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Knabe grand agraffe search (Keith McGavern)

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 8:06 PM
Subject: Knabe grand agraffe search (Keith McGavern)

Dear List,

I have just acquired a 1912 Knabe 5'8" grand. A bi-chord agraffe was
broken. I have extracted the broken piece and am now ready to put a
replacement in.

However, there is a slight discrepancy with the hole arrangement (where the
strings pass through on the agraffe). The distance between the holes is
somewhat narrower, and further down from the top on the one I have in stock
than the original Knabe agraffe.

I *can* make the contemporary agraffe work, but felt it might be worth
checking with you, the Pianotech subscribers, to see if someone had some
spares from perhaps a rebuild or something like that.

The threaded end is 7/32" and just over 3/8" in length.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Keith McGavern
Registered Piano Technician
Oklahoma Chapter 731
Piano Technicians Guild

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Grand rebuilding Damper assembly (Jon Page)

----- Original Message -----
From: Jon Page <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 8:37 PM
Subject: Re: personal discovery

At 04:30 PM 03/05/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>So I'm here in the shop finishing up a Steinway M. I noticed a wobbly
>damper lever (dampers already rough regulated). I put it off until
>finally I decided I couldn't leave it. I pulled the dampers and the
>underlever system to fix the problem. Pinning was loose so I popped off
>the lever/flange and re pinned and then re glued and clamped. I looked at
>back at the piano and thought..."Hey this would be a good time to finish
>up the let-off!" So I installed the action and found I was able to align
>the hammers, do let-off/drop, level strings and whatever I can think
>of. WOW! This is the way to do it if your rebuilding a
>grand. Restring, hang your hammers rebuild action, whatever and then
>regulate the action with the dampers out of the way. Install your dampers
>at the end of the job...this is probably common knowledge to everyone
>except me (and I've thought of it but never actually did it)but if anyone
>hasn't tried this give it a shot!
>David Ilvedson, RPT

The next step would be to replace the under levers with the Renner USA
Underlever Kit.

The biggest advantage is replacing those old stiff tabs with the spring
mechanism. Also
the ability to install assist springs, not all pianos had them.

Jon Page, piano technician
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Mass.

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Grand Regulating without Damper Assembly (Roger Jolly)

----- Original Message -----
From: jolly roger <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 12:00 AM
Subject: Re: personal discovery

Hi David,
               I'm having a chuckle, I discovered the same thing in a similar
manner, only I was waiting for some damper felt on back order.
Been doing that way for a number of years.
On a rebuild I always pull, and service, the back action. Even with screwed
flanges it is a hassle getting at them, when every thing is assembled..
Another time saver: align the back action to the keys with the stack off, and
no strings on the piano.
Perfect unacorda every time.
Regards Roger

At 04:30 PM 3/5/01 -0800, you wrote:
> List,
> So I'm here in the shop finishing up a Steinway M. I noticed a wobbly
> lever (dampers already rough regulated). I put it off until finally I
> decided I couldn't leave it. I pulled the dampers and the underlever system
> to fix the problem.

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Pinblock Thickness (Willem Blees)

----- Original Message -----
From: <Wimblees@AOL.COM>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: Pin bock thickness

In a message dated 3/5/01 11:10:09 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

> A Knabe grand pinblock originally 1 3/4" thick.
> Sits on the shelf, with wood shims(thin), elevating the
> block/plate, to the proper level. Block ends are into the rim about 1/2
> inch.
> The distance from the plate to the bottom of the flange is only 1 1/2
> inches.
> So what is so stop me from using a 1 1/2" block and shimming
> the shelf the extra 1/4". It is screwed/glued down to the shelf away.
> If it is important to use a 1 3/4" block, why is it important?
> I ask as I have the 1 1/2" block material in stock, not 1 3/4"
> I am only considering if this may be an option,
> consulting with several experts that know better,
> including this list.
> Thank You
> Dave Renaud

The 1 1/2 inch pin block will work, with the extra shims. Just make sure you
use shorter tuning pins than originally came out of the block. As a rule, I
always use 1 3/8" tuning pins, regardless of what came out of the piano,
unless I can see that the plate is extra thick.


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Snooker Ball for Hammer Handle (Terry Peterson)

----- Original Message -----
From: pianolover 88 <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2001 11:40 PM
Subject: "snooker" ball for Hammer

I've been using a round wooden ball on the end of my hammers for over a year
now and would NEVER go back to a traditional handle. Today I paid a visit to
a local Billiard supply shop and bought 3 used "Snooker" type billiard
balls, and plan to have them bored tomorrow at a machine shop to replace the
wood balls. I was initially going to use a standard size billiard ball, but
it was just a tad to large, so the Snooker turned out to be PERFECT at 2
1/8th" diameter. The guy at the machine shop will use a lathe instead of a
standard drill press, and I know the little added weight will feel good in
my hand, without it being too heavy. So in case any of you were thinking of
adding a ball to the end of your hammer, you might consider this idea.


Terry Peterson
Precision Piano Service
Torrance, CA

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Polyester touch up (Paul McCloud)

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul McCloud <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 11:52 PM
Subject: Re: Polyester Repair

Doing polyester repair isn't rocket science, but it does require the
right materials and methods. I agree with the guy who said to get the
Konig system polyester. It's thinner, so it will fill the nooks and
crannys of your damaged area, and it dries fast. I do a lot of
polyester repair at the store where I work, so if you have any
questions, feel free to email me.
    Basically, be sure to bevel the edges of the damaged area about 45
degrees. Too shallow bevel will sometimes cause problems in buffing.
You don't need a buffer machine if you have the right compounds and
sandpaper. Keep your sandpaper clean. I have used Meguiar's products,
Mohawk products, and others besides the Konig. I have just discovered
the best compound yet- made by Blue Magic. You can find it in the auto
parts stores. If you rub long enough with it, will buff out
scratches from 1000 grit paper enough so it's very shiny. Though you
could use one final compound to improve it.
    If you are repairing clear poly over wood color, good luck. If the
color is still there, you're ok. If not...
    Mix your poly carefully. If you use the thicker poly, be careful
about bubbles. I don't use it much, since I hate bubbles in the
finish. Stir slowly.
    So, good luck.
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego


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Acrilykey URL

For those in the U.S. you might be interested in the Acrilykey website: This is done by Richard Wagner, RPT
regards, Joe Garrett-Oregon

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Setting Temperament in Great Britain (Barrie Heaton)

----- Original Message -----
From: Barrie Heaton <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 11:06 AM
Subject: Re: 'C' fork users only (inferior 'A' fork users need not apply)

In message <>, thepianoarts
 <> writes
> Thanks...I would like to know more about your temperament. Do you get
>involved with "breaking the octave up" into 3 contiguous 3rds? You must
>have 'memorized ' some beat rates from the looks of your pattern. For
>example, your first check, the maj. 6th G to E. You have, no doubt, been
>stretching wire for many moons.
> Some folks who are wanting to learn aural tuning, worry that they must
>'memorize' beat rates. Could you elaborate?
>Dan Reed
>Dallas, Texas

 Yes you have to learn the pattern of the 3rds and 6ths When I started
 tuning we chipped the strings with a plectra no action in the piano and
 you pulled it up a semi tone. this teaches leaver control and to judge
 intervals, plus the beats are a lot easier to hear for the untrained
 ear, when you pluck them.

 First you learn the C to E 3rd this is the most important one to get
 right as it sets the start the rest of the intervals have checks to
 cross reference except the D

 Some tuners start C to E then C down to G then B to E this gives you
 your slowest 3rd and the second fastest 3rd, now the 6th E to G is
 slower than the C to E. Then you tune the D wide to the G (sharp) you
 then tune the A to the D and check with the E, The A should be tuned
 narrow to the D and should be wide of the E (some small pianos make this
 hard to do)

 Up to the F# check with the D and A the 6th should be a tad slower then
 the 3rd, but faster than the C to E Down to C# this is the widest 4th
 and check with the A down to G# check with C You now have 3 3rds to run
 up to see if OK G to B G# to C and A to C# up to D# should be wide
 check with B should be a tad slower than the C to E. Down to A# check
 with D listen the 3rds then tune the F you have 4 checks for this one.

 and now tun the bass it is a lot easier to show then to explain.

 I always start my octaves in the Bass if I am not happy with the 3rd
 4the and 5ths as I get to E below then I will go back and make some
 changes in the scale.

 The best way for some one who has an ETA or the use of one, would be to
 use a gang wedge tune the right had string with the ETA and tune the
 left string by ear, move the wedge to listen to the beat rate on the
 ETA intervals, not ideal but if you don't have some there to say that is
 too slow or too fast it should be a good alternative.

 A game we use to play at college is get a gang wedge and a muting
 strip, wedge the strings and lay a scale on the right string, remover
 the wedge and place it so you can lay a scale on the left string then
 use the muting felt and lay a scale on the middle string, pull out the
 mute and see how good the unisons are - this teaches you consistency.
 It gets interesting after a few beers :-)

 The scale was taught to all students ones you learn what the beats
 should sound like, you can start anywhere if the client provides their
 own fork which is normally an A then I start on A.

  There is no perfect scale or starting point you find one that you can
 produce good constant work in a reasonable time scale.

 Take care

Barrie Heaton PGP key on request
AcryliKey Ivory Repair System UK ©
The U.K. Piano Page ©
                                  Home to the UK Piano Industry

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Grey Market Pianos Yamaha (John Musselwhite, Roger Jolly)

----- Original Message -----
From: John Musselwhite <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: Grey Market Pianos?

At 09:08 AM 3/6/2001 -0800, Joe G wrote:

>I have a client, who bought their Grand Piano in South Africa. They have
>since moved to Oregon. This is a rather odd construction piano w/water
>pipe for pedal lyre columns!

Got a picture you can upload to the EGroup by chance?

>It is a Yamaha. Would this piano be considered a Grey Market Piano? If so,
>then why should they be denied proper parts and service, just because they
>once lived in South Africa and LEGALLY PURCHASED it from a Yamaha Dealer?
>At present time, the piano does not have any problems, but if and when it
>does, what am I going to tell them? Somethings wrong with this picture!
>Any comments would be appreciated.

This is just a personal observation, but I suspect there are two
differences here: "provenance" and warranty. This isn't just another
imported piano from an unknown practice room in Tokyo purchased from a
fly-by-night dealer somewhere. If it's still under warranty and the
original warranty reads "world-wide" they have to support the warranty.

In addition, the piano still belongs to the original purchaser, so until
they sell it, hasn't been on any shade of market at all, grey, black or
whatever. That being said, if it's off warranty I doubt Yamaha USA could
"support" the piano any more than Volkswagen USA would be able to support
an imported Mexican Beetle.

An imported Mexican Beetle would be a good example of a "grey market"
product if it were possible to register them here. The State won't sanction
them because the serial numbers show they don't pass American safety
standards. Grey market pianos don't have "safety standards" as such, but
there are other standards such as moisture content when built that they
fail to meet, so the manufacturer won't sanction them. In both cases the
rules are designed to protect the consumer.

That's my comment, anyway. I'd like to see that piano!


John Musselwhite, RPT - Calgary, Alberta Canada

Greetings all,
                       Yamaha has been very good at backing up their
products, when customers have moved Internationally. Proof of a bill of
sale is required, and they will honor all warranty obligations.
One of the major problems that they have, is that many of the instruments
coming from Japan were used by an Institution for 10 or 20yrs. They have
been traded primarily because the actions have had a life time of usage
with advanced players, and are close to being worn out.
Regards Roger

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Five Lectures URL

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Brekne <>
To: PTG <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 3:23 PM
Subject: [Fwd: [nordiska-pianolistan] Five lectures]

Those of you with bookmarks to the 5 lectures and havent received the
new and permanent address to these can now update your bookmarks to
the following web site.

Östen Häggmark wrote:

> Hejsan listan,
> Ovanstående är den nya, permanenta webadressen till web-versionen
> av den utmärkta boken "Five lectures on the acoustics of the
> piano", redigerad av Anders Askenfelt.
> På SPTF:s hemsida finns det också en länk till boken
> på första sidan.
> --
> Hälsningar,
> Östen
> Avbryt prenumerationen:

Richard Brekne
Bergen, Norway

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Oxidizing Pressure Bar (Ron Nossaman)

----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Nossaman <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Oxidizing Pressure Bar

> Just encountered a 1959 Heller console, (Aeolian/Winter), where
>the pressure bar was white yellowish chalk which rubbed right away, like
>fine talc. Under this was porous and oxidized, but (hopefully) still
>solid. Is this just the plating or is the whole bar ceasing to exist?

Hi Mike, It's just the plating - localized entropy. I doubt it was a
planned corrosion diversion, considering the requirement for the "planning"
part in details like that where so little is evident in the rest of the
product. Probably got a good deal in large quantity when they built it. It
was shiny at the time, so what the heck. It's ugly now, but shouldn't hurt
anything as long as no one swings it around and breaks a lamp or something.
It's future should be a graceful continuation of it's past, lying in wait
in the dark until the next tuning, or the heat death of the universe
(whichever comes first), at which time it will either confuse the next guy
- or it won't matter.

Ron N

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EoL notes Editors wanted

Anyone interested in taking a turn at editing? Would be nice of there was a "core group" of editors. Two or three would be ideal. I spend about 2 hours but that includes the time I would spend reading them to begin with. That gives a good idea of the selection. They are edited then pasted into the text editor. The text editor takes care of ALL the html chores. It also has a spell checker. ---ric

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