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Note by Note [Nov. 26th, 2007|11:58 pm]

[mood |curiouscurious]

Hey all.

I was just stumbling around, and landed on this.  WOW, I hadn't heard anything about it. 

Have any of you seen it?
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my piano [Nov. 16th, 2006|12:16 am]

[mood |nerdy]


i actually took all these pictures about a year or two ago, and i'm not really feeling much like trying to sift through and organize and figure out how best to post them to a community. so i invite you to a link to my photo gallery of the work i did on my kawai 600, an older 6'1" grand. my boss picked it up as a consignment from a lady who pretty much let it sit neglected in her dining room for 30 years. i think he agreed to give her like $2700 for it once it sold, so he sold it to me for $3500. hey, i don't expect him to not make any profit. and besides, it was a STEAL. yes, the underfelt was motheaten, and it was about a whole step flat. but it is otherwise just fine, and now sits in my music dungeon. the photos mostly depict the replacement of the felt, the polishing of the ivory keytops, and the filing of the hammers, which was almost unnecessary, but i just wanted them to be pretty. i actually am still not happy with my rebushing job; it was something i did without really knowing the right way to do it. as a result, when the weather changes or i don't play for a while, i still get some sluggish keys. i also need to do another regulation pass on it, and i need to voice the hammers some more. they were from the asian-hammers=concrete era, so they are actually surprisingly NOT glass-breaking. but i'd like em a little more mellow. also, also, eventually i need to set up a jig to drill little tiny holes in the set of carbon composite Black Jacks i got from Kawai. they fit the geometry of my piano, but i discovered only after i got them that they are still made for a Renner action, so they lack the little hole with the thread loop in it to attach to the repitition spring. they will otherwise work, i just need to, well, do it. i absolutely *love* the scale of that piano, and now pretty much all of kawai's 6'1 pianos. they have a really sweet tone and are truly the perfect piano for homes - any smaller and it's lacking, and bigger and it's overkill.

i also have some pictures up on my flickr site but they have no descriptions. they're more pictures of my grand action work (mostly keybed and punchings), plus an upright repinning job i did late this summer. i'm in the middle of an old upright action that needed repair work to the brass flange rail - something i've never done before, so i'm not really making any substantial profit off of it, given the extra time i had to take to do it. after that, i have a spinet with not only cheap plastic elbows that needed replacing, but when i went to install the nice elbows that let you do the repair in the piano, i started breaking whippen flanges. repairing those requires taking the action out of the piano, which really really REALLY REALLY sucks with spinets. once i got the damned thing out, i discovered that the whippen flanges are made of the same craptastic plastic!!! ARGH. again, repairs i have never done, so i'm making little money on it after considering the time i'm taking to fix it. but, these are times you have to chalk up to learning experiences, so you just kind of swallow it and deal. i'm still debating whether to actually hunt down new flanges and repin the whole thing, or just order a new set of whippens. either way, i'm not 100 percent sure i'll get the right sized parts. i have to call Schaff tomorrow morning and actually talk to someone about it. i'm hoping i get a more helpful response than the last time i had to call them. dude practically tried to discourage me from buying a full set of yamaha hammer butt flanges, because they were for a samick and he didn't think they'd have anything that would fit, even though the dimensions i gave him matched. it's like, "dude? do you want my money or what?"

ps, the photo in my user icon is a multi-shot of my afzelia burl titanium tuning lever purchased from Chales Faulk. this thing has really saved my wrist, between the lightness of it, and the shape which forces me to grip the end of the lever, therefore taking a lot of unneeded strain away from my previously poor lever grip.
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Restoring a Howard [Nov. 15th, 2006|01:56 pm]

Hi All.

Just a hobbiest here, I hope it is OK that I post. I am working on a restoration project of an old Howard upright piano I bought for $300. The whole thing is in pretty good condition really, just some of the felts are worn out under the keys, and so the keys are not level. I have decided I am going to replace all the felts... any ideas where I could buy some? I know that this will probably get a lot of shudders, but I am thinking of just buying a sheet of felt the same height as the old felts, and cutting out my own. I hope that won't be too bad.

Anyway, I have taken some before photos of the piano, so I will post before and after photos for the project. The white keys are bone, and the black keys are wood...hard to say which kind though. I am going to try buff the keys with 0000 steel wool, and that is all... I might try buff the piano with 0000 steel wood. The piano is solid walnut. Looks really nice. Anyone have any suggestions for cleaning, buffing supplies? :)

Two further questions, if anyone is in the mood to answer...

how can I find out the age of the piano?

Also, the inside is quite moldy, any suggestions on what to do?
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hello [Aug. 23rd, 2006|08:03 pm]

[mood |busy and ranty]

i hate moving companies. i don't know why it is, but they manage to screw up pianos right and left. and not by simple screwups like dropping the piano or not strapping it to the truck right, oh no. they never fail to make it ridiculously complicated. today i had to leave a piano with vise clamps holding the front nameboard of a kimball petite grand in place. because the moving company "had lost the screws when they took it off." nevermind they had no BUSINESS taking it off, and in the process also ripped the shims from the thin nameboard, leaving me a mess to try and reassemble.

i also hate the little metal tongues on some hammer butt designs. because the really "useful" screw-tightening design appears to just cause premature wear on the flange bushings when the screw becomes loose with typical shrinking and swelling of wood and forceful playing.

i'm ilex, btw. and i'm not one of those "WOOD IS BEST" technicians. i work with a lot of kawais. but i rarely repair them.

so there it is.

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