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#632196 - 03/08/08 11:29 AM help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
eddie twang Offline
Full Member
eddie twang  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
east yorks,england
do any of you guys feel you have too much going on?..in my workshop l am rebuilding a bechstein upright,l have restrung it,fitted new hammers and rebuilt the action and am cracking on with the polishing.l have three jobs waiting in the wings includeing a bluthner grand rebuild,bluthner upright rebuild,a flood damaged 7ft bechstein needing new legs and re polish,this is just the day job.....at home l am working on my sheidmayer upright which is turning into the toughest job ever.every hammer head had been ripped off by vandals and fitting the new shanks and hammers has been "quite a challenge"..l also have a broadwood baby grand in the house what l am working on.my wifes going mad at the piano infestation at home and l am having nightmares about pianos..please help!!!!

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#632197 - 03/08/08 11:38 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 802
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member
Innominato  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 802
London
Have a stroll and a beer and relax.

The pianos are not going to run away.


"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin
#632198 - 03/08/08 11:58 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,625
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 25,625
Oakland
At some point you need to decide that there are some things you can do and some you cannot. Those that you cannot do should be farmed out. You should have an idea of how long it takes to do things, and schedule jobs so that they are not overlapping. Your customers can keep their pianos until you are ready to deal with them.

You might also want to consider whether your business has outgrown your home, and if you need to rent a space for it.


Semipro Tech
#632199 - 03/08/08 12:07 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Gyro  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
How about an apprentice, room and board mainly
with minimal pay? If you pick the right
person, this could be the answer. This old-style
apprenticeship is rare today, but I'll
bet there would be many good people who'd be
interested.

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#632200 - 03/08/08 08:13 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
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 have a friend in a nearby city that does all of my rebuilding now. I don't have the time for it. He also does a lot of major action reconditioning that I don't have the time for. I still do a lot of that myself just not all of it.

My friend is currently booking a year and a half in advance for rebuilds. He informs all clients that if they want HIM, they will have to WAIT for HIM. If they are not willing to wait, then he won't do it. That way he is not overbooking himself into "burnout city." It sounds to me like that is what you are doing. On the verge of burnout.

I've been there, it's no fun! You are the only one to either prevent it, or pull yourself out of it.

Before I even schedule a time to do a job, I have already decided and scheduled, how much shop time is required.

Next, is discipline time... That shop time for THAT piano is only for THAT piano. We work as we had we planned on working whether we feel like it or not, completing the job on time. If we're sick well, then, there will be some night time work. Either way, I work on one piano until that one piano is done, before I start the next job. That way they are in and out the door quickly and I am paid sooner. I may have the next job in the shop before the previous one is done but, not long before hand.

When over booked, I sub contract.

Take some time off for vacation. Like, 3 weeks. And, get rid of some of those jobs!

Dare to say NO, I CAN'T DO IT!!! Or, double your rates to eliminate...


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

We love to play BF2.
#632201 - 03/09/08 12:09 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Quote
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
[QB] I have a friend in a nearby city that does all of my rebuilding now.
Well, in a way that's true for us also, as far as actions are concerned. Our offsite action person is really our third partner in the business, but your point about obtaining help is well taken...its really hard to achieve excellence in your work and also manage a huge workload all by yourself...even with three full time techs here, we're scheduled a couple years out also, and because of that I end up occasionally referring people to other rebuilders who do great work (two are Yat Lam in Kalamazoo, and Jim Reeder in Lansing; I've never met either, but I've seen their work ;-)

We are pretty ambitious here with a 1200 square foot facility in Lawrence plus our large room at the Park Trades Center for a clean space for finished instruments; and our Muskegon action shop...our capacity is good for getting work out, but even at that we're totally swamped!

Its about getting some altitude from the business occasionally...a little time off now and then...some time to pursue life's other interests...

Its also about Michigan though. lol... and despite the economy, we're super busy. I'll take the massive workload anyday, over the alternative!

thumb RPD


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
#632202 - 03/09/08 03:13 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
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 just looked at your profile. I didn't realize you lived so close to me. I'm in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yat Lam is a member of our PTG chapter. He's a smart man and he does do excellent work.

I've been through Jim Reeder's shop several times. I know him and his work fairly well and yes, he too does great work.

Lyle Wood is the man I use in Muskegon but, you can't have him!!! mad He's mine! mad laugh

Nik Pool recently quit, poor man can't tune any longer. He has some sort of neurological brain disorder. Not quite sure what so, Muskegon is wide open except for Lyle and he's so busy, he's even saying no to me too now! The bum! :p

Either way, I still say the key wording is either no or I charge more. laugh


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

We love to play BF2.
#632203 - 03/09/08 06:25 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 63
Greg Seagraves Offline
Full Member
Greg Seagraves  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 63
Lawrenceville, GA
I have never complained about having too much work. count your blessings




#632204 - 03/09/08 11:54 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,015
Keith Roberts Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Keith Roberts  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,015
Murphys, Ca
Innominato wrote; Have a stroll and a beer and relax.

The pianos are not going to run away.

Sure, but the wife might... help

dang, single again....


Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca
#632205 - 03/10/08 10:48 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Yes Jerry, we're geographically just about neighbors!...we are in the Kalamazoo region...and BTW I've had the good pleasure of hearing nice things about you, and your work. We have tons of respect for all the folks you mentioned, and will probably meet some/all of them eventually.

I knew Nick Poole (Jane is from Muskegon) well years ago, and I just spoke with him last week. Friends of his are assisting him with moving some of his pianos and items...we're seeing him probably around Easter this year...he's offered us some player supplies.

Lyle Wood is your rebuilder? Very cool...Jane's brother Joe Sytek is who we use...he's been with us since 1989 and came to the trade with a background in metal and construction work...he's technical and very detailed and has been rebuilding, and of late doing mostly grand action reguulation and action geometry re-design for some of the imported pianos we run into (that's another post!)

Cheers! Rick www.actionpianoservice.com


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
#632206 - 03/11/08 08:20 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
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
Thanks for the compliments Rick! I'm so happy to hear that my reputation has spread way over there too! smile Those sort of things are always nice to hear!! I do appreciate the feed back!

Oh yeah, I've known Nick since I was born. Lyle is a fabulous rebuilder. He just finished up two jobs for me here in GR. That's when he said, hey, bud, lay off for a while huh?? I'm not having enough time to finish my own stuff. Hehe.

I know this is short notice for you but, how about coming down to our PTG meeting which is TONIGHT. Yat Lam Hong almost always drives in. Perhaps you could hook up with him? He used to travel in with Harold Buyce but, Harry just recently died.

Tonights meeting will be beginning at 7:30 and will be at:

West Michigan Piano
3600 29th Street SE.
GR 49512
575-2100

The owner has been gracious to open up his store to our meetings at night for nothing for many years now. They're closed on Tuesday evenings anyway.

Tonight, the meeting is on "getting back to basics. All of the RPT's will be asked to take one or two apprentices to a corner of the store and help them with aural technique, hammer technique, posture, temperments, octaves, unisons, etc." Should be a good meeting. Plus, if you know of anyone an apprentices or whatever that might like to attend or could benefit from it, please send them! All are welcomed! Plus, I would love to meet you.

Otherwise, we always hold them on the 2nd Tuesday of each month so, that'll be easy to remember, I think?

Anyone else around here is also welcomed to attend if your heart so desires!!


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

We love to play BF2.
#632207 - 03/11/08 11:18 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Thanks Jerry for the invite, and I'd be pleased to attend one of the PTG meetings sometime. We were working at our Kalamazoo shop until later tonight and I just got home to your message...again, thanks. Although we're not members, we have a great respect for PTG and what it stands for. I subscribe to the journal and other PTG publications here.

I know a number of the guild tech's so it would be fun to connect, although some of my original contacts are now out of the business...but yeah, there's always something to be learned from experienced technicians so sharing an evening now and again would be welcome...plus, it would be great fun to meet you and others!

Since the meeting is now over hours ago, I'll need to take a rain check, if that's ok...thanks again! RPD


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
#632208 - 03/12/08 12:30 AM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
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
No worry about not being a member either. All non members are welcomed to attend as often as they like for nothing. There is always next time.
Show up whenever you like.

Yat Lam did attend tonight. I had a nice chat with him after the meeting.

Turns out, I was the main attraction! Or, was suppposed to be anyway. After the meeting started, off the cuff, they asked me to do a thing on speed tuning for them. Surprise! I didn't get much talking in though. Nick Poole wanted to answer many of the questions so I just set back and listened to his great mind answer them as best as he could. I kept getting odd looks from people wondering why I wasn't talking more but, I just smiled at them as if to say, you know what? Let him talk. He probably knows more about pianos than all of us put together so, who cares?

Because of his brain condition, Nick can't pronounce his words very well any more but, he tries so hard!!! And, his mind is still working perfectly. I figure, I can always talk later but it won't be long and Nick won't be able to talk at all.


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

We love to play BF2.
#632209 - 03/12/08 08:29 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Thanks Jerry...Its nice to be welcome and I'll make the trip some Tuesday! I'll em you to get the details first...BTW, I'm not in the guild but its not because of any aversion to the group...its just logistics and schedule mostly. RPD


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
#632210 - 03/15/08 03:44 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
eddie twang Offline
Full Member
eddie twang  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
east yorks,england
l have decided to give it all up and open a hippie commune for burnt out piano techs!there will be no muscicians allowed,no pianos and only ladys who can climb up a pole wearing nothing but a smile!...p.s dont tell the wife!

#632211 - 03/15/08 06:39 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
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
Well Eddie, that certainly fits the topic of going mad. Or, at least, making somebody else (shhh we won't tell on ya) REALLY mad so that we WILL wind up going mad and we all know what happens then, don't we?

I'll bet you can't say this next line without taking a breath...

Here come the little white men in furry little white coats with little white jackets that tie you into all sorts of little white knots then they carry you into a furry little white square room with furry white walls and no windows and a room that is filled with furry little bright white lights.


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

We love to play BF2.
#632212 - 03/15/08 07:48 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ron Alexander  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,292
North Carolina
Makes my head hurt to read that Jerry...but the hippie commune kinda sounds like fun....at least till the wives find us!!!!


-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician
#632213 - 03/16/08 02:40 PM Re: help me!..lm going piano mad!!!  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
eddie twang Offline
Full Member
eddie twang  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 132
east yorks,england
ron they will never find us...my wife cant find her way to a super market never mind my "hippie comune"..now stop "bumming me out" with your "negative" vibes man!.


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