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Doped pin life?

Posted By: BeeLady

Doped pin life? - 09/15/02 07:59 PM

My old piano (1901) had to have the pins doped last year in order to be tuned. I seem to remember my tech telling me that I could expect about a year or two of reasonable life out of them.

Now that tuning season is upon us, can I expect that the piano can be tuned with decent results? I have not yet raised the cash to do the rebuild and would like to stretch out the time as much as possible. Should the gunk they put in hold up?

Thanks in advance from BeeLady who is crossing her fingers that tuning can be done and that no strings break.....
Posted By: reblder

Re: Doped pin life? - 09/16/02 03:56 AM

Actually that's a rather conservative prognosis by the tech(when he states that the pinblock would have a year or so of remaining life left).
It could in fact be several years, even longer.
The pins should hold up pretty well. However, the downside is going to be faced by the tuner if the feel of the pins changes drastically enough.
There could be "jumping" pins which makes tuning a much more difficult task than it normally is.

Mark Mandell
Posted By: BeeLady

Re: Doped pin life? - 09/16/02 09:05 PM

Thanks, Mark. That gives me more time to build the rebuild fund! The tuner is the one that did the work, so she will have to accept the jumping pins!

I must she has gone out of her way to make the piano the best it can be until then.

Thanks again for your input.
Posted By: SamLewisPiano.com

Re: Doped pin life? - 09/18/02 12:02 AM

You might have your tech use THIN CA glue instead of more dope if the first attempt fails. The CA works wonders, and so far we have not seen it fail, even after a couple of years. Make sure its the thin, though. It is capable of holding a 2/0 pin tight in a block drilled for a 4/0 pin. I have thrown my bottle of pin dope away, CA is the way to go.........Sam
Posted By: Niles Duncan

Re: Doped pin life? - 10/13/02 08:08 PM

I would expect that the piano will be tuneable, however be aware of the following caveat regarding future rebuilding.

Now that the tuning pins have been doped when the time comes that you have the piano rebuilt a new pinblock is not optional, it's MANDATORY. When restringing a piano, although I prefer to put in a new pinblock and think that it makes a better job, it is often possible and completely acceptable to restring with the original pinblock and one or two sizes larger tuning pins. However once a pinblock has been doped it cannot be used when restringing. I have learned through the hard school of experience that if you restring a doped pinblock with larger pins the result will be jumpy tuning pins and a piano that is very difficult to tune. When rebuilding time comes, make sure that the rebuilder knows that the pinblock has been doped and puts in a new pinblock.

Niles Duncan
Piano rebuilder, Pasadena, CA
Posted By: John51

Re: Doped pin life? - 10/14/02 12:18 AM

What is CA glue, and what do you thin it with?
Posted By: BeeLady

Re: Doped pin life? - 10/14/02 04:41 PM

Thanks, Niles. That is something I did not know. However, I will be replacing the pinblock in any case as this piano has seen better days. My tech is adamant about it as she feels it is such waste to rebuild and leave the old one in, especially in its condition. The doping was something that offered little to lose.

She noted that something was added to the pins in years past, and the biggest concern was that old dope made the strings brittle at the pins. She was pleased to tune this week and nothing broke!

In fact, to my ear, it sounds better than it did at the first tuning. Perhaps even old pianos need time to acclimate and the new hammers have had a chance to settle in.
Posted By: SamLewisPiano.com

Re: Doped pin life? - 10/15/02 12:10 AM

Originally posted by John51:
What is CA glue, and what do you thin it with?
John51- "Superglue" is the common name for CA glue. It comes in 3 consistencies: thin, medium and thick. It is best to use the thin for pinblocks because it is so thin it can wick deeply into the block without removing the tuning pins. I have been able to buy a lot of time for clients who can't or won't spend the money for a new block, and I admit to being amazed at its effectiveness. I never liked the "dope" sold for pinblocks, and rarely used it. I will never need to use it again with CA available. There are many sources for it, one is Restorco at 1-888-222-9767.......Sam
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