Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!


SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Virtual Sheet Music
Download Sheet Music Instantly
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Sheet Music...
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Who's Online Now
50 registered members (anotherscott, amad23, Bachus, AndyP, 12 invisible), 1,363 guests, and 10 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#613373 - 10/23/08 07:00 PM check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
james c Offline
Full Member
james c  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
Berkeley, CA
Background:

A couple of years ago I had new action parts and hammers installed in my 1968 Steinway B.

Problems:

One problem is the una corda pedal would not return the action fully to the left when released- except during summer months.

Pressing on the keyframe I could note the action moved to the left and also slightly away from me as it returned fully to the left.

Another problem (I dont know if it is related): During the winter months when the house is colder, the key frame is sometimes not well bedded to the keybed (knocking in the bass and treble)

Neither of these problems existed prior to the action work.

My technician did not want to make any adjustments to the piano; he has been consistent in recommending a humidity regulation system during the last two years that I have repeatedly mentioned this.

I did not choose to install the humidity system and instead fixed it myself this morning.

My fix:

I removed the action and made two changes. First, I shimmed the return spring between the sring and frame with about 1.5mm of plastic stock. Second I noted a small dirty rub mark on the front of the keybed and and lightly sanded off the mark.

The action returns properly and I think the piano sounds better.

I have not determined if the key frame bedding is better. I may try to fix this by sanding the bottom of the front of the key frame.

My question:

Is this a safe fix until I resolve the conflict with my technician?

I am also interested in possible alternatives, and comments on, the humidity regulation system.

Thank you!

James

(ad 800)
PTG 2017 Convention
PTG Convention 2017 St Louis
#613374 - 10/23/08 07:19 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,001
Gene Nelson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,001
Old Hangtown California
Is this a safe fix until I resolve the conflict with my technician?

Possibly - it depends on where the excessive friction is. Bedding a Steinway key frame takes a bit of work by someone that knows what they are doing. I would not advise you to start sanding on it. The big leaf return spring usually retains its power for a very long time -it is probably not the problem, strengthing it may add to your problems.

Living in the bay area I would say that at least the dehumidifier portion of the humidity control system is a very good investment.


RPT
PTG Member
#613375 - 10/23/08 07:28 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
I agree with Gene.

Sounds like the technician isn't capable of bedding the key frame and solving the problem's at hand. If he isn't willing or can't, time to move to another tech that is.

Could be something is warping too. Invest in a Dampp Chaser system to help prevent this from reoccurring but, get another person in there to solve the problem the correct way. Don't do guess work, you could, screw it up good if you sand the wrong stuff in the wrong places and create an even greater problem or expense.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#613376 - 10/23/08 07:50 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
james c Offline
Full Member
james c  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
Berkeley, CA
Thank you for the reply.

That reminds me that when I examined the return spring, it was not symmetrical. That is, the leaf closest to me projected out more from the frame than the rear leaf. Is that what it should look like?

One reason why I resisted the dehumidifier is that of the many pianos I have performed on, including many fine concert instruments in different parts of the country, I can never remember seeing a dehumidifier. Not all of the concert halls were humidity controlled, and I don't recall ever encountering a piano with this una corda or key bedding problem. Are dehumidifiers a relatively new requirement?

edit- Jerry, thank you- I just want to be sure I am not being too fussy because the piano does operate properly during the season that it was originally set up and that it is reasonable for my piano to be bedded correctly throughout the year even without a dehumidifier.

I have considered adding it- it is simply I have never seen one before and I have played lots of pianos!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#613377 - 10/23/08 08:00 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,001
Gene Nelson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gene Nelson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,001
Old Hangtown California
Dehumidifiers are not required. In fact, in a grand action - the effect on the action may be minimal depending on the installation and weather or not you keep the lid closed.
For the time that I worked at the University in Sacramento, I can say that it would have been impossible to keep 135 pianos in tune without the help of dehumidifiers, especially in the summer when the building HVAC people use the cool damp outside air to assist cooling when the delta breeze comes up in the afternoon.
Dehumidifiers help stabilize the mositure content of the wood, this improves tuning stability and there is less stress on glue joints adding to longevity of the piano. Also, the Steinway compression type soundboard may develop compression ridges - these may eventually open to cracks - stable wood moisture content can help prevent this.
I will add that as you have observed the action moving in and out as well as right to left when engaging the una chorda pedal - there is probably an issue with the cheek blocks and possibly contact with the dags in the rear of the action cavity.
There is usually symmetry with the leaf return spring.


RPT
PTG Member
#613378 - 10/23/08 08:09 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
I've installed tons of them in pianos. The best pianos deserve the best care. You won't regret the purchase if it is installed correctly.

Dampp Chaser has a list of technicians they recommend who are installers. The ones with stars behind their names have installed the most units with the most experience but, that doesn't mean they are good just because of that... Some install for the money while others install for the right reasons instead. I'd ask for recommendations in this case. Maybe even talk to the people he referred you too asking if it helped their piano...

Check it out. http://www.pianolifesaver.com/english/installer.php

All of our Steinway's including our D's have a Dampp Chaser system installed in them. The concert pianos even have their own humidified room as well a Dampp Chaser system on them.

Dampp Chaser's consists of both the de-humidifier as well as the humidifier and a humidistat. Many times, we can get them up high enough where they are not visible.

Something is amiss if it works properly in one season and not in another. My guess would be key bedding or dirt or something like what you sanded off. But, it could be more.

The spring may be broken or cracked too for that matters.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#613379 - 10/23/08 09:44 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,002
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Keith Roberts  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,002
Murphys, Ca
It shouldn't knock in the treble or the bass. The ends of the front rail float and are held down by the cheek blocks. That is why you can't set dip on a steinway without the cheek blocks in place. At least that's what I thought.

Especially since you say the action is moving front to back also. Then the cheek block guides are not doing their job.

The spring should be plenty strong. Jerry has got it right. The spring is broken.


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#613380 - 10/23/08 09:58 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
james c Offline
Full Member
james c  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 31
Berkeley, CA
I will try to find a qualified local technician to take a look at it. Sadly, my three best local contacts all have died in the last 5 or so years so I will be starting from scratch.

Thanks again,

James

#613381 - 10/23/08 11:01 PM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Dave Stahl  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,645
Talk to Peter Sumner. He posts often here, and lives in Redwood City.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#613382 - 10/24/08 02:08 AM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 24,953
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 24,953
Oakland
Most problems with una corda pedals are at the guide pins in the cheek blocks. They are usually not difficult to fix.

Unless you live over a creek, there is very little need for humidity control around here.


Semipro Tech
#613383 - 10/24/08 05:40 AM Re: check temporary fix for una corda not returning action to left?  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 446
tds Offline
Full Member
tds  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 446
Bastrop, Texas
Typically, you either add or remove shims under the front of the cheek blocks to adjust the side to side movement of the keyframe.

When the keyframe knocks, you remove shims until it stops. When the return is sluggish, you add shims until it frees up.

I would check the bedding first and the shims second. You might also have to replace the keyframe guide pins and/or the cheek block plates because of excessive wear.


Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas

Moderated by  Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


(ad)
Pianoteq
Grotrian Concert
Royal
for Pianoteq out now
What's Hot!!
Why Do You Play The Piano?
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
-------------------
Piano Classified Ads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
An invisible music tip - ear.
by ZeroZero. 05/28/17 03:19 AM
I need help...PLEASE
by Flush. 05/27/17 10:22 PM
K. Kawai K48A from 1970 (Made in Japan)
by PianoMomCan. 05/27/17 09:45 PM
Un Sospiro - measure 22, LH fingering
by gzak. 05/27/17 07:29 PM
(ad)
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Report Problems With New Forums
Report Problems with New Forums Here!
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics179,927
Posts2,630,432
Members87,905
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0