Category Archives: Technical

Short articles on various aspects of repair, maintenance, tuning, voicing, etc.

Steinways Losing Weight


Size isn’t everything in the piano world….Because, though these hammers had a very good felt length and the correct width, they were far too HEAVY. This early model O Steinway also lives in a Romney Marsh church, so stiff keys … Continue reading

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Harpsichord Voicing: 1984 Horniblow


Harpsichord voicing, like FortePiano (Early Piano) voicing, is much more closely linked to the instrument’s regulation. The process and principles of voicing, though, are the same for any instrument: giving form and equally graded variability to each and every note, … Continue reading

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Hammer Cutting


Sometimes, where hammers are angled on the shanks and there is little room, cutting bevels across the felts is the only way hammers will travel freely.         Having the right knife to do the cutting is essential … Continue reading

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Hammer Ironing


Once hammers are nicely profiled* they can be ironed. Ironing is not merely cosmetic: it ties in the exposed fibres, protecting the felts from dirt & dust. *Ironing can also be used as a temporary (and very mild) way of … Continue reading

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Blüthner Plate Bearing Bars


Sensible angles are built into this new Blüthner Concert Grand (compare the troublesome angles on a Grotrian Steinweg – February 25, 2014). So, the tune-ability – hence tuning stability – of this piano is very good. Not so, however, its … Continue reading

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Burn The Hammers You Don’t Like!


Burning hammers is a technical term: using a flame (or other warming) to alter the angle of each hammer on its shank. Burning is done after Travelling. Travelling can only be done when hammer centres are working properly (more on … Continue reading

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New Hammer Profiling


Sometimes (as here on this Blüthner concert grand) new hammers are glued on, fitted only approximately to the strings and, it seems, the piano shoved out the workshop door – as if that were all that needed doing…. But new … Continue reading

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Check-Hammer Alignment


Once the hammers are aligned to the strings (and travelled & burned) – and, of course, the keys levelled & spaced (with any required straightening, via steaming or planing) – the checks can be aligned to the hammers (hammer tails), … Continue reading

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Half Blow


The Half Blow and its correct adjustment are vital to tonal control and evenness of touch weight (also this latter is primarily determined by appropriate Weighing Out of the keys – on this, more anon). On sensible instruments (alas, not … Continue reading

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Moth Damage III & Its Prevention


I could post pics of moth damage from nearly every piano I service – so ubiquitous is the problem now! (See other posts) On this Yamaha C7 from the 1970s, the monsters had progressed from their usual starting place, the … Continue reading

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