2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
56 members (chaplincap, c++, CharlesXX, Ampersand, 36251, anotherscott, briangmoore, 14 invisible), 528 guests, and 448 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Morning experts,

I recently bought a (very cheap) upright piano as a lockdown project with the aim of having a go at restoring it. It is a Steck (one of the UK Hayes ones I think, post Aeolian) 85 key cross/over strung and underdamped.

I got it for pretty much free and sight unseen, but luckily has no soundboard problems that I can see and the strings and tuning pins are in pretty good shape and seem to operate correctly and held the initial retuning test I did pretty well (the whole piano is in fair tune with itself but flat). The action was pretty dirty though and looks like a few historic drinks were spilled into it over the years. The hammers looked like they had been reshaped in the past (they look a bit thin to me), and I found evidence of teflon powder and a few replaced felts so I think it had been serviced over the years. I reshaped the felts gently as they were a little flat and grooved. I replaced the hammer butt felts and am going to replace the backcheck felts also as both sets look dirty and hard (and they are straightforward to replace!). The leathers look OK so I am going to leave them. If I can get the right springs, I will replace the jack springs also. I intend to burnish in some teflon powder to the jack leathers and knuckles.

I took all the hammers and whippens out to clean them and do the above jobs, and here is my question - now that I have gone to the bother of taking them all out, what other jobs should I do before putting them all back? The bridle straps are functional but ratty looking - they are glued onto the whippen so are a little time consuming to replace. I broke a few of the hammer flange spring cords so replaced these, the remaining are functional but ratty looking, replacing them all would not be my favourite job. All the flanges move smoothly with hopefully the right amount of friction and I could not see any damaged or missing bushings or pins.

The piano is one of those that would not be worth spending the time or money restoring to a professional standard, but I am enjoying it and have given myself a £500 budget for tools and parts. I play piano but have not had one in the house for a few years so looking for an instrument that will play nicely to get back into playing myself and teaching my two young girls to play.

I was initially thinking to lubricate all the flange pins with Protek but am concerned that I may lose necessary friction if they do not need lubricating. I want to give myself as straightforward a shot at regulating the action once all my jobs are done, so any feedback on other aspects I should consider doing while I have the action in pieces would be much appreciated.

Elsewhere, I am thinking of replacing damper felts but will evaluate if I have to go there once the piano is regulated and tuned. I am going to replace the key bushings as there looks to be too much lateral movement and in particular the balance rail bushings look a little shot and worn.

Thanks in advance for any feedback,

John.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
D
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
Well, good for you, for making a project out of this, and saving a piano that would not be commerically viable for restoration.

You can buy jack springs on Amazon and Ebay. And Martin Heckscher www.heckscher.co.uk will also supply to the public. THe other UK supply house are strictly trade-only. The damper felts are quite likely to be candidates for replacement, but that's quite a fiddly job, though by no means impossible.

I'm in the UK; let me know if I can help at all.

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks David, yes, I found myself having to go to Howards Piano in the USA to get most of the tools and bits I needed, which post Brexit involved a 30% tax I had not anticipated. I ordered some 3/4 inch springs on Ebay as they were the closest to what looks like 5/8 springs in the piano, hoping that these have simply lost some of their length over time.

I will check out Heckscher - had not come across that site - thanks for the directions.

Cheers

John

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
D
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
Heckschers and Fletcher & Newman are the two UK piano trade supply houses, both long-established. Some years ago Martin Heckscher decided to downsize, and the company moved out of thier Bayham Street, Camden, premises where they'd been for over a century.

This was in parallel with the shrinking of the UK piano industry. Heckscher.co.uk now stocks a smaller range or parts and materials, but Martin Heckscher is very pleasant to deal with and they do supply to non trade clients.

If I can help in any way with your project, let me know. I might have odd bits & bobs lying around that would save you buying a whole set of something.

I think you probably should apply Protek CLP at least to the jack centres - sluggish jacks mean poor repetition, and sometimes old jack centres squeak. If you hold a hammer assembly by the flange, does it swing freely? How many times?

Last edited by David Boyce; 01/26/21 10:15 AM.
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Hi David,

If I hold the hammer flange with hammer shank vertical and hammer closest to the ground and take it back left from vertical (it goes about 40 degrees) and then let go, it swings to the other side of vertical and the about half way back to starting point and then back to rest at vertical. This is with the spring unhooked. It swings a bit more with the spring hooked up. Is this enough?

Thanks for your help,

John

Last edited by JohnSki; 01/26/21 10:44 AM.
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
D
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
No, it's not quite enough. I'd treat all centres in the piano with Protek CLP. Do not worry about reducing friction too much - that won't happen!

I'd splash out on a fine needle nozzle bottle for applying the Protek CLP (sometimes called a Hypo Oiler bottle by US coleagues). I'm not sure who in the UK supplies them though! I will need to check.

I love the long-nozzle applicator bottles from Supply88 in the US. Ideal for applying Protek CLP to upright piano jack centres with the action in place.

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks David, I have a Hypo Oiler that I bought with the CLP Protek. I will put it to use - thanks for the feedback on friction, I was worried that my ignorance would bite me on this so your comments are most welcome.

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 268
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 268
lubricate those centerpins with clp, this will reduce static friction which is always a bad thing

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
D
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,804
JohnSki, feel free to get in touch with me by email if I can be of any assistance. I won't be posting here for the time being.

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 220
N
N W Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 220
Originally Posted by JohnSki
Thanks David, yes, I found myself having to go to Howards Piano in the USA to get most of the tools and bits I needed, which post Brexit involved a 30% tax I had not anticipated. I ordered some 3/4 inch springs on Ebay as they were the closest to what looks like 5/8 springs in the piano, hoping that these have simply lost some of their length over time.

I will check out Heckscher - had not come across that site - thanks for the directions.

Cheers

John
The springs won't have lost length. You need 5/8 if that's what's on there or you will create other probs. They are also handed, so make sure you know left or right handed required (coli different).

I can probably help if David can't.

Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks David, appreciate that.

John

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks Nick,

I kind of figured that on the spring size but was not sure how much difference "a little too big" might make, so looks like I gambled and lost on that one. Can't find 5/8 springs anywhere so the old ones will have to do. Thanks for the info on handedness - mine make it easy by being tapered so it's pretty obvious how they want to go.

Cheers

John.

EDIT - just looked this up and the springs I am looking at are jack spiral springs, not hammer butt springs - I can see what you mean by left and right handed on those ones now.

Last edited by JohnSki; 01/26/21 03:13 PM.
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 220
N
N W Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 220
Oh, sorry John, my mistake. I should go to Specsavers.....
The length shouldn't make much difference on the spirals so you should be ok.
But if you do decide to replace them I can send you 5/8 if you need them.
I have millions of all sizes "in stock".
Strange, it got me thinking, years ago I would regularly be replacing spirals, I even have a special little tool for removing the glue from the bottom channel, but I haven't had to do any for a long time.
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Thanks Nick, that is very kind - the 3/4 inch ones arrived today and seem to fit and operate nicely - I will test them later to see if they cause any problems vis a vis the old ones. None of mine were glued onto the bottom channel or if they were, the glue is long gone!

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
J
JohnSki Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
J
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 8
Will do, thanks ambrozy.


Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
New Yamaha CX series vs Boston
by GraceTuraco - 04/20/21 09:15 PM
Thinking of buying a 2007 Yamaha G2 5'7" Grand
by Teresa100 - 04/20/21 07:52 PM
Estonia L190 Bass Scale
by mbd - 04/20/21 07:52 PM
A closer look at the Feurich 'Vienna' 123 model
by oswaldpeters - 04/20/21 04:22 PM
generic name for Mellotron
by TheophilusCarter - 04/20/21 03:24 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,432
Posts3,084,709
Members101,254
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5