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My grand is 15 years old, and played 1-2 hrs per week. The hammers still have their teardrop shape, but there are visible grooves. Should I steam them to remove the grooves? Or file them? Or just leave them alone?


Last edited by ZMaestro; 07/24/16 09:44 AM.
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How does the piano sound when you play it? By this I mean what musical problem are you trying to solve?


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Originally Posted by ZMaestro
My grand is 15 years old, and played 1-2 hrs per week. The hammers still have their teardrop shape, but there are visible grooves. Should I steam them to remove the grooves? Or file them? Or just leave them alone?


You can try to remove them using a female nail file or scratcher for heel
https://youtu.be/pvlNgnhXVug?list=PL5-llYEcJG1Vdz9MNRUFRa64Owq2g81Vp

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Originally Posted by ZMaestro
My grand is 15 years old, and played 1-2 hrs per week. The hammers still have their teardrop shape, but there are visible grooves. Should I steam them to remove the grooves? Or file them? Or just leave them alone?


Coming from a NON-professional so take it for what it is worth -- any piano that has been played much at all has grooves in the hammers to some degree. Are you happy with the sound? If not, posting pics of the hammers with the deepest grooves could be very helpful in aiding the pros on here to advise you to what extent the grooves could be responsible for compromised sound quality.

Don in Austin


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Greetings,
If you steam those hammers until you have no grooves, you will have no hammer, just a pile of soft felt glued to a stick. Leave them alone until you have a tech you trust.
Regards

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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Greetings,
If you steam those hammers until you have no grooves, you will have no hammer, just a pile of soft felt glued to a stick. Leave them alone until you have a tech you trust.
Regards
Or leave them alone as long as you are happy with the sound?

Don in Austin


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
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Originally Posted by ZMaestro
My grand is 15 years old, and played 1-2 hrs per week. The hammers still have their teardrop shape, but there are visible grooves. Should I steam them to remove the grooves? Or file them? Or just leave them alone?



If a piano is being played, it will have grooves in the hammers.

This is normal.

If the tone is still good, leave them alone.



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Totally agree with Musicdude.

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Ed Foote is exactly correct. Steaming really isn't a solution to grooves but more for overly hard hammers which may or may not have string cuts. If you want to start messing with your hammers you should get a couple thousand dollars in the bank so you can afford a new set of hammers. Be very careful about thinking reading a couple of articles will prepare you to care for your hammers.

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Right, hammer reshaping is not a good thing to mess with if you're a beginner or DIYer. Besides potentially ruining the hammers you have to be prepared to work on the regulation - any change to the hammer weight or length is going to change how the other parts function.

If you are wondering if your piano's tone can be improved by addressing the grooves in the hammers, the answer is yes - with the usual caveat that "good tone" is a very subjective thing. Deeply grooves hammers tend to produce a harsher, noisier sound.


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My pianos (in various states of rebuild):
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