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Joined: Jul 2019
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How many of you use one of these to break in your rebuilds?

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I do. Definitely ups my game since acquiring a pounder.

Making one just for shop is probably more economical but I was short on time and also find it helpful for hammer-replacement or complete action rebuilds where the body of the piano doesn't come into the shop.


Keith Akins, RPT
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I don't have one and I am wondering if taking a clothes iron to the felt on the heels of new repetitions will help compact the felt and get them closer to a played in thickness.

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Why spend $1500 for a WNG key pounder? I made mine for $20 and its easy to make and its reliable.


-chris

Last edited by Chernobieff Piano; 12/01/21 08:46 PM.

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Originally Posted by jkess114
I don't have one and I am wondering if taking a clothes iron to the felt on the heels of new repetitions will help compact the felt and get them closer to a played in thickness.
don't do it


Keith Akins, RPT
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Nice pounder, Chris!
Especially like the faces.

I considered making one but couldn't justify the time investment.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by jkess114
I don't have one and I am wondering if taking a clothes iron to the felt on the heels of new repetitions will help compact the felt and get them closer to a played in thickness.
don't do it


Care to elaborate?

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Nice work Chris.

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Thank You! They're just happy little hard working dancing Soldiers!!
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
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I've never used an iron but I would use one for shaped for piano hammers before a clothes iron. Search for "hammer head smoothing iron". Some come hooked up to a soldering iron and\or rheostat for heat.

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Originally Posted by jkess114
Originally Posted by kpembrook
Originally Posted by jkess114
I don't have one and I am wondering if taking a clothes iron to the felt on the heels of new repetitions will help compact the felt and get them closer to a played in thickness.
don't do it


Care to elaborate?

Sorry, I mis-read your original post. I thought you were talking about ironing hammers -- which I would not recommend as a starter prior to playing-in (or pounding if you have that equipment).

I think actually it might be worthwhile. Excessive compliance of the wippen heel cloth is a significant contributor to poor action response which cannot be detected by any of the weight-oriented protocols some people advocate.


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You can settle the action cloth/felt by resting a strip of wood on the shanks next to the hammers for a day or two. This will compact the back rail, center rail, wippen cushion, and knuckles as well. I use a piece of wood that is about 2 inches square with action cloth on the side that goes against the shanks. I find this works as well as a pounder for settling the action, but it does nothing for the hammers.


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Originally Posted by TBell
I've never used an iron but I would use one for shaped for piano hammers before a clothes iron. Search for "hammer head smoothing iron". Some come hooked up to a soldering iron and\or rheostat for heat.

The typical Weller 80 watt iron with the rheostat built into the base station goes up to 900 degrees F. I'm sure a typical clothes iron in a middle temperature would work just fine to iron down the puffy heel felt were they lined up in such a way to make that accessible.

All that said, I love Bill's method of laying a piece of wood across the shanks to bed all of the felts. Super idea.


Thanks for all the ideas friends.


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