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I'm repairing a spinet piano and I have a couple of keys where the hammer shank is hitting the hammer rail and producing a click. I've adjusted the caster thinking it was lost motion related but that doesn't seem to impact it. I've checked other screws and everything is tight. The hammer head and shank are all tight. Any other ideas?

Last edited by Peterish; 03/30/20 11:22 AM.
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Is there foreign matter on the hammer rail cloth? Or is the butt felt missing?

Last edited by BDB; 03/30/20 11:37 AM.

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Sounds in more ways than one ! that the whole action is too close to the strings ?

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Here's a link to a video I took. https://youtu.be/xEAS1lyyMc8

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Is there felt covering the entire inner surface of the rest rail?
Most spinets were made for a price point with the "sharp pencil folks" having substantial input/control of the final design. Quite a number of those cheaper spinets had a felt strip only covering the top half of the rail. As time passes, the shanks compress into the felt and sometimes can click on the un-felted part of the rail. Also, sometimes the rail is not at the correct angle resulting in the shank clicking. The repair for that is to bend the rail forward on the support wires. I found hitting the wire just below the rail with a crowbar works quite well to put in the necessary bend.

BDB's suggestion of missing butt-felt also has merit. Are you sure the click is happening AT the rail rather than just merely WHEN the shank comes back?


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The other thing that happens is that the bridle strap wire could be hitting a backcheck wire. That is pretty common in spinets.


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If the key adjacent to the noisy key is not making the noise you can swap out parts between the two to help diagnose the problem. You can rule out if it is a coming from the parts using that method.


Balance rail is between the front and back rail of the keybed. It’s the rail that all the keys teeter on. The rail the hammers rest on is called the hammer rest rail. If you tap hard on the different keybed rails in different locations with your finger that can help determine if the tap is coming from those areas, but it seems not likely to be the problem in your case.

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Sounds like the hammer flange screw might need to be tightened to the action rail? Have you snugged up all of the flange screws?

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Listening to the video, which is not really very clear, it sounds like the last thing I mentioned, the bridle strap wire hitting a backcheck wire. Bend the bridles strap wire slightly to fix it.


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Originally Posted by BDB
Listening to the video, which is not really very clear, it sounds like the last thing I mentioned, the bridle strap wire hitting a backcheck wire. Bend the bridles strap wire slightly to fix it.


I thought the same thing.

Peterish, sometimes when the bridle strap wire hits the neighboring backcheck wire, you can let go of the key very, very slowly and the key won't come up all the way because it's getting held up on the neighboring key. Try this.


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