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The Baldwin Piano.. .

You can see why ii sounds better I

I 4

The bridge is a critical component of the tone-producing system. It must


precisely terminate the speaking length of the strings, and it must transmit
vibration efficiently to the soundboard. In addition, it must be extremely
strong to withstand the force of sidebearing and to resist splitting.
Traditionally, bridges have been capped so that they can be notched easily
and the height altered for downbearing by planing. Our patented AcuJustTM
plate suspension and hitch pin design gives us complete accuracy in setting
downbearing, so we no longer need to plane our bridges down after
installation. And we now notch all bridges by machine to gain increased preci-
sion and consistency.
In addition, our research showed that eliminating the capping, in combination
with the above changes, gave us a definite improvement in tone. We gained
maximum tone quality, greater efficiency in transmission of vibration, and im-
proved reliability. At the same time we eliminated problems previously
associated with capping: (1) occasional loose capping, (2) checking and split-
ting of the cap, (3) grain direction which was not always parallel to the line of
the bridge, and (4) the potential tone barrier of a horizontal glue joint in the
bridge.

THE BALDWIN GRAND BRIDGE: Thin vertical


laminations are bent for continuity of grain from one
end of the bridge to the other without horizontal glue
joints. Baldwin researchers have found this design
contributes significantly to outstanding tone quality.

Third in a series of informative ads on piano tone published by Baldwin


Piano &Organ Company exclusively for the benefit of piano technicians.

For more information contact Kent Webb, Technical Service Manager; for parts contact Linda Gann,
Baldwin Piano & Organ Company, Highway 63 South,Trumann, AR 72472 - Phone: (501) 483-6116
Has expanded their services to
include a full line of

YAMAHA ACTION PARTS, TOOLS AND SUPPLIES


Culminating many years of discussions with the Yamaha Corporation,
an exclusive agreement now exists whereby Schaff can sell and distri-
bute any Yamaha piano part, tool or supply item that is not being replaced
under warranty.
Such items as grand and upright piano action parts, felts, hardware,
keytops, as well as adjustable chairs, tools and polishes are now in stock.
Other items can be specially ordered.
Please call or write requesting our latest brochure with prices.

For Quick Service Use Our 24 Hour Hot-Line (312) 438-4556


d
O~OBER 1989 - VOLUME 32, NUMBER10 OFFI~AL PUBLICATIONOFTHE PIANO TECHNICIANSGUILD, INC

4 15 29 ABOUTTHE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE TUNING UP GOOD VIBRATIONS
Details and decisions. The stretch caZcuZator: New Soundboard,old bridge, COVER:
By Ronald L. Berry, RTT another view. part II: setting the plate.
By Rick Baldassin,RTT By Nick Gravagne,RTT Technical editor Susan
Graham usesa Foredomtool
6 19 32
in bridge work. See“The
Technical Forum,” beginning
FROM THE on page8.
HOME OFFICE BASIC SKILLS ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Communication is key. Key leveling. The first-time call.
By Larry Goldsmith By Bill Spurlock, RTT By Carl Root, RTT

8 24
THE TECHNICAL AT LARGE
Drum repetition (very rapid PLUS
FORUM
repetition of one note). Membership ......................34
Rebuilding: tools, tips and By Ken Sloane,RTT
promdures. Coming Events .................3.5
and Tristan Francis Auxiliay Exchange..........36
By Susan Graham, RTT
ClassifiedAdvertising ......38
Display Ad Index.. ............40

Piano Technicians Guild Board of Directors Piano Technicians Journal Staff


RONALD L. BERRY, RTl. DANNY L. BOONE, R’IT HOME OFFICE SUSAN GRAHAM, RTI’
President 50’4th cenhil k7~?@?ld via? President 4510 Belleview, Suite 100 Technical Editor
6520 Parker Lane 9707 Timberview Kmsas City, MO 64111 2%7 Madeline
Indianapolis, IN 46220 Waco, TX 76710 (816) 753-7747 Oakland, CA 94602
(317) 255-8213 (817)772-0546(I-0 LARRY GOLDSMITH RICK BALDASSIN, RTT
(817) 755-1723 (W) Editor/Executive Director Tuning Editor
NOLAN P. ZERINGUE, R-l-I’
CYNDI DAVISON 2684 W. 220 North
Vice President BRUCE G. DORNFELD, RTT
619 Barbier Avenue Central East Regional Vim President Bookkeeper Provo, UT 84601
Thibodaux, LA 7CBOl 2134 Walters Avenue SANDY ESSARY GEORGE DEFEBAUGH, RTT
No&brook, IL 60062 Subscriphons/Adaertising
(504) 446-6812 ~aurnal On Tape Reader
(312) 498-&379 LISA GRAY
ROBERT SMIT, RTT Assistant Editor
Secretary-Treasurer MICHAEL A. DROST, RIT MARY KINMAN
17 Carmichael Court Central West Regional Vice President Membership
Kanata, ON Canada K2K lK1 1052 South Fork Drive
(613) 592-6907 (I-i) River FalIs, WI 54022
(613) 828-1292 (W) (715) 425-2068 (I-l)
(715) 4253940 (S) 8 1989 The Piano Technkzia~ Guild. Inc AltLles uublisb,zd in the P+m Tahni&us
NORMAN HEISCHOBER, RTT
Northeast Regkmaf Via President FERN L. HENRY, R-IT
In ani fmm wltikt p-?nisdon f&n the pub&he,, ‘Ilw Pianb T&idann Guild, Inc
295 West Shore Drive Western Re@onal Vice President The words l-he Piano Tech&&w GUM, Inc.,” and the Rqistered Tuner-Technician
Massapequa, NY 11758 3574 Cantelow Road embkzm am regbtad with the US Patent and Trademark Offbx -Unauthorized use is
(516) 799-1656 Vacaville, CA 95688 strkdy pmhlbited.
(707) 4484792 7k ?‘imo Tsc- Jcmd @SN 00319562) ia the offial pubIkation of The PIano Tech-
DONALD S. VALLEY, R’IT
nidam Gulki. Inc.. 4!510 Bel!7eview. suite loo. Kansan cthr. MO 64111. The hmmd L
5outheQ.s~Regional vice Pn?sident STEPHEN H. BRADY, RTT
8861 Greenville Highway Pacific NW R&onul Vice President
Spartanburg, SC 29301 1402 3rd Avenue W.
(803) 574-6165 (Wj Seattle, WA 98119
(803) 5749639 (H) (206) 281-8292 (l-l)
(206) 54.59371 (W)

2 - OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


Randy Potter School Of Piano Technology
Training Competent Technicians for the 2 1st Century
6 1592 Orion Drive
Bend, OR 97702
(503)382-54 11

Registered Tuner-Technicians don’t need basic study courses.


But many of them buy our course.
Why? Here’s what Karl Roeder, Rll, of Macon, GA says:

“Your course is really top drawer. I have spent a lot more money for
thingsthatweren’tasgoodforme. It is hightimesomebodydid it! lthink
every tuner, and every responsible RTTought to take this course. You
have done a tremendousserviceforthe piano tuning community. And
the tuning tape is the best tuning class I have ever seen.”
We have home study programs to help Beginning Students get
started, Associates to upgrade and reclassify to Registered Tuner-
Technician, and RlT’s to continue their education. We can help you,
too.
See us at the Annual PTGConvention & Institute in Portland, OR, July
1Cl-14; the Texas State Association Seminar in Lubbock, TX,October 13-
15; or the California State Convention in Irvine, CA, Feb. 16-18, 1990.

Hale’s latest composition -


Grand Knuckle Remover - for
quick removal of the qrand
knuckle from the shank. Used
in conjunction with #115.

Hammer Head and Butt Extractor -


removing hammer heads from grands
taking the shanks off the rail; from up
removing the butts from the action.
to fit spinet hammer shanks as short as 3 inches.
ror removing %
upright m@
1 hammer heads and butts Opus #116.
when the shank is Pin Punch Attachment - for easy, quick
N broken. removal of center pins from the flanges of the
wippens, butts, and damper levers.

Sewing the musk Industry rlnce 1884

TUNERS SUPPLY COMPANY EASTERN BRANCH: 94 Wheatland Street, hrnerville. MA 02145 l (617)6664550
WESTERN BRANCH: 190 South Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale. CA 94086 l (408) 736-2355

CCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 3


Details
And Decisions

D etails are an important part of our life.


How much attention we pay to them and
out of town. All the planning done on the
meeting itself will be lost if the newsletter
how we follow up on them makes the dif- doesn’t reach the members in time for
ference between doing things successfully them to plan. Some chapters workout the
or not. In rebuilding a piano it is the atten- whole year’s meeting schedule at the
tion to details that separates the good job beginning of the year and publish it in
from the mediocre one. Quoting from the every newsletter. The time and place for
book, “Men, Women and Pianos”, by each meeting is established ahead, then
Arthur Loesser, I’... a fine tone quality is a the details of each meeting can be put in
grace that is only conferred upon an instru- during the month of the meeting.
ment as a reward for long, painstaking What happens after the chapter
devotion to every detail and every essence makes decisions? How well are the ac-
of its construction, as the distillate of a Ronald L. Berry, RTT tions that are taken followed up? Chapter
steady fusion of diverse excellences.” President decisions often involve paperwork or
Running an organization is just as phone calls to make them happen. Every-
dependent on details. Careful planning one is busy with his own work but some-
makes the organization run more smoothly which in turn one needs to follow up. It pays to make clear at the meeting
allows the members to accomplish more for their efforts. who will follow up on the action instead of letting everyone
The first area of activity I want to discuss is meet- assume that someone else will do it. How a chapter treats
ings. Meetings need to be planned well ahead so members prospectivemembersatmeetingsand howit followsupon
can be notified and attend. It is the chapter meeting that is them certainly runs the gamut from chapter to chapter.
the lifeblood of the organization and the place where most People are so glad to see their friends at the meeting that
people gain benefit from the Guild. Meetings that are newcomers are often ignored and leave feeling that the
thrown together at the last minute will lack imagination Guild is a bunch of snobs. Appointing someone to be sure
andcreativityand won’tmakeasgooduseof themembers’ that newcomers feel welcome is a detail that should be
time. Running the meetings takes some preplanning. I taken care of. Many newcomers are waiting for an invita-
have found that it is quite valuable to rehearse the meeting tion to join, and this will require someone making a follow-
mentally. Doing this will often make you thinkof problems up call to be sure to personally invite them to the next
ahead of time when you can take steps to keep them from meeting.
happening. Publishing the agenda for the business meet- Exams are the area of chapter management which
ing in the newsletter will give people a chance to think is the most standardized in that the procedures are well
ahead about the important issues. If people are better documented. Still there are many details that must be
informed and know how they feel, the business meetings attended to before the exam itself such as securing a
will take less time. When there is a lack of planning, people location.and manpower for the exam. Thanks to the guid-
come up with spontaneous ideas to solve problems which ance of the ETS committee, this facet of the Guild activity
look good at first but are found to have problems later. goes fairly smoothly in places where exams are happening.
Along with meetings is the newsletter. This can be Unfortunately, there are some places where exams are just
a simple postcard meeting notice or one of our professional not happening at all and there is little inclination to make
looking newsletters that chapters have. The main function them happen.
of the newsletter is to disseminate information vital to the Making an organization run well is a challenge
operation of the chapter. There are many details involved that takes great attention to details. The rewards of work-
in making a newsletter, but timeliness is a critical one. ing for an organization are many, especially when you
When I was newsletter editor for my chapter, I had my believeinthegoalsof theorganizationandcan feel that you
share of newsletters that arrived one or two days before the are really accomplishing something by your work. E
meeting for those in town and after the meeting for those

4 -&ToBER1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


1-
In Memoriam

JOHN H. STEINWAY
1917- 1989

"Ammof angel’swit und sing&~ learning...


of gentleness,
uffubility und mrveloza-mirth..,
unzun
forallS&zSO?d~.
The managementand craftsmenof
Steinway& Sonsworldwide deeplymourn
the passingof our belovedformer chairman
on August 29,1989.

STEINWAY G SONS
Steinway Place, Long Island City, NY 11105 (718) 721-2600
FROM THE HOME OFFICE

Communication Is Key
W hy do we join organizations like the
Guild? Since we now have 3,704 mem-
the weak-hearted. It takes selfdiscipline,
single-mindednessand a strongpersonal-
bers, I’m sure there are at least 3,704 good
‘Give a dozen ity, traits that do not necessarily lend them-
reasons for being a Guild member. people a task or selves to a cooperative state of mind. Give
Still, most people join organizations goal, and you’ll a dozen people an organizational docu-
like the Guild for one basic reason: self- ment, and you’ll get a dozen different
improvement. This encompasses a wide get a dozen interpretations, how much different de-
range of more specific justifications: im- ideas on how it pending on how clearly the document
proving technical skills, learning how was written. Give the same dozen people
others run successful businesses, obtain- should be a task or goal, and you’ll get a dozen ideas
ing valuable industry contacts, attaining accomplished.’ on how it should be accomplished. And
peer recognition in one’s chosen field, giv- probably none of them is completely
ing something back in return for benefits Larry Goldsmith wrong.
already received, or simply developing Executive Director Through the years, the Guild’s
friends who sympathize with the vagaries strength has been in the ability of i ts mem-
of a life in piano service. bers to agree to disagree and still put the
For a technician in an area where pianos and piano organization’s best interests above their own disputes.
technicians are relatively sparse, it may be the wealth of We’ve all seen people who will debate an issue until
technical information in the monthly journal and chapter tempers fray and then go out for a drink after the meeting
newsletter. An urban technician may value frequent chap like the old friends they are. Old enemies sometimes make
ter meetings where the latest technical tips and product in- the best friends.
formation are exchanged. Others may cite the Guild’s Some Guild chapters are harmonious affairs where
democratic structure, which allows them a voice in setting everyone seeseye to eye -debates are rare and when they
standards for their profession. occur, they are calm and reasoned. Others are based on an
edgy truce between closely balanced opposing forces.
There’s a common thread here. All these reasons and Emotions run high and personalities clash. These two
justifications are based on cooperation. Joint action for the extremes can be found in any group of people in any
common good is what makes an organization like the profession. Who’s to say which is better and more produc-
Guild tick. And therein lie potential problems. tive? The only certain thing is that the worst chapters are
Operating your own business successfully is not for those that exist in name only - nobody’s talking at all. Z

A Piano Technology Certifica


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I two years of study.


Tuning, regulation. repair and rebuilding of grand and upright pian
Business practices, including computer applications. Elective studies in
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(703)665-4581
While mostmanufacturers
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in feet and inches,we
offer our proof in years.

A great piano has to do a lot more than as well as acknowledgement of your own.
look great on paper. For technical information on Young Chang
That’s why Young Chang pianos are grand and vertical pianos, write to me,
designed to offer remarkable tone, quick Alan Vincent, Director of Technical Services
response, reliable intonation and consistent at Young Chang America, 13336Alondra
performance. Blvd., Cerritos, CA90701.Or call (213)926-3200.
Whether enduring the rigors of a full teach- Becausewhen it comes to great perform-
ing schedule or the demanding hours of ance, time is of the essence.
serious practice, Young Chang studio pianos
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And our promise is a 12yearfill war-
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Many manufacturers consider such a
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our dedication to uncompromised integrity, The besttheworld hasto off&”
THE TECHNICAL FORUM

Rebuilding: Tips, Procedures, And Tools


Susan Graham
Technical Editor

A change that taking the post of tech- heavily used new pianos, this may be ment, and in some instances (particu-
nical editor has made in my business is the case). In general, the older the piano, larly wound-string bichords) may be
that I no longer have the luxury of doing the more incidental procedures are in- critical to keep strings from hitting each
all my own shop work. Like many of us volved in successful restringing. other.
with healthy businesses, I find that sat- In the case of this particular job,
isfying the demand for tuning, voicing Agraffe Replacement the new agraffes were bored so that the
and other in-home service, selling and For instance, I usually replace the individual string holes were a good
delivering major jobs, and in general agraffes in older instruments, as well as l/32” closer to the base of the agraffe
“driving the bus” uses up the time I in those which have been restrung pre- (fig. 1). I can’t say for sure if this would
have to devote to piano work. The night viously or were in some particular cli- have made a significant difference in in-
and weekend hours which used to be mate or usage which suggests unusual creased bearing and lowered string
spent in the shop are now more likely to agraffe wear. (Rusty wire can be quite height, but the situation didn’t call for
be spent at the word processor. If it abrasive, flattening the contact point as either change and my preference is not
weren’t for the good fortune of inherit- it is pulled through during unstringing: to make unnecessary alterations. (There
ing Shari Weissman and John heavy use tends to have the same effect are times when I have deliberately low-
Ellinthorpe, two well-trained and ex- due to pressure from the exaggerated ered agraffe height to increase bearing).
tremely skilled shop technicians, I’d be oscillation of the string). I opted to use a limited quantity of
in serious trouble-or else out of the If the agraffe is intact (not broken more suitable agraffes which were on
rebuilding business. off, leaving just a stub in the plate), it hand, and then to ream and buff the
Recently, however, I was tempo- should be an easy matter to unscrew it remainder of the original agraffes and
rarily saved from the service call rat- and install a new one. Right? Of course reuse them.
race by my civic duty: jury duty, to be not. This is, after all, piano work.
specific. I recommend the experience; if First of all, there is the matter of
nothing else, it has broken my habit of size. Modem domestic agraffes come in
threatening to quit the piano business 7/32” or l/4” shank, both with a 36
and go to law school. You think piano thread (threads per inch). It is unreliable
work is tedious! to use the age of the instrument as a clue
After one day present at the court- to which size was installed, so remove a
house I was excused to spend the re- sample and measure it. One will also
mainder of the week on telephone encounter instruments, particularly
Figure 1
standby: free to stay at my place of work older European grands, which have a
but required to be available with an slightly different thread count and will
hour’snotice.Theresult wasanenforced accommodate neither size. In such pi- Agraffe Reaming
week of shop work. anos, there is often an aesthetic change String-
In all honesty, it was one of the to consider as well-some of these older holes in the
most tiring, frustrating and happiest agraffes are more substantial and quite agraffe are
weeks I’ve spent in a long time. It got me differently shaped. They are part of the counter sunk
m-involved with a lot of the little details beauty of the instrument (and the added from both
of grand piano rebuilding, and has pro- mass may very well affect voicing due to sides (fig. 2).
duced a loose collection of tips, proce- a more solid termination). The result is
dures and tools which I intend to pres- Another important consideration an hourglass-
ent this month. is alignment of the holes. Variation here shaped hole
The project for the week was get- can affect bearing at the bridge as well as with a very
ting a Steinway B ready for restringing. at the agraffe,and can alter string height, small point of
As we know, restringing a piano is rarely which may affect hammer boring. Spac- contact for the
a simple matter of removing and install- ing from side to side is a factor, since this string. Over
ing wire (although with performance or will affect hammer and damper align- time this con- Figure 2
8 ~XTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
tact flattens or can burr, causing buzz- without either chattering (which hap Figure3
ing, zinging and all the other symptoms pens if an attempt is made to ream by
of poor termination. Abrasive cord, hand) or removing too much material
available from some suppliers and from (the usual result of too high a speed). He
woodcarvers’supplyoutfits,canbeused reams the hole from the speaking length
to renew the holes. It is somewhat ran- side only. The angle of the plate surface
dom, however, as is the use of a cello from the tuning pin side usually inter-
string or a tiny rattail file. To really rec- feres with straight accessinto the hole,
reate the hourglass shape, I recommend and it is tricky to ream uniformly from
the reamer developed by Chris Robin- both sides (there simply isn’t enough time: at this writing, Chaff has them (al-
son (fig. 3). material to leave much margin for er- though by the time this goes to print
This tool is made by modifying a ror). they may be out). Get them when you
#2 5/64” Do-All center drill, which is a I chucked the bit directly into the can and have them on hand: they are not
lathe tool available from the Do-All Com- Foredom tool handpiece, since I was a hardware store item. For shaving or
pany(l-8O@Do-All-Co).Thecuttingpor- using it on agraffes which had already grinding the base, I adapted Robinson’s
tion must be turned down to l/16” (tol- beenremoved(inahappybutmisguided use of an end mill by locating a tool
erance is nominal: +/- .003). The neck assumption that they could be replaced) called a counterbore which has a similar
must be turned down appropriately to and accesswas not a problem. I always arrangement of exposed blades which
meet the reduced point, and all cutting use the Foredom with the reostat foot will shave brass from the agraffe base
edgesmust be resharpened and refluted. control. In this case, the appropriate (fig. 4). With the two options, adding a
It is a double-ended tool: have both ends speed was determined by increasing it shim or removing material, alignment is
gradually with the bit engaged in an not difficult to achieve.
Figure4 experimental agraffe until the bit just before removing the old agraffes,
stopped chattering and started ream- make a pattern to record the facing or
ing. A wedge could be inserted to stop alignment of the agraffe to the strings
the control at that point, if you have (fig. 5). It can be done on a piece of
difficultymaintaininguniformfootpres- masking tape, but my choice is a strip of
sure. Experiment with an old agraffe, clear mylar (art supplies). Drill small
reaming it and examining the result with holes through the ends of the strip into
a loupe or magnifying glass to learn the plate and “pin” it to the plate with
how much or how little pressure and brads (ideally, these holes are drilled
time is required to do the job. If accessto where they will be covered with under-
the agraffe while it is in the plate is a string felt later). Use a scale or a strip of
problem even with the tool holder ex- wood, held against theagraffe, and draw
tension, string the agraffes on a wire in a line on the mylar which parallels the
order as they are removed, along with “face” of the agraffe. A Sharpie felt
reduced, since the first attempt at using any washers which come loose. This marker works well: these will make a
this tool frequently results in breaking gives you a fighting chance of fairly easy permanent mark on almost any surface
off the tip. reinstallation, but no promises... and are infinitely useful in the shop-
The modification must be done by weevennumberscrewsandothermetal
a good machinist used to doing preci- Agraffe Installation parts with them. The agraffe pattern is
sion work. I found one simply by going For those who may be unfamiliar saved, and all the agraffes are removed
through the Yellow Pagesand calling to with installation, the agraffe
find one who would do small cutter must face in correct alignment
grinding jobs (his primary work is on withthestrings,butmustalsobe
aircraft-look for someone with a shop snug to the plate. If it seats just
near an airport). short of the correct alignment, it
Chris also mentioned that a #l bit, can be forced no more than l/4
from thesame source, will sometimes fit of a turn to align it; anymore and
older grands with very small agraffe you risk breakage, either imme-
holes, without modification. diately (aggravating) or in the
To allow clearance under plate future (worse still). If the agraffe
struts, etc., Chris makes a tool holder for cannot be aligned, it must either
the bit by drilling a hole in a 6” length of be shimmed with a thin washer
l/4” drill rod. The reamer musf be used made for the purpose, or have
in a power driven tool: Robinsonuses an material removed from the base
air-driven drill (his shop is set up to run so it can be turned slightly far-
on air tools) which turns rather slowly at ther.
400 ‘pm. This speed permits removing a The washersbecomeavail-
tiny peel of brass from the agraffe hole, able from suppliers from time to Figure5
OCTOBER1989PIANOTECHNICIANSJOURNAL-9
before the plate is sprayed. revolution, returning the agraffe to the
There is a tool that fits the combi- same incorrect alignment? Or did it do
nation handle sold by our suppliers nothing? A little concentration should
which can be used to remove agraffes. yield the ability to achieve consistent
However, the inimitable Richard Dav- and predictable results in the fitting
enport has no patience with such slow process.
work and has developed a series of The counterbore (or end mill) can
definitive agraffe tools. I’ve had good be used to remove more substantial
success with copying his initial idea, amounts of brass, substantially reduc-
which is to make a tool from a four-way ing the thickness of the base and lower-
lug wrench (fig. 6). The length of the ing the holes closer to the plate. This will
“arms” of the tool must be enough to remedy the problem of holes in new
allow clearance over plate struts; be- agraffes being drilled much “higher”
yond that, purchase the cheapest you than the old ones, permitting control
can find. Hacksaw off one end and cut overbearingchanges.Caremustbetaken
an agraffe-sized groove in the stub. If not to force the resultant exposed, non-
the diameter of the shank is too large, it threaded portion of the shank into the
will need ‘to be reduced on a grinding threaded section of the plate, however.
wheel or lathe or it may bind where As pointed out by Isaac Sadigursky
spacing is close. I used an abrasive rod- them after the plate is washed. Before I several months ago, this a major factor
type blade in the hacksaw to cut the spraytheplateIputroofingnails(thanks, in causing agraffe breakage. If it is un-
groove, although others have achieved Wally Brooks, for that suggestion) in the avoidable to reduce the base this exten-
the same result with a small grinding holes to keep finish out of them. (If you sively (enough so there is an appreciable
wheel in a Foredom or Dremel tool. happen to use these gold-sprayed nails unthreaded portion of shank going into
After the crude cutting is done, deburr later, on your roof, it will afford all the plate), the threading at the very top
all edges with a file and/or a buffing kinds of amusement to subsequent roof- of the agraffe hole in the plate should be
wheel: brass agraffes are soft and may ers). reamed to provide clearance.Thisisdone
be marred if the tool is too rough. You with an appropriately sized drill bit. It
will also find that agraffes are not a Installing New Agraffes must bedonecarefully, since the drill bit
uniform thickness, which may require After the plate is sprayed, install is inclined to pull itself down into the
some re-cutting of the groove. the new agraffes. The first step is to use hole. It is counterproductive to end up
The cross arms of the tool act as a the appropriate tap to clean and renew with no threads at all.
flywheel, so it can be engaged on an the threads in the holes. These taps are “Fuss, fuss, fuss,” you say, over a
agraffeandspun,controllingitbyloosely also not a hardware store item: order very little part of a piano, and I agree.
guiding the toparm. The problem which them from your favorite supplier and However, there is no question that the
Richard encountered was an inclination have them on hand. It isn’t necessary to cleaner and more solid the termination
of the tool to slip off and mar the plate. run the tap all the way down into the points of the speaking length-bridge,
He has refined a T-shaped version of the hole--only as far as the shank of the agraffe and cape--the better. Tone is
same thing with a sleeve over the busi- agraffe will extend. Be sure not to cross better, the piano is easier to tune and
ness end which prevents slipping. the threads. It would be fastest with the voice, and the customer is happier.
If the agraffes seem particularly tap in an electric drill, but I do it by hand
stubborn, you may want to use a small with a tap handle to keep a “feel” on the Speaking Of The Foredom...
brush to put a drop of a penetrating alignment. A very handy, relatively small and
ruster at the base of each one prior to After the threading is renewed, inexpensive tool, the Foredom is the big
removal. Don’t spray it on, since the and armed with the Davenport agraffe brother of the moto-tool. Several mod-
plate is going to be refinished, and it is a tool, the counterbore and a package of els are available; I use the “‘3” series
good policy to keep it as clean as pos- agraffe washers, installing new agraffes motor, the #44 B handpiece and the
sible (even though it will be washed isarelativelysimpleoperation.Asstated, reostatic foot control (fig. 7). There is a
thoroughlyand wipeddownwithnaph- theagraffemust faceintheproperalign- set of graduated colle& available, which
tha). Needless to say, if the job is being ment, being forced no more than l/4 is necessary for various sized bits.
done without removing the plate from turn but fitting snugly to the plate. It
the vicinity of the pinblock, lubricants may be helpful in a case of one which Foredom Scrapes Bridges
are definitely not advised. does not fit to mark one corner of it with This tool becomes more and more
Removing the agraffes permits a Sharpie before removing it either to useful in the shop as one becomes accus-
easy access to the plate surface around shave the base or add a washer: if a mark tomed to its use and abilities. For in-
them to clean it up and sand it smooth- is made, i t gives you a reference to deter- stance,Iuseit to”scrape”betweenbridge
another in the millions of little steps mine how much effect either the shav- pins (see cover photo). The bit in this
which make a good, clean appearance to ing or the washer has had. Otherwise, it instance is a woodcarvers’ item, avail-
a rebuilding job. The threaded holes are can be confusing-has the alteration able where Foredom or mototool acces-
exposed, so use compressed air to dry been so effective to allow a complete sories are sold. It is a fluted steel grind-
10 --OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
ing bit, pointed and conical, and fits Figure 7
between bridge pins. This permits re-
moving built-up old finish, dirt, etc.,
which interferes with clean termination
at the bridge pin. It also yields a very
new, “finished” look to the bridges.
Muchlikepolishingthetopsofthebridge
pins (with a belt sander), this is a little
detail which a customer may not notice
specifically, but which contributes to
the general impression of a well-done
job.
The Foredom comes with a metal
hanger which could be mounted to a
wall or bench, but I fixed it to an L-
shaped chunk of pinblock material so I
can clamp it to any convenient surface.
Varying the speed with the foot control,
controls the speed of the cut and allows
me to do very fine work as well as quick control feature of the Foredom makes it lot of bad voicing: insufficient felt is left
wood removal of a more crude variety. a more appropriate tool. I use the small covering the molding, but the hammer
In the case of between-the-bridge-pin rubber drum and sanding bands avail- is still too heavy and overweight either
work, care must be taken not to gouge able for the moto-tool. to sound or work properly with the
out too much wood but with a little Hammers which may need this action. Steinway is quite specific about
practice this becomes a quick, fine op- kind of shaping are the softer, domestic the desirable shape; learning to achieve
eration, taking about 15 minutes to do style which often require quite a bit of that shape (which I finally did, under
both sides of both bridges. (This job felt removal when theyarefirstinstalled the careful tutelage of the one and only
used to take an hour, working with a to achieve tone without excessive use of Franz Mohr) is critical to working with
very tiny chisel/scraper). hardeners. This topic could lead into a their pianos. I think of this shape as the
long discussion of the merits of various pointed end of an egg: rounded, but
Foredom Shapes Hammers hammers, voicing methods, etc.-but it with a definite slope to the shoulders
The Foredom can be used to do isn’t going to (at least not now). leading up to the strike point, and a
anything a moto-tool will do. At the risk The hammers you choose to use in similar slope going down toward the
of causing shock waves, I find this in- rebuilding are largely a matter of prefer- tail. Steinway has a technical bulletin on
cludes shaping hammers (fig. 8). I never ence; many of us become accustomed to the subject and it would be best to con-
had much luck doing this with the mote one style of hammer, learn to work with sult them for an illustration.
tool, since the high rpm of that tool them, and prefer to stick with them. I One thing which I have come to
inclines it to gouge and scallop-at least, also give consideration to maintaining realize is that if the hammers have had
in my hands. Once again, the speed some consistency with the original de- no shaping other than the rough sand-
sign of the instrument. For ing they receive just out of the press,
Figure 8 instance, I use Steinway shaping them is not a matter of slavishly
hammers @Jew York) on following layers of felt around the cir-
New York Steinway pi- cumference, but is a process of creating
anos, and I do find they a specific shape out of the mass of wool.
need shaping--sometimes Layers are watched at this stage, but
a lot. To save time in the more to be sure of maintaining an even
initial shaping process, I surface moss the hammer. It is not to
use the Foredom: the job is dictate that equal amounts of felt be
finished by hand with a removed from all points around the
sand paddle. circumference of the hammer.
TheForedomisparticu- For instance, it is usual that only
lady useful in removing felt enough is taken off the actual striking
from the lower portions of point to even out any “cup” left when
the hammer-nearest the the hammers are cut apart. It is critical,
shank and the tail. Many however, to insure that the strike point
times we concentrate too felt is attached to the shoulder felt; oth-
heavily on removing felt erwise a loose tuft may be left on the
from the striking point,and surface. This is the hazard many of us
ignore the excess hanging encounter in trying to achieve too
down below. This createsa pointed a shape.
OCZTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 11
As stated, it is often necessary to iron to smooth the surface, being sure to filing and should not be attacked with
remove a quantity of felt from the very keep the strike point level so it will strike coarse grades of paper. They may need
lower edges of the hammer. This may all three strings simultaneously. Ironing the cup removed, or the edges “bro-
result in (or call attention to) a protrud- can also be done with a conventional ken”-a slight rounding of the comer
ing staple: squeeze it with pliers to sink clothes iron-wool setting, of course. between the top surface and the side-
it into the felt (it can cause damage to the Prop the tails so the hammers are at but the primary voicing I do on these
backcheck). strike position. Be sure to iron the entire hammers is deep vertical needling to
After I have achieved the basic surface of the hammer-shoulders as open up the felt and create more resil-
shape with the Foredom, I finish by well as strike point. This has a slight ient shoulders, leaving a hard core just
hand with 40- or 60- grit paper on a shrinking effect on the outer layer of felt, at the crown with sugarcoating over the
paddle. I learned from Mr. Mohr to use which seems to improve the tension/ strike surface itself.
aplainslatabout1O”longwiththepaper compression balance and help the Clearly, thisisnotdetailed instruc-
simply glued to it (spray adhesive) so hammers’ ability to rebound from the tion in hammer shaping and voicing,
there is no handle in the way and I can string. but I wanted to mention the usefulness
pull felt off with a long, efficient stroke. Often, with good shaping, polish- of the Foredom in some instances, and
Once again, I am still more focussed on ing and ironing, the hammers produce that lead me to make the point that
removing felt from the upper and lower enough tone so the piano can be played different stylesof hammersrequire very
shoulders and not the strike surface. Hit for an initial break-in period before I differenttreatment-wecouldgoonand
the hammer with the paddle at the be- need to add any chemical hardeners to on.
ginning of the stroke, rather than simply the felt. It is acceptable and usually The Foredom is a useful and
laying it against the surface. This helps necessary to do some “juicing” (also a manageable tool with a variety of func-
the sandpaper bite into the felt. long topic not being discussed here) but tions for the imaginative technician. It is
Sometimes I could swear I can feel I prefer to keep it to a minimum, hoping available through McCall Piano Service
with the paddle when I have reached the to achieve good tone and still have a (who also carries a tiny belt sander at-
layer I want: the point at which excess resilient hammer. tachment intended for hammer shap-
soft felt has been removed and I have Other styles and makes of ham- ing-best use of this tool calls for the re-
discovered a workable hammer under- mers (particularly the hard-pressed) do versible model Foredom motor, also ob-
neath. Other times may require some not usually require as much shaping, tainable from McCall). It can also be
trial and error, of finishing off the shap- and I do not employ the Foredom on found at some hardware stores and
ing and trying the action in the piano, them. Other soft-style hammers, such as woodworkers’supplyoutlets.1’dbevei-y
only to decide that another complete Baldwin or Isaac, may occasionally re- interested to hear other uses that my in-
filing is necessary. I finish off the ham- quire such heavy felt removal, but more ventive friends in the technical commu-
mers with finer paper (220) in a strip, often they require enough less filing so nity have discovered-and I’ll be sure to
backed with duct tape, to polish the they are best done entirely by handy pass them along. I
surface and remove any remaining loose Hard-pressed hammers are quite
fuzz. Finally, I use an electric hammer different: they may require little or no

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12 - OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


And Now, A Few Words About The Journal:
In recent years the editorial staff (Larry, Rick, and 4. Anyone wishing to do extensive work on a particu-
Susan) has held a meeting during the international conven- lar topic should contact the appropriate editor or commit-
tion to discuss the Journal with any and all interested tee chair, in advance, with an outline of the material
parties. Carl Root, as chairman of the Economic Affairs intended for coverage and a writing sample. This prevents
Committee, joins us to express the plans and needs of his duplication of effort, and allows the editorial staff to gauge
committee, which is charged with preparing articles on interest in particular topics. Material pertaining to tuning
business topics for the Journal. The International Relations should be sent fo Rick Baldassin, 2684W. 220N., Provo, UT
Committee, with Ed Hilbert as chairman, also receives and 84601; technical material should be submitted to Susan
submits appropriate material. Graham, 2967 Madeline St., Oakland, CA 94602; business
For the benefit of those unable to attend, here is a and economic affairs should be sent to Carl Root, 3 Tapiola
summary of the guidelines and suggestions for writing for Court, Rockville, MD 20350; material pertaining to inter-
the Journal: national relations should go to Ed Hilbert, 37 Pleasant St.,
Bristol,VT 05443; PTG-related internal affairs should go to
1. Material in almost any format is welcome. This Larry Goldsmith at the Home Office, 4510 Belleview, Suite
includes questions, brief technical tips, longer articles, 100, Kansas City, MO 64111.
book reviews, responses to other articles, and suggestions 5. If submitted material is a reprint from another
of interesting material in other publications which we may source, be sure to include full name and address of the
be able to reprint. publication, date and issue number. We must have this in-
2. Typed, double-spaced hard copy (on paper, in formation to obtain permission to reprint, and to give
other words) is suitable. The layout is done on a Macintosh proper credit. (Due to our small circulation and the non-
at the Home Office. However, since both Rick and I are in profit nature of the organization, we have success in get-
IBM-style systems (mine is an AT clone and Rick’s an Atari ting permission to reprint: this is proving to be a valuable
with some IBM capability), and since the material sent to source of material).
the home office can be entered into the computer via a 6. “Gray pages” material sent to Larry Goldsmith
scanner, if it is good quality type on paper, this is currently sometimes can be included in the current issue if it reaches
the most useful form for submissions. theHomeOfficebythefirstofthepreceedingmonth.There
Thescannerfand theeditor)hasdifficultypickingup is at least a seven week lag for all other material. The edi-
handwriting, including corrections on otherwise typed tors are charged by bylaws to acknowledge receipt of
copy -it is better to type corrections on a separate sheet material within a month. This we strive to do; however, it
and indicate where they are to be inserted. may be some time before material is used in the magazine.
3. Artwork: Here again, good clean line drawings, 7. All material submitted is considered for publica-
done on unlined paper, scan nicely. Black and white photo- tion.Unfortunately, theeditorial staff doesnot have time to
graphs are also suitable. Photocopies of pictures, either review and/or comment on innovative or controversial
from other publications or from prints, are useless-please material which the author is not ready to seepublished. In
send originals or other material which will photocopy other words, whatever we get, we may print.
well. Be sure to give exact credit of sources so we can obtain 8. The Editorial Advisory Committee serves as a
permission, if necessary. Color: the only place we currently review board, and is available to evaluate material submit-
use color (due to high publication cost) is on the cover. We ted either by the editors or by writers wishing another
always appreciate good cover art (although it may be some opinion about their materialfollowing reviewby theapppi-
time before it is used). Color slides are the best format, and ateeditor. P
both “art” and functional shots are welcome.

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14 -&TOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


TUNING UP

The Stretch Calculator: Another View


Rick Baldassin
Tuning Editor

0Alan urfirstletterthismonthcomesfrom
Cate, RTI’, of the Los Angeles
some people might prefer, but a precise were,an additional six notesby extrapolat-
amount neoertheless.As we movedown the ing the descendingprogressionof cent val-
Chapter. Alan writes: scalepastF#3 toF3 through C3,on tkother uesfir the 4th partials, and, of course,veri-
The letter from Patrick Pot&on in hand, this relationship no longer holds true. fying that these zxllues would work on a
the March issue of the Journal and Ron WhereasF#3 is related to F#4 and F#5 in numberofpianos.And it works.Tk Stretch
Berry’s reply in theJuly issuebring up some that tk samecoincident partial is used to Calculator almost always gives very g00a
important points for thoseof us who tune tuneall three,F3and thenotesbelowit have results (exceptfor wrapped strings which
using Dr. Sanderson’sStretch Calculator no such relationship to their octavesand extend up into the rangeof the Stretch Cal-
witheitherthesight-0-TunerorSanderson doubleoctavesF3 is tuned using partial F5, culator on smaller pianos).
Accu-Tuner. According to Patrick, three but F4 and F5 are tuned using @-ial F6. Recently,however,Iencountereda
applicants, eachusing the Stretch Calcula- Becauseof this, thereis no way to control tk new Bosendorferconcert grand which be-
tor program,failed the tuning exambecause amount of stretch at the 4:2 octaveand 4:1 haved similarly to Patrick Poulson’s exam
of notesjudged to beflat in the range of C3 double octave.In other words, in order to piano, that is, when tuned with the Stretch
to A3. The piano was a Steinway D, and tune F3-F4as a 4:2 octave,we would haveto Calculator, tk lowestoctavesin thestretch
aural verification confirmedthat thosenotes control the 4th partial of F3 tF5), and the range were clearly too wide. In this case,I
were indeedpt. 2ndpartialofF4(FS), but thestretchcalcu- found it necessa y to raisethesettingsfor C3
Ron Berry is entirely correct in latorwon’tallow us todo this becauseituses through E3.I havetuned otherpianoswhere
pointing out the importanceof determining the 4th partial to tune F4, not the 2nd. similar changeswere necessa y.
the best Stretch Number, and perhaps that I can only assumethat in creating Another point touched upon in this
was part of the problem in this case.But Z the Stretch Calculator, Dr. Sandersoncame discussionis thefact that pianosof thesame
havea different point to makein regards to upwith thethreeoctaves(F#3-F6)first,and makeand modeldo not necessarilyhavethe
the Stretch Calculator. Becauseof the way then discoveredthat he could tack on, as it same tuning characteristics, particularly
the Stretch Calculator program k con-
structed, it is susceptible,forsomepianos,to
giving poor settings for the lowest notes of Table 1: Note, Octave, And Cent Settings For A 5.0 Cent
its range (C3 to F3), eoenwhen the correct Stretch Number
Stretch Number is being used.
The Stretch Calculator covers a Note Sat Cents Note Sat Cents Note Sat Cents
rangeof 3-112octavesK3-F6). It is usually c3 c5 -3.2
the half octave that is problematic. Begin- C#3 C#5 -2.9
ning at F#3 and moving upwards to F4, D3 D5 -2.5
thereis a seriesof 12 “octavedoubleoctave” D#3 D#5 -2.1
groups, that is F#3-F#4-F#5 through F4- E3 E5 -1.7
FS-F6. The Stretch Calculator relates the F3 F5 -1.2
notes in eachof thesegroups by using the F#3 F#5 -0.7 F#4 F#5 0.6 F#5 F#5 2.3
samecoincident partial with slightly differ G3 G5 -0.2 G4 G5 1.0 G5 G5 2.5
ent cent offsetsfor stretch. Take, for ex- G#3 G#5 0.3 G#4 G#5 1.4 G#5 G#5 2.8
ample, A3-A4-AS. The Stretch Calculator A3 A5 0.7 A4 A5 1.7 A5 A5 3.0
specifiesthat thepartial A5 beusedfor each A#3 A#5 1.2 A#4 A#5 2.1 A#5 A#5 3.2
note,andgivessettingsof0.7forA3,1.7for B3 B5 1.7 B4 B5 2.5 B5 B5 3.5
A4, and 3.0 for A5. This meansthat we are C4 C6 2.2 C5 C6 3.0 C6 C6 3.9
tuninga 4:2 octavewhich is 1 cent widefrom C#4 06 2.7 C#5 C#6 3.5 C#6 C#6 4.3
A3-A4, a 29 octavewhich L 1.3 centswide D4 D6 3.3 D5 D6 4.0 D6 D6 4.7
from A4-A5, and a 4:l doubleoctavewhich D#4 D#6 3.9 D#5 D#6 4.4 D#6 D#6 5.0
is 2.3 centswidefrom A3-A5. Theseoctaves E4 E6 4.6 E5 E6 5.0 E6 E6 5.5
and double octavesare constructed with a F4 F6 5.3 F5 F6 5.5 F6 F6 6.0
preciseamount of stretch, perhapsmorethan
OXOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 15
pianoswhich havebeenrestrung or resealed. see that this is indeed the case. Notice which also beats at 0.6. So far, we have
TheBosendorfermentionedabovesurprised that the progressions for the 2:l octaves, shown the validity of the octave and
mebecauseitdifferedfiomwhatZhadprev& and 4:l double octaves are smooth pro- double octave relationships for notes F3
ously found tuning other Bosendorfers, gressions, as well. Alan’s statements to F6. Let us now examine notes C3 to
includinga concertgrand of thesamemodel, about the construction of the Stretch E3.
and only a few months older. Calculator, with its octave and double It was Alan’s feeling that Dr. San-
Our thanks to Alan for his letter. In octave relationships are correct. Al- demon simply “tacked on” notes C3 to
order that we might more easily visual- though Alan does not mention it, the E3, by extrapolating the downward
ize what Alan was speaking about con- relationship for note F3 is valid as well. progression of cents. If this was the case,
cerning the construction of the Stretch I will explain why this is so. what assumptions were made in the
Calculator, I have printed the notes, The Stretch Number in this caseis process? Let us take a closer look.
F If we were to measure the Stretch
partials, and cent settings for a 5.0 cent 5.0. The Stretch Number is determined
Stretch Number, in such a way as to by measuring the difference between Number of notes C4 to E4, we could
illustrate the “octave-double octave” the 2nd and 4th partials of F4. Therefore, calculate the width of the 4:2 octaves
relationships to which Alan referred if we know the cent setting for the 4th fromC3-C4 to E3-E4,as was done for the
(shown inTable 1). partial of F4, the cent setting for the 2nd F3-F4 octave. When measuring the
From Table 1, the octave and partial will be 5.0 cents below that. In Stretch Number, the distance between
double octave widths in cents and beats this case, the 4th partial of F4 is at 5.3 the 2nd and 4th partials is measured.
per second can be calculated. Table 2 cents, so the 2nd partial would be at 0.3 You may recall from our discussion of
lists the 4:2 octave width for octaves cents. Knowing the location of the sec- inharmonicity, that the inharmonicity
F#3-F#4 to F4-F5, 2:l octave width for ond partial of F4, we can now calculate constant for a note can be extracted by
octavesF#4-F#4 toF5-F6,and4:1 double the cent width and beat rate of the 4:2 measuring the distance between two
octave width for double octaves F#3- octave from F3-F4. The 4th partial of F3 partials, then dividing by the difference
F#5 to F4-F6. is -1.2, and the 2nd partial of F4 is 0.3. of the squares of the two partial num-
Dr. Sanderson specified that the Thismakesthe4:2octave1.5centswide, bers. In this case, since the 2nd and 4th
Stretch Calculator give 4:2 octaves that which translates to 0.6 bps. Note that partials were used, if we divide the
were 0.5 bps wide. From Table 2, we can this is in line with the F#3-F#4 octave, Stretch Number by 12 (4222), we have
the inharmonicity constant. Conversely,
if we multiply the inharmonicity con-
Table 2: Octave And Double Octave Width In Cents And stant of a note by 12, we have what
Beats Per Second would be the “Stretch Number” for that
42 Ott Cents Be& 23 Ott Cents Beats 43 Db Ott Cents Beats
note. (Pleaseremember that for use with
0.6 F#4-F#5 1.7 0.7 F#3-F#5 3.0 1.3 the Stretch Calculator, the Stretch
F#3-F#4 1.3
0.7 G3-G5 2.7 1.2 Number for note F4 must be entered). If
G3-G4 1.2 0.5 G 4-G 5 1.5
0.5 G#4-G#5 1.4 0.7 G#3-G#5 2.5 1.2 we assume that the inharmonicity con-
G#3-G#4 1.1
0.7 A3-A5 2.3 1.2 stants progress smoothly, then the
A 3-A 4 1.0 0.5 A4-A5 1.3
0.5 A#4-A#5 1.1 0.6 AH-A#5 2.0 1.1 Stretch Numbers for notes C4 to E4
A#3-A#4 0.9
0.6 B3-B5 1.8 1.0 would progress smoothly, also. Let us
B 3-B 4 0.8 0.5 B 4-B 5 1.0
0.5 C4-C6 1.7 1.0 assume that the Stretch Numbers for
c 4-C 5 0.8 0.5 C 5-C 6 0.9
C#4-C#5 0.8 0.5 C#5-C#6 0.8 0.5 C#4C#6 1.6 1.0 these notes were as follows:
D PD 5 0.7 0.5 D 5-D 6 0.7 0.5 D4-D6 1.4 0.9
D#4-D#6 1.1 0.8 C4 = 3.4, C#4 = 3.7, D4 = 4.0,
D#4-D#5 0.5 0.4 D#5-D#6’ 0.6 0.4
0.9 0.7 D#4 = 4.3, E4 = 4.6, F4 = 5.0
E 4-E 5 0.4 0.3 E 5-E 6 0.5 0.4 E 4-E 6
F4-F 5 0.2 0.2 F 5-F 6 0.5 0.4 F 4-F 6 0.7 0.6
Calculating for the second partial
as before would result as follows:

Table 3: Projected Cent Settings And Octave Width In Cents C4 = -1.2, C#4 = -1.0, D4 = -0.7,
D#4 = -0.4, E4 = 0.0, F4 = 0.3
And Beats
Note Sat cents Note Sat cents 4:2 Ott Cents Beats Incorporating these projected 2nd
c3 c5 -3.2 C4 C5 -1.2* C 3-C 4 2.0 0.6 partial values into our Stretch Calcula-
C#3 C#5 -2.9 C#4 C#5 -1.P C#3C#4 1.9 0.6 tortables, wecancalculatethecentwidth
D3 D5 -2.5 D4 D5 -0.7* D Z&D4 1.8 0.6 and beat rates of the 4:2 octaves below
D#3 D#5 -2.1 D#4 D#5 -0.4* D#3-D#4 1.7 0.6 note F#3, as in Table 3.
E3 E5 -1.7 E4 E5 00’ E 3-E 4 1.7 0.6 As we can see (in Table 31,the 4:2
F3 F5 -1.2 F4 F5 0.3*+ F 3-F 4 1.5 0.6 octaves from notes C3 to E3 behave very
F#3 F#5 -0.7 F#4 F#5 0.6 F#3-F#4 1.3 0.6 nicely, providing the Stretch Numbers
* Calculatedbasedon projectedStretchNumbersfor notes C4-E4. (inharmonicity constants) progress
l * Gd~~&ted based on actual Stretch Number for note F4. smoothly, and are in line with those of
16 -&TOSER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
note F3 and above. Problemsarise when quencyquiteeasily. Theformula that will do ties. It is:
this progression is not smooth, or is not thti is:
in line with those notes above. This is [log (f2/fl) * 12OOl/log 2 = cents
common in pianos which have wound 2Al(n-1)/121 * 27.5 = fn deviation
strings which fall in the lower range of
the Stretch Calculator, as Alan has Formula I, where n = note number, f = Where fl and f2 are frequencies in Hz.
pointed out. Here, the inharmonicity ~~~-!&JJw&f”g”‘” ofanote*
A= Answer is in cents.
often does not follow the rules shown in
Table 3. For this reason, it is my recom- For example, if we want to find the
mendation that wound strings not be For example,what is thefrequency of cent deviation between 440 and 442,
tuned as part of the Stretch Calculator, note A-49? Using Formula 1, we get the utilizing the above formula, we would
but individually as octaves. following: find that the deviation is 7.85 cents.
Dr. Sandersonconfirmed that Alan The above formulas should be
was correct in his assumptions about 2Al(49-l)ll 21 * 27.5 Hz = helpful to thoseinterested in converting
lowernotesof theStretchCalculator.He 2Y48/12) * 27.5 Hz = note numbers, frequencies, and cents.
stated that the values for these lower 2”4 * 275 Hz = Our next letter comes from Kent Swaf-
notes were based on inharmonicity 16’27.5Hz=44OHz ford, R’lT, of Lenexa, KS. It is also in
constants which decreased by a pre- response to Dennis’ letter. Kent writes:
scribed amount. He stated that you could Using the figures you cited in your
project these constants for an octave or response,thefrequencyof note88.375 (that I do not understand Dennis Gorgas’
more below note F3, but felt in many is, note88plus37.5cents) is4277.67,which useof the term “equal temperament”in his
cases, problems could be encountered. is 91.66 Hz higher than the theoreticalfre- 1etterpublishedinyourAugustTuningUp
He found that in most cases, however, quency of note 88. column. He writes, “The equationsall use
the projection down to note C3 worked The frequency for note 1, entered as fundamental frequency values taken from
out satisfactorily. He agreed that if the 0.813 (or note 1 minus 18.7 cents) is 27.2 the equal temperedscale.In a piano, A49 is
inharmonicity constants for notes C3 to Hz, which is 0.30Hz lower than the theoreti- theonly notewhosefundamental frequency
E3 decreased faster than the Stretch cal frequency of note 1. is equal to its counterpart in equaltempera-
Calculator projects, the octaves might If you have occasionto find the note ment.” His using the term “equal tempera-
sound too wide. This is probably the number of a given frequency, the formula ment“ in this way seemsto suggest that
case with the Bosendorfer which Alan (which is the inverse of Formula 1) which equal temperamentis only theoretical,and
mentioned, and the m-scaled Steinway will do this is: that we use something other than equal
D on which Patrick took his exam, al- temperamentwhen we really usepianos.
though this is speculation on my part, 12 * [log Cfl27.5,llog21+ 1 = n However,ourmusiciancustomersuse
because I have never actually measured the term “equal temperament”to denotethe
these instruments. Formula 2, wheref = frequency in Hz, and modern tuning which aspiresto thesmooth
In conclusion, when tuning with n = note number. A = 440 Hz is assumed. progression of beat rates among chromati-
the Stretch Calculator, it is important to You cm use Formula 2 to find the cally ascendingtempered intervals. (Actu-
listen carefully to notes C3 to E3, to number of cenfsdeviation from theoretical. ally, theseare Bill Garlicks words; a musi-
make sure that the interval progressions For example,what is the cents deviation of cian might describeequal temperamentas
behavenicely,and that thereisasmooth thefrequency442Hz?Theansweris49.079, that tuning in which a given interval or
transition into the bass. In addition, it is which L read note 49 plus 7.9 cents. chord has the samequality in any key). The
recommended that the Stretch Calcula- Asanotherexample,Iunderstand that point is, that to a musician, equal tempera-
tor be used on plain wires only, and not G. F. Handel’s personal tuning fork was ment is quite real and in useevery day, and
on wound strings, where the inhar- measuredat 415 Hz. Plugging 415 into is distinguished from the unequal historical
monicity constants are less likely to Formula 2, we find the answer is 47.987, temperaments(just intonation, meantone
progress smoothly. that is, note 47 plus 98.7 cents, which is temperament,Werckmeisterwell-tempera-
Our thanks to Alan Cate for his almost note Gtt-48. ment, etc.).
letter and analysis. Our next two letters Finally,letmepointoutatypographi- Thereareanynumberofwayswecan
are in regard to the letter from Dennis cal error in the sentencethat begutson line acknowledge the differences betweenfre-
Gorgas on the subject of actual frequen- 7: “Piano fundamentalfrequenciesbelowA- quency tablesand what we really tune. We
cies to be entered into the inharmonicity 49arehigher....” In this case,“higher”should can describethe equal temperamentof fre-
formulas, which appeared in the Au- read “lower.” quencytablesasabstract,theoretical,mathe-
gust 1989 issue. The first is from Fred Our thanks to Fred for his letter matical, twelfth-root-of-two, model,or text-
Tremper, RTT, of Morehead, KY. Fred with formulas and correction. Using book equal temperament.We can describe
writes: Formula 1 which Fred has mentioned, theequaltemperamentthat we really tuneas
I was interested in your responseto you can work with the note number, functional, practical, stretched(!), or real-
Dennis Gorgas’ letter in which you recom- plus or minus cents, and still use the world equal temperament.Takeyour pick,
mend using note numbers in a scaling for- formulas which call for frequency. or makeup your own, better terms.
mula instead of frequencies.It is possible, Another useful formula calculates the Theoretical equal temperament has
however, to convert note numbers to fre- cent deviation between two frequen- eoenlyspacedfundamentalfrequencies;real-
OCTOBER1989 PIANO TECHNICIANSJOURNAL- 17
world equal temperament does not have regular bags. When, you might ask? a given interval of chord has the same
evenly~~dfun;lamenta2frequenci~, but When they ask us to tune the piano to quality in any key.” Through the
even so, due to the smooth progression of the organ, or to a synthesizer, or other midrange of the piano, what Kent says
beat rates of chromatically-ascendingtem- electronic keyboard. What is our re- about the increasing speeds of ascend-
pered intervals, real-world equal sponse? Usually, that we will do our ing intervals holds true, as well. In the
temperamentis equal temperament. best to tune the instrument to the same last several months, however, many
Or at least that is what we call it. pitch as the other instrument (A49 is the graphs and charts have been published
Our thanks to Kent for his letter. The only note...), but that because of inhar- which show thirds, fourths, and fifths
issue here may be one of semantics, but monicity in the piano, they will neuer turning inside out at some point in the
there are some issues here I would like sound in tune with each other. Since the piano. Let’s face it, iYs not equal. It’s not
toaddress.UsingKent’s”textbook” and electronic keyboard is tuned in equal even the same from one piano to an-
“real-world” definitions almost denies temperament, the piano must not be, other!
that “textbook” equal temperament even though the temperament we tune The problem is that we are trying
exists in the real world. Yet it does, and the piano in we call “equal tempera- to pin the same name on two tempera-
we as piano technicians have to distin- ment.” ments which are at the same time very
guish it from what we tune on the piano I do not dispute that our aim is as alike and very different. As long as we
for our musician customers on a fairly Kent says to create a “...tuning in which understand the differences, I have no
problem calling what we tune on the
piano “equal temperament” like Kent
does, or using the term like Dennis does,
to signify the tuning which is on organs
and other electronic keyboards, which
1 COMPLETE GRAND MUSIC DESKS \ happens to correspond to the mathe-
REPRODUCTIONS OF PERIOD STEINWAYS, KNABES, matical or theoretical model of equal
OLDER MODEL YAMAHA!3 temperament.
Built to your specifications Our final letter comes from Char-
lie Huether, R’lT, of Clifton, NJ. Charlie
writes:
I wish to complimenr you on the
August article, “Before the Concert with
J@freyKahane.” Your frank questionsand
answersprovided a considerableinsight to
the mutual problemsof technicianand per-
FLEISRER PIANO CARINETRY former. I think it is a worthwhile item for
P.O. Box 618 Santa Monica, California 904Q6 (213) 399-1227/ reprinting and to carry around in one’stool
\ kit for disfribution to thosecustomerswho
never seem to believeor to trust your at-
tempts to convince themof thegreat impor-
tanceof proper regulation.
Great Instruments Keauire You had a most cooperativeand au-
thoritative subjectfor your interview. You
&eat Craftsmanship asked the right questions and I think we
For centuries, musicians have depended on instrument should all be pleasedthat he gave the right
makers and restorers to enhance the beauty of their
music. Our program in Piano Technology lets you answers.
join this tradition. Thank you so much for your letter
of support. I hope that these interviews
Piano Technology have helped to provide insight, not only
In our two-year program, you’ll learn upright and
grand pianos from inside out. First-year students learn for us as technicians, but for the man-
tuning, regulation, repairs, and maintenance. Second- 4 agements we work for, as well. Through
year students learn comprehensive piano rebuilding: - 4 better understanding and cooperation,
case refinishing, sound board repairs, scaling, and replace- ?
all should benefit.
ment of wrest plank, bridge, and action. Advanced tuning,
regulation, and voicing round out the curriculum.
The course is full-time days. Financial aid for qualified students.
Until next month, please send
Accredited member NATTS. For catalog, write or call your questions and comments to:
(617) 227-0155. Rick Baldassin
Tuning Editor
2684 W. 220 North
AN EDUCATION IN CRAFTSMANSHIP Provo, UT 84601
39X North Bennet Street * Boston, MA 02113
-
-

BASIC SKILLS

Key Leveling
Bill Spurlock
Sacramento Valley Chapter

W hen approaching a piano, one of leveling procedure will be faster, easier tool is the least useful, in my opinion,
the first places your glance is likely to and less damaging if the keys are all since it will transfer any unevenness in
settle is the keyboard, and you are likely carefully removed initially and the dust the keybed surface to the keytops. It also
to gain a strong impression of the pi- blown or vacuumed out. The keypins does not indicate whether the keys are
ano’s condition from its appearance. can be cleaned if necessary and a dry square. The metal rack type leveling
Keys that are level, square, and evenly film lubricant such as Slide-All or systems seem to me to be too complex
spaced project a sense of precision and McLube 1725 (use no petroleum!) is and expensive to do a fundamentally
order, while keys that wander up and sprayed on the pins. After this treat- very simple job.
down like the waves on the ocean are an ment the keys will seem to almost jump My preference is to use a wooden
outward indicator that all is not well in- on and off the pins. straightedge, 3/W to l/2” thick so it will
side. This “first impression” from the If an accurate job of spacing and stand on edge on the keytops, and long
keyboard is obvious to the musician as squaring is to be done, worn key bush- enough (47 l/2”) to span the length of
well as the technician, making all key ings must be replaced. On vertical pi- the keyboard. These are available from
work deserving of our best efforts. anos, capstan adjustments should be in supply houses, although I made mine
Level, even, and stable keys are the ball park so that the full weight of the by sawing off a l/2” thick scrap of
the foundation of action regulation. In wippens rests on the keys. For grand ac- pinblock material and giving it a good
this article I will present some methods tions, capstans must be adjusted such lacquer finish. This laminated “straight-
for laying this foundation and will con- that all hammershanks are up off their edge” has stayed true for years. The
tinue with further regulation steps next rest rail or felt. Also the grand keyframe straightedge can be rested on keys #1
month.
Figure 1: Propping Up End Keys to Support Straightedge
Preliminary Steps
To Key Leveling
before we can level keys we must
first be sure that the keyframe cloth and
punchings are in good condition (not
motheaten)and that thebackrailclothis
freeofwoodchipsorotherdebris.(When
one or two keys are found to be low in an
otherwise level set, always check for \ I I l/2” X S/16” X 1 112”
wood block
something on the backrail propping up /&,,,,,A
the back of the key.) Also, check to make
sure that the key bushings and balance
pin holes are properly eased so the keys
can move freely. Impdrtant: worn bal- Figure 1
ance pin holes in keys are caused as
much by our using improper technique must be bedded to the keybed, and the and #88 which havebeen propped up to
as by the owner’s hard playing. When- action stack mated to the keyframe. the desired height with the supports
ever a key is lifted up off the balance rail shown in Figure 1.
pin, it should be done carefully, by lift- Tools for Key Leveling Some prefer a straightedge which
ing the rear of the key somewhat as well Various devices are available for is slightly crowned in the center, the
as the front, to avoid binding and measuring key level including the ideabeing that the center keysget played
ovalling out the balance hole. Dirt piles straightedge, the metal rack assembly more and will therefore settle more, so
up around the pin inside the mortise which includes devices for measuring that they should start out a little higher.
and causesthe key to bind, whichmakes keydip,and the key level indicator which A crowned keyheight may preserve the
it necessary to manhandle the key to get slides along the keybed while a floating level appearance of the keyboard a little
it off, resulting in a “pully ” key. The plunger rides on the keytops. This last longer, but the regulation will deterio-
OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 19
rate just the same since any key settling correct symptoms in a whole- Figure 3
results in a reduced keydip. sale manner until the action
For inserting paper punchings I can be rebuilt or the instru- Figure 3: Spacing Keys
use a supply house punching lifter; these ment replaced. If the instru-
sometimes are made a little too wide to ment is basically in good con-
fit between keys easily. The lifter can be dition a suitable approach
much easier to use if it is filed to just might be to shim up the bal-
under l/2” wide and the sharp edges ance rail as needed until all
are rounded and polished with a buffer. keys are at or near the correct
For leveling grand keys without remov- height, touch up the squaring
ing the action stack, 5” long tweezers or and spacing, and then add
various small medical forceps can be paper punchings as needed to
used. complete the leveling. By first Supply house key spacing tool
placed under front punching
doing a wholesale keyheight
Leveling Keys in Verticals adjustment with shims under
Let’s look first at the vertical piano the balance rail, the job will go
with under-key felt still in good condi- faster and be more stable than
Tool modified by
tion but keys somewhat out of level if we pile up thick stacks of \ grIndIng bevel on
from settling. Typically on such a piano paper punchings under each end to easily slide
under punching.
the middle of the keyboard will have balance rail cloth punching.
settled from compression of the balance When doing a touch-up
rail punchings but the top and bottom leveling I proceed as follows:
keys might still be at their original Lay a full length straightedge
height. Keys that have settled will have on edge across the keys and
reduced dip, which together with other sight between the keytops and straight- With squaring and spacing done,
wear in the action can cause “blubber- edge, looking to see if keys are out of place the straightedge back on the natu-
ing” hammers or at least poor repetition square. Square keys by bending the rals and lift it slightly around note 20
due to increased checking distance. Some balance rail pin toward thebassor treble and tap it lightly on the keytops to re-
keys will also be out of square due to using a soft (aluminum, brass, or wood) veal any keys that are too high. Do the
wear of the balance rail key bushings, drift, not a sharp screwdriver which will same thing around note 70. Remove a
and key spacing might be uneven due to nick the keypin. I like to use a l/4” brass thin paper punching from any key that
wear of the front bushings. rod, held ina universal tool handle, with is too high, and repeat for the sharps.
In such a case we should first de- a dimple drilled in the end. This dimple Next, look for areas of the keyboard that
termine what remedy is appropriate for keeps the tool from slipping off the top are generally lower than the desired
the situation. If the piano has a heavily of the keypin and gouging key buttons level, and estimate how much too low
worn action and keytops that are dished as it is bumped with the palm of the those areas are. These areas can then be
and chipped, then a careful key leveling hand (see Figure 2). Square the sharps in raised in wholesale fashion by inserting
job would be a waste of your time and the same manner. Next, remove the shims under the balance rail at the ap-
thecustomer’smoney.Rather,shimming straightedgeandcheckthekeysforeven propriate points. Usually the balance
up the balance rail to take the sag out of spacing. If the key bushings are loose rail is mounted to the keybed with four
the center keys and restore keydip will you will have to compromise here. Space or five screws spaced evenly along .the
the naturals evenly, and cen- rail. Removing a few keys at each screw
Figure 2 ter the sharps between the location will give access to these mount-
naturals, by bending the front ing points so that the rail can be pried up
Figure 2: Squar;ng Keys by Uendlng Balance Rail Pin keypins as in Figure 3. Be sure and shims inserted. Business card stock
to place the spacing tool un- and writing paper are useful thicknesses
der the front punching to of material to use here. To raise an area
l/4” X 2 l/2” brass yod-
/ 3 avoid nicking the pin. (Have on both sides of a screw location, cut a V
you ever noticed a red dust on notch in the paper and slip it around the
the tops of some front rail screw and all the way under the balance
dimple drilled punchings? A check of the rail. To raise an area on one side of a
front pins will usually reveal screw only, place the shim only on the
a burr which is eating away at low side. Always re-tighten the screws
the key bushings). Whenever before rechecking with the straightedge.
you space or square a key, This procedure should put all keys close
you are moving the back end to the right height in about 10 minutes.
of the key as well; be aware of In Baldwin pianos the balance rail
any capstan alignment prob- rests on screw heads in several spots,
lems or rubbing keys that and is held down against these “jack-
might develop in the process. ing” screws with screws from above. By
20 -C~YTOSER 1989 PIANOTECHNICIANSJOURNAL
first loosening the screws that hold the Figure 4
rail down, the adjusting screws (acces-
sible through holes in the rail) can be
Figure 4. Requirements For Proper Key Height
turned up or down to set rough key-
height easily. An inconvenient feature
of some new pianos is a balance rail that
is stapled and glued to the keybed, re-
quiring leveling to bedoneentirely with
paper punchings.
Once rough keyheight is set, put
the straightedge back on the naturals
and go along the keyboard laying out
paper punchings half as thick as the gap
you see between the level stick and the
keytop. I have heard various schemes
described for measuring the gap, but I
really think this is making the job too @ - Backrail cloth thickness must be such that capstan can be adjusted to
correct height. Also cannot be so thin that front of key sits too high
complicated; once you have done this a
couple of times you should be able to @ - Balance rail pin should extend above key button to allow squaring adj.
eyeball the gap and know very accu- @ - There must be enough clearance between keys and fallstrip or fallboard
rately which thickness of punching will that keys can be lifted at least l/16" at front. Fallstrip can be
shimmed up if necessary.
do the job. Just label your punching con-
tainers in thousandths of an inch so you @ - Front key pin should extend at least 3/16" into front bushing.
know their relative values. Lay the @ - Naturals should not be so high that bottom edges of keys are easily
punchings on the keybed, in front of the visible.
key they are to go under, and don’t sneae.
@ - Naturals must be high enough that they are still well above keyslip
Remove the level stick and insert all the when depressed.
punchings under their respective felt
punchings.(It is a waste of time to lay @ - Sharps should be approx. l/2" above naturals. Sharps must be low enough
that joint between sharp top and key wood is not visible above naturals,
them on topof the felt with theintention but high enough that they are still above naturals when depressed.
of putting them under later, since the
level will often be affected by their loca-
tion.) As each key is replaced on its pin, with wooden sticks resting on felt pads. the cloth (the part the key actually rests
play it two or three times while holding Follow the same procedure in leveling upon) left free. This method makes for
pressure down on the back end of the the sharps. more quiet key return than if the entire
key to settle the punchings. width of cloth is glued down. Some
Replace the level stick and tap to Setting a New Keyheight - inexpensive pianos have a very narrow
check for any keys that are too high. Lay Verticals backrail cloth which is heavily glued
out paper punchings again as needed. When the original key level is in- down; these pianos generally have a lot
Watch for any final squaring to be done. correct, or when we have replaced the of key return noise that can be reduced
The fewer paper punchings you leave under- key felt, it is necessary to deter- by replacing their .backrail cloth with
under the felt the more stable will be the mine a proper keyheight and to level all one of full width as above.
leveling job; therefore as you insert ad- keys from scratch. If the piano is of re- Havingreplaced thebackrailcloth,
ditional punchings you should install cent vintage, a specification for key- we are then ready to determine a work-
one thicker paper in place of multiple height maybe available from the manu- able keyheight according to the parame-
thin ones when possible. Common lore facturer; on older pianos specifications ters shown in Figure 4. These require-
is that multiple paper punchings should may not be available. However in either ments will give usat least a range within
always be arranged with the thinnest case there are certain parameters that which the keys will fit the casepartsand
toward the top. I have never heard a keyheight must fit into that are easily will operate properly. Note that several
reason given for this, but placing them determined from the piano. of these requirements are interdepend-
in this order does make it easy to com- Let’s look first at choosing and in- ent so an average height will have to be
bine like-thickness punchings into one stalling replacement under-key felt. I found to best suit them all. However,
thicker one. would normally try to match the thick- some parameters can be adjusted inde-
After two times through the level ness of the original back rail cloth in pendently. For instance, if the proper
should be getting very close; at some order to maintain capstan height in the keyheight leaves insufficient front or
point you have to decide when you are original range. A little guess work may balance key pin protruding into the key,
at the point of diminishing returns. For be necessary here if the original cloth is using a thinner felt punching together
me this point is when keys look and feel severely moth damaged. The original with shimming up the entire rail will
level, and when the discrepancies are cloth will usually be glued down only at raise the pins without affecting key-
quite small considering we’re dealing the forward edge, with the rear half of height.
OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL- 21
One additional consideration to be Figure 5 whichclipontothebackchecksandcause
aware of in verticals with tall dowel Figure 5: Felt Punching Compressor
the keys to stand up in front so I can
type capstans and in grand actions is the choose an appropriate cloth and paper
effect of keyheight upon action lever- combination that will bring most keys
age. As the front of the key is raised up to the desired height.
slightly, the contact point of capstan to l/8” X 24” rod The actual leveling could be done
wippen moves closer to the ivippen \ wood blocks
/ in the same manner. However, a more
flange center, resulting in slightly more accurate job will result if the leveling is
wippen lift for a given keydip, and a against wood at the bottom of the key done with the actual weight of hammers
slight increase in touch weight. The key stroke. On the other hand, very spongy and wippens on the capstans, rather
word here is “slightly”; in my experi- punchings are likely to settle more, and than with a lead weight hanging on the
ments I have found the effect of raising make it harder to judge a uniform key- backcheck; in other words, the action
keyheight by 1/ 16” to be barely measur- dip in the first place. I normally use stack should be in place. To allow place-
able. This information does tell us, “extra qualiv front rail punchings, ment of paper punchings on the balance
though, that after key leveling we should available from some suppliers, which pins without removing the keys, the
check to make sure dowel capstans are aremoderately firmand 7/brather than punchingsaresplit and inserted through
all in line fore and aft as well as side-to- 3/4” in diameter. For the balance rail, I the keyframe from below. First, with
side, and their wires adjusted if neces- use either pitch pin punchings, which keys 1 and 88 propped up and the
are made from firm bushing cloth, or straightedge in place, lay out the paper
sary-
Having determined a workable medium-thin punchings. To pm-settle punchings in front of their respective
keyheight,wenextmustchooseaproper these I place all front rail and balance rail keys. Next, cut a split in each punching
thickness of balance rail felt punching. punchings on the fixture shown in Fig- with small scissors or centerpin nippers
One option is to select a relatively thick ure 5 and leave them under compres- and slide each one partly under its front
felt punching and then use a few paper sionforacoupleofdayspriortouse.The rail punching (to hold them in place
punchings as needed to level the keys. object here is not to turn felt into card- when the action is stood up). Pad the
However, thicker felt has more poten- board but just to eliminate most of the stretcher to avoid scratching the finish
tial for settling than does a thinner felt, settling that we know is going to occur with the drop screws, pull the action
and if we’re going to go to the trouble of anyway. out, and stand it up on the backrail on
doing a good leveling job we want it to When replacing under-key felt, it the keybed. With the front rail leaning
last. Using a thin felt over a thick card- is usually best to discard all of the origi- against the palm of one hand, lift a key
board punching may be more stable but nal paper punchings as well. At best slightly (not so much that the balance
makes for a slower leveling job. I find it they will be different colors than the hole is strained) and hold it up with the
most expedient and stable to place a ones you will be using, so you will not fingers of that same hand. Then, reach-
medium-thin felt punching over one know what thicknesses they are. At ing between the front and balance rails,
.005” paper punching on each keypin, worst they will be old and brittle, and use your other hand and tweezers to lift
and to shim up the entire balance rail as may crumple as you slide your punch- the balance rail felt up l/2” or so, grab
previously described until most keys ing lifter under the felt punching. the paper punching and insert. For an
are at the correct height. If there are a excellent illustration of this technique
couple of keys that are too high when Leveling Grand Keys see the aforementioned Yamaha video
the majority are correct, even after I As previously mentioned, an im- tape. Repeat the procedure for the
remove the paper from them, it is not portant preliminary step to key leveling sharps. Like many other operations, the
against my religion to file the bottom of in grands isbedding the keyframe to the first time you try this it may seem diffi-
the key slightly around the balance hole. keybed and mating the action brackets cult, but isn’t that what you thought the
I then proceed with leveling as previ- to the keyframe. This work will proba- first time you tried to operate a tuning
ously described. bly not concern us when touching up hammer? This method really is the most
When replacing front rail punch- the key level, but must be tended to accurateand convenient means of level-
ings we might also wish to minimize before setting keyheight from scratch. ing grand keys; just give it a try!
settling of our keydip adjustments by For an excellent discussion of keyframe
using a thinner felt, and setting a rough bedding seethe Yamaha video tape, “37 Setting White Keydip
keydip either by use of thick cardboard Steps of Grand Regulation”, or its ac- Since the proper keydip dimen-
punchingsor by shimming up the entire companying book. sion depends upon other regulation di-
front rail. The latter method leaves more When setting a new keyheight on mensions, I will savediscussion of choos-
front pin sticking up into the key, and a grand action, such as after felt replace- ing a keydip for next time. For now, let’s
there may be some situations where the ment, all adjustment must be done with assume that we know what keydip we
pin could bottom out in the mortise felt thickness and paper punchings want and are ready to set it. Assuming
when the key is fully depressed. The (balance rail glide buttons are not key- we are to use a dip block on the naturals,
“sponginess” of the front rail punching height adjusters). This initial setting is we will be judging a key’s dip from the
affects the touch of the piano; an overly easiest to do with the action stack re- level of adjacent keys. Therefore the
firm front rail punching can give the un- moved so the keys can be taken on and accuracy of our dip adjustment depends
pleasant sensation of bottoming out off the pins. I use “key leveling leads” upon the accuracy of the leveling and
22 --O~OSER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
squaring job we have done. As I Figure 6 therefore maintain a uniform
mentioned at the beginning, key pressure on the dip block. This
leveling is the foundation of our tool works especially well when
regulation. If the piano inquestion keytops are dished and uneven;
has worn, dished keytops and since our leveling stick rested only
worn key bushings, squaring and on the high spots of the keytops,
leveling will be compromised and the cross piece of the dip block
itwillbeawasteoftimetogettoo will reference the same spots and
fussy with keydip settings. automatically ignore the low
Whatever thecircumstances, Figure 6: Modified Dip Block points. The result is a more con-
keydip setting involves making sistent dip setting achieved with
two judgements on each key: first, less guess work.
we try todepress the dip b&k and
key with the same force each time,
and next we judge whether the top Conclusion
of the dip block is even with adja- We hope this series has been
cent keytops. I find this process useful. Perhaps this is a good time
tediousbecauseitinvolves thetwo to restate our philosophy that
separate movements/judgements “basic skills” are nothing less than
of depressing the key and then - the component parts of so-called
sliding the finger over to feel the advanced work. If we rush to
neighboring keyheight. If I feel the neigh- accurate. When this dip block is de- make our first pinblock before master-
boring key to be lower, then my next pressed, at the instant the key hits bot- ing neat stringing techniques, or take on
thought is that maybe I’m not pressing tom I have my “reading” in the form of the job of hammer replacement before
the dip block down hard enough. This a visible movement of the neighboring fully understanding regulation prin-
may not be one of life’s major dilemmas; keys (in the caseof excessive dip) or the ciples, the end result will suffer. How-
but, with 52 keys to adjust, any stream- absenceof any clicking of the cross piece ever, by giving proper attention to the
lining helos. I have found that the simole on the neighbors (in the case of insuffi- basics we do better work at all levels.
dip Gock’modification shown in Fig&e cient dip).ince this is a one-step test, it Next month I’ll continue with a
6 makes setting dip simpler and more is very fast to move from key to key and look at vertical action regulation. Z

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OCYTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 23


-

AT LARGE

Drum Repetition
(Very Rapid Repetition Of One Note)
Kenneth Sloane
Cleveland Chapter

T he following article was originally


published in three sections in the Cleve-
I found many notes that would
play intermittently during drum repeti-
the knuckle suff iciently for the next repe-
tition;
land, OH, Chapter Newsletter Butts and tion, several of these sticking when the b. the jack is “slipping out” during
Flnnges. The analysis of the problem rear shoulder of the hammer jammed a stroke of a key;
outlined in the article is fairly straight- against the check (the key would not c. possibly a combination of a and
forward-ertainly nothing out of the movedownatthispoint).Imayaddthat b is responsible.
ordinary. The indicated repair, however, different “touches”at the keyboard help Assuming my suspicions are cor-
definitely has a controversial air about or exacerbate the condition. I suspect rect, what causes the jack to function
it; and I highly recommend researching that the speed of the finger on and off the properly or not? What aspects of regula-
all alternatives before trying it yourself. key plus the depth of the finger into the tion give the jack time to situate itself
In fact, the repetition problem I was key and the height of the finger off the properly under the knuckle for the next
dealing with probably should have been key allare variables that the pianist adds stroke of the key? The remainder of this
placed in the hands of the manufacturer in helping to determine the success of a article will analyze these questions and
as a warranty issue. It was my decision note’s repetition. There were notes on hopefully give us some answers that we
to research the action problem as indi- our new “D”, however, that would not can put to practice in our daily work
cated in the article-a decision arrived repeat reliably withany finger technique. routines.
at because of my own curiosity and And in our business, even one bad note
because, aside from the repetition prob- out of 88 during a concert is not accept- Measurements Made For
lem, the piano was well liked. able; so I picked two of the worst offend- Troubleshooting
I think it also wise to mention that ers (#‘s 17 and 38) and followed this
even though the repair increased touch procedure: Downweigh t Upweigh t
weight (as measured with weights at #17 57 grams 26 grams
end of key) a gram or less on most notes Symptoms Before #38 59 grams 27 grams
and no more than two grams on any Working On Notes The downweight is excessive, but
note, the problem of inertia must be
Number 17 would miss a stroke the relatively high upweight indicates
taken into account. In the December,
after a few sequences of drum repeti- downweight problem isassociated more
1988 \ournaZ, Darrell Fandrich and Chris
tion, the rear shoulder of the hammer with mass than with friction (better key
Trivelas have an excellent article about weighting would help). Though thehigh
jamming against the check, creating a
this; anyone interested in doing high
stuck note. downweight imparts a heavy touch to
quality work should familiarize them- the key, the high upweight will actually
Number 38 would miss strokes
selves with the concepts they discuss. In
occasionallyduringdrumrepetitionand enhance repetition because of a more
regard to my action, I am sure I added
eventually become stuck as above. snappy return of the key. I could easily
some inertia to the system, but I want to talkmoreaboutthesetwomeasurements
The malfunction in both of the
have more feedback from the pianists and their relationship to one another,
above cases happens so quickly and
before I alter anything else. I hope you
during such rapid movement of the but that’s another subject a together.
enjoy the article.
action parts that it is impossible to actu- Friction levels in Table 1 are ac-
This article was part of a letter to ceptable with the exception of the ham-
ally see what is causing the failure. I
Seinway & Sons about a new model “D”
suspect that either: mer flanges which are below their rec-
piano that the Oberlin Conservatory of
a. the jack is not returning under ommended minimum of three grams.
Music recently purchased. In addition
to other correspondence, it outlined the
procedure I used to isolate the variables 1
that contributed to poor drum repeti- Table 1: Friction Levels In Action Centers
tion on many notes of the piano. The Hammer Flange SuWort Flange Rep. Lever Flange Jack
following is a copy of the above-men- #17 1 Gram 3 Grams 4 Grams 2 Grams
tioned procedure plusa short paragraph #38 .5 Gram 3 Grams 8 Grams 2 Grams
to orient the reader to the problem:
24 -OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
However, the pinning was firm on these
centers with no appreciable wobble on Table 2: Actual And Theoretical Hammer Bore Analyzed
side play. This is actually characteristic
of centers such as used in our new “D” 8as TeMY High Ten. Treble Extreme Treb
(made by Renner of West Germany) that String Height 8 l/32 7 3/4” 7 3/4” 7 23/32” 7 21/32”
have a bushing cloth impregnated with Ham. Fl. Center Height 5 3/4’ 5 314’ 5 3/4” 5 23/32” 5 3/4”
a black material (graphite) for lubrica- (SubractAbove)
tion.Itcanbeablessingindisguiseat the TheoreticalHam. Bore 29/32” T 2” 2” 1 B/32”
Actual Hammer Bore 2 7/32” 129/32” 129132” 129/32’ 129/32”
hammer flange because if friction at the Steinway Specs 115/16” 115/16”
21/4” 115/16” 115/16”
repetition lever flange is also low and/
or weight in the hammer assembly is not
sufficient (worn hammers, for instance), (the vertical distance between the key- scribed above is less for the longer bore
the reciprocal spring that serves both bed and action center, and be reminded hammer.
therepetitionleverandthejackhastobe that it can only be measured on the
set so light to avoid a ‘blubbering” bench) varied only l/32” between sec- The Length Of The Tails
hammer that the tension to effect a posi- tions. Repetition seemed to be more The tail length (measured from the
tive return of the jack is sacrificed. reliable in sections where hammers were hammershank center to the end of the
However, I have dealt with similar situ- closer to the theoretical bore. tail) was very close to Steinway’s speci-
ations before without repinning and Let’s examine those hammers fications. They recommend 1” for note
managed to get good drum repetition; bored less than the theoretical quantity. one in the bass graduated to 15/X’ for
so I decided to experiment with the Given a constant rest position in regard the last bass hammer and 1” for the first
pinning as it was. to the shank, a shorter hammer has to tenor note graduated to 7/8” for note 88.
travel more distance than a longer on its The tails on the “D” were very slightly
Spread Measurement (Distance longer.
ascentand descent to and from the string.
Between Hammer And Support Of course, we can compensate for this
Flange Centers) with thecapstanadjustment, but only so A Brief Summation
I took sample measurements of far. If we raise the rest position of the Of Material To This Point
this distance throughout all sections of hammer assembly too high, we lose the In previous sections of this article,
the action. It varied between 4 13/32” “straight-1ine”relationshipbetween the I searched for the following:
and 4 7/ 16”. Steinways specification for jack and the knuckle core (seeFigure 2). 1. Things that would indicate a problem
this distance when they used their New Becausethe knuckle will probably com- associated with friction or mass.
York-manufactured action parts was press more when the initial force of the 2. Things that would cause the jack to
4 13/32”. The action in question used keyisnotapplieddirectlyunderthebot- line up poorly with the knuckle.
Renner parts, and I am not sure that the tom edge of the wooden knuckle core, I 3. Conditions that would initiate too
specification is the same. Visual inspec- suspect we lose power. Experience tells much or too little movement for action
tion, however, showed the relationship me that when this condition occurs (a parts.
between these centers to be acceptable high rest position of the hammer assem- In my search for the above, I
as the back edge of the knuckle core bly, i.e.1 we also run the risk of poor checked the following:
when the hammer assembly was in its repetition-I am sure for the same rea- 1. For proper alignment of action rails
proper rest position. See Figure 1. son as the suspected power loss with the and hammer action to key frame.
The figures in Table 2 are average compression of the knuckle causing the 2. Friction at bearing areas and making
numbers for each section. In no category jack to “slip out” more easily. sure that movement was smooth
did the extremes in any section vary Also, varying the hammer bore for throughout applicable travel margins.
more than l/16” except with string any one note while keeping the same tail 3. Dimensions of action parts and spa-
height in the bass which varied almost length will cause the distance between tial relationships between them.
3/32”. The hammer flange center height the hammer at maximum check point 4. Upweight/downweight.
Figure 2 and the string to vary.
Figure 2
It will also vary the
/ timeit takesforthedif-
ferent bore hammers I
to travel the slightly
different distances.
Obviously, the ham-
mer with the longer
bore can go through a
repetition sequence
more quickly than the
hammer with the
shorter bore because
the distance as de-
Things I did not do were change from .5 grams to 3, reregulating as nec- possible; but we’re still not perfect.
knuckles, turn knuckles around 180 essary. A point of interest here is that to
degrees (reverse nap),or polish jack tops accomplish the change in resistance for Extending The Tail
and repetition lever windows. I person- each center, I changed the original nickel Of me Hammer
ally felt that there was not too much silver plated pin (I believe that is its This part of the article deals with
friction in this area (we do need some) composition) with a brass pin of the thesolutionof therepetitionproblemby
since upweight/downweight figures I same size. The different coefficients of extending the tail of the hammer. Figure
had indicated no excessive friction in friction for each material in contact with C of the below illustrations gives the
the action, and my suspicions were al- the bushing cloth dictated the different d’lmensions of the modification; but
ready leading me in another direction. resistance levels when each was placed before I get into the specifics of the
in a common center. However, note #17 advantages and disadvantages of this
Procedures I Tried showed no improvement; and note #38 remedy, I think it is appropriate to take
was questionable, still missing strokes a look at the checking area of grands in
To Improve Repetition during rapid repetition.
One question many of you readers general. Also, as1mentioned previously,
may be asking at this point is, ‘What &contouring Hammer Tati Susan Graham included some valuable
about theregulationof theaction?” Asa To Help Repetition information about the topic in her Janu-
prelude to all the technical investigation ary, 1988 Technical Forum.
outlined above, I thoroughly checked In the following illustrations, Fig-
what I refer to as the “nuts and bolts” ure A shows a Steinway hammer with Analyzing The Checking Area
part of regulation-namely, the more an area designated as a trouble spot. The checking area of the piano
common adjustments we perform on a This hump is left during their manufac- looks pretty straightforward upon first
routine basis as part of the job. This turing process when the checking sur- inspection; but as I tried to conjure up
involves operations such as checking face on the hammer tail is prepared by some clever ways to “tell it all,” I quickly
keys for freedom of movement, setting cutting off (at a 14 degree angle) a small discovered it wasn’t going to be that
hammer height with the capstan, bend- piece of wood. I believe the motive for simple. I am sure it is one of the many
ing back check wires, positioning jacks leaving this hump on the hammer is to areasin our modem piano whose evolu-
under knuckles, etc. I was especially keep the checking adjustment more tionary development was the result of
careful on my problem piano to set the permanent, the hump theoretically pre- many empirical efforts. Without getting
checking as high as possible and the venting the hammer from “sliding overly involved, suffice to say that I
tension of the repetition spring on the down” on the check as it wears and have to deal with the movement of two
repetition lever great enough so that the compresses. I feel that if all the checking separate arcs that must barely miss one
hammer had a snappy rebound on re- surfaces are oriented to each other prop another during the playing of the key
lease of the key. The high checking stops erly, the hump is not necessary; and yet intersect while the key is held down
the hammer closer to the string (less SusanGraham has anexcellent article in after the hammer strikes the string; and
distance to travel for next repetition) the January, 1988 Journal about setting theintersectionmustoccurwith the two
and also stops the knuckle higher so that up the back check area correctly. I, there- shapes having the proper orientation to
thejackcanretumunderitmorequickly. fore, took hammers #17 and #38 and one another to ensure checking that is
The snappy rebound of the hammer also sanded this hump off each using the both high and positive (no “blubber-
aids the quick return of the jack; and the procedure I employ when shaping new ing”).
increased tensionof the repetition spring, hammers. A brief description follows: Onmy Steinway “D” action, check-
since the jack also relies on it for its ing was not high enough. It could easily
sprung movement, serves to return the With the hammer removed from be argued that factors not directly re-
jack more positively. the action rail, I use a simple jig and a lated to the checking area were respon-
I have been successful in fixing table disc sander to create the approxi- sible (plate too high, for example), but I
poor drum repetition in the past with mate 2.5”radiusas shown in the illustra- will discuss these more thoroughly in
this kind of “high-string” regulation, tions below (Figures B and C). The dif- the summary to follow. Besides, chang-
but it didn’t do the trick with this piano. ferent thicknesses of hammer cores and ing the plate height was certainly out of
I went over the above again and this the hammer felt close to the shank on the question; and early experimenting
time paid special attention to placing tenor hammers (the felt lifts those ham- withtherepetitionproblemshowed that
the jack sufficiently under the knuckle mers off the end of my jig slightly) ac- higher checking would probably do the
and adjusting the height of the repeti- count for the variance in radius; but it is trick.
tion lever at the jack window to facilitate small and insignificant in its effect on
good jack return. Poor repetition still checking* Initially, I recontoured the ham-
persisted. With this recontouring, there was mer tails to get rid of the bothersome
much improvement in repetition for #17 hump I find on all Steinway hammers.
Repinning To Help Repetition but none for #38. The operative force Along these lines, Kevin Leary, a good
I decided to add more friction at herefortheimprovementin#17ishlgher friend and fellow professional from the
the hammer action center which would checking. The hump is in a position on Cleveland Chapter, described an inter-
also force an increase in tension of the the hammer that causesit to rub prem- esting alternative to me for contouring
repetition spring to compensate for the turely on the back check as it (the back hammer tails. Rather than a 2 l/2” ra-
added friction in the hammer assembly. check) is bent inward to realize higher dius as I use, Kevin feels, “If you can’t
I repinned #17 from 1 gram to 4 and #38 checking. Without it, higher checking is get high checking without having the
26 -OCITOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
hammerdragonthebackcheck,theback and less worn portion of the check’s spected, Cleveland, Steinway dealer
of the hammer can be shaped flatter surface. The additional surface area for technician called me after reading the
(larger radius than 2 l/2”) with just contact between the hammer tail and first two articles in this series (it was
enoughofagentlecurveatthebottomof the check that this new checking posi- published, initially, in three parts in the
the tail to prevent it from digging into tion provided produced the slightly Cleveland Chapter newsletter) and
thebackcheck.” In theory, this would be higher checking-not (to repeat myself) commented to me about the plate height
abettershapeforthecheckingsurfaceof the raising of the checks per se. Be re- errors he had seen in many new Stein-
the hammer; but on Steinway hammer minded, also, that raising checks can ways. I feel that the Steinway piano is,
tails, the non-checking side of the ham- cause the rear shoulder of the tenor conceptually, the greatest piano I have
mer has a coved area. Any radius much hammers to jam more easily against the ever worked on; and it truly saddens me
greater than 2 l/2” would create a thin check. to witness suchinexcusable errors creep-
spot in the hammer tail between the ing into its manufacturing process. I
innermost edge of the cove and the Why Longer Hammer Tails only hope that it can be reversed.
backcheck side. This could be unsafe To Raise Checking
structurally, inviting a fracture at the Short of drastic changes like low- Related Articles To Follow
thin spot. I know Kevin does not use ering the plate to bring the strings closer In a future article, I want to de-
Steinway hammers; and his method, I’m to checking (effectively raising the check- scribe the actual extending process of
sure, works well with those hammers. ing height), my choice to extend the tails the hammer tail (cutting of extension
They probably have longer tails than of the hammers was one of the few alter- and hammer,orientationofgrain,gluing
Steinway hammers anyway, making natives I had. It may have been more procedure, etc.) and the effect it has on
high checking easier to achieve and less expedient and/or appropriate to raise touch resistance (virtually nil!). I also
of a problem in general. Besides, the the hammer action on the key frame or want to discuss, in more detail, things
recontouring I did with the 2 l/2” radius putonnewhammerswithalongerbore, mentioned that were considered as
allowed the check to be bent in far both of these addressing problems in- possible contributors to the problem:
enough so that checking occurred at the herent in my ‘3” action; but the piano things like upweight/downweight re-
tip of the tail. In other words, the length sounded very good with the set of lationship, pinning, and hammer bore.
of the tail was the limiting factor. Also, I hammers it had, and the extensions on It also would be nice to look at the alter-
am especially fond of the procedure I the tails, as per diagram C, provided for native cures I mentioned and to analyze
use to shape hammer tails at the check- very rapid repetition. A fringe benefit the over-centering problem that must
ing surface because it provides uniform- associated with the extensions, also, was exist in certain areas of the ‘3” bccausc
ity from one action to the ne%t and, in that the longer tails with their gradual of the actual bore dimensions being
one quick operation, removes the shank contour (2 l/2” radius) provided more shorter than the theoretical. Analyzing
end left sticking out after gluing and contact between the tail and check than New York parts versus Renner parts
shapes a very funtional checking sur- before. The end result was absolutely would also be interesting because di-
face with a high coefficient of friction positive checking on virtually all blows, mensional variances between the two
between it and the backcheck (needs no no matter how weak or strong. result in different ratios of hammer ac-
additional abrading). tion movement per unit of key travel.
Many of you may have asked at Conclusion Though the analysis would be complex,
this point why I did not try raising the As you may already suspect and this, too, should be investigated in re-
backchecks. When I measured their as the alternative repairs in the previous gard to repetition problems.
height (from the top of the key where the paragraph indicate, the repetition prob- Andbytheway, theOberlinfaculty that
backcheck wire enters to the top of the lem originated from serious manufac- have played thepiano-especially those
backcheck), I found them to be at specs turing error. The proper plate height/ that went through the before and after
with a height of 2 l/2” in the bass gradu- action height relationship was not built variation-love the touch and find the
ating to 2 5/8” in the extreme treble. into the piano. I have measured other repetition is equal to any piano. Succes-
I have experimented with raising “D” pianos, one with a similar repeti- sive strokes of the key during drum
backchecksbefore,nevereffectingmuch tion problem and one without; and the repetition occur with minimal depres-
of an increase in checking height. This problematic one has similar manufac- sion of the key and are very positive.
result, at first, was puzzling to me; turing defects. Lenny Gottrich, a re-
however, I finally realized that pulling h-- I k’-d
the check up higher on its wire did not
change the point at which the hammer
dragged on the backcheck. What did
change was the contact point of the
hammer tail on the backcheck, and the
slight increases in checking height that
sometimes occurred were not a result of
raising the checks per se, but of this
change in contact position. When the
backchecks were raised on their wires,
the checking point was frequently
changed to a flatter, less compressed,
C~TOLIER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 27
Lengthening Tails For Better Repetition: The Process
Tristan Francis
Shop Manager, Piano Technician Department
Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Ken Sloane (see previous article) specifications produced superlative joint. Then I very carefully sanded any
concluded that the main factor inhibit- repetition,regardlesof finger technique. irregularities from the gluing surfaces
ing repetition was a poor relationship At this point he showed me what he had of each assembly.
between action and strings: checking done and turned the remainder of the
occurred too far from the strings. Obvi- project over to me. SinceI had to lengthen Gluing
ously, lengthening the tails for higher the tails of the entire heavy-use area (our Using the angled trough we nor-
checking would be more expedient than m-contouring sufficed in extreme bass mally use for laying our hammer sets to
either lowering the plate or raising the and treble), I had to find a method with be hung (Fig. Cl, I laid out the (tail-less)
action. What follows, then, is the proce- which to speed the process. hammer assemblies with the gluing
dure for doing so. surface up. After applying fresh wood
Cutting Old Tails glue to both surfaces, I manually pressed
New Specifications And New Blanks them together, visually lining the blank
As indicated in Ken’s article, he I devised the jig in Fig. B out of up with the existing core. Since we
arrived through experiment at a new scrap wood and mounted it to the miter generally work with unbored and un-
tail specification of l-5/16”, l/4” longer gauge of our band saw to ensure uni- shaped hammers in parts replacement,
than the existing tails. He found that a form 45 degree cuts through the old we shape the sides of the tails to favor a
tail longer than l-5/16” ran the risk of tails. Note that the path of the blade vertical tail, regardless of the pitch of the
hitting the support flange on its return emerges from the tail just behind the end hammer above it. I find that a tail that
to rest. As illustrated in Fig. A, the new of the shank. The blanks for the new tails checks straight into the check aids spac-
length is achieved by extending our cus- were cut from a close-grained maple ing in the pitched areas, allows even
tomary arc (2 l/2” radius; see Ken’s ar- stock, with the grain oriented along the wear into the check (which prevents the
ticle) to the plane of the inner, non- length (with the tangential grain across formation of ridges in the leather which
checking surface of the hammer core. the checking surface) as in the existing can hinder m-regulation) and provides
Ken made trial alterations to several cores. I cut them oversized and with the more positive checking. I kept this in
hammers which determined that these requisite 45 degree angle for the glue mind when positioning the new tail
blanks. Several seconds of manual pres-
sure (with care to avoid slipping at the
glue joint) were all that were required
for the glue to hold without clamping.
The assemblies were then allowed to
dry overnight as in Fig. C.

Shaping The New Tails


Using a compass set at the pre-
scribed 2 l/2” radius, I roughly scribed
the arc for the checking surface on the
blanks. An unaltered Steinway hammer
served as a rough template for the cov-
ing. I then rough-cut these contours on
the band saw, free-handed. Using our
tail-shaping jig (Fig. D), I sanded the
final checking contour on the stationary
disc sander. Again, I favored the vertical
tail,sightingitupwiththeknucklerather
than the hammer. The coving was fine
shaped using a rat-tail rasp and a sand-
paper covered dowel.
Finally, the hammers were re-in-
stalled and the regulation was checked.
All told, this procedure took less than
two days’ time, including the overnight
drying time for the glue. As Ken indi-
cated in his article, the piano which in-
stigated all this now has superb repeti-
tion-asgoodasanyofourfinergrands.
2S--Ocroa~~ 1989 PIANOTBCHNICIANSJOURNAL
-

GOOD VIBRATIONS

New Soundboard, Old Bridge, Part II: SettingThe Plate

Nick Gravagne
New Mexico Chapter

W e left off in the in the August ‘89 pinblock or the plate support system but there is no front bearing because the
issue having installed a new, sound- (such as dowels). The pinblock support front of the plate has been raised too
board with the original bridge attached. shelves havebeen cleaned out. On hand high. Maintaining the string height
It has been pointed out in past articles is the plate (which has not necessarily dimension avoids this pitfall.
that, unless the bridge top is variable been regilded but has had the cape bar If the plate height needs to be ad-
through planing, the plate must be set bearing reworked and new agraffes justed in order to achieve the proper
according to the bridge height dimen- installed if appropriate). If plate sup string height dimension, do so by lower-
sion. That is, the plate’s z axis (height) port dowels are going to be installed, the ing or raising the jacks and nosebolts.
location is here a function of bridge undersides of the plate bossesat the lag When the correct dimension has been
height, which is the reverse of typical holes will have been trued (as explained set, place stand-up gauges (such as the
piano building. Since the keybed-to- in a previous article). The nosebolts have combinationdamperunderlever/string
strings dimension must be more or less been turned in to their original heights. height gauge or a quick shop-made ver-
maintained according to original specs These will serve to support the plate at sion) in place on the keybed. These
there is not a lot of leeway for setting the its original z location in the middle areas gauges should not touch the plate or the
plate’s 2 position. Still, given a new, during trial downbearing fittings. Some- referencestrings.Theyshould stand just
fully-crowned soundboard, the parame- times the nosebolts alone can support alongside the strings thereby indicating
ters are usually sufficient to comforta- theentireplatefwhichisquiterigid) but thecorrect height. Later on intheadjust-
bly accomplish the job; in fact, many other times the front of the plate needs ing process a glance will tell how far the
times just placing the plate back to its to be supported from the keybed with plate/reference string has moved as a
original z position works out fine with a small jacksand blocksof wood. One jack unit from its original position.
little rear string rest support-height inthebassandoneinthe trebleisenough. Downbearingcan now be checked at
manipulation. several places on both bridges. The car-
Of course, the reason that the The Process pet thread test, as has been explained in
original bridge is being reused is that it The plate is lowered into place past issues, can be used here but it is a
was found to be too good to discard and set on the nosebolts. It is not locked limited and time-consuming process as
altogether or to require recapping. Al- into place with the nosebolt cap nuts; it measurementsmustrepeatedlybemade
though this isn’t common, it does hap simply sits on the bolt shoulders. If jacks of thegapexistingbetween the test string
pen. Even moretypical isa bridge which are needed at the pinblock area for front and the rear string rest. Since the plate
otherwise is quite good-pins, notches, supports they go in next. Supportsat the may need adjusting up or down many
structural integrity and general ti- perimeter of the plate are unnecessary. such measurments will have to be made
dyness-at the lower half of the long The keybed-to-stringsdimension should and re-made.
bridge but needs recapping in the top be checked against teardown notes by For a better way, refer to Photo 1.
two treble sections. measuring to theundersideof test strings Ignore the fact that thenosebolt capnuts
which should be located and secured in arein,andthat theperimeterplatescrews
The Conditions the high treble and low bass parts of the have been installed and the piano is
The new soundboard panel has plate. The idea is to have the plate sitting being restrung. Imagine that the plate
been carefully planed so that the thick- evenly on all the nosebolt shoulders has been temporarily installed as ex-
ness of the spruce directly under the (check with mirrors and flashlights) plained above. Notice that a bubble
bridges is essentially the same as the when the required dimension iscorrect. gauge is sitting on the rear segment of a
original panel. The soundboard has been There should be very little adjusting, if test string. This test string is actually a
installed in the case with the attached any, to bring this keybed-to-strings length of small gauge music wire (size
original bridge. Since the replacement dimension into spec. It is important to 1Oor so, .024”) which has had a loop tied
board has adequate crown it is obvious reset this spec for two reasons. The first in for attachment to the hitch pin. The
that the combination of original bridge has to do with maintaining proper ac- tuning pin end of the string has been se-
height and new soundboard crown will tion mechanics. The second relates to cured to, and wound around, a dowel
restore all the missing downbearing the condition of front bearing: it is pos- arrangement as shown in Photo 2. The
which was discovered in the tear-down sible to manipulate a plate such that the idea is to get the string up to a tension
investigations. Not yet installed are the rear downbearing angle looks perfect and then locked there so you can move

Ocrossn1989 RANOTBCHNICIANSJOURNAL-29
Photo 2

Photo 1 Photo 3

photo 4

about fieely.Usingthewind-uparrange at 1.5 degrees on new soundboards. If pose. Generally, most of the bearing
ment at Photo 2 without a pinblock in the bearing tests are too shallow, lower adjustmentscanbemadethroughchoos-
place will necessitate some device un- the plate a bit by turning down all plate ing and adjusting the rear string rest
der the tuning pin holes to prevent the supports. If the tests indicate too much cloths and shims. Uniform downbear-
dowel from tipping forward when under bearingraise theplatea bit.Now hereis ing is an ideal but be prepared to make
tension. The white string in the photos, where you must integrate your thinking minor compromises.
which even when under tension is too to include several pieces of information Although a bubble gauge is con-
flexible to support any sort of down- at once. From the standpoint of this ar- venient it still must be leveled to each of
bearing gauge, only serves to make the ticle, these pieces which must be inte- six or more test strings. The gauge in
understanding clear as the small gauge grated are many and varied and cannot Photo 4 shows my Woody Woodpecker
music wire can barely be seen in a pho- possibly be covered here. Still, an ex- gauge (so named for obvious reasons).
tograph. When several of these test ample set of conditions and appropriate The woodpecker part is glued to a short
stringshavebeenhookedupand wound responses might go like this. The bear- arm which pivots on a square upright,
to tension we have something which ing in the middle areas is just right, but thin block of wood. The pivot should be
looks like Photo 3. Rear string rest cloth is too heavy in the upper two treble sec- a friction fit so the two partsof the gauge
strip samples should be in place under tions. The right side of the plate is raised can stay slightly locked. To set the gauge,
the strings. If the instrument has duplex by turning the nearest nosebolt, but rotate the woodpecker point to 1.5 de-
bars (or whatever), these should also be when this is done the middle bearing grees away from the plane defined by
in place. Now the plate can be raised or loosens a little. So perhaps a thinner the bottom of the upright block. Use a
lowered and the test strings simply left understring cloth should be used in the protractortoset.Tousethegaugesetthe
alone to ride on the plate and bridges. middle area in question or maybe it bottom surface of the upright block on
would be better to build up the too- the speaking string segment and see if
Gauges heavy-bearing sections of the treble and “woody% beak” is sitting above the rear
The downbearing condition can not move the plate at all (which would string segment or sits below it as ascer-
now be ascertained very quickly with be my choice). Remember all through tained by letting the beak not touch the
the bubble gauge. Level the gauge on these tests that the string height dimen- rear string but, rather, allowing it to fall
the speaking string segment and then sion must be held at, or very close to, the just to the side of it. Once set, the gauge
check the rear string angle away from original spec, so keep referring to the can be used at all test strings without re-
level. I generally set downbearing angles gauges set on the keybed for this pur- setting. It’s not as accurate as the bubble,
30 -OCZTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
but it is close enough.
Whatever gauge is used, take care
not to apply excessive pressure to the
speaking side of the test string. Develop
a technique which allows the gauge to
rest lightly on the string while you pre- The Hammer Duplication Specialists
vent its tipping off. Humidity Gages Custom Naugahide Covers
l imported Hammers l l

Lock It In . Domestic Hammers l Wood Working Tools l Chairs & Benches


When the bearing has been satis- l Dampp-Chaser @ l Pinblocks/Bridges l Hide Glue
factorily set in this manner, make sure
Free Catalog Available
that all nosebolts are in fact turned up
and touching the underside of the plate. Wholesale Distributors of Tools & Supplies for
Now install the cap nuts. If the Baldwin Technicians Dealers
l Rebuilders
l Manufacturers l

plate support system will be used at the


perimeter do nothing at this time. But if
dowels are going to be used, measure- Piano Keys
ments should be taken now. BILL GARLICK Recovered With
The New Pinblock ASSOCIATES
There are actually four thickness
dimensions which need to be measured,
one at each “comer” of the block as
consultants
in piano and harpsichord ART
measured from the pinblock shelf to the
underside of the plate. That is, the front SERVICES
technology
& PROGRAMS
IVORY
andbackgapsatboththebassandtreble l illustrated lectures (Pyralin)
ends where the new block will finally sit l training seminars
mustbemeasured.Thisinformation will l dealer promotions Over 60 years of continuous service
dictate how the new block must be di- l inventory management to dealers and tuners
mensioned so as to accommodate the l troubleshooting
downbearing conditions as just set. You appraisals & evaluations
l

manufacturing
WRITE FOR COMPLETE
might find it easier to start out with a
l

PRICE LIST
slightly too-thin block, but of uniform write or call for more OR CALL-(606)885-4330
thickness, and figure out what combina- details on services & fees
tion of shims or blocks or both would be Bill Garlick Associates SHULER CO., INC.
necessary to make up the difference. 144-4325th Dr. #l 3007 Park Central Ave. #4
The shims, which might work out to be Whitestone, N.Y. 11354 Nicholasville, KY 40356
wedges (as oriented front-to-back) Tel. (718) 539-4149
should be glued to the underside of the
block.
Instead of measuring the pinblock-
to-shelf gaps you might consider cut- Emil Fries
ting and fitting blocks of wood into the
gaps. These blocks will then be used to
gauge the new pinblock thicknesses at
the ends. Be careful not to spring the
plate up in the process or your gauge
blocks will be too thick. '* and Training Center
Final Teaching FLneAural ‘Rmtng Since 1949
Remove the plateand install dowel
supports if appropriate. Install the new Learn to tune and repair pianos in a sales and service environment.
pinblock. When the plate is installed for Our time-tested methods emphasize ert aural tuning, regulating and
repair in an individual tutorial way.T tudents have come to us from
the last time you might want to take a Australia. Belize,Canada, bland, Iceland, Israel, Stitzerland, Trinidad
quick carpet thread bearing test for as- and 42 states-so farl Where will the next a lication come from?
Our instructors have a total of over 1E!yearsasFIGCrafIsmen.We
surance sake. If the new block is going to specialize in blind students and we are now also accepting a limited num-
be glued and doweled in, consider a ber of si hted students as well.
b rite or call for our catalog in print or tape. We’ll also send an
temporary dry-fit with pinblock screws informational video on request.
only. Lower the plate in again for a test
fit and bearing check to make sure that EMIL FRIES PIANO HOSPITAL & TRAININ G CENTER
everything is fitting together correctly 2510 E. Evergreen Boulevard
vaIl($aaerb,61
and no measuring mistakes have been
made. s Ken Serviss, RIT Don Mitche KIT
Vice President & Manager Director of fnstruction

OCTOBER 1989PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 31


ECONOMICAFFAIRS

The First-Time
1 Call
Carl Root
Economic Affairs Committee

H ow you approach your first time


service calls will determine the success
of service you provide. My response is:
“My basic tuning fee is $-.” If they
all the notes workreasonably well,elimi-
nating all offensive noises, and adjust-
or failure of your business. It’s as simple want to discuss price and service, I have ing the piano’s pitch to A-440. We are
as that. If the piano owner is left with a given them a lead by using the word talkingaboutpreliminarycoarseadjust-
positive impression when service has ‘basic” which they may want defined. In ments to touch, tone, and pitch. Are you
been completed, you will have a better any case, I find out when the last service ready for this provocative line? A fine
chance of adding their name to your list was, what kind of piano they have, and tuning may not be part of my service-
of regular customers. Regular service is where they are located. Then I explain recommendation for a first time call! I
what this business is all about because that pianos that have gone without serv- will start my defense of this policy by
the needs of the piano, player, and tech- ice for a while often need more service stating that just as I try to keep the
nician are all better served with this than those kept on a regular schedule. I customer’s, piano’s, and technicians’s
arrangement. assure them that I will not hand them a needs in balance, I also keep the three
To be sure, there are tuners who bill for an amount larger than the basic aspects of the piano’s performance in
manage to stay in business even though fee without first discussing what serv- balance-touch, tone, and tune. I have
they have a poor record of repeat busi- ices I would recommend, when they seen too many pianos in the field that
ness. Some survive by attracting a large should be performed, and what they appear to have been tuned regularly,
number of first-time calls with large ads will cost. I want them to realize that they but the tone and especially the regula-
and low tuning fees. Thisapproach may will have a say in the total cost of the tion appear to have been ignored. To
benefit those customers who want only serviceandcorrespondingperformance justify this service approach, you will
minimum performance from their pi- level of their piano. have to convince me that the player is
anos and wish to spend no more than an The reason they ask for your tun- quite sensitive to variations in pitch but
occasional nominal tuning fee. How- ingfeeisbecauseit’softentheonlything can not detect the same degree of vari-
ever, the piano will suffer from this they can think of to start a conversation. ations in regulation. In my experience,
approach since its performance will be They want to get a sense of who you are most recreational players can feel the
limited to the player’s assessment of its and whether or not you are genuinely difference after I’ve serviced a neglected
service needs. The tuner will suffer as interested in providing them with the action even if I am limited to just an hour
well because he will be deprived of the appropriate service. They may in fact be or two of adjustments. They may not
security that comes from maintaining a looking for the cheapest tuner, but usu- have asked for service to the action, but
loyal clientele, as well as a decent in- ally, if they ask at all, it’s to make sure no one ever told them it was adjustable!
come eroded by higher advertising your prices are in line with other profes- Does this comprehensive service
overhead and lower fees. sional technicians and consistent with approach have to be implemented at the
Most of us recognize the benefits their expectations. expense of high tuning standards? I am
of building a business of regular cus- When I arrive at the custometis not doing a once-through capstan regu-
tomers. Yet all customers started as first home, I disassemble the piano to allow lation for free, but you aren’t doing a
time calls. Your challenge is to keep the for an inspection and an evaluation of pitch raise for free either. Or are you?
needs of the piano, player, and techni- how it plays. Do not fail to ask the piano Some say they do, but I find a lot of
cian in perspective as your service poli- owner if there are any malfunctions to pianos that I know have been tuned, flat.
cies evolve. Don’t sacrifice the needs of report! It is often assumed that you will Wouldn’t it be better to bring the piano
one while attending to the other two. pickuponeverylittlethingthatiswrong all the way up to pitch and sacrifice a
They are often in conflict so this goal with the piano. I probably will notice small amount of accuracy than to leave
must be kept in focus constantly as you most, if not all, of them, but I need to it flat or to work for free? My tuning fee
try to maintain a balance. know what bothers the piano owner. It is determined by the service require-
The first contact with a new cus- is easy to forget that we are servicing the ments of the majority of my regular
tomer is invariably over the phone. If piano for their use, not ours. customers whodonot requirelargepitch
you are asked for your tuning fee, give a The minimum performance that I adjustments to their pianos. I can’t af-
straight answer and know in your gut want on a first-time call necessitates ford to spend theextra timeon neglected
that your fee is appropriate for the type making repairs and adjustments so that pianos without charging for it. In fact, I
~~-&TOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
often spend a bit Iesstuning time on a you insist on staying until everything demonstrated your competence and
first time call and here’s why. has been completed to your satisfaction personal interest during the non-tuning
I expect to spend tno~etime than whether you charge for everything or service discussed above, you will find
usual providing several types of non- not. If you schedule an extra hour that that you can now sell regulation, voic-
tuning service at no additional charge. turns out to be unnecessary, then you’ve ing or other improvements along with
Minor repairsand adjustments that have lost that hour. If you prefer to book solid the following. There will be times when
been overlooked during previous serv- for months in advance or do not expect a fine tuning will not necessarily be part
iceorhaveaccumulatedduringtheyears to return to that service area soon, this of your recommendation for additional
of customer neglect are often necessary two-visit policy may not work for you. service. Sometimes the piano service
and more noticeable than a higher level 4. I think a piano tuning will be budget simply won’t allow you to do the
of tuning. I might replace a missing cabi- more stable if some time has been al- kind of work that you think the piano
net screw, adjust pedals, reglue a loose lowed to elapse between a major pitch deserves. In these cases, tell them how
hammerhead, twist a bass string-the raise and a fine tuning. I have heard much time you would spend if it was-
list goes on. Do not fail to point out these assertions to the contrary and would your piano and what services you would
improvements to the customer whether like to see data from controlled experi- perform. Then explain what service you
or not they were specifically mentioned. ments if anyone has gone to the trouble. are recommending asa compromise and
In addition to correcting things that have In any case, my policy is not based on show how it will yield an improvement
obvious symptoms, a thorough inspec- this belief alone. that they will appreciate.
tion of the piano, though not necessary 5. I get no pleasure from punish- Next time you are called out to
on every regular service call, is manda- ing a customer for his neglect. Neither servicea neglected vertical piano, lookit
tory on a first visit. An equally impor- do I wish to reward him by providing over, spend a few minutes on simple
tant “service” that you will perform on a him with more service than my regular repairsand adjustments, raise the piano
first time call is customer education. customers receive for the same fee. If up to pitch and give it a quick tuning.
Pamphlets, books and itemized recom- you wish to encourage regular service, Now, play the piano and ask yourself:
mended work on your bill are all help you are giving a mixed message. “If I were going to put another hour or so
ful, but these aids must be supplemented 6. I want to avoid handing a cus- into this piano with the goal of increas-
with discussion which will relate the tomer a larger bill than expected on the ing its ability to provide musical enjoy-
piano’s condi tion to its current use. Piano first call. The higher figure often regis- ment, what work would I do?” Maybe it
service is a personal service. You may ters as “the tuning fee” and discourages would be a solid tuning, but you may
not like the idea of compromising your future service. find that quick adjustments to key level
standards for any reason, but I would Most first time customers find it and capstans, or repairing the bench, or
rather think of this approach as custom reasonable and acceptable that they will climate control, or filing the hammers
service. have to make up for one of the tunings will have a higher priority. Sell the
Even if I knew that all customers that they have missed during years of “whole job” if it’s appropriate, but don’t
that came to me for service to their ne- neglect. I usually schedule a fine tuning insist on a perfect tuning before looking
glected pianos would convert to a regu- two weeks after the first call. If you have at the rest of the piano.=
lar schedule, I would still be reluctant to
pitch-raise the piano at no charge and
continue with a fine tuning at the same
visit. Here are several reasons why I
consider that to be a bad business prac- The Finishi p Touches
tice. Drv Transfer Decals Grand Piano Carriage
1. A pitch raise takes a minimum l Made of the finest steel; coated
of fifteen minutes of hard work, usually in PL’C
longer. That’s over my time limit for l Superior engineering and looks
extra work at no charge. l Two brakes included for added
2. Non-tuning service - inspec- stability
tion, adjustments, repairs, and educa- l Fast, easy, no cleanup
l Immediately ready to finish
tion-usually take more time than a pitch
l Over 700 Fallboard and Soundboard
raise and require a higher level of exper- names
tise and experience to do well compared l Custom decals-send tracing for
to the average tuning. The time spent on price quote
these items, customer education in par- Music Racks
ticular, cannot be compared to the time
spent by a salesman, for example, since
l Smooth and effortless movement
he hopes to make a profit or a commis- l No finish damage to piano legs
sion that will exceed the value of the l Shipped UPS
l Authentic Steinway designs
time spent. You, on the other hand, will . Two styles Schroeder’s
have to work for every penny that you Decals Unlimited Classic Carriage
make.
9333 96th St. No.
3. It is difficult to integrate new Mahtomedi, MN 66115 (612) 429-4466
customers into your daily schedule if C&dog available upon request

Ckrossn 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 33


MEMBERSHIP
New Members A USTIN, TX-787 BUFFALO, NY-142
In August 1989 JON M. DONALDSON LAUREL R. RIVERS
305 MOCKINGBIRD LANE P.O. BOX 116
AUSTIN, TX 78745 CASSADAGA, NY 14718

CONNECTICUT-64

WILLIAM I. HALSEY MINNESOTA-NORTH 10 WA -552 NEW ORLEANS, LA-701


97 RICHARDS AVENUE, #A-18
NORWALK, CT 06854 RONALD SOLINGER JESS C. CUNNINGHAM
RT. 2, BOX 145 25 LEWIS LANE
GERALD G. HICKEY, JR. BLUE RIVER, WI 53518 PEARL RIVER, LA 70452
60 WATERVILLE STREET
WATERBURY, CT 06710

L.I.-CRISTOFORL NY-218 POMONA VALLEY, CA-917


DANIEL R. MULLEN
FRANK VACCARO DRU SIMMONS 1001 AVENUE EAST
25 CEDARWOOD LANE 23060 PASEO DE TERRADO, #6 GARLAND, TX 75040
COMMACK, NY 11725 DIAMOND BAR, CA 91765

BUFFALO, NY-142 SAN FRANCISCO, CA-942


YOUNGSTOWN, OH445
FRANK J. CIMINESI DEBBIE FIER
85 CENTER STREET 6 WYMAN PLACE EARNEST R. PASQUERETTE
ANGOLA, NY 14006 OAKLAND, CA 94619 25 KIRK STREET
CANFIELD, OH 44406
PHILLIP GEORGER
65 PURITAN PLACE
HAMBURG, NY 14075 SEATTLE, WA-981
LOS ANGELES, CA-902

MALLORY R. GELLER
BALTIMORE, MD-222 BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA 98110 1649 SOUTH HOBART BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90006 -
WILLIAM T. SWAGER, JR.
302 LINDEN AVENUE. - Membership Status
EDGEWATER, MD 21037 Reclassifications
Northeast Region .........................836
ATLANTA, GA-302
In August 1989 Northeast R’ITs .. .. ....................... 545
Southeast Region.. ....................... 598
MELISSA C. ESTEP Southeast RTTs ............................ .401
22 ROY DINGLER ROAD South Central Region ................. 321
NEWNAN, GA 30263 South Central R?=i’s.. ................... 216
BOSTON, MA-21
Central East Region .................... 622
Central East RTTs.. ...................... 405
DANIEL J. WALSH
Central West Region ................... 367
NORTH CENTRAL LA-n3 40 LAKE STREET
Central West RTTs ...................... .261
WEYMOUTH, MA 02189
Western Region ........................... .622
PAUL WOODARD Western Rfis .............................. .421
I?T. 2, HWY. 563 Pacific Northwest Region .......... .327
SIMSBORO, LA 71275 Pacific Northwest RITs ............. .223
Total Membership.. ................... 3742
Total RITs .................................. 2472
34 --OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL
COMING EVENTS
O&1-3,1989 Florida State Conference & Seminar
Clarendon Plaza, 600 North Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32018
Contact: Walter Pearson, 1128 State Ave., Holly Hill, FL 32017-2728(90412554804.
O&.6-8,1989 Ohio State Conference
Holiday IM North, Dayton
Contact: Francis Hollingsworth, 2271 E. Spring Valley Paintersville Rd., Xenia, OH 45385
(513) 372-1981.
Texas State Association
Lubbock, TX
Contact: Bob Johnson, 3224 92nd, Lubbock, TX 79423 (806) 792-9712.
ocL20-22,1989 New York State Conference
Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls, NY
Contact: Robert Reeves, RD #l, Galway Rd., Ballston Spa, NY 12020 (518) 885-5472.
Oct. 27-29,1989 North Carolina State Conference
Hyatt Winston-Salem
Contact: John Foy, 195 Fayetteville St., Winston-Salem, NC 27107 (919) 773-1754.
Jan.5-6,1990 Arizona State Seminar
Aztec Inn, Tuscan, Arizona
Contact: Kathleen Kattija-Ari, 4743 East Bellevue, Tuscan, AZ 85712 (602) 3264936
Feb. X-18,1990 California State Conference
Irvine Hilton, Grange County
Contact: Austin Mason, 25842 Ave., Cabrillo, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 (714) 661-1416
Mar.2-4,1990 South Central Regional Spring Seminar
Hilton Hotel, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contact: Joanie Wagoner, Rt. 4, Box 50-C, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 984-8179
Mar. 29-Apr. 1 Pennsylvania State Convention
Warrendale Sheraton Hotel
Contact: David Barr, 524 Jones Street, Verona, PA 15147 (412) 828-1538
July 7-11,199o 33rd Annual PTG Convention & Technical Institute
Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion
ContactPiano Technicians Guild, Inc., 4510 Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64111
(816) 753-7747.

Moving?
Be sure your Journals
follow you. Send address
changes to:

OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 35


THE AUXILIARY EXCHANGE

President’s Message what special event was really outstand- Auxiliary. It is late August as I write
From as far back as I can re- ing. my column for October and in a few
call, it has been difficult for the Editor These pages must be treasured weeks we’ll think of Thanksgiving
of the Auxiliary Exchange to obtain by our Auxiliary. If our membership and Christmas. Surely there’s been
copy for her pages. Now and then does not feel the need or interest in sub- someexciting,absorbingactivitiesoc-
after drumming and “dunning” her mitting copy, space might revert to the curring in your lives which you might
associates, she is rewarded with an Guild where such concerns as technical like to share with the membership.
article about the Louisiana Swamp or data, advertisements and such would Let our Editor know. One time our
Striking It Rich in Piano Tuning or be printed. At one time there were sev- former president, Ginger Bryant titled
Yuletide CustomsAround The World or eral chapters in the Auxiliary and their oneofherpieces”UseItOrLoseIt”-
Gold or Wool or Silk or Stress.The re- officers submitted accounts of activities she was referring to time. That pro-
mainder of articles are generally about and information about individuals in phetic title might also apply to the
what to anticipate at next year’s con- their chapters. Our Editor hasnot heard pages of our Auxiliary Exchange!
vention, or a reprise on how much about any programs, activitiesor events Don’t let it happen.
one enjoyed the past Convention and that have occured to members of our Agnes Huether, President

From The Editor’s Mailbag banks where George(son-in-law) was di- residenceatFt. Richardsonis quite niceand
Smack dab in the middle of the recting the U.S.Army Band in an hour and Candy and Georgewould like to purchase
August “Dog Days” we received a few a half ‘old-fashionedparade@ Gold Rush someland so they canbuild a homein Alaska
letters with news of how several indi- Days. We were housedon an army baseand when they retire. Georgecaughtmany of the
viduals continued to “holiday” after the had dinner at the northernmost Denny’s! famous Alaskan salmon which we charcoal
annualconventionwithadditionaltravel. Wow! On our return to Anchorage zoe broiled and it was soooogood.,,
One account was in iambic pentameter spent time in Denali National Park, view- Ginny also recounted a four hour
or close to it! Enjoy! ing nine grizzlies, many moose,caribou, boat ride in the bay of Alaska. From past
From our forty-ninth state, Alaska, pfarmigans,mountainsheepandsuchfauna. experience she knew to remain out on
Ginny Russell writes: ,,My trip to Alaska We had excellent,spectacularviews of Mt. deck in the prow of the vessel despite
was terrific-we spent oneweekendin Fair- McKinleyfiom thebaseinAnchorage.Their biting cold weather. As a reward she

Holiday ‘89
In ]uly we hit Portland, for our convention, Wevisited Coloradocolleges,for Chris-
Saw beautiful coastlandand falls, not to mention An exciting time in our lives, is this!
FamousMt. St. Helen’s and majestic Mt. Hood; His first choiceis Gunnison-W.S.C.
And our PTG music and friendships weregood. “The coldestspot in the nation,” you see.
Then breath-taking Yellowstone, where elk and moose Then oh, what a job, tending our “zoo,,,
And buffalo, wanderedthrough campon the loose. Teachingbeastswhere to potty, and what not to chew!
We saw damagedone by thefires of ‘88, But as you might guess,our hearts they havesmitten;
Admired “Old Faithful” and geysersas great. They’refamily now, this puppy and kitten.
Early one morning, in the Tetons Chris biked Both Wim and I are on Church Boardsnow;
Then ‘round LakeJenny all of us hiked. I’m Secretaryof Christian Ed.--God knows how!
In her freezing waters Erik did swim, Wim is a Deacon,and we’re both Choir singers,
While the rest of us waded,and marvelled at him. And Chris, Wim and I all belong to Bell Ringers.
White-water rafting “The Colorado,’ wasfun; Ch& joined us in tuning pianos-how neat!
We hung on for denr lqe, and got somegood sun. Both boyshavegrown to beover six feet.
We couldn’t have done it without a ,pro” guide- ErXs in Band, and enjoys his percussion;
The wild rapids makeit a dangerousride. The amount they can eat defiesall discussion!
The Royal Gorgewas GORGE-ous,indeed. Erik? Band goesto Florida for Christmas break,
We rode cablecars across,at a slow speed. And soon now, his Driver’s Exam he will take.
Cripple Creekwas charming, with centuy-old fun, Then wefour Bleeswill all bedriving-
And that’s where ye olde tyme photo was done. Departing and meeting eachother arriving!
Ian Blees,WebsterGrove, MO

36 -OCTOEER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


saw a pair of whales playing, also a man and this aura reached out to us five traditional gardens in any season
number of dolphins, a mother sea otter almost at once. Every bank of stream or and thus capture the mood of ancient
with herbabyfriskingaboutwithababy lake was laid out todeepen this impres- Japan while absorbing the wonders to
octopus. In addition to the marine life sion and water, especially moving wa- be found in over 5 l/2 acres. They may
shesaw many, many puffins, arctic terns, ter, plays an important role in all gar- draw in by quiet reflection the restora-
a number of bald eagles, an eagle’s aerie dens. The sound of just a drop of water tive emanations from the Flat Garden-
with two young eaglets, glaciers, brown falling upon the surface of a stone water “Hiraniwa”, the Strolling Pond Garden
bears and many, many wonderful na- basin, or the contemplation of a deer- “Chisen-Kaiyui-Shiki”, the Tea Garden
ture sights. Ginny was delighted to chaser (Bamboo Sozo) which employs “Rojiniwa”, the Natural Garden
spend this time with her daughter, son- tubes of bamboo, filling one weighted “Shukeiyen”, and my personal favorite,
in-law and two grandchildren. They are piece just enough to pour out its cap the Sand and Stone Garden “Seki-Tei”
all thriving well in our thirty-year-old tured fluid, leaves one relaxed and re- with its ancient fable from Japanese
state. (Alaska was admitted to the Un- freshed. mythology about the seven starving tiger
ion January 3rd, 1959, although the ter- The garden is nearly a mono- cubs that were saved by Buddha.
ritory of Alaska was purchased from chrome and the eye is feasted on an Arlene Paetow,Vice President
Russia in 1867 by the then Secretary of unbelievable variety of shades of green
State William H. Seward for $7.2 mil- brought about by the almost exclusive Want to join P.T.G.A.?
lion. This enormous bargain was called use of evergreen shrubs. Conifers are P.T.6.A. isanactivesupport group
Seward’s Folly, but it’s proven to be our preferred here and the pine is most often for the Piano Technicians Guild. For in-
greatest purchase.) seen. Light colored blossoms, such as formation about joining, please write or
Editor the plum and cherry appear in Spring, call our Membership Chairperson:
as well as camellia and azalea. The deli- Arlene Paetow, Vice President
Arlene Paetow enjoyed the great cate Japaneseiris also lends its pale note RFD 1, Box 473
Northwest. She and her husband Bill of beauty. High Falls, NY 12440
did not fly East as soon as the conven- One frequently encounters the TeL (914) 6874364
tion was over but stayed a bit longer to stone lanterns which were used in Japan
take in the trip to Posey, view Mt. St. for the Tea Ceremony, when it was held
Helen’s, the magnificent forests, water- at night. They were then set up and
falls and rivers. But while she enjoyed lighted witha torchflameforlight. There
the tag-on trip, the highlight for Arlene is a breath-taking antique five-tiered
was our tour of the Japanese Gardens. Pagoda Lantern framed by a wisteria
So read on and note the effect the tran- arbor. This unusually beautiful lantern P.T.G. Auxiliary
quil gardens had on her. was given to the city of Portland by its
sister city, Sapporo, Japan. It is the work Executive Board
The Japanese Garden of an imperial artist and is classified as a President/Exchange Editor
On a beautiful sunny Wednesday “Japanese Treasure”. It is a traditional Agnes Huether (Charles)
Buddhist Pagoda and bears the name 34Jacklin Court
in Portland, OR, the P.T.G. Auxiliary Clifton, NJ 07012
sponsored an outstanding tour which “Goju-no-to” or five story tower, sym- (201)473-1341
included the internationally famous bolically representing earth, water, fire,
Vice President
Rose Test Gardens, World Forestry wind and sky. The nine rings at the top Arlene Paetow (William)
Center, the Pittock Mansion and the depict the nine heavens and the very top Rt. 1, Box 473
Japanese Gardens. I savored the roses, is in the shape of a lotus blossom, a High Falls, NY 12440
reveled in the splendor and opulence of symbol for Buddha. (914x87-0364
the Pittock Mansion and especially en- Another of the many interesting Recording Secretary
joyed our luncheon at the Chart House. lanterns to be found here is “Yu-Ki-Mi” Judy White (Charles)
It was the Japanese Gardens, however or the PeaceLantern given to the city of Rt. 1, Box 134
that spoke to my soul! Portland by the Mayor of Yokohama in Alma Center, WI 54611
1954. It now may be seen on the east (7151964-8566
From the moment we entered the
edge of the upper pond across from the Corresponding Secretary
Main Gate a feeling of peace and seren-
Tea House and adds its note of peace Marge Moonan (William)
ity was evident. The “Daimyo” Gate- 811 Amherst Dr.
or that of the feudal lord was guarded and harmony to the surroundings. Rome, NY 13440
by stone lions; the male on the left with Travelling full-time with a regis- (3151337-4193
his right paw on a ball symbolizing tered Guild tuner-technician does not Treasurer
power and the female on the right whose always permit one the most relaxed Barbara Fandrich (Delwin)
left paw rested on a lion cub, guiding frame of mind, but now I have found a 1809 Covey Road
and protecting the nation’s young. The new source of inner tranquility. I have Jonesboro, AR 72401
essential elements of the Japanese Gar- but to recall these gardens designed by @x)933-8543
den are water, stones, paths, sculptured Professor P. Takuma Tono, an intema- Immediate Past President
ornaments, waterfalls, bridges, garden tionally renouned authority on Japanese Ginger Bryant (James)
plants and trees. We were more than landscaping. It is then I can begin to 1012 Dunbarton Circle
delighted and soothed by all of these. regain some of that personal quietude. Sacramento, CA 95825
How fortunate are those who live (91619296706
It is said that water brings a still-
ness and a sense of peace to the soul of in the Portland area!They can view these
OCTOBSR 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 37
CLASSWIED ADVERTISING WHY SEmE FOR LESS THAN THE PIANOS! PIANO% PIANOS! Since 1913.
Classifiedad&i&g rates are 35 BEST? We have the finest tools: SOLID Buying and selling all types of usable
cents peg word with a $750 minimum. Full BRASS ACCUCAULS, BUSHMASTER, piano-ash paid-immediate removal.
payment must accompany each insertion KEY BUSHING IRON; we have the fastest, Won’t hesitate. Also selling all types of
request. Closing datefir nds is six we-&sprior most accurate, and easiest to learn method: grand and vertical pianos. Steinway
to the month of publication. THE ACCUBUSH SYSTEM; and now we specialty. We offer genuine discounts of
Ads appearing in this publication are have the best deal for ordering, Call toll volume purchase.
not necessarilyan endorsement of the services free: 1800-38%BUSH (2874). Join the Piano Locators, a div. of Jay-Mart
or products listed. experts who agree: THE ACCUBUSH Wholesale, “The Piano Store For Piano
Send check or money order (U.S. SYSTEM is the BEST system for rebushing Stores” Box 21148, Cleveland, OH 44121,
funds, please) made payable to Piano Techni- keys! (Many have already changed over; if (216) 382-7600.
cians ~oumal ,451O Belk?view, Suite 100, you haven’t you are losing time and
Kansas City, MO 64111. money). MASTERCARD & VISA accepted. SIGHT-O-TUNER SERVICE: Repairs,
KEY BUSHING SUPPLY, 84A Main St, calibration & modifications. Fast, reliable
For Sale Kingston, NH 03848. For info. only call service. Richard J. Weinberger, 18818
AFFORDABLE FILLED MEMORY for (6031642-3633. Grandview Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375.
SANDERSON ACCU-TUNERS. Revised (602) 5844116.
MIDI format reduces installation time, AUBREY WILLIS SCHOOL-Our home
lowers costs. Over 265 tuning charts to study course in piano tuning, repair and CUSTOM PIANO COVERS MADE TO
choose from. All are AURAL QUALITY regulating has been used by hundreds to YOUR SPECIFICATIONS. Perfect for any
complete 88 note tunings, with pitch raise learn the basics. Accredited member storage or moving situation. All work
compensation and detailed index. Less National Home Study Council. No cost guaranteed. Also available many gift
than $1.00 per chart! Write for free information. Aubrey Willis School, 1212 items. Send for brochure and samples. JM
brochure to : THE PERFEn PITCH, 275 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013. FABRICations, 902 185th St. Ct. East,
EAST 1165 NORTH, OREM, UTAH Spanaway,WA 98387. (206) 8476009.
84057. THE GUIDE $10. The Piano Technicians
Guide. A job time study and work guide. SANDERSON ACCU-TUNERS FROM
HUDSON VALLEY KEYBOARD CRAFT Revised and printed to fit a pocket. AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTOR. Free
restoration and rebuilding services for Newton J. Hunt, Piano Tuner-Technician, catalogue. All MIDI, battery, note-switch,
technicians. New soundboard, pinblock & 74 Tunison Road, New Brunswick, NY memory, software, repairs/rental, and tool
strings combination; custom work at 08901. (201) 932-6686. case options. Bob Conrad (816) 444-4344,
reasonable prices. Write or call for Kansas City, MO. CALL COLLECT.
specifications and price list. John Hart- SELF- PLAYING Pianocorder,
PIANOS.
man, RTT, 45 Academy, Beacon, NY 12509 Pianomation, Pianodisc. Sales, Installation, NOW HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE
(914) 838-3635. Servicing. America’s #l Installer and key bushing cauls for two-caul method
Dealer. Grant Leonard, 401 West Lake St., featured in August ‘88 ]our&. Precision
FOR SALE Steinway Grand Piano. Minneapolis, MN 55408. (612) 824-6722. machined, tough, & glue proof, in quanti-
Model D, 8’ 11”. Year manufactured 1928. ties of 45,90, or 180,25c ea. Available for
Mahogany art case. Call (715) 394-9518 HIT THE DECK RUNNING. Purchase key pin sizes .0&X7”,.125”, .131”, .133”, .137”,
evenings or weekends. this well-groomed piano tuning clientele in .146”, & .163”. Also key clamps, felt knives,
beautiful Southern California. Obtain this gram weight sets & soundboard cleaners.
LEARN PIANO TUNING-Small classes; 12-year-old business for only $10,OK1.00. For brochure, call or write Bill Spurlock,
personal attention; Cal State & Vets For more information, call (714) 788-7033. 3574 Cantelow Rd., Vacaville, CA 95688.
approved; NOT a mailarder course. Call (707) 4484792.
or write for free brochure. S.F. School of 88 PIANO KEYS REBUSHED fronts and
centers with extra quality felt, $45.00. PREFER TO REBUSH both sides of
Piano Tuning, 657 Mission St., Suite 507, mortise at once? Now manufacturing
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 543-9833 Return freight paid with prepaid orders.
Tommy L. Wilson, 1418 Ewe11 Ave., conventional double shouldered bushing
“Our 9th Year”. cauls of high density polyethylene, 25c
Dyersburg, TN 38024. (901) 285-4046.
each. Bill Spurlock.
FOR SALE: A complete collection of PTG
]ournals. 1953 to present. Some issues to POLYESTER PIANO FINISH. A complete FOR SALE-A Guide To Restringing.
1948. Make offer. Alan Pierce, 9580 N.W. line of professional products for producing Paperbacks $16.50 plus $1.50 for postage
Cornell Rd., Portland, OR 97229, (503) the ultimate polished polyester piano and handling. Hardbacks $21.50 plus $2.00
292-3959. finish. Black, White, Clear, Custom Colors. for postage and handling. Order today.
Catalog $2.00. Donald M. Steinert. Dept. Sorry, no C.O.D. Make check or money
FLORIDA BUSINESS AVAILABLE by PTJ. 800 Messinger Road, Grants Pass, order payable to: JOHN TRAVIS, 8012
middle of 1989. Please contact Jeanne OR 97527. Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912.
LeFeber. (813) 665-3104,2315 Broadway,
Lakeland, FL 33801. HANDCRAFTED SOUNDBOARDS by NEW SOUNDBOARDS MADE FOR
NICK GRAVAGNE. Ready-to-install YOU. Ship old board. New board comes to
ACCU-TUNER TOOL CASES. Carry crowned boards or semi-complete. Your you ready for installation. Send for
Accu-Tuner and Tools in the Same Case. 4 choice. Ordering and installation instruc- instruction on: Victor A. Benvenuto, 6825
Sizes. 3 Prices. $90-$160. Bob Conrad (816) tions $15.00.20 Pine Ridge, Sandia Park, Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
444-4344.CALL COLLECT. NM 87047. (505) 281-1504. 19119. (215) 438-7038.

38 -OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


A CAREER in Band Instrument Repair or DON’T LEAVE HOME without your SO YOU WANT TO BE A CONCERT
Piano Tuning can be yours! Enroll in bottle of Pearson’s Super Glue (33.25) or TECHNICIAN, by Norman Neblett. This
Western Iowa Tech Community College’s your tungsten carbide sanding file ($7.00). informative lecture, professionally
programs and develop skills from tuning Rapidly becoming an essential part of recorded and edited in May 1988,is now
to rebuilding pianos, or overhauling and every technician’s bagof-tricks (Postage available on cassette.$10 post paid. Rick
repairing brass and woodwind instru- extra). Steve Pearson Piano Service, 831 Baldassin 2684 W. 220 North, Provo,UT
ments. Specially designed facilities include Bennett Ave., Long Beach, CA 90804. (213) 84681.
individual work stations and up-to-date 433-7873
equipment. In-state tuition is $296.00per PLATING-PIANO HARDWARE.
term; out-of-state tuition is $59200 per THE RANDY POTTER SCHOOL OF Stripping, buffing, and NICKEL plating,
term. Most students quality for in-state PIANO TECHNOLOGY-Home Study with hinges up to 6(r’ lengths $1~$225/
tuition by the second quarter. Employers: programs for beginning students, associate set, depending on quantity of parts
contact our placement office about members studying to upgrade to Regis- included. Enclose packing list indicating
availability of graduates. For more tered Tuner-Technician, and RTT’s number of screws with description and
information, contact Admissions Office, wanting to continue their education. quantity of items. REFERENCESAVAIL-
PO Box 265, Sioux City, IA 51102 or call Tuning, repairing, regulating, voicing, ABLE. COD delivery in 2-3 weeks.
(712) 274-6400 collect. apprentice training, business practices. A.R.O.M. throughout the U.S.A.! We will
Top instructors and materials. Call or write serve you with quality & reliability.
SANDERSON ACCU-TUNERS-from for information: RANDY POTTER, RTT; CRAFIECH ELECTROPLATING, #46R
Authorized Distributor. The most accurate 61592 ORION DRIVE, BEND,OR 97702; Endicott St., Norwood, MA 02062, (617)
and advanced tuning aid available. Tuning (503)382-5411. See our ad on page 3. 769-0071 days, (617) 469-9143 eves.
lever note switch for Accu-Tuner 325.
Consignment sale of used Accu-Tuners NILES BRYANT SCHOOtSince 1898 STEINWAY M EBONY REFIN. $1290,
and Sight-O-Tuners or new Accu-Tuner Piano Tuning, regulating and repairing Steinway A $10.500,Steinway 0 Ribon
customers. Call for details. Rick Baldassin, learned easily at home through time tested Mah. $12500, Mason Hamlin BB Mah.
2684 W. 220 North, Provo, UT 84601, (801) method proven over 90 years of continu- Refin. Reblt. $25,CQCl,
Mason Hamlin 5’8”
3742887. ous service. ELECTRONIC ORGAN Mah. Refin. Reblt. $15,000,Mason Hamlin
SERVICING also covered. World’s only 5’8’ Walnt. $6,900,Kawai 7’4” Refin. Ebony
52 PIANO KEYS RECOVERED--sO- home study course covers all makes and !$8,900,Kawaii 5’10” Refin. Ebony 35,000,
$50.00; .060-$60.00;.075 with fronts-$75.00. models and contains over 100 pages of Kawai 6’ Ebony $4,500, Mason Hamlin
New sharps-$32.00; sharps refinished- schematics. Write or call: NILES BRYANT Upright Refin. Reblt. Mah. $3,500, Baldwin
$17.50.Keys rebushed, felt-$6O.O(l.Return SCHOOL, Dept. G, P.O. Box 19700, L Ebony Refin. Reblt. !&?,500,Baldwin F
freight paid with prepaid order. Charles Sacramento, CA 95819. ph. (916)4544748. Refin. Ebony $12&XlO.Call Steve at Hewitt
Wilson, 1841 Kit Carson, Dyersburg TN (24 hrs.) Piano Company, 13119 Downey Avenue,
38024 (901) 285-2516 Paramount, CA 99723 (213) 923-2311.
RESCALING SERVICE: Customized
USED ACCU-TUNER FOR SALE: CALL tunings for Sanderson Accu-Tuner; custom Wanted
COLLECT for details. Bob Conrad (816) rebuilding and remanufacturing. Sound- STEINWAY B OR C; 88 keys; spade-toe
4444344. boards, pinblocks, etc. Lawrence Buck, 171 leg; pre 1910 or pre #140,000 (or later, if
Lincoln Street, Lowe&MA 01852, old-style case); walnut or mahogany.
“COMPONENT BEARING GAUGES (508)458-8688. Geneva Dewitt (818) 790-8287 or 1155
give readings in degrees (string angle) and Oak Grove, San Marino, CA 91108.
thousandths of an inch (dimension). “LETS TUNE UP” $20.00 per copy. Last
Available at supply houses. Box 3247, few hardbacks will soon be gone. No WANTED: FULL-TIME TUNER/TECH-
Ashland, OR 97520.” immediate plans for another printing. NICIAN/REBUILDER Secretary work
Paperbacks still available at $17.50.Make provided. One week paid vacation. Van
.RESTORATION OF CARVED WORK, checks payable to John W. Travis, 8012 provided. Begin ASAP. $25,000yr. Near
turnings, inlays, and marquetry, including Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Frederick, MD. Call Cheryl at (301) 898-
repair of existing work and reproduction 3245 or (301) 775-7393 at Kramer’s Piano
of missing pieces. Edwin TeaIe, 19125 VICTOR A. BENVENUTO VIDEO Shop.
S.W. Kinnaman Rd., Aloha, OR 97007, TAPES, PIANO TUNING AURAL/
(503) 6424287. ELECI’RONIC, $175. The most accurate WANTED: Parts for 1904 Bluthner grand,
approach in fine tuning. KEY MAKING, lid hinges and action parts, original keys in
HARPSICHORD AND FORTE-PIANO $124.75.GRAND REBUILDING (2 tapes), good condition. Rodes Piano Shop, 910
PARTS and kits, original factory materials $225.75.Preparation, pinblock replace- Franklin Street, Winchester, VA 22601
from the finest early keyboard suppliers in ment, damper installation, restringing. (703) 6624447
the world. Also troubleshooting and GRAND REGULATING, $175.75.SOUND
assistance to fellow RTT‘s on harpsichord BOARD REPLACEMENT, $94.75. Ship old WANTED!!! PIANO TUNERfTECHNI-
problems. Authorized Zuckermann Agent. board-new board comes to you ready for CIAN for New York market. In need of
Lowest Factory Direct Prices-buy from installation. Please specify VHS or Beta. experienced and well qualified piano
the source. Catalogs, price lists free. Yves All prices include shipping. THE PIANO technician. Hamburg Steinway factory
A. Feder, RTT, Harpsichord Workshops, 2 SHOPPE, INC., 6825 GERMANTOWN training a real blessing!!! Well attired,
North Chestnut Hill, Killingworth, CT AVE., PHILADELPHIA, PA 19119. (215) good personality. Willing to work and
86417 (203) 663-1811. 4387038. work and work and work. Pro Piano, (212)
206-8794/(800) 367-0777

OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL - 39


TECHNICIAN REQUESTING WORK IN INSTRUmOR WANTED; RlT needed to
THE U.S. OR CANADA. Experience INDEX OF DISPLAY ADVERTISING
includes: 2 years action assembly; 10 years Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. ....................IF
tuning (aural) and repair. Contact: Nicolas 40
c. hchstein ...............................................
- Briza, 118 Bolosan, 2400 Dagupan City, Francisco, CA 9410%Tele: (415) 543 -983. DamppChaser Electronics .....................14
PHILIPPINES. DecalsLJnlimited/%hmeder’sClassic
PIANO TUNER/TECHNICIAN. Career WANTED!! DEAD OR ALIVE .33
Caniage .....................................................
opportunity in the Philadelphia area’s ” Steinway Uprights.” Call collect, Ben Emil Fries Piano Hospital.. ......................31
largest ‘an0 organ corn any. Looking for Knauer (818) 343-7744. FIeisher Piano Cabinetry .........................18
accompp!lshed tuner/ teeK nician to take UP TO $1000 Finder’s Fee will be paid for 31
Bill Carlick .................................................
over well-established 1200 customer successful purchase of a Mason and Grayson County College .........................40
territory. Home, school, churches and Hamlin Ex-Player. I have mechanism to Houston Community College.. ...............14
concert work included. Send resume or install. Please call collect (317) 2594307 or lnventronics, Inc. ...................................... 14
call collect. (215) 659-5423. Taylor Music evenings (317) 849-1469. Jim Brady, 4609 A. Isaac Pianos ......................................... .35
Co., c/o Greg Sikora, 1135 N. Easton Rd., Cranbrook Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46250. KImbaII Piano L Organ Co. ....................IB
WiIIow Grove, PA 19090. Lee Music Mfg. Co. .................................... .6
GREAT OPPORTUNITY for self-moti- Lunsford-Alden Co. ................................ .I4
WANT TO BUY. Steinway duo-art vated person to learn mfessional remanu- North Bennet St. School .......................... .18
factunng of pianos. I? aving expanded and Pacific Piano Supply.. .............................. .12
moved into our new factory and distribu- .31
Pianotek .....................................................
tion center, we now need to train more Randy Potter School ................................... 3
Indianapolis, IN 46220. people to become craftsmen capable of Pro Piano ..................................................... .6
meeting our high standards of workman- Schaff Piano Supply ................................... 1
ship. Send resume to: Webb Phillips, 1836 Shenandoah College ................................... 6
Stout Dr., #16, Ivyland, PA 18974. .31
Shuler Co. ..................................................
TWO POSITIONS OPEN with leading 13
BiII Spurlock ..............................................
central New York iano dealer. Piano Steinway & Sons ......................................... 5
COLEMAN -DEFEBAUGH Service Manager, t; ‘IT required; minimum Superior Imports, Ltd. ............................. 23
Video Cassettes 5 years experience. Piano Technician, RTT Superior Instruction Tapes ......................40
l Aural & Visual Tuning $79.50 referred; minimum 3 years experience. Tuners Supply, Inc.. .................................... 3
Pitch raising, temperament setting. beat counting, L th positions full-time with excellent 13
vestal Press ................................................
Sanderson Accu-Tuner. etc.
salary and benefit options. Send resume Yamaha Music Corp. .............................. BC
l Grand Action Rebuilding $79.50
Hammers, shanks & flanges, wippens, key bushing,
and references to Evan Tublitz, Syracuse Young Chang America .............................. 7
backchecks, etc. Artist Piano, Ltd., 5780 CeIi Dr., East
l Upright Regulation $65.00 Syracuse, NY 13057. ph. (315) 446-5660,
Troubleshooting, refelting. etc. fax (315) 446-2219.
l Beginning Piano Tuning
*Grand Action Regulation $K:l REWARD. $1000.00Reward offered for
l Voicing

l Exploring the Accu-Tuner gz:


VHS or Beta (213) 7354$96
Superior Instruction Tapes
2152 W. Washington Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

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425 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 255-0284 FAX (415) 626-4139

40 -OCTOBER 1989 PIANO TECHNICIANS JOURNAL


A studio piano designed
l *d ad d a 0

in mind.
We listened and now we
have a studio that meets
your expectations.
This totally new studio contains the design
features demanded by piano teachers,
school boards, and technicians. And we’ve
gone even further. The Classic Studio with a
Herrburger Brooks Langer 80 action makes
this the only piano of its kind that you will
honestly say, “plays like a grand”.
A solid spruce soundboard, a totally new
scale featuring the Kimball “Tri-modular
bridge”, and 17 pound hammers, combine
for the finest in tone quality.
individually leaded keys and meticulous
regulation make for the most consistant
touch.
Improved ball bearing casters, locks in the
top and fall, and a redesigned cabinet
makes this not only functional, but attractive
well.
together the new Classic Studio will fulfill
w as u true classic...a measure bv
Yamaha Piano Service

MIDI Comer Yamaha in the News


YAMAHA PIANO SERVICE CASADESUS COMPETITION
FINALISTS ALL CHOSE
COMPLETES THREE
YAMAHA PIANOS
TRAINING SESSIONS FOR
All three finalists in the Robert
THE DISKLAVIER’” PIANO
Casadesus8th International Piano
The first three seminars for Competition performed on
piano technicians devoted ex- Yamaha concert grand pianos
clusively to overall service for both in reliminary competition
the Disklavier’” piano have and in t E:e winners’ recitals held
been completed, and more August 20,1989 at the Cleveland,
are scheduled. Ohio Institute of Music.
These 3 4i day sessions, held Sergei Babaj an (Armenia,
in-house at our corporate offices USSR), Nicholas Angelich
in Buena Park, CA, equip piano (USA) and Megumi Kancko
technicians with a full under- (Japan) took first, second and
standing of all functions of the third prizes, respectively, in a
DisklavierT” piano, and prepare strong field of competitors from
them in all aspects of diagnosing nearly 20 nations. Their choice
and servicing these instruments. Personnel Profiles of instruments again highlights
Check this and subsequent the acceptance ofYamaha pianos
HIROMI TAMAISHI among concert performers and art-
issuesfor upcoming seminar dates.
Hiromi (Hank) Tamaishi is a ists. Congratulations one and all!
Or call Yamaha Piano Service
Concert and Artist PianoTech-
toll-free at 1-800-854-1569 for
more information.
nician performing service for Yamaha will
Andre Watts, Michael Tilson participate in:
Thomas, and the growing list of
other renowned artists choosing DISKLAVIER” SERVICE
to perform on Yamaha pianos. SEMINARS
#4 October 24-27,1989
To his U.S. post, Hank has
#5 November 28-
brought a long list of credentials December I,1989
dating back to 1967-68 when he #6 January30-February2,199O
studied at the Yamaha PianoTech- #7 February 20-23,199O
nical Academy. Since then, he PTG SEMINARS
has worked in many areas of the 1989
grand piano factory, as well as in Oct. 1-3 Florida State
Back row-left to right: LaRoy Edwar&, PianoTechnical Service in the Oct. 13-i5 TexasState
Robert Conrad, Michael Kernper, Tokyo, Chiba, and Hiroshima
Larry Newhouse, Peg Brown, .Jim Rule,
Oct. 20-22 New York State
Branches. Oct. 27-29 NorthCarolina State
Charles Hansen, Bill Brandom;
front roecj-left to right:Hank Turn&hi, Hank and his wife, Mariko, 1990
Yoji Suzuki, Dean Garten have two small children and reside Feb. 16-18 California State
in Fullerton, CA. He enjoys golf, LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE
table tennis and fishing. Jan. 8-12,199O
WINTER NAMM SHOW
Jan. 19-21,199O

YAMAHA”
Copyright 1989 Yamaha Corporation of America* Piano Department, Keyboard Division * P.0. Box 66000 Buena Park, CA 90622
OCT.

{Published Monthly For Members Of The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. ) I

Dates & 1990 Dues Process Begins


Deadlines Invoices for 1990 Piano and addresses. The chapter dues
Technicians Guild dues will be billing will include only those
mailed to all members early in who are actually members at the
October 19-22,1989 November. Dues will officially be time invoices are prepared -
RTZ’ Tuning & Technical Examina- due Jan. 1,1990, will become chapter dues will not be collected
tions, CTE Recertification. New York delinquent Jan. 31,1990, and from those who join after the No-
State Conference, Queensbury Hotel, those whose dues are unpaid by vember mailing.
Glens Falls, NY. Contact: Stephen The dues invoice will also
March 2,1990, will be dropped
Snyder (518) 854-3888.
from the membership rolls. include members’ names, ad-
October 27-29,1989 The dues-collection process, dresses and phone numbers as
RTl’ Tuning Examination. North especially the collection of they appear in the Home Office
Carolina State Conference, Winston- chapter dues, has been stream- computer records. When you
Salem, NC. Contact: John Foy, (919) receive your invoice, please verify
773-1754.
lined this year. In addition,
members will be able to pay dues that this information is correct -
November 2526,1989 by credit card - either Visa or your listing in the Guild’s 1990
RTT Tuning & Technicnl Examina- Mastercard. membership directory will
tions. Elizabethtown, PA, Area include that information. The
Invoices sent to members of
Examining Board. Contact: Mike directory, which will be published
more than 50 Guild chapters also
Carraher, (717) 367-8256
will include chapter dues. These as the April issue of the Journal,
January 1,199O chapter dues will be collected by will include only those members
1990 dues due. the Home Office and disbursed to whose dues have been paid by
Deadline for submission of awarda March 2.
chapter treasurers after the
nominations to Awards Committee.
March 2 drop date. Chapter 1990 membership cards will
Contact: Bob Morris, 1729 D Valley
Road, Champaign, IL 61820. officers will receive a printout be mailed to paid-up members
Proposed bylaws chnnges due to this month verifying amounts to beginning in December.
Bylaws Committee. Contact: Sharla be collected and members’ names
Kistler, RD #8, Box 461, Allentown,
PA 18104.
January 31,199O
1990 dues delinquent
‘Friends’ Support International Efforts
February 1,199O
Deadline for submission of officer Although membership in Home Office. Contributions will
nominations to Nominating the International Association of be used to fund Guild participa-
Committee. Contact: Teri Powell, tion in the international organi-
Piano Builders and Technicians
1666 W. 261 St., Harbor City, CA
is not open to individuals, Guild zation, which also includes
90710.
members and others can support technicians’ organizations in
March 2,199O the international piano commu- Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and
Members who are delinquent in 1990 nity by becoming “Friends of Australia.
dues to be dropped from roster. A contribution form will be
IAPBT.”
July 7-11,199O An annual contribution of included in the upcoming Guild
331-d Annual Convention and $15 brings an IAPBT member- dues mailing.
Technical Institute. Hyatt Regency ship card and IAPBT pin, as well
Dallas. Contact: Home Oflice, 4510 as a subscription to the quarterly
Belleview, Suite 100, Kansas City, IAPBT newsletter, which will
MO 64111.
now be published in the Guild’s
article were overly pessimistic to I would say it looks like some
serious “tedious” work is being
UHE say the least, and were too
generalized to be a fair and
accurate report on the state of
done at these pianos. Usually, it
is the electronic keyboards that I
our profession today. Therefore I see lying unused in a comer of
am submitting this rebuttal, with the room.
Lettersfrom readers on organiza- the hope that our membership All of the piano teachers I
tional matters will be published in this will be given the opportunity to know are booked completely,
spaceeach month. Letters should be read a more positive assessment some have waiting lists for
conciseand may be editedfor length of our trade. students they cannot yet accom-
and style. It is difficult to agree with modate.
Mr. Barr’s findings regarding the The morale at our chapter
“slow but constant erosion of the meetings is very high; I doubt
self-esteem of most piano tun- our morale would be so high if
To The Soundboard: ers,D or the “endless interwoven many of us felt we were not
There comes a time when barrage of negativity surround- performing a valuable service, or
one has so many people to thank ing ~s.~ Those statements just not contributing to society. As
that the task becomes too big to don’t make any sense to me at for me, I am tuning an average of
handle. Such a time for me is all. 25 pianos per week, and hardly a
right now. I have been a full-time prac- day goes by when one or more of
Starting with my years as ticing piano technician for 14 my customers doesn’t thank me
an instructor in Piano Technol- years; 13 of those as an RTT. for having called to remind them
ogy at North Bennet St. School in Piano service has been my sole to get the piano tuned.
Boston, MA, latterly working at occupation the entire time. There is no need to feel that
Steinway 6 Sons, and most During this time, my standard of we piano technicians are no
recently at the convention in living has definitely very steadily longer needed; the acoustic piano
Portland, I have been blessed increased. is here to stay and so are quali-
with an almost overwhelming I would be the first to admit fied piano technicians.
outpouring of support and to feeling financially pinched, but Mark Mestman, RTT
encouragement from friends and that is not at all due to any real
colleagues in the the Piano or imagined lack of income. To The Soundboard:
Technicians Guild and through- Rather it is due to my past I attended Dr. Sanderson’s
out the world of the piano. failure to avoid the trap of over- class on aural tuning for elec-
So many of you will never spending my income via credit tronic tuners at the Portland
know how deeply I have been cards. I have since learned, the convention. As a result I was
affected by this. There is no way hard way, that much self-esteem convinced that the Council made
I can properly thank all of you for can be had in learning to live the right decision in raising the
your many thoughtful kind- within one’s means. aural requirement for electronic
nesses. I hope that this lett,er of In all this time, I have tuners to 80 percent.
appreciation and thanks will go heard only one tuner say that he I was impressed with Dr.
at least some way towards wasn’t making a good living in Sanderson’s presentation and
expressing my feelings about a piano work. All of the RTI”s I am with the capabilities of the accu-
very wonderful experience. acquainted with, and most of the tuner. The problem with machine
My thanks to each and all of Associates, have all the work tuning is not the machine, but
you. they can handle. Many of these rather the imperfect piano. A
Bill Garlick tuners have bought homes and temperament was set using the
are raising families. Unless my accu-tuner after determining the
To The Soundboard: friends are very good at conceal- correct stretch factor, but there
I am writing in rebuttal to ing their troubles, I don’t see were problems because of the
David Barr’s recent article, “Self them having a hard time making imperfect piano. Considerable
Esteem and the Piano Tuner”, ends meet. aural tuning skill would be
which appeared in the July 89 is- Mr. Barr’s statements re- necessary in order to improve
sue of the Journal. garding the piano’s place and that temperament and the rest of
It seems inappropriate for value in society also are skewed the tuning.
Mr. Barr’s article to have been toward the negative. Judging by It was evident that a good
presented under the heading of the amount of music books, machine tuning without the
the Economic Affairs Committee. pencils and erasers I have to aural refinements could be a
The viewpoints expressed in the remove from the pianos I service, Continued on page 4

2ON2 - October IQ89


Northeast Region - Chapter Activities Varied, Exciting
Ruth Brown ated a different approach for guinea pig during her tuning
CMAC Regional Director technicals - one holds a “prob- exam, enabling the chapter to see
Northeast Region lem clinic” or group discussion the test first-hand.
The Northeast region has rather than a one-person techni- Two chapters rebuilt and
had a fantastic year, with a wide cal, twice yearly. The other two sold pianos.
variety of technical programs, are taking advantage of all the Newsletters are sent by 14
field trips, seminars and social newly available material on the chapters, and CMAC reports
events. A brief rundown: technical test, and use it for come in from far and wide. This
Several chapters wrote to us review or for newer members. column is based on gleanings
about their press releases, Three chapters visited piano from the CMAC reports.
teacher seminars and other factories or related facilities, and The social calendar includes
publicity-minded projects, one had a slideshow of a plant in many dinners, special banquets
including working with local China. and get-togethers, and one
MTNA groups. One is planning Three chapters held full- lobster/clambake!
to take the new PTG movie on fledged conventions, while two Many business programs
the road. Yet another has a others hosted one-day seminars. have been held, including Janu-
chapter telephone number listed Another set up a day-long busi- ary visits from CPAs and a wide
in the Yellow Pages. ness program. The editor of one range of technician-given small-
Three chapters have initi- newsletter volunteered to be a business topics.

RVP Boone
Leads Drive
For New Carillon
Piano technicians are often
called upon to work on many
types of keyboard instruments,
but few have an opportunity to
service a carillon, much less
spearhead a drive for its pur-
chase. Danny Boone, South
Central RVP and piano techni-
cian for the School of Music at
Baylor University in Waco, TX, is
part of the story behind the
Baylor’s new McLane Carillon.
The Cullen F. Thomas
Danny Boone, piano technician at Baylor University, poses with the
Chimes, located in the tower of
school’s new carillon. Boone led a drive which resulted in the purchase of
Pat Neff Hall on the University the carillon (Baylor News-Journal photos).
campus, began malfunctioning in
the late 1970’s.~Boone, who knew system. Boone, who had grown support with a donation of
little about the operational quite fond of the music provided $325,000 for a new carillon. The
system of the chimes, voluntarily by the chimes, refused to let new carillon was specially cast
began working on them. For the them die, and began seeking new for the University at a foundry in
next several years, he was able to avenues for the repair or replace- France and arrived in the fall of
keep instilling life into them ment of the instruments. 1988. The new carillon was
whenever they broke down. In 1985, he was named featured in the Baylor News
Gradually, the chimes, chairman of a select committee Journal, a magazine published by
which were installed about 50 to find a way to bring the music the school’s office of public rela-
years ago, reached a state where back. For the next two years, tions. Boone’s dedication and de-
even his special talents were not Boone guided the search. In termination are part of the
enough. Lack of parts and old age 1988, alumnae Drayton McLane reason music still rings over the
finally tolled the death of the and his family added their Baylor Campus.

October1989-2WJ3
In Respectful Memory...
Arthur Tofte, RTT Pomona Valley Chapter where he Convention Coordinator for the
Arthur (Art) Tofte, R’IT, of had held several offices, includ- California State Conference. His
Henrietta, TX, passed away Sep- ing Vice President and President. many activities earned him a
tember 1, 1989 in Wichita Falls, He was also a life member of “Presidential Citation” at the
TX. A native of Minnesota, he Optimist International. 1989 Convention in Portland.
was a Charter Member of the Raye and his wife Ruth op- His mechanical aptitude led
Texoma Chapter, and a Chapter erated a Rebuilding Shop in Po- him to a hobby of restoring old
Sustaining Member of the Guild. mona. In addition to regular Pi- clocks and he became known for
Tot&, 76, was a retired ano Service, they maintained an his skill in that area. Before be-
salesman for McCarty Music and inventory of rental pianos and coming a Piano Technician, Raye
a member of Elks Lodge and also rebuilt reed organs. After had been a professional photogra-
Lake Arrowhead Baptist learning about the use of epoxies pher and his expertise in that
Church. and adhesives, they expanded subject was also well known.
Survivors include two their operation to include the Religion played a very im-
daughters, Gloria Simmerman sale of glues, lubricants and portant part in Raye’s life. He
and Shirley Dunn; a son, Arthur other related items to piano was very active in his church and
Jr.; five sisters, Edna Berger, technicians. his marvelous singing voice was
Lillian Brandt, Irene Ulschaffer, Raye’s expertise (especially a natural complement to choir.
Elsie Locket& and Esther in Player Piano maintenance and A very large crowd was
Bolwby; four brothers, Ray, restoration) gained him national present for Raye’s funeral which
Merly, Sandy, and Clarence; and prominence and teaching assign- was held on August 3rd at his
seven grandchildren. ments at our National Conven- church. Following his wishes, the
He was a dedicated PTG tions as well as giving many pro- church choir sang and one might
member and will be missed by grams and teaching at local chap- have thought that heaven had
all who knew and worked with ters and state conventions. He joined us here on earth because
him. was to have headed up the the music was so beautiful. Raye
Jimmy Gold individual tutoring program at has touched many of us and his
Portland this year, but his illness presence will most certainly be
Raye McCall, RTT prevented him from attending. missed.
Raye McCall, Rl’l’ passed For many years he was in Paul Seabern
away July 30, 1989 following charge of putting on the annual
several months of illness. He was Pomona Valley Chapter Seminar,
a very active member of the and for several years he was the
Soundboard...
quality tuning. I found myself
P.R. Pays Off In Pennsylvania wondering and asking how many
aural tunings meet that stan-
Members of two Pennsylva- Guild press release prepared for dard-about 50% according to
nia chapters used their atten- convention-going RTTs. So far, Dr. Sanderson. Certainly an
dance at the recent Portland the photo and release have aural tuner would need to score
Convention and the recognition appeared in the Elizabethtown considerably higher than 80% on
their chapters received in this Chronicle and the Towne News. the tuning test to tune as well. It
year’s Chapter Management and The South Central Pennsyl- is easy to see why the electronic
Achievement awards program to vania and Reading-Lancaster tuner needs a comparable tuning
obtain publicity for the Guild in Chapters received first prize score to be able to improve an ex-
local publications. awards in the Small Chapter and cellent machine tuning.
Keith Bowman and Jim Intermediate Chapter categories As I see it, the finest tuning
Hess of the South Central of the Chapter Management is possible aurally or electroni-
Pennsylvania Chapter and Mike Awards. The press release, which cally with aural corrections.
Carraher of Reading-Lancaster, briefly described convention Therefore, top quality work,
PA, had a photo taken during the activities, was distributed to R’IT electronic or aural, requires a
convention with their chapters’ members at the convention for test score that demonstrates
awards and distributed it to use in their hometown publica- superior aural skills.
eight area newspapers, along tions. Virgil E. Smith, RTT
with an expanded version of a Chicago Chapter

20/W-October1999