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#1167285 - 03/23/09 12:43 PM adding weight to hammers
msks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 223
Loc: lawrence,KS
I am working on a Steinway "D" on which someone put very light hammers. they will not check right and the DW is 25GMs.... As they are still new I am not keen to change them yet due to the cost... I have tried adding weight with the office binder clips on the shanks and it helps a lot. However it looks weird and takes several per note What other methods are approved and not to difficult?

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#1167353 - 03/23/09 03:23 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: msks]
James Senior Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/08
Posts: 342
Loc: England

I'm only an amateur so my reply is based on limited experience:

25gs is very very low. I suspect there may be more than light hammers wrong for a 25g DW. It almost sounds as though this action not only has light hammers, but has also been heavily weighted in the front of the keys for a previous set of heavy hammers, and had shanks with the wrong knuckle distance installed.

I'd check to see how many leads are in the keys, and measure the knuckle distance. Either way, with the current setup, you're probably looking to double the weight of those hammers. Have you weighed any of the hammers, Stanwood strikeweight style?

I've heard of using lead wire wrapped around the shank, but would also be interested in hearing alternatives.

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#1167386 - 03/23/09 04:03 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: James Senior]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

One alternative would be to the lead tape I use to balance my tennis racquets.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1167492 - 03/23/09 06:50 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
IMHO the light hammers you describe won't give you the sound of a model D anyway.
If the client doesn't know the difference that's OK.
But this piano is only a D in name.

Cut the clients losses and fit a set of NY hammers...making sure the shank is the appropriate one...with the kind of crap that's been done to this instrument you can't take ANYTHING for granted.

Suggest to the client that they may consider suing the technician for 'whatever' that might concentrate their mind on doing a better job in future.
What IS going on out there?
Can anyone enlighten me?
_________________________
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1167501 - 03/23/09 06:55 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Desperation for employment perhaps?
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1167509 - 03/23/09 07:14 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
The best course of action is a new properly fit set of hammers and maybe shanks as Peter mentions by a qualified technician. Who knows what else this other "tooner" did to the piano besides this?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1167557 - 03/23/09 09:11 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Pianotek sells lead wire for weighting hammers. I've never tried it but I've heard of others doing it. Maybe someone here has some experience with it.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1167591 - 03/23/09 10:08 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: rysowers]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1484
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Lead wire from PianoTek is complementary to the Stanwood hammer weighting process. It is better to drill a hole in the hammer molding, insert and sweadge the lead to secure it - for the finished look. Yellow glue will also hold it in. At the diameter of the PianoTek wire, a length of lead wire matching the width of a average hammer molding weighs approx 0.6g
Let us know how many key leads are in the lowest bass and if they are evenly graduated to the treble.
I agree that there is more going on here than light hammers. As a typical bass hammer weighs about 11 grams and should get about 55 to 60 g downweight in the SSD. Your hammer weighs less than 5 grams at this rate. It is not within my imagination to picture removing more than half of a hammer and have a functional piano but there is always a first.
You should also have some serious regulation issues.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#1167622 - 03/23/09 10:51 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Gene Nelson]
Dale Fox Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1060
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
You did not mention anything about how the keys are weighted. Very light hammers are one thing but I am having trouble fathoming how DW could be only 25gm with even the lightest set of hammers unless there is a bunch of lead in the fronts of the keys. I dread asking the question, because I don't want to unintentionally insult, but are you sure you are measuring downweight properly?

As to back checking issues. Even with excessively light hammers the rep springs would need to be adjusted to compensate for the lack of weight. Hammer weight is not likely to be the only problem in this case. Probably a major lack of basic piano action regulation is the leading cause of these issues.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1168110 - 03/24/09 05:36 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Dale Fox]
James Senior Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/08
Posts: 342
Loc: England
Gene, I like the sounds of what you said as wrapping wire or tape around shanks/hammers would not look good.
I also wondered if it would be possible to glue flat pieces into the square notch on the back of most Abel style hammers:


What glue could you use to do this? What could stick lead to a flat surface?

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#1168159 - 03/24/09 06:57 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: James Senior]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

5-ton epoxy would do the trick.....
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1168173 - 03/24/09 07:17 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Why in the heck add weights to a Steinway D?

The first thing to do is to figure out FOR SURE what is going on here and work from there. It could be a serious sticking action problem, tight key bushings, tight hammer flange bushings, a horrible regulation job and many other possibilities.

Start from scratch and work your way through it before you do anything else possibly making things worse.

Personally, the last thing I would do, is add weight to the hammers on a D. Assuming, it is, the hammers, I would replace them with the proper size and weight hammer.

What you should probably do, is to get a good tech in there to assist you with any decisions that you may need to make. They can figure out what is going on fairly quickly.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1168203 - 03/24/09 07:51 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
James Senior Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/08
Posts: 342
Loc: England
Hi Jerry,
I think everyone is already in agreement that there's a lot more wrong with this piano than just light hammers, if, indeed, the 25g DW measurement is even correct.
Like many threads, it has moved on a bit. The topic is simply adding weight to hammers.
I want to work on a set next week were the strike weights do not follow a nice curve. Whilst some may need less weight, others need a bit more, but only a few 0.1gs...

Don't worry! No-one is suggesting that the OP doubles his hammer weight :-)

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#1168220 - 03/24/09 08:29 PM Re: adding weight to hammers [Re: James Senior]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
wink
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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