All good.

I am getting ready to change up my weighting methodology, based on a nice tip from Bruce Clark at Mason & Hamlin. Since the WNG shanks area a hollow tube, he suggests cutting and weighing your solder piece, and then inserting it into the carbon fiber tube. The solder you use is close to the inner diameter of the tube. Take some Pacer RX-Gel (the same CA paste we use to glue hammers on) and goober a proper amount into the tube. Insert the lead solder into the tube, it hardens, and you are done. No drilling necessary.

I am taking it one step further: Who wants to hangle lead more than you have to, given its toxicity? Rio Grande Jewelry www.riogrande.com sells dead soft copper round wire in a wide variety of gauges in reels that would be well suited to this purpose. The dead soft copper will be easy to cut to length. Copper weight is 78.8% of that of lead. It may take a little more, but it is all going into a single tube.

If one weighs hammers as they go along in the process, one can best match the hammers to a strikeweight spline curve that will minimize the amount of weight added or taken away.


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034510 10/11/20 01:50 PM
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Sweelinck, your description is succinct and as I understand it. in asking my questions, I was seeking further elucidation from BDB for his statements


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034544 10/11/20 03:40 PM
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I tend to agree with Piano411 and Sweelinck concerning the effect of hammer weight on an upright vs. a grand, based on this example: take an Olympic lifter doing a clean and jerk. Cleaning say, 250lb. off the ground takes 250lbs of force because you're lifting it straight up (in what is essentially a deadlift). Once you have the weight overhead, how much force does it take to move the weight forward or backward? I'm not sure, but it seems to me that it would take far less than 250lb. to push that weight horizontally once the lifter has all the weight supported vertically.

Isn't an upright action similar? The hammer already has its weight supported in the vertical plane, and all the keystroke has to do is move it from rest and propel it forward and overcome the spring tension. Whereas in a grand, the hammer has to be moved upward from the ground, so to speak, like a deadlift. It seems that hammer weight would be felt much more in this case.

Am I missing something?

Last edited by Emery Wang; 10/11/20 03:42 PM.

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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Emery Wang #3034556 10/11/20 04:20 PM
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Piano411 said that the mass of the hammer was as important in an upright as in a grand. Sweelinck agreed with me that it is not so important.

I am still waiting for any person who claims that hammers used to be much lighter than they are now to come up with some actual numbers to prove it.


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
BDB #3034570 10/11/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Piano411 said that the mass of the hammer was as important in an upright as in a grand. Sweelinck agreed with me that it is not so important.

I am still waiting for any person who claims that hammers used to be much lighter than they are now to come up with some actual numbers to prove it.

Are you serious? There are gazillions of older - and you should be the one to define "much lighter than they are now" - sets of hammers in grands out there that just await your expertise in determining the actual weight of them. And before you turn around and tell us that S&S hammers in the 70s are the same as they are today, I'd kindly ask you to give us a time frame of when hammer weights did not change when others tell you that they did.

The proof is up to you, not up to those who from experience know that older sets of hammers had less mass than current ones do.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034573 10/11/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Piano411 said that the mass of the hammer was as important in an upright as in a grand.
No, I said,
Originally Posted by piano411
Because of the physics involved, however, excess hammer weight in uprights is not as detrimental to touch weight, like it is at the end of the hammer shank of a grand. In an upright, the weight is supported more by the system itself in a vertical plane.

Just to be clear, I do not think that the hammer mass of an upright is as important as in a grand. It's not. It is much more important in a grand. Sweelinck gave a physics explanation, Emery_Wang described a dead lifting example, and I wrote about a broom and a towel. All three illustrated why the mass at the end of a grand's shank is significantly more important.

As someone else pointed out, there are other things, like an even capstan line, to be more concerned about in an upright. You should still even out the the weight of an upright hammer scale, but it is not a life altering result.

Also, I assume Ed_Sutton was making a joke about the hammer mass of an upright being more of a component to touch weight than a grand. That's not how things work. He also stated that it doesn't matter if the mass was moving sideways or even upside down. Obviously, those things matter. They mater a lot! That couldn't have been a serious comment. I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be funny.

As far as proof of historical hammer weights, there was a time when many makers use much lighter hammers, and there was a time when mainly S&S used much heavier hammers. Both things happened. You stated that even if I uploaded some hammer weights, it still wouldn't prove my assertion. So, why would you be waiting for proof? I'm not sure why you think weighing hammers is difficult. It takes all of maybe 10 mins to weigh and enter the data using a number pad. Anyway, I'm not looking for street cred.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
piano411 #3034576 10/11/20 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by BDB
Piano411 said that the mass of the hammer was as important in an upright as in a grand.
No, I said,
Originally Posted by piano411
Because of the physics involved, however, excess hammer weight in uprights is not as detrimental to touch weight, like it is at the end of the hammer shank of a grand. In an upright, the weight is supported more by the system itself in a vertical plane.

Just to be clear, I do not think that the hammer mass of an upright is as important as in a grand. It's not. It is much more important in a grand. Sweelinck gave a physics explanation, Emery_Wang described a dead lifting example, and I wrote about a broom and a towel. All three illustrated why the mass at the end of a grand's shank is significantly more important.

As someone else pointed out, there are other things, like an even capstan line, to be more concerned about in an upright. You should still even out the the weight of an upright hammer scale, but it is not a life altering result.

Also, I assume Ed_Sutton was making a joke about the hammer mass of an upright being more of a component to touch weight than a grand. That's not how things work. He also stated that it doesn't matter if the mass was moving sideways or even upside down. Obviously, those things matter. They mater a lot! That couldn't have been a serious comment. I'm pretty sure that was supposed to be funny.

As far as proof of historical hammer weights. There was a time when it was much lighter in the past, and was a time where it was much heavier in the past. Both things happened. You stated that even if I uploaded some hammer weights, it still wouldn't prove my assertion. So, why would you be waiting for proof? I'm not sure why you think weighing hammers is difficult. It take all of maybe 10 mins to weigh and enter the data using a number pad. Anyway, I'm not looking for street cred.

Ed was quite clear in stating that he was prioritising DYNAMIC weight of the upright action, not static downweight. What he said about dynamic weight is correct - it is not governed by gravitational force on the hammer. It is a question of rotational inertia. You are arguing with, and insulting, Ed on a matter your failed to notice/understand.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034577 10/11/20 05:44 PM
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BDB has flogged this dead horse about hammer weights in multiple threads for entertainment value. That is all this is to him.


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
piano411 #3034583 10/11/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
dynamic touch response (inertial touch weight) is controlled by the hammer weight and its distance from the action center. This aspect is the same no matter the orientation of the system, vertical, horizontal, upside down, sideways. The mass of the hammer head, multiplied by the action ratio, is the largest component of the dynamic touch weight, perhaps more so in the vertical than the grand action.
Ed_Sutton, you goofball, stop that! Someone might think you are actually serious. I can’t tell if you are trying to be funny, or what, but that was the craziest thing I have read in a long time! I mean, I laughed a little bit, but still.

Anyone can wave a broom around - with the weight at the top - near the vertical position and compare what it feels like to do the same kind of motions around the horizontal position. There are different aspects in play, and the feeling in your arms and body will eventually tell you all that you need to know. You can call it whatever you want and put fancy terms on what you think is happening, but at the end of the day, the body knows the difference. Uprights and grands do not function the same.

I guess it is a moot point as long as the person installing the hammers takes the time to produce a smooth hammer scale. But, adding any kind of weight is horrible idea. With all the impacts and vibrations, it will come loose no matter what. Weight should only be removed.

Hold your broomstick in the middle, balanced. Rotate it parallel to the floor. Add a concrete block to each end. The broomstick is still balanced. Now rotate it. What you feel is the inertial resistance of the concrete mass.
In piano technology, the traditional downweight measurements are static measurements. In playing, the performer experiences _dynamic_ touchweight, the inertial resistance of the system to change of movement. to understand this, read the articles by John Rhodes and Darrel Fandrich, about 6 years ago.


Ed Sutton, RPT
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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Ed Sutton #3034586 10/11/20 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Sutton
Hold your broomstick in the middle, balanced. Rotate it parallel to the floor. Add a concrete block to each end. The broomstick is still balanced. Now rotate it. What you feel is the inertial resistance of the concrete mass.
In piano technology, the traditional downweight measurements are static measurements. In playing, the performer experiences _dynamic_ touchweight, the inertial resistance of the system to change of movement. to understand this, read the articles by John Rhodes and Darrel Fandrich, about 6 years ago.

I was gonna say, I'm no piano technician but when it comes to physics, inertia and torque from the pivot length would be what I think matters more on touch weight than gravity.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Emery Wang #3034587 10/11/20 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
I tend to agree with Piano411 and Sweelinck concerning the effect of hammer weight on an upright vs. a grand, based on this example: take an Olympic lifter doing a clean and jerk. Cleaning say, 250lb. off the ground takes 250lbs of force because you're lifting it straight up (in what is essentially a deadlift). Once you have the weight overhead, how much force does it take to move the weight forward or backward? I'm not sure, but it seems to me that it would take far less than 250lb. to push that weight horizontally once the lifter has all the weight supported vertically.

Isn't an upright action similar? The hammer already has its weight supported in the vertical plane, and all the keystroke has to do is move it from rest and propel it forward and overcome the spring tension. Whereas in a grand, the hammer has to be moved upward from the ground, so to speak, like a deadlift. It seems that hammer weight would be felt much more in this case.

Am I missing something?

Just go a little further with your thought.
The vertical hammer is not perfectly vertical at rest, so there is some gravitational force at work. As the hammer approaches the string, it is vertical, so the gravitational force is out of the equation. The inertial resistance of the hammer mass is all that's at play when the hammer strikes the string, with a little resistance from the hammer butt spring. So, the moment of inertia is a larger part of what the performer and the piano strings experience in a vertical piano than in a grand. In any case it's significant. Just swap bass and high treble hammers to see what happens!
In your piano, the biggest jump in hammer weight will be at the bass/tenor break. Add weight to the low tenor hammers to even out the break and I believe you'll find a noticable improvement in the piano. You'll do a lot less voicing to get a smooth sound across the piano. You'll find dynamics much easier to control.


Ed Sutton, RPT
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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034593 10/11/20 06:28 PM
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Hi Ed. Imagine pushing a car up a steep hill, vs. up a shallow grade, vs. on flat ground. Obviously getting it started on flat ground would be easiest. However, as you point out, the upright hammer is not exactly starting on "flat ground." There is still a slight grade. But pushing a car up a slight grade is still easier than pushing a car of the same weight up a steep slope, no? Therefore I'm thinking the difference between a grand and an upright action is the steepness of the slope. The steeper the slope, the more the weight of the car (or hammer) affect the amount of force needed to move it, right?


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
OE1FEU #3034607 10/11/20 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by BDB
Piano411 said that the mass of the hammer was as important in an upright as in a grand. Sweelinck
agreed with me that it is not so important.

I am still waiting for any person who claims that hammers used to be much lighter than they are now to come up with some actual numbers to prove it.

Are you serious? There are gazillions of older - and you should be the one to define "much lighter than they are now" - sets of hammers in grands out there that just await your expertise in determining the actual weight of them. And before you turn around and tell us that S&S hammers in the 70s are the same as they are today, I'd kindly ask you to give us a time frame of when hammer weights did not change when others tell you that they did.

The proof is up to you, not up to those who from experience know that older sets of hammers had less mass than current ones do.

No numbers!


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
WilliamTruitt #3034608 10/11/20 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
BDB has flogged this dead horse about hammer weights in multiple threads for entertainment value. That is all this is to him.

No numbers!


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Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
BDB #3034610 10/11/20 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
No numbers!

Those that want to know do their homework and learn. I have weighed numerous hammers coming off vintage piano, and Steinway is a great brand to study. Since there are many of them underplayed or frozen with verdigris in a living room it isn't uncommon to find the end hammers in virtually untouched condition. Hammer weights of pre-1950 pianos are rarely as high as the modern replacements. If I am not tapering hammers, it will be because I missed the set-up in the action ratio and can throw more weight without more lead.

I have recorded A0 SW on a 1930 B, it was 9.5 grams. It is normal to find 10.5 and 11 gram hammers on the same pianos today. 3 grams at C88 was not uncommon on the prewar pianos I have rebuilt. 4 or 5 grams is a normal with modern sets.

Another way to determine how new hammers compare is simply to hang a new hammer on an old action and measure the DW difference. Simple, reductive, cheap.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Emery Wang #3034631 10/11/20 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Hi Ed. Imagine pushing a car up a steep hill, vs. up a shallow grade, vs. on flat ground. Obviously getting it started on flat ground would be easiest. However, as you point out, the upright hammer is not exactly starting on "flat ground." There is still a slight grade. But pushing a car up a slight grade is still easier than pushing a car of the same weight up a steep slope, no? Therefore I'm thinking the difference between a grand and an upright action is the steepness of the slope. The steeper the slope, the more the weight of the car (or hammer) affect the amount of force needed to move it, right?

Emery-
Yes, so far as you go.
You are considering the force needed to overcome the force of gravity.
But if you push the car on a flat street, you still need force to overcome the inertial resistance, and you must continue to push harder to accelerate the car.
This is what is called "dynamic touch weight" in the piano action, and it is a significant part of touch response.
Consider that you can adjust keyweights to cause a 10 gram hammer and a 3 gram hammer to balance the same at the key, say with 45 grams downweight. But when you play the keys, they will feel different and _especially_ they will sound different, since the inertial force in the hammer is the only force the string "feels."
This inertial difference will occur similarly whether the hammers are on a grand or vertical piano, because inertia has nothing to do with gravity, only mass. Inertia exists in outer space where there is no gravity.


Ed Sutton, RPT
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Durham NC USA
Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034632 10/11/20 08:35 PM
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I have no idea what is going on, but I think people are talking about different topics for different reasons - and then there is some random guy screaming about numbers.

It will be interesting to see where this all goes. And, I’m interested to see how we get there.

But, at some point, I think Ed_Sutton should clearly tell Emery_Wang that he needs to be concerned about getting upright hammers from Abel that are too heavy - if that really is the case or not.

I don’t believe Emery_Wang needs to do major work in hammer weight reduction with those upright hammers. I think simply evening out the line will produce a high-end, professional result. If I am wrong with that statement, then by all means, anyone and everyone should make their opinion known so that Emery_Wang has as much information as possible. My feelings won’t be hurt. If I’m wrong, I’d like to know. If Ed_Sutton has an ideal hammer scale for Emery_Wang’s piano - then let’s hear it. The only thing I’ve read so far is about adding some weight before the break. Which, again, is not something I would ever do. It is far more advisable to lower the jump in weight on the bass side, than to compromise the tenor side even more by adding weight. But, that is just me.

Re: Weight Issue with CF Action Parts
Scratchman2 #3034638 10/11/20 08:46 PM
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I think it can be very helpful to think about strikeweights and inertia from the viewpoint of the piano string.
At the moment the hammer strikes the string, the inertia of the hammer is the only operating force impacting the string.
The inertia of the string must be overcome by the hammer's inertia for the string to go into motion.
Irregularities in the hammer weights pretty much guarantee irregular responses by the strings.
When we smooth a strikeweight continuity, we are creating a continuity of interaction between the hammers and strings.
This is highly beneficial to the voice of the piano.
Secondarily, it can also result in a very smooth touchweight continuity.
If the smooth touchweight was not paralleled by a smooth voicing response, it would not be nearly so pleasing to play.


Ed Sutton, RPT
Just a piano tuner!
Durham NC USA
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