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#3169357 11/08/21 09:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
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Hello all, worked on a hundred year old restung/pinned Chickering baby grand. Tuning and some repairs.
Made a couple trips in a month. The piano was in a room with large windows that gets full afternoon sun.
Told the woman she needs curtains they don't seem to be in a hurry.
So doing the tuning sun is on half piano. Some false beats to deal with and I say to myself tune as fast as possible. By time I'm done it's sun is on all of it. Sounds ok but some notes go out with instability due to sun.
Fix. Get the owner to play and explain get curtains again. This time it sinks in. She's happy with tuning and repairs. But I hate trying to tune a piano as it gets cooked in full sun.
How do you deal with this? Ask upfront if piano is in full sun?

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I had this problem with a restaurant. I could only tune between 9-11 and the sun would shine directly on the piano just at that time. The solution I came up with was to bring a large umbrella to block the sun while I was tuning.


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I don't suppose the sun does the piano much good on the other days when there is no umbrella...

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I ran into this tuning for an outdoor musical series this summer. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Umbrellas were available.


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As an experiment, take a clean unison and using a felt mute rub one of the outer strings for several strokes then listen again. It's quite easy to induce 4-5 or more bps in the unison this way, but if you continue to play the note it will quickly come back into tune as the string cools. Sunlight does the same thing (and just as quickly) along with other long term damage. Demonstrate this to the customer and suggest curtains again, or at least a string cover!


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Thanks for the replies. On my first trip there, I suggested string cover felt and I got and installed it on last trip.
I had to do 2 repairs maybe heat related. Whippen string loop holding spring came unglued. And a hammer was broken at the tip of shank. The whole action seemed dry. The hammers while still having decent felt were rock hard. I did some sweetening with a brass brush and some felt started to crumble. So, assumed original 100 yr old hammers. I told her she's cooking the piano having it in full sun with this huge window. But the neighborhood can be better crimewise, and I bet they want a view of their car on the street. They say they'll get curtains.

Speaking of instability, today I have to go back to an old customer and retune his piano I did a month ago. The temp/humidity at the time was like July, very damp. Now, the heat going on he's complaining it's out of tune. Despite the fact he has it against an outer cold wall and the piano can move around easily if pushed (upright).
As the floor isn't level. Pulled it away a few inches from wall but I'll suggest an humidity system if he still has issues.


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