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#624424 - 02/02/09 12:12 PM Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
Anyone have tips on selling butt cord repairs? I've got a dozen customers who need it done, but I'm having trouble convincing them to get the work done.

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#624425 - 02/02/09 12:33 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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JDelmore Offline
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Well, you're not exactly in Boca, but how 'bout a little old fashioned guilt?? :p

Nah...if you can't convince them that there IS a problem, you won't have much luck in this economy. I think it boils down to education. Of course, if the money just isn't there, it ain't gonna happen.


PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)
#624426 - 02/02/09 12:57 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Les Koltvedt Offline
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Les Koltvedt  Offline
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Canton, MI
OK...enlighten me, what/where are the butt cords? and don't even think of going there eek ...

after a little research... is it the material on the hammer butt, where the hmr spring nests in the hmr butt.


Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate
#624427 - 02/02/09 01:27 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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JDelmore Offline
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The butt cord is the cord that counteracts the butt 'hook' in a Schwander action, replacing the spring rail.

The bit you're talking about is the butt spring felt.


PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)
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#624428 - 02/02/09 01:27 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Gregor Offline
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Münster, Germany
A dozend customers who need it done? Are these customers Yamaha owners? Many Yamahas from the seventies have this problem.

If the customer does not notice the problem, there is no problem.

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
#624429 - 02/02/09 01:39 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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BDB Offline
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They will notice it when the bridle straps break.


Semipro Tech
#624430 - 02/02/09 02:11 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
"They will notice it when the bridle straps break."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And then both problems can be dealt with. You can't help people who don't want help. Sometimes the instrument has to end up not working properly for the customer to understand the need for repair.

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."
#624431 - 02/02/09 04:59 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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schwammerl Offline
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Belgium
If as a non-tech I may make some comments from a customer's perspective, perhaps silly theoretical nonsense but still....

I would love to have a tech like Bob who is an adept of PREVENTIVE piano service.

Mostly it is the other way round. As a customer you have to almost beg on your knees and ask the tech if it wouldn't be worthwhile also having a look at .... Then you get an answer like: "OK sir, if you want me to".

Like in account management in any business, but even more so in the service business, knowing your customer as a PERSON is crucial: his interests, his background, his way of thinking; i.e. is he really a music/piano lover or simply one who owns a piano just as he owns any object or piece of equipment of which he expects nothing more than merely it delivers more or less what it was designed for.

The final goal should be to build a LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP with the customer, a mutual complicity of getting the most out of a piano as long as it may last.

I think that only when that relationship is established can one discuss issues like the one mentioned in the thread with a real degree of certainty the outcome will be positive.

Then one can talk about what will happen if this repair is not done now it might very likely lead to a more serious problem, costing more, coming unexpected, on an inconvenient moment - during a home concert, the week-end, the holiday period.

If then also these issues are phrased as open questions of the kind "why would you take the risk of", "what do you think it could lead to if I do not..", "How much do you think it will cost later if I do not take care now of..", many customers, but surely not all of them, will be happy to respond positively.

Just my two €cents.

schwammerl.

#624432 - 02/02/09 06:29 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Bob Offline
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Schwammerl would be a good customer! smile

#624433 - 02/02/09 06:35 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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JDelmore Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Bob:
Schwammerl would be a good customer! smile
Schwammerl would be a "client"!! wink


PTG Associate Member

"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)
#624434 - 02/02/09 09:42 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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rysowers Offline
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Olympia, WA
The main problems with the broken cords are: a slight metalic noise when some notes are played, and a definite loose feel due to the lighter touch-weight of those notes. All you can do is point at the problem and bid the job. Then its up to the client. The last one I bid it took the customer a year to decide to do the repair.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#624435 - 02/02/09 10:17 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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BDB Offline
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I tell my customers what their piano could use. Sometimes they want it done sooner, sometimes later, sometimes not at all. There is usually no need to insist.


Semipro Tech
#624436 - 02/02/09 11:19 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Sam Casey Offline
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SW Missouri
I demostrate how their hammers are bobbling and not checking on a soft strike and ask if they've noticed it. Usually they say "yeah! what makes it do that??"

I hate doing the schwanders. Hard to price it reasonably considering the piano's value. Yammys are another thing. I replace the flanges. Run a piece of masking tape under and over the hammers, pull all butt screws and remove a section at a time. Makes the operation quick.

#624437 - 02/03/09 12:24 AM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Good points Schwammerl.

Point out the fact that without them, the hammer not only clicks, but there is a reason why these parts are there. Make comparisons to something else to get them to see the light.

Plus, without them, the hammer will have a much greater tendency to bobble on the strings and show them, making the hammer bobble. Showing is everything along with education. Replace a flange and show them the difference in feel etc.

I too never replace the cords on a Yamaha, I always replace the whole set of flanges. It's much easier as far as I'm concerned.


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

We love to play BF2.
#624438 - 02/03/09 07:16 AM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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wayne walker Offline
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Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
I have replaced the cords on a few actions. Tom Driscoll had posted on the Pianotech list a his method for doing this. I have used this method which is quick and plainness

Yamaha Hammer Spring Cord Repair
Problem:
Hammer return spring cords have become fragile and are breaking.

Symptoms:
Cords have turned a brownish color.
Random breakage is occuring.
Touchweight is affected on some notes where the spring is contacting the damper lever.
Hammer sometimes falls audibly into strings on slow release before being pulled back by bridle tape.

Solutions:
Replace hammer flanges
Replace cords

Condition of action:
If condition of the hammers, pinning, and travelling/mating to strings is all good, replace cords.
If pinning is poor then flange replacement may be a better option.
Beware of earlier type action without butt plates - the following method would not work in this case.

Cord Replacement Procedure:
1. Place action in cradle; remove hammer rest rail and treble bracket.
2. Reverse action so that hammers and dampers are facing you.
3. Loosen hammer butt plate screws.
4. Remove hammer assemblies from flanges and let hang from bridle wires; keep them in order to avoid tangling.
5. Straighten any bent return springs.
6. Tighten all wippen flange screws.
7. Tilt action toward you 90° so that the hammer flange cord slots face upward.
8. Tighten remaining flange screws.
9. Using specially adapted shimming chisel or other suitable tool, clean slots (no solvent) and vacuum up debris.
10. Wrap 90+ turns on dowel with new cord and cut turns with a razor.
11. Glue one end of each piece to one slot on each flange.
12. Return to first flange and glue the other ends to remaining slots; check with gauge.
13. Lubricate damper spring slots.
14. Replace hammers; tighten butt plate screws; hook springs under flange cords as you go.
15. Replace hammer rest rail bracket and reinstall rest rail.
16. Final check: jack springs engaged with jacks, spring cords in crook of hammer return springs, bridal tapes not twisted.


Tools and Materials:
__flange, thin-bladed, and Phillips screwdrivers
__spray lube and spring hook (for damper springs)
__shimming chisel modified to clean flange slots, or other suitable tool
__glue applicator (syringe) filled with Tightbond & damp rag
__action cradle
__replacement cord, e.g., braided Dacron of suitable diameter (kite string, parachute cord) or silk cord (Pianotek)
__9/16" dowel [turned down from 5/8" dowel] or suitable width piece of cardboard
__blunted scriber (or use small screwdriver, to help place cords in slots)
__gauge (dowel, sized to fit intact flange cord, with end rounded off, to check loop size)
__razor
__forceps

Many different types of cord will work. White braided Dacron looks the best and will last forever. Joe Goss suggests Spider Wire which I've bought but haven't tried yet. It's a similar color to the stuff you're replacing so that tends to go against using it. I used to use squidding line but the kind you'll likely find in fishing supply places is waterproofed and wouldn't take well to Tightbond. Probably the easiest (and possibly cheapest) is to order the silk action cord from Pianotek ($3.95 for a 30-yard roll).

Cleaning out the slots is not critical and you could even give the flanges a quickie scrub and vacuum treatment and commence with step 10.

This method is taken from Tom Driscoll who posted it to the list in May, 2002 (Yamaha Upright Hammer Flanges).


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
#624439 - 02/03/09 12:31 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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BDB Offline
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After replacing a set of Yamaha flanges, I replaced the cords on the old set at my leisure, and replace flanges with those as needed.

As I noted before, instead of the rather awkward procedure of wrapping the new cord around a dowel and cutting it with a knife, I wrap it around a piece of cardboard whose width is the length of the cord, and then cut cord and cardboard in half with scissors. You do not have to go searching for the proper dowel that way.


Semipro Tech
#624440 - 02/03/09 01:07 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Gregor Offline
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Gregor  Offline
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Münster, Germany
Quote
Originally posted by Bob:
Schwammerl would be a good customer! smile
Schwammerl would be a good victim laugh laugh

Why do most of you techs replace flanges on Yamahas but not on other uprights?

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
#624441 - 02/03/09 01:38 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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BDB Offline
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Replacing flanges on most Yamahas only requires a couple of screws, rather than repinning.


Semipro Tech
#624442 - 02/03/09 04:39 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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rysowers Offline
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Olympia, WA
Wayne's method is great. If the flanges are in good shape replacing the cords is definitely the way to go. It really is fairly quick. I think it was about a 4 hour job the last time I did this. The beauty of it is that the hammers stay fairly well-aligned with the string imprints in the hammers.

Great post Wayne!


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#624443 - 02/03/09 08:52 PM Re: Selling Butt spring cord repairs  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
Thanks for posting that, Wayne. One things for sure, I always point out the broken cords BEFORE I start tuning - Don't want to get blamed for breaking them!


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