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Recently my piano developed an imperfect damper syndrome at A3 (slight but annoying), on top of a creaky damper pedal problem that had been around longer. So finally it was time for me to pull the trigger of my WD-40 - the thought was at least I should be able to fix the creaky pedal myself. Having failed to eliminate the creaky noise by spraying WD-40 at the base of the pedal, I figured out that the source of the friction was actually at the prop and bushing (in the diagram below it's called 'hook'). So after a couple sprays targeting that point, the problem was fixed. Creaky noise gone!

But here's the thing: the next day, the damper problem at A3 ALSO got fixed on its own. I did nothing there, but how? My guess: the volatile organic solvent from the residual WD-40 somehow was able to permeate the damper mechanism and did whatever lubrication was necessary. I mean, my piano is in a small room and it did smell like solvent for a while before it totally dissipated a few days later. Does this seem plausible to you?

PS: Another question. It looks that the prop itself is not essential to the pedal mechanism. Do some pianos not have props at all? That would avoid the creaky problem altogether.

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WD-40 was designed for water displacement and has been responsible for more expense in piano problems than any other substance I have encountered in 45 years of repair. If you have to treat squeaks, start with talcum powder, as it is almost as effective as graphite and doesn't set up future problems.
If the volatile solvents were capable of migrating in sufficient quantity to "solve" damper problems, they may also be capable of solving whatever friction problems that might be found in the pin block....
regards,

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You know it did cross my mind regarding the pin blocks, but it's been 2 weeks and I haven't noticed tuning going south - I mean any more than it was already 😅. Funny thing about the talcum powder a.k.a. baby powder, because the (intended) lubricating agent in WD-40 is mineral oil a.k.a. baby oil. Such are the troubles taking care of a baby grand 😆


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Personally I’ve never seen the hook /lever interface as a source of noise. It’s often the pedal rod/lever due to the sliding friction (the lever travels in an arc). Sometimes the pitman in older Steinways.

Is the hook needed? Well, try detaching the lyre and the remounting.
You’d see that without something holding the levers in place remounting the lyre would be a real pain.

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That "hook" is the Damper Lever Stop Hook. In the June 2016 PTG Journal in the Tips Tools & Techniques column—you are familiar with that column aren't you, Scott?!—I told of a problem and solution for a missing hook:

I service a Baldwin SD-10 that is transported between two locations a few times a year.When the lyre was removed for the move, the damper lever dropped too low and the pin on the damper lift dowel came out of the hole in the damper lift rail. When the movers reattached the lyre, the pin jammed against the damper lift rail. Many grands have an L-shaped “damper lever stop hook” that keeps the lever from dropping too low. This piano apparently used a rubber strap for this purpose, but the strap was broken.The supply houses I called did not have the L-shaped hook, but I got a helpful tip: Make one with a backcheck wire. It was an easy solution that solved the problem


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I have had problems with Yamahas where the pitman falls out from the damper lift rail when the piano is moved, even with a stop for the lever. The solution is to pull the pin out of the pitman enough so it does not fall out. This would happen even when it was not moved on a piano with a bass damper lift pedal. The damper pedal pitman would lift the bass damper lift enough for the bass damper pitman to move, jamming the bass dampers up.


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David,
Thanks for that info. I don’t specifically remember that from the 2016 ttt—I think that was a year or two before I took over.

BTW, I recently came to an old grand that had been moved. I was handed a box with all the trapwork parts. The movers had, for some reason, decided to remove everything down there. I was able to reinstall everything, but had to condemn the kranich and Bach anyway for a variety of reasons.
Scott

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I realize now that there are variations in trapwork designs - that's why it took a while to figure out what the thing is actually called. FWIW, on my piano the support is not of the 'hook' type as in the picture below, but of the 'prop' type, which goes through the lever (hence the friction).

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Since it is just a stop, no matter what shape it is, it should not touch any of the trapwork except when the lyre is removed. That said, just about anything can vibrate. Often just moving something a little can make it stop.


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