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Originally Posted by Del
Some piano makers allow their frames to age for some period of time before installing them in a piano. The theory is that this allows some relaxation of the internal (cooling) stresses prior to stringing. It is at least debatable whether or not this accomplishes anything significant.

ddf


Interesting. In my work as a structural engineer, on a few occasions stress relieving was required on a large critical weld prior to putting the structure into service (otherwise there was a large possibility of cracking). A weld is simply molten metal, and when it cools it shrinks creating internal stresses.

Iron and steel have somewhat different properties (steel contains approximately 1% alloys, the remainder being iron).

To stress relieve a weld, the steel must be heated to the range of 1100 to 1200 degrees F (about dull cherry red).

I'm somewhat skeptical that aging a cast iron frame (almost certainly at room temperatures) would have any effect at all on relieving residual stresses. In the case of steel at usual ambient temperatures, the residual stresses from welding will remain locked in until the steel is recycled in a furnace - or stress relieved.

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Originally Posted by Roy123
All piano manufacturers face many tradeoffs when designing and building their instruments. Most tradeoffs ultimately involve price. Piano manufacturers know, as do manufacturers of all products, that as prices go up, unit sales go down. M&H sells what most people believe to be a top-notch piano at a price that is lower than some other similarly rated makes.

So, apparently M&H does not finish a relatively hidden part of the plate to the same standard as the more visible parts of the plate, and some people have a bit of a hissy fit. I find it, if you pardon me for saying so, pretty juvenile. As always, we must judge products by their sum total. I bet one would find other aspects of M&H pianos better made and/or designed than the analogous features of other brands.

The buyer is the person in control because he has the choice of where to put his money. There is no problem here.

Well said, Roy123, and I don’t think anyone could disagree with you (well, they could if they wanted to, I suppose smile ).

I can’t speak for Alnyc, but chances are, had he not experienced the problems with the #36 note flange pin, he may not have even noticed the rough texture of the lower, less visible area of the plate (which is apparently common on sand-cast plates).

I’ve only heard and read good things about M&H pianos. Also, their reputation is still intact as far as I’m concerned, in spite of this isolated issue, which has been or is being resolved.

Rick


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Seasoning castings by letting them sit for months after they have cooled is a process that is not exclusive to piano plates. I know tool manufacturers do it also. I do not understand the theory behind it.


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Originally Posted by BDB


I read all the posts. Several posts questioned the aging technique. None of the posts convinced me that aging was the solution, although the consensus seems to be that stress relieving with heat does work. Metallurgy supports this method as being effective.

Bottom line: Piano manufacturers aren't likely to adopt heat treating or cryogenic treating any time soon. It's a costly and time consuming procedure - cheaper to over design the frame and add a few kilos/pounds of iron.

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Adding a few pounds of iron can cause problems in castings. What is needed is a balanced design, where there are no spots that retain the heat of the pour for a significantly longer or shorter time than the rest of the casting.


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Originally Posted by BDB
What is needed is a balanced design, where there are no spots that retain the heat of the pour for a significantly longer or shorter time than the rest of the casting.


This is the crux of the problem - areas that cool more slowly (read last) will have residual stresses. With the difference in thickness between the main bars (?) and the thinner plate, this is inevitable. To eliminate residuals will require post heating and cooling, or very slow cooling after casting, neither of which is likely to be cost effective. qed.

A very close analogy is welding two pieces of steel together - the weld is the hottest, cools last, and develops residual stresses. Some welders use a peening hammer on the weld as it cools, but this often leads to more problems (that can't be seen - such as cracking of the weld). Many techniques are still being taught and used that have no basis in science - I see this often in my engineering practice.

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Originally Posted by BDB
Seasoning castings by letting them sit for months after they have cooled is a process that is not exclusive to piano plates. I know tool manufacturers do it also. I do not understand the theory behind it.


There was in manufacturer of industrial equipment in the town where I grew up, and they aged their castings by putting them outside behind their parking lot in the sun, snow, and rain. After the "right" amount of time, they brought them in, sandblasted the rust off, and did any postmaching that was required.

I don't know if the aging relieved stress, but materials that creep because of internal stress, will tend to creep less as time goes by. It may also be that the repeated temp cycling caused by storing them outside helped speed up the reduction in creep.

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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Roy123
All piano manufacturers face many tradeoffs when designing and building their instruments. Most tradeoffs ultimately involve price. Piano manufacturers know, as do manufacturers of all products, that as prices go up, unit sales go down. M&H sells what most people believe to be a top-notch piano at a price that is lower than some other similarly rated makes.

So, apparently M&H does not finish a relatively hidden part of the plate to the same standard as the more visible parts of the plate, and some people have a bit of a hissy fit. I find it, if you pardon me for saying so, pretty juvenile. As always, we must judge products by their sum total. I bet one would find other aspects of M&H pianos better made and/or designed than the analogous features of other brands.

The buyer is the person in control because he has the choice of where to put his money. There is no problem here.

Well said, Roy123, and I don’t think anyone could disagree with you (well, they could if they wanted to, I suppose smile ).

I can’t speak for Alnyc, but chances are, had he not experienced the problems with the #36 note flange pin, he may not have even noticed the rough texture of the lower, less visible area of the plate (which is apparently common on sand-cast plates).

I’ve only heard and read good things about M&H pianos. Also, their reputation is still intact as far as I’m concerned, in spite of this isolated issue, which has been or is being resolved.

Rick


Hissy fit was over same key going dead four times in the first 8 weeks I had the piano. Plate finish + repeated key failure made me question the quality of the rest of the parts, like the ones that keep the hammer shanks attached.

Issue is resolved. Plate is the plate and key #36 survived two hours of use today. Time will tell.

Being juvenile keeps you young.

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Ok everyone, 7 pages is enough for one thread.

Hopefully everything will work out ok for Alnyc.

If anyone wants to keep the discussion about different types of plates going, please start
a new thread.

I'm closing this one now.



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