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#3074626 01/27/21 04:05 AM
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Hello everyone,

As you know I do not have a tuning lever and I am tuning with the poorly assembled thing that I did myself.
My friend, who is very handy at technical things, told me he can make one for me. He has a broken billiard cue stick laying around which he will use as a handle.
Initially he will use the hex key wrench to attach to the handle and a separate key wrench tip that goes well with the tuning pins.
Later, I will buy from amazon the tuning tip, which he will probably meld to the hex key wrench (any advice on the best tuning tip?).

So the question is, what is the preferred length of the tuning lever handle and what is the preferred weight of the handle/whole tuning lever?

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"Preferred" is the key word!

You will find techs that prefer a long lever - and those that like a short lever.
You will find techs that prefer a light lever - and those that like a heavy lever.
You will find tech that prefer a narrow handle - and those that like wide handle.

Good luck!

Ron Koval

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Thanks! I will dosomething between 10-15 inches.

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Do you realise that professional tuning levers use one of three different sizes, 1, 2 and 3 with 2 being the most common on modern pianos? Also the inside is star-cut so that the lever can be positioned at the correct angle. You can buy a 'student lever' (also called a gooseneck tuner lever) from several sources, but I strongly advise that you do not buy a cheap one from China. There are many used professional levers on ebay and by taking time to view them you can quickly learn which ones are sturdy and have the tip you require. You mentioned buying a tip later but professional tips bought new are expensive and you would be better buying a used lever that has a tip already fitted. There is one more thing to consider which is that both upright and grand pianos have limited clearance for the handle as it can obstruct the piano's wooden case. For this reason professional levers have tip adaptors that are available with different head angles, e.g. 5 degrees or greater.
images of tuning levers

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 01/27/21 12:23 PM.

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I don't know your friend, but to make something like this you need some pretty specialized tools

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Walkman,

You just bought a nice grand piano. Why not just go buy a professional tool and do it right? Or am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Walkman,

You just bought a nice grand piano. Why not just go buy a professional tool and do it right? Or am I missing something?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

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Originally Posted by ambrozy
to make something like this you need some pretty specialized tools
OP stated that he intends to buy the tip, so the friend isn't making that part.

Originally Posted by P W Grey
tWhy not just go buy a professional tool and do it right? Or am I missing something?
OP can always buy a hammer. A cheap hammer from China may not be as meaningful to work with as a one of a kind customized gift/collaboration from a friend. There is a special kind of satisfaction that comes form repurposing quality materials and working with them, rather than simply throwing them away.

Originally Posted by Walkman
So the question is, what is the preferred length of the tuning lever handle and what is the preferred weight of the handle/whole tuning lever?
I like shorter hammers (around 11" and a 5 degree angle for the tip). I have a lighter hammer, but I installed lead at the end of the hammer to balance it out the way I wanted it to feel.

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Thank you everyone for your input.
Just to make clear, where I live (Georgia, country not the state), there is no tuning hammer available for sale. I have to buy it online, shipping to my country from amazon takes 20 days, sometimes even more. If the price of the product exceeds USD 60, I have to go to customs and custom clear it at the customs office (more time and pain in the ...). That's why I want to avoid this and will only by the tip. But then again, I can not wait 20 days before the tip arrives, so my friend will make me a nice handle with wrench attached and temporarily, we will attach the wrench toolkit tip, so that I can use it this weekend.


Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by ambrozy
to make something like this you need some pretty specialized tools
OP stated that he intends to buy the tip, so the friend isn't making that part.

Originally Posted by P W Grey
tWhy not just go buy a professional tool and do it right? Or am I missing something?
OP can always buy a hammer. A cheap hammer from China may not be as meaningful to work with as a one of a kind customized gift/collaboration from a friend. There is a special kind of satisfaction that comes form repurposing quality materials and working with them, rather than simply throwing them away.

Originally Posted by Walkman
So the question is, what is the preferred length of the tuning lever handle and what is the preferred weight of the handle/whole tuning lever?
I like shorter hammers (around 11" and a 5 degree angle for the tip). I have a lighter hammer, but I installed lead at the end of the hammer to balance it out the way I wanted it to feel.

Thanks. My friend also told me that billiard cues have the lead at the end part inside and he can regulate the weight.

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I actually got a DIY lever from an older tech's estate - welded a tip to bar stock and such. A bit awkward and uncomfortable when compared to purchased ones, but it worked just fine!

Gave it away years ago...

Yes, probably a #2 tip will be best.

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One more thought:
The typical extension tuning lever has the extension that is fitted into the handle very snugly. In my opinion it is not put there to extend so much as to reinforce the lever as well as to better communicate the sensations of pin movement in the block from tip to lever to hand/arm to brain.

Last edited by Gene Nelson; 01/27/21 02:27 PM.

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If you want to do this, get a tip, a head (or combination) and a short length of 1/8" pipe, threaded. The head will screw onto the pipe, because it is the same thread. Then put whatever handle you want on the pipe. This will give a nice, rigid core, and you can have the handle the way you want it.


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Georgia...okay, so I was missing something. ­čśŐ That is why I asked.

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Originally Posted by Walkman
Thank you everyone for your input.
Just to make clear, where I live (Georgia, country not the state), there is no tuning hammer available for sale. I have to buy it online, shipping to my country from amazon takes 20 days, sometimes even more. If the price of the product exceeds USD 60, I have to go to customs and custom clear it at the customs office (more time and pain in the ...).

How quickly I've been spoiled by Amazon. Click a button and the item magically appears on the door step the next day.

One international (but slow) option is Aliexpress. I just checked out tuning levers and they have a decent selection. In fact I'm having a hard time passing up a Fujan clone because it's so inexpensive for a carbon fiber lever. (I've already got a Fujan, but never hurts to have a backup, right?) The downside is that the shipping usually takes about a month.


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Originally Posted by ambrozy
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I don't know your friend, but to make something like this you need some pretty specialized tools
Perhaps you missed the part where the OP said he would buy a tip later.
Ian


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I have one of the AliExpress carbon fiber levers - works just fine. I did find that the tuning tips are not the standard size thread, so be ready for surprises...

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Originally Posted by RonTuner
I have one of the AliExpress carbon fiber levers - works just fine. I did find that the tuning tips are not the standard size thread, so be ready for surprises...
Ron Koval
Oh, that's good to know! I guess it makes sense. At one point I had illusions of being able to make my own tuning lever. I had a machinist measure the thread for the tuning tip and he said it was a very unusual thread size. He had to spend a minute thinking of how he would even go about cutting it. It wouldn't surprise me if somebody in a Chinese factory just decided to use something else.


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