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#612538 - 01/18/09 09:30 PM Action lubrication  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 24
JagNut Offline
Full Member
JagNut  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 24
Arlington Texas
I have a small (4'8") grand that I restored many years ago. I have always felt that it had an especially heavy touch and others have agreed. The hammers, shanks (and rollers) were replaced at that time.

I notice that when a key is softly depressed, I can feel the point where the jack wants to come off the rollers. It requires just a little bit of extra pressure before the jack jumps off with a tiny inaudible thump. It doesn't surprise me that this is not nearly as pronounced near the middle of the keyboard that is played more regularly.

I am inclined to place a little graphite on the tip of each jack. However, the book I've been referring to (The Piano Handbood by Ian McCombie) says that no lubrication should be used anywhere in the action.

If not graphite, is there something else I might try such as smoothing out the rollers?


Glen
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#612539 - 01/18/09 09:59 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Rickster Offline
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Rickster  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Georgia, USA
Hi Glen,

I use powdered Teflon on my shank knuckles (rollers). I use Proteck on all the flange joints and key pins. I learned that from the techs on this forum. My piano action is a little firm but not too heavy and is smooth and silky… it’s just right.

I think being able to slightly feel the jack slip from under the knuckle (let-off) when the key is depressed slowly is normal.

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#612540 - 01/18/09 10:00 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,604
Bob Offline
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Bob  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,604
Florida
We use powdered teflon on the knuckles. (I think thats what you are calling rollers)

#612541 - 01/18/09 10:40 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Keith Roberts  Offline
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,010
Murphys, Ca
Chances are the hammer you hung on the action is heavier than the originals by a gram or two. That's why it feels heavy.

You can take weight off the hammers or add lead to the keys to give a better balance weight.


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
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#612542 - 01/19/09 12:02 AM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,483
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member
CTPianotech  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,483
CT
The action is playing differently in the middle than out towards the ends?

Lubrication will not solve this. Regulate first.

I also like the the teflon for the knuckles, and keybushings.


Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
www.rivervalleypiano.com
#612543 - 01/19/09 12:12 AM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,166
rysowers Offline
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rysowers  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,166
Olympia, WA
Powdered teflon is the stuff alright! Get it from Bill Spurlock:

http://www.spurlocktools.com/id39.htm


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#612544 - 01/19/09 12:28 AM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 24
JagNut Offline
Full Member
JagNut  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 24
Arlington Texas
If advisable, I wanted to try the teflon before I ask my next question.

Actually, I always felt the action was a little firm, even before the new hammers. I knew a technician in Fort Worth who gave me a lot of advice and sold me some parts.

I seem to to recall that he told me that on some small grands like mine, the actions are somewhat shorter than on larger pianos - and that this can contribute to a heavier touch.

Somewhere I seem to recall reading that about 2.75 oz. is a target to shoot for. Using weight on top of the keys, I find that I require as much as 3.5 oz. to drop the key down to the let-off. This is pretty consistent across the keyboard. I have assumed that the heavier touch is inherant in my action, rather than due to regulation.

I have often wondered if, perhaps my keys need some lead (they already have some). But, if this were the case, I would wonder why the additional lead was not designed into the action back when it was built (1929).

I know that there are other adjustments (such as those in the repetition levers), but the only ones I have ever messed with are the regulating buttons that adjust the let-off. When pressed softly, all of my keys raise to about 1/16" from the strings just prior to dropping to the backchecks at let-off. They also lift slightly off the back-checks as the key is released. As I mentioned, I get a very smooth let-off near the center of the keyboard but I can feel it more perceptibly away from the middle.

I will also be discussing this with a technician when I have the piano tuned next week.

Thanks for any advice.


Glen
#612545 - 01/19/09 12:37 AM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
apple* Offline
apple*  Offline


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
One could use KY on both Kawais and Yamahas


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#612546 - 01/19/09 02:34 AM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,205
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Dale Fox  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,205
Nor California Sacramento area
Glen, please be advised that downweight is measured with the damper pedal engaged. You haven't mentioned drop. If drop is excessive it will have some measurable effect on downweight as well as limiting your ability to control softer dynamics.

If you don't understand the relationships between the various regulating parameters, you can make life much worse for yourself. The forum would be a difficult place to learn as it is a complex procedure with lots of interrelated adjustments. An 80 year old action and keyset may be suffering from a large list of wear issues which will also effect playability.

Slightly mismatched shanks can also be an issue. Someone has already mentioned the issue with too heavy a replacement hammer.

Lots for your tech to consider when looking at an action that's had some work done already.

Best regards


Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding
#612547 - 01/19/09 05:07 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
3.5 oz?????

Thats 100g.

Congratulations, your piano wins the prize. Call in a technician.

#612548 - 02/13/09 03:37 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 31
Fred Hamaker Offline
Full Member
Fred Hamaker  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 31
Rochester New York
I've had luck with powdered teflon on grand knuckles, but I wonder about this application - an old Steinway model S. The (presumably) graphite impregnated in the leather is a tiny bit on the greasy/grabby/sticky side. Seems my choice is 1)dont alter the lube here or 2)apply teflon power. Assuming direction 2), shouldn't I be first cleaning that knuckle surface, and if so with what solvent? What are my downside risks - noise? Other issues?


Fred Hamaker, RPT
Tuning, Performance Prep
Assessments, Rebuilding and Regulation
www.RochesterPianoService.com
#612549 - 02/14/09 12:02 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
solvents will remove the natural oils in the leather and dry the material out. I use a wire brush to brush up the knuckles only and then Teflon powder.

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#612550 - 02/14/09 02:02 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 571
Anne Francis Offline
500 Post Club Member
Anne Francis  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 571
Toronto, ON
KY????? Oh, it's a joke, right, Apple?


Anne Francis
Piano Tuner-Technician

Check out my blog! www.annefrancis.ca/blog

1906 Heintzman upright (rebuilt)
#612551 - 02/14/09 03:48 PM Re: Action lubrication  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
David Jenson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,539
Maine
Yea, Anne, it's a joke. It's way over on the lame end of the scale it is. 'Pretty easy to tell Apple isn't a tech, huh?


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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