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Need help in old 1.85 grand repair

Posted By: Nikita UA

Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 07:39 AM

HI!
I have got old 1.85 grand and want to repair.
Now it tuned to A=387 Hz
And not all keys working
It has english mechanics and unique virbel bank construction.
Can you help me?

It russian made grand, maybe 1905 year.
Brand name Rathke.
I live in poor cointry, and ordering new parts very problematic...
Posted By: Nikita UA

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 07:52 AM

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Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 12:09 PM

Why do you want to repair it? It looks like its in terrible condition and would need new parts. What I do when i have a piano that is not worth fixing is dismantle it and salvage as many items off of it as i can (ivory, screws, wood for making jigs, wood for woodstove, string frame for yard ornament etc).
-chris
Posted By: Nikita UA

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 01:43 PM

As previous owner say, piano was bought in mosow, faimous composers like prokofiev and rachmaninov palyed on it

I just want to tune it to 415 Hz and make mechanics to work
Posted By: Craig Hair

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 01:43 PM

Nikita,
There is a LOT that can be done with existing materials.
The action does not seem to be missing any parts; so it can be reconditioned.
Damper felts, if they have hardened, can be cleaned and softened. Better than new material, in my opinion.
Bass strings and plain wires, if they can be removed without damage, can be cleaned and re-used with good results. Your piano has no agraffes, so this is possible for you.
We have some videos that cover this on our youtube page.
The case repair looks daunting, but is really just a matter of squeezing the layers back together and drawing the corner closed. Animal hide glue is best.
Even the soundboard can be repaired, but this is not beginners work. We have some videos covering this in general; you can see if you want to jump into the deep end.

It would take a lot of grit and elbow grease, but you can make that piano play.

Chris does have a point, though. That english action is second class. It was out of date 40 years before it was made. If you can find something with a propper action, you would be better served in the long term. But if that is the only piano you can get, then sticking with it is your best option.

Be well,
Craig
Posted By: Nikita UA

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 01:58 PM

can you help me to regulate mechanics?
Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 04:55 PM

NIkita UA,
Is there physical evidence that those composers had anything to do with that piano? The standard is usually higher than a rumor to add any value.

I apologize in advance, but if you have to ask for regulation tips, you may not have enough experience to perform the restoration that Craig outlines.
A lot of that was advanced. I don't think its a bad thing to admit to a client that a job is beyond your abilities and pass. If the piano was yours and you wanted to use it as a learning experience, then that would be a different story.
Regards,
-chris
Posted By: Chris Leslie

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 09:26 PM

I am sure it can be made playable with repairs. Most old pianos can be repaired if all the parts exist. There is a culture apparent amongst many rebuilders that an old piano should either junked or rebuilt to the nth degree. That does not have to be so. There should be a culture that a range of possibilities exist depending on the resources available, the finances available and purpose for the piano.

The line that separates satisfaction with the outcome is variable and highly individual.

The problem is that you may lack knowledge of what to do. However, we don't know you and your possible resourcefulness.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/18/19 09:43 PM

Ordering parts for this piano would be problematic anywhere.

The only reason for restoring it would be for historic preservation, although stories about people playing a particular piano are often not reliable. I would suggest getting experience on pianos where preservation is not an issue before working on this one.
Posted By: Nikita UA

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 06:39 AM

I am just hobby musician.
I tune my pianos at home without problems (one 1960 year A 440 Hz Ukraine piano, secind one germany zimmermahn 1890 at A 426 Hz)
I bought this grand from old lady for 200$.
So now it my piano.
I asked four piano tuners at my place but they denied.
So I tune grand how I can at A 385 Hz (without raising pitch)
But I don know how made keys to work.
Some keys work, but some do not.
They are seems very similar...
Maybe some of you have some pdf books about repairing and regulation.
I have applied mathematics master degree, so I think I will try to understand how to fix them.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 06:48 AM

The different notes of the piano action are very similar, If you can figure out how one works, that will tell you how the other 84 (in this case, 87 in most modern pianos) work. However, all modern grand pianos are different, more complicated, so although you may be able to find instructions for them (Kawai has very good instructions on their website's support pages), you will have to figure out how the differences affect what you do to this piano.
Posted By: Craig Hair

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 11:22 AM

As just a place to start, I can see that the action has a few broken return springs on the jacks. Without them any note will only play once. This seems to be the action's first problem.

You are in the pressureless condition of owning the subject of your learning curve. The piano is a basket case; that means you get to learn a little about everything. The change from decrepid to functional is so satisfying. And after that they are all much less intimidating.

Posted By: Nikita UA

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 12:36 PM

I made some regulation but I can not understand how to regulate:

https://www.kawaius-tsd.com/PDF/Regulation%20GP-English%201.6.pdf
12. Hammer Rest Rail
Set the hammer rest rail 5mm below the hammer
shanks in the rest position.

13. Letoff
Adjust hammer letoff Distance.
To improve accuracy, place a light directly above
the string and watch the string’s shadow on the
hammer felt.
Press each key down slowly with one hand while
adjusting the letoff dowel with the other hand to
set the letoff distance.
In the bass section letoff should be 2.0mm - 2.5m,
middle and treble 1.0mm - 1.5mm
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 01:03 PM

Nikita UA, it would help us if you could take more photos showing the interior of the piano's action mechanism. It looks to me like a variation of the D-Type Spring & Loop Action. Those piano actions do not have repetition levers and the regulation methods will not be the same as for the Kawai grand piano action.

Микита UA, це допоможе нам, якщо ви зможете взяти більше фотографій, що показують інтер'єр механізму дій піаніно. Вона виглядає як варіант D-Type Spring & Loop Action. Такі дії на фортепіано не мають важелів повторення, а методи регулювання не будуть такими ж, як для дій великого рояля Каваї.


Mykyta UA, tse dopomozhe nam, yakshcho vy zmozhete vzyaty bilʹshe fotohrafiy, shcho pokazuyutʹ inter'yer mekhanizmu diy pianino. Vona vyhlyadaye yak variant D-Type Spring & Loop Action. Taki diyi na fortepiano ne mayutʹ vazheliv povtorennya, a metody rehulyuvannya ne budutʹ takymy zh, yak dlya diy velykoho royalya Kavayi.
Posted By: P W Grey

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 02:05 PM

Nikita,

You are going to have to closely analyze the end notes that probably still work, and figure out the difference between those and the ones that do not work. Your action is not like the ones we deal with daily. Sorry. I think you can figure it out and be resourceful.

Pwg
Posted By: BDB

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 03:10 PM

As I said, the general principles of regulation of modern actions are covered in the Kawai manual, but yours is not a modern action. You are going to have to understand how an action works and adapt. Look at the upright action manual, because your action may be closer to that of an upright than that of a modern grand.

If your mind does not allow you to make this leap from the general principles to your specific case, you may want to find someone who does understand things like that to help you.
Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 05:01 PM

I just looked at the Kawai regulating manual myself, and i think that was a very good suggestion. Easy to follow with pictures. To further that suggestion, maybe you could acquire a grand with a modern action to practice those procedures first, then after you have that under your belt, you could go back to this older style action and figure things out easier.
-chris
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/19/19 11:57 PM

If it is a D-Type Spring & Loop action (or variant thereof - they were made by Herrburger Brooks in the UK until the 1960s, and fitted to small grands) the excellent Kawai manual won't be much use.

There are pics of the Herrburger Brooks D-Type Spring & Loop action here: D Type Spring & Loop Action (about half way down the page)
Posted By: David Boyce

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/20/19 04:48 PM

I have uploaded some photos of the D-Type Spring & Loop grand action by Herrburger Brooks, and a similar variant, here: D Type Spring & Loop

It will be seen that standard regulation instructions, like the excellent ones from Kawai, will be of relatively little use.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Need help in old 1.85 grand repair - 04/20/19 06:06 PM

If you can see the way that one action works and understand the relationship to another, that will be useful. If you cannot understand the relationship, you may not be cut out for this business.
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