Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Re-regulation and voicing experiment.
30 January 2009
Action back in piano.
Crooked hammer line is indicative of negative lost motion, due to
new, un-impacted felt which is also slightly thicker than the orignal.
Crank those capstans back down!
Closeup of sacrificial test hammer before...
and after one heavy application of diluted fabric softener...
as well as after being left overnight submerged in the stuff.
The famed Jaras key dip and key leveling gauge.
As expected, I had to re-regulate for lost motion, the thicker, newer, un-impacted felt brought the hammers up off the hammer rest rail. Touch may be a bit nicer too - if it isn't my imagination. Once again, the "grand style" capstans with the four holes were very nice to work with as opposed to the more usual square shouldered ones the instrument was originally equipped with.
However, as I was re-regulating, I found a note that made a "clack" - turns out that about 4 of the wippens apparently need re-bushing (I haven't investigated yet); being quite loose and able to wiggle from side to side. G10, A1, F45, and A49 are the worst of it - although there are probably another 10 which feel a little "soft". I'll be doing a bit more investigation to confirm that it is indeed a loose bushing and then I'll order the necessary cloth (I already have the tools needed). Piano Smith re-bushed 2 or 3 several years ago when he reshaped the hammers for me.
I also played with one of the extra hammers that Piano Smith brought me at last year's tuning, basically torturing the poor thing to death by increasingly soaking it with diluted fabric softener before leaving it submerged in the stuff overnight. Not a whole lot to conclude from this because its not possible to perform a meaningful sound test on an unmounted hammer - but it didn't disintegrate either although the tail ended up splitting because the glue holding it to its shank expanded until it (the hammer tail) broke. I thought that maybe they'd fluff out or something - but they didn't. OTOH, I'm QUITE sure that the hammer would sound terrible. Certainly NOT the thing to do to one's hammers!
Lastly, I bought a Jaras key dip and leveling gauge from Vanda King at the same time I bought the felt. Although it doesn't look quite as nicely made as the ones I've seen illustrated in Reblitz and elsewhere, its still a nice tool. I obtained it mainly for leveling the sharps. Using it for key-dip is a bit problematic on this piano as it is made for the more common 3/8" dip, not the rarer but certainly not unheard of 7/16" that this piano is built to. I may be able to make a mod to make it good for both.