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Felt knuckle cover. (Keith McGavern, Newton Hunt)

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 9:49 PM
Subject: Re: felt knuckles???? (revisited from 9/00)

Del, LIst,

There is a short article in the March 2001 issue of the Piano Technicians
Journal, p8, by James M. Reeder, RPT concerning these felt knuckles. This
article offers some historical perspective that explains how these knuckles
came into being, and why they were used when they were.

In brief, and according to John Steinway via James, the felt was used
during a time when quality leather from South America was not available,
and this lack of leather just happened to occur during the same time period
when Aeolian used felt instead of leather for vertical hammer butts and
catchers. Orders had to be filled and this is what they came up with.

I feel very satisfied with this explanation. Much appreciation to James
for his contribution.

Keith McGavern
Registered Piano Technician
Oklahoma Chapter 731
Piano Technicians Guild

----- Original Message -----
From: Newton Hunt <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2001 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: felt knuckles???? (revisited from 9/00)

I remember those days. The felt was a substitute for leather because
Nixon boycotted the importation of leather from Brazil, piano industry
source, and at the same time suede skirts came into fashion. Guess
who had the purchasing power. Aeolian use woven cloth and Steinway
used felt, and Baldwin used Corfam, all were not good substitutes for

A couple of years later cork wedgies (shoes not tricks) were in
fashion. The wine industry had to pay ten cents each more for corks
because the garment industry out bid the wine growers.

Makes you wonder where societies priorities lie.


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Hand and Arm Pain Remedy (numerous)

----- Original Message -----
From: pianolover 88 <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 11:29 PM
Subject: treatment for arthritis/hand pain

Lately my tuning hand is feeling some pain, especially in the 3rd & 4th knuckle joint. I've had this before and it usually dissipates within a few days of the onset. Not sure of the cause, and since I'm only in my early 40's, I'm hoping it's not arthritis. But I was wondering if anyone has ever tried ''glucosamine and/or chondroitin ", and experienced pain relief. I may have to even resort to cortisone shots, but in the meantime, I'll drink green tea, and cut back to just 3 tunings per day. Oh, I also hear fish oil is helpful. What are your most effective hand pain remedies?

Terry Peterson
Precision Piano Service
Torrance, CA


You might try to vary your techniques and tools as much as possible without
sacrificing results. The idea is to give your hand a variety. Perhaps
different diameter hammer handles, ball-end hammers, etc. Glucosamine and
chondroitin work, but results vary from person to person, and it takes up to
several weeks for them to "kick in."

See a hand specialist sooner rather than later. The one truth about
repetitive motion injuries is that if you ignore them they almost always get
worse. Prevention is everything here.

Dan Dannenfelser
Sacramento, CA

I've had tendinitis at the elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome as well. The tendinitis went away with use of a tennis elbow brace (the kind with two plastic forms) and regular use of capsicum cream. When you first use the cream, it burns like hell, but within a few days the burning stops and it is actually more effective when it does.

For the carpal tunnel syndrome I used a hand brace of the kind that can be gotten in any pharmacy (the bigger, heavier duty one). The problem disappeared in a couple of months even without cutting back on my work.

I consulted my doctor, and I recommend you do the same, but I'm definitely a believer in capsaicin cream and the braces, which I continue to use as a preventive measure.

Paul S. Larudee

For what it's worth, when I began studying aikido 6 years ago (at age 48), I
couldn't bend my legs more than about 30 degrees without pain; along with the
training which solved most of the stiffness, I took Glucosamine for awhile
and had pretty amazing results. Now that's two variables (exercise and
chemicals), and I don't know which had the greater impact, but I suspect that
the training is the most effective. But I don't discount the G. I didn't
suffer any side effects that I could tell either. Let me know if you try it.

Hi Terry,

Learn to tune with your other hand. You can distribute the stress load
better that way.

Do use a striker (pounder) if you are having problems. Do learn to tune in
a mild manner. Do consider learning both smooth pull and impact techniques
and alternate between them. Do use an elbow brace--particularly on days
when you have more tunings than is comfortable for your body. Do use
hearing protection. Do use a stool so your body can be at a comfortable
        Don Rose


Terry- I have had great success with a combination of glucosamine/chondroit-
 1500 and 1200 mgs a day respectively- Ileen Kaplan


I've had similar problems in the past. I'm in my early 50's and
periodically experience joint pains especially in my fourth and fifth
fingers. My doctor refers to this as 'pre-arthritic', some comfort, huh?
I've also run the gamut of wrist injuries and elbow pains. So much for my

The thing that has helped me the most is to change my tuning hammer and
my technique. I'm presently using a home made hammer that is very light
weight (11 1/2oz.) and at the same time a good 12" long. The handle has a
teardrop shaped ball on the end nearly two inches in diameter and is
relatively short. This kind of design gives me leverage without all the
excess weight of most commercial hammers. I've been using it for about
four months now and have noticed a considerable improvement in my tunings
and far less stress on my fingers and arm.

Also I've had to change my approach to tuning. I find, in general, that
if I extend my tuning arm almost straight and exert force on the tuning
lever, I tend to use the muscles of my forearm and upper arm more
efficiently. Because of the length and shape of my lever, I don't have to
grip the handle tightly to move the pins. I also keep my wrist straight
to avoid injury. I think, as we age, the idea of 'muscling' the pins into
position with our fingers and wrist becomes a little less desirable not
to mention painful.

Hope this helps.

Charles Faulk RPT
Manhattan, KS

Hi Terry, I take the''glucosamine and/or chondroitin mixture and it seems
to help. On real painful days I take two Aleve tablets and 1/2 aspirin.
Dick Powell

Two things: First, glucosamine is not a chemical, but rather is derived from shrimp and crab shells. There should not be any side effects from it, unless the formula is somehow wrong, and your body doesn't respond well to it. I suggest a product called Bio-glucosamine, put out by a company called Molecular Biologics. Call your local health stores and find out who carries it.
Second, may I suggest reading a book "There is a Cure for Arthritis" by Paavo O. Airola, N.D. I believe it will put you on a new path of how you look at this ailment.
Wishing you great health! Trix Erwin (Dale's wife)

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1906 Hale Hammer (Paul Chick)

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 10:02 PM
Subject: Re: 1906 Hale Hammer

I happened to think about the hammer I use given to me by my mentor which
belonged to his father. This would date it about 1880-1890. It has no
threads on the head, just a tapered fit. I cleaned the tapers and tapped the
head on and have been using it for about 20 years. I like the balance and
feel. But I'm stuck with the one #2 tip. Granted, it will fit most
situations but I was wondering if any on the list may have a tip or two
lying in the tool drawer they can't use because there are no threads and the
hole passes all the through. It is a rosewood adjustable Hale tuning hammer.
Just curious.

Paul Chick
----- Original Message -----
From: Newton Hunt <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 8:24 PM
Subject: Re: 1906 Hale Hammer

>.................................................... and
> cherish the number of pianos it has seen.

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Shipping Piano (Roger Jolly)

----- Original Message -----
From: jolly roger <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2001 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: Shipping piano

Hi rook,
           I have missed most of this thread, so what I have to say may be
We ship pianos quite often, with minimal problems, by repacking them in a
crate. As good or in if not better than the manufacturer.
Photo's and insurance is important. CAUTION: Standard freight insurance
is by the pound. You have to ask for declared value insurance to prevent
problems in the event of a claim.
They charge accordingly.
Skid shipping a piano, is unwise unless dealing with a specialty company
like Keyboard Carriage.

With grands we usually pack legs, lyre, and bench separately. Some how they
rarely fit into another brand of packing crate.
Warn the customer that it is not the cheapest way to do it, but it is
safest. Also they will be responsible for processing all damage claims in
the event of damage.
Some minor packing rubs can be expected. It happens all the time on new
We even off the customer the opportunity to inspect the packing, prior to
calling the freight company.
Be up front with the customer that you cannot be responsible for any thing
that you have no control over. Freight damage is a freight company
problem, and the customer should understand this.

It is too easy to caught in the middle of a dispute.

Regards Roger

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