Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Annual Tuning & Squeaky Key.
10 July 2010
Subject key, G6 in isolation
Backside (in action cradle): G6 (Left) and F#6. Folded center rail shim to shift
F#6's sticker slightly further away from G6. This replaced an existing, thinner shim.
F#6 is the missing key here. Note gap between G6 and G#6 keysticks.
I didn't employ my brain before taking this picture, so G6 is hard
to find - look for the little mark on G6's sticker, then note the
decreased gap between the G6 and G#6 keysticks.
The action cradle now hangs on the closet wall when not in use.
An up to date picture. Note Heathkit metronome I built for my mother in 1978!
I haven't done diddley-squat to the piano in the last year since Piano Smith tuned it - except play it! I play it at least a few minutes just about every day. I think Beethoven's spin rate in his grave has decreased from 10,000 RPM to about 7,500 as I improve on Moonlight Sonata.
So the tuning results this year were very similar, but slightly better, to last year: about 2.5 cents flat across the board, and 8 cents flat in the uppermost treble. Piano Smith also reports to me that inharmonicity is very low and even, reading 5,5,5.
I was running around like crazy while he was tuning, trying to get ready for a Belly Dance performance in the afternoon, so I didn't get a chance to talk to Piano Smith as much as I usually do. However, he did show me some regulation issues, having to do with key dip, mostly on the black keys - and he found a squeak in one key: G6. It sounded to us at the time like it was coming from the center rail button/bushing for the key in question - and when I investigated the next day, that was indeed the case. An attempt at easing the bushing with my key easing pliers - as well as checking the bottom hole for any obstructions accomplished nothing.
As we had held the wippen for that note up while moving the key, we were able to isolate the sound as NOT coming from the action. However, it turned out that a bit of action tweaking was in order as part of the fix. The G6 keystick was just barely touching the side of the felt on the bottom of the F#6 sticker, causing both a F#6 "twitch" and torquing the G6 keystick just enough to cause a squeak in the center pivot. As the F#6 sticker was a bit too close to G6, I shimmed it over as shown above with a folded center rail shim, replacing a much thinner paper shim I had put in this location previously. This nominally fixed the problem, but I also gently tapped the G6 pivot pin over to the right slightly per Piano Smith's suggestion. This improved the placement of the keystick in question as can be seen above. Hopefully no further problems will occur!
Also, the damper on the first note above the "break" (C#3) decided to come out of regulation what with the action being removed from the instrument. Re-regulating both it, and the accompanying "fly damper" with my "smiling pliers" was an easy task.
Maybe I can get to re-pinning the action sometime "soon"!