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Joined: Apr 2016
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I am regulating a vintage Steinway B of 1906 vintage, for later sale. The action, hammers, soundboard, are all original and amazingly, the action works great. On other pianos I have worked on (a 7'5" grand, a 5'6" grand), regulating the jack position (among other regulation steps) has made an incredible improvement in the sensitivity of the keys (for dynamic range, pianissimo playing). The problem is the jacks are too far backward (i.e. behind the back of the knuckle core back edge) and the action lacks a jack position button. Instead, the jack rests on a felt like an upright piano does. I would like to advance the jacks uniformly about 1 mm. My options are to replace the jack rest felt on all the keys with a thicker felt (which I cannot find for sale so far), or attach a 1 mm felt in front of the existing with CA glue. I prefer to keep the old action since it otherwise works fine and I like this piano enough to keep it for myself (but can't due to a growing inventory and need to make some sales!). Any suggestions to improve the jack position? Of interest, I have another grand of similar vintage that has original action WITH adjustment buttons. Not sure why this was omitted by S&S but they sure have a great product with the B!


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First, you can needle the rest felt - it has not worn away, it is only compressed. That will help pull the jacks out.

If that isn't enough, use a razor knife and slice into the felt at the distal side, away from the jack. Insert thin card shims there with a little glue. After that is done, you can refine the alignment using the needles in the felt.

Do not glue felt to the jack side of the cushions as you mentioned - they will get very noisy!

These old actions performed extremely well - the jack was extremely light weight because it had no regulating screw and button. This really helps the action performance!


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Very useful advice, thank you.


Ian Russell
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OK I will try that, thanks for the insight. It already does make a little clicking sound when the jack resets so needling may help reduce that as well.


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I look after one of those model Bs in the local theatre. It's an 1890s one, but was rebuilt by Stein way about 45 years ago and is great. 85 keys though.

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I would just like to add that I think CA glue is not appropriate for this job.
You need a softer glue. CA makes felt rock hard.
Nick


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Good point.


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