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MMD > Archives > January 2003 > 2003.01.19 > 08Prev  Next

Regulating the Piano Action
By Paul Procter

I have a Steck upright pianola made by Aeolian company, London.
Serial No. 102340 appears on all major piano case parts.  Reference
to your Archive files indicate it was probably made in 1923.

It was rather neglected but complete, apart from some tubing, and
I set about restoring the piano action first, using Reblitz as a guide.

I have replaced all the hammer butt springs and jack springs, as well
as some damper springs and bridle tapes.  The hammer felts were
profiled but nothing drastic was required.

Can someone advise on the following, please?  If the action is fitted
without keys and capstans, the hammers rest on the hammer rail felts,
2" (50 mm) from the strings.  When the keys are fitted, the hammers are
1-3/4" (45 mm) from the strings, but would need a washer under the soft
pedal lever for the hammers to rest on their rail.

The hammer rail is obviously original and is screwed to the front of
the action brackets, so shimming it would increase hammer stroke even
further.  What is the correct hammer stroke?

Here is another concern, nothing to do with the above.  After the
hammer lets off, the jack flicks back to rest on the hammer butt felt
with an audible tap.  All the jack springs are new, but some hammers
are quiet with the new springs.  I cannot detect any differences
between noisy and quiet components.  Replacing the new springs with
old, worn ones improves the situation but this is obviously not the
answer.  Any advice please.

Thank you for your help,

Paul Procter

 [ In grand pianos, my understanding is that the hammer shanks at rest
 [ are actually slightly displaced from the hammer rest rail, i.e.,
 [ the hammer shank contacts the rest rail only briefly when the hammer
 [ rebounds.  When the grand action is properly regulated there is no
 [ lost motion.  But in vertical pianos the hammer shanks rest on the
 [ rail, and a slight amount of lost motion at the key and wippen is
 [ allowed so that the jack will reset completely.  I hope the piano
 [ techs reading MMD will clarify this; even though most MMDers will
 [ hire a tech to regulate the piano action, it's nice to know something
 [ about these technicalities.  :-)  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sun 19 Jan 2003, 21:28:08 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Action, Piano, Regulating

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