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An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623620 10/22/08 08:07 PM
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Long story short: The action cradle my dad used for 15 years was stolen about 10 years ago from the back of his van when my mom was at a flea market.

He bought a replacement (he never told me from where, but I have to assume from Schaff) and he always complained about how crappy it was. Now that I'm using that same replacement, I understand why. It holds the action fine, but you can't tighten it enough so the action won't rotate. It's terrible... I walk away for a second and if the action isn't perfectly balanced, it will tip forward or backward and I've actually broken hammers.

So... is there an upright action cradle out there that doesn't suck?

Thanks!


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
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Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623621 10/22/08 09:31 PM
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I use the one that has the full bars joining the two ends. The one with just the legs can flip over. Of course it's not as compact and quick but would you rather be safe?


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623622 10/22/08 09:35 PM
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Thanks Keith. Does it keep the action from rotating? I mean, sometimes I want it to rotate it so I can work on certain parts easier, but sometimes I want it to stay. I can't get this one to stay in certain positions.

I did find this:

http://www.pianosupply.com/trucks/

Scroll down to the New Octave Action Cradle.


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623623 10/22/08 10:03 PM
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Hi Groover, it sounds to me like there may be a defect with the action cradle you have. Mine came from Schaff about 10 years ago, and I have never had a problem with the tipping of the action.

I looked at the cradle at the link you supplied above. While is looks like a solid tool, I agree with Keith, I use only the sled type bars on mine, because it would be easy for the action to become damaged if the straight pipe "feet" were to tip over while transporting an action.


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Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623624 10/22/08 11:14 PM
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That's similar to the one I've had for years. But, my feet have little rubber thingy's on them and they are longer.

You should be able to tighten it to the point where it will not turn and then do what you want with it but, the others here are correct. You have to be veeelllllly careful with getting it to close to the front of the bench or you be a vellllly sollly charlie.

Actually, I don't use mine all that much unless I need to specifically work on the bottom part of the action. Maybe for bridal strap work or something. I card the hammers and whatever else, right on top of my Steelcase bench top that I made. Works fine and is level as can be too for grand regulation.


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

We love to play BF2.
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623625 10/22/08 11:46 PM
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I know what you mean about action cradles. One of the problems with them is they only have one screw/bolt one each side that tightens onto the action bracket. Two would be better so that it wouldn't have as much of a tendency to turn.I've fantasized about a cradle that would have sturdy nylon straps that would secure around the bracket and tighten with some sort of cam. A strap wouldn't interfere with the highest/lowest hammers either. We should put mother goose tools and Bill Spurlock on this challenge. There's gotta be a better design.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623626 10/22/08 11:57 PM
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Quote

You should be able to tighten it to the point where it will not turn and then do what you want with it...
Right, but no matter how much you tighten it, it never gets tight enough to not turn. I think rjalex might have it right; there's some sort of defect.

The sleds are indeed a good idea; if I can figure out a way to fix this set of cradles, it doesn't seem like it would be hard to make some sleds for it.


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623627 10/23/08 01:55 AM
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I clamp sticks onto the end action brackets with C clamps. Cheap, lightweight, easily adjustable, and multitasking.


Semipro Tech
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623628 10/23/08 08:21 AM
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Great idea BDB!!!


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

We love to play BF2.
Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623629 10/23/08 08:25 AM
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"I clamp sticks onto the end action brackets with C clamps. Cheap, lightweight, easily adjustable, and multitasking." Semipro Tech

Ah Ha, someone else does it! I drilled holes in the foot ends to accept sheetrock screws that attach to sticks. Like Jerry, I don't use the cradle much, but when I have to the sticks work like a charm.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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Re: An action cradle that doesn't suck
#623630 10/30/08 02:36 AM
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I used BDB's method for transporting the action back to the client's house yesterday. I still had it in my crappy cradle, but I used a 14" long piece of 3/4" scrap wood, c-clamped to the action frame as a prop. The action didn't budge.

Thanks!


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Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org

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