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MMD > Archives > August 1999 > 1999.08.28 > 13Prev  Next

Good Player, Bad Piano
By Craig Brougher

Todd Augsburger was asking what to do about a deteriorating piano
action: whether to rebuild the piano action, or just throw away the
piano and try to "find" another piano that he can make his Simplex
action fit into.

That's a no brainer -- rebuild the piano action!  Don't even bother
with any of the old action parts.  Get some new Japanese action parts
and hammers from a good piano supply company and replace everything.
This also gives you time to remove the keys, clean and recover them
(or have them done by someone else, the best idea for novices).

You can replace piano action parts yourself.  Once they are all
replaced, call in a reputable technician to rehammer and regulate it
thoroughly, if you can't do it yourself.  You should be able to find
someone who will work by the hour in your home.  Be sure you are
getting a professional rebuilder who knows his business.

Remove the end hammers in each section and number them.  Also remove
the tenor hammer, which begins the first straight-drilled hammer in
the center section, and number it.  Send those in to be duplicated.
I suggest PianoTech or someplace other than Schaff or American, whose
expertise has somehow flown out the window years ago.  They have never
learned that upright hammers must be drilled with pitch.  They don't
even know what that means!

Replace the guide hammers with the action in the piano.  Then you
can remove the action and set the rest of the hammers if you want.
You will have to trim the shanks.

Replacing this piano with another one only creates more problems,
usually.  First, you have to retrofit the player and that isn't easy,
usually.  Requires lots more time and effort than rebuilding two or
three piano actions, and creates its own set of problems.  Plus,
another piano will have a different set of problems.  Actions are
easy-fix problems, but pin planks, ribs, and bridges are not.

Craig Brougher

(Message sent Sat 28 Aug 1999, 12:51:27 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bad, Good, Piano, Player

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