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For only the second time I touched up a unison that was driving me nuts -- D5.

I was successful, and for what it's worth, I showed the tuning hammer I inherited once to my tech, and he said it was of decent quality.

It was slow going and I tried to be very careful with slow motions. But I erred in both directions a few times before getting it right. Of course I am aware of the danger of breaking a string, but suddenly I panicked that I may have damaged the pinblock.

So my question is, assuming the pinblock is in great condition, which it is, how likely am I to have damaged it, with slow careful movements?

Last edited by RobAC; 12/01/21 09:01 AM.

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Not likely. If you were sawing back and forth and moving the hammer a lot, that's less than ideal...


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RobAC Offline OP
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Not likely. If you were sawing back and forth and moving the hammer a lot, that's less than ideal...
No sawing! Thanks. 😁


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I would say that the biggest danger to the pinblock consists in how much flagpoling you subject it to.
Deliberate ore unintended it's not great for the plank.
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However the thing is designed to last functionally (with some abuse) for about 30-40 years. Then it's supposed to get replaced.

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My tech and I replaced the 34 bass strings on my 2009 BB this past January. The old pins were #2s, and we decided to replace them with #2s. I removed all the old strings and pins and pounded in new #2s, and even after 10 tunings I can barely move the pins - most tend to snap forward after a slow large pull, which makes a frighteningly loud crack.

Wonderful, pure, low iH tone on the GC Company strings. I highly recommend them to anyone who finds it difficult to get the bass duples to settle down when they exhibit different iH.

My point is that I have tuned my piano at least 12 times a years since I got it, sometimes much more often. I am a rank amateur tuner with no training. I have tuned harpsichords and clavichords in WTs for decades, so my ear is very good (not so hot on ET though I am trying). Neither I nor my technician can find any evidence of damage to the pinblock.

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In the 90s I prepped a batch of new Baldwin uprights off the truck. One had pins so tight, THEY BROKE OFF AT THE PLATE.
After the first one we knew it was going back anyway, so got permission to play around and break more and call it research, lol. I quit when the store hammer bent. The dealer and I joked the lifespan of that pinblock could be measured in geologic eras.

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RobAC Offline OP
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Many thanks to all.


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Originally Posted by An Old Square
In the 90s I prepped a batch of new Baldwin uprights off the truck. One had pins so tight, THEY BROKE OFF AT THE PLATE.
After the first one we knew it was going back anyway, so got permission to play around and break more and call it research, lol. I quit when the store hammer bent. The dealer and I joked the lifespan of that pinblock could be measured in geologic eras.
Only recently have a learned that a pinblock that holds the pins too tightly could actually be a problem ...


Yamaha S4

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