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Topic Options
#1283362 - 10/08/09 10:40 PM acro spinet action removal
zissr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 63
Loc: north jersey
Is there a trick to lifting the pickup fingers over the capstans when putting the action back in? I've always had to remove the keys.

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#1283364 - 10/08/09 10:47 PM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: zissr]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
I usually remove the keys before removing the action on a spinet so they are already out of the way by the time I put it back in. I may be wrong but I think it is common practice to remove the keys anyway....at least I do.

#1283368 - 10/08/09 10:52 PM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: JBE]
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
You can get, from Schaff and Piano Tek also I think, a rail you can use to tighten against the various fingers...and this way, you can often remove (and more importantly install) the action w/o having to haul all the keys out.

I still haul the keys occasionally, especially if I see any evidence of vermin...(unless there's a mirror over the piano...then the vermin is just me...and I'm not taking keys out just because I'm inside the piano...)

MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

#1283398 - 10/09/09 12:09 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: RPD]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Always easier after you've set it on fire....especially if it's got 'vermin'....
Always check your pianos for 'Beck' 'Limbaugh' and 'Hannity' or other unspeakable vermin that might be insidiously affecting your fine instrument.
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician

#1283546 - 10/09/09 08:26 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
On many spinets, you cannot remove the action without first removing the keys because there is not enough clearance between the backs of the keys to pull the action away from the action studs.
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan

We love to play BF2.

#1283570 - 10/09/09 09:09 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
wesquire Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 88
Loc: Ohio
RPD has it right. The long rod is in four pieces (to fit in the tool case) and it screws together so it is as long as the action. You then tie it to the action brackets and you have a tight package with nothing loose and it removes and goes back with no problem. Vermin are another issue...
Retired industry professional.

#1284138 - 10/10/09 12:59 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: wesquire]
cjburget Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 15
Loc: columbus, ohio
Is this the Acro with the wooden rail holding all the lifters?...I hope you tied the rail to end stickers in each section before removal!!

When reinstalling these "Thayer-like" Acrosonic actions with the keys still in place, I use the fallstrip (which I remove when removing these actions b/c I take out any keys which may partially cover screws holding the finger rail to the keybed) and use it (fallstrip) to push down on all the keys at once on the back just before the capstans. I push down on the fallstrip with one hand and pull the finger rail over the capstans with the other. Then just make sure all capstans are mated to their fingers and in line. You may have to "work it" a bit to make sure that everything is straight and that the rail "L" brackets line up with their screw holes in the keybed. Also be careful not to damage or snag the finger cloth.

Screw everything back in place THEN you can untie the end stickers and line them up. Everything USUALLY lines up alright but you may have a few dissidents!!

Other spinets you may be better off removing the keys. Later Acrosonics have the metal lifters with forks on the keys. You can unhook each key at the fork and remove or you can detach the lifters at the wippens and remove and place keys on a table w/ the lifter wires hanging over the edge. There are pros and cons with either way. The former may require re-regulating lost motion in some keys. While the latter can be tricky b/c the wippens may have a REALLY tight hold on the lifters and you may have the felt bushings (which may not be glued in) falling out.
Others yet will have "elbows" in which case you remove lifters from the forks and use the four part steel rod to secure the loose lifters to "hooks" in the action brackets.

Sorry if I went beyond the original question Zissr. Hope this helps!

Edited by cjburget (10/10/09 01:01 AM)

#1284274 - 10/10/09 11:19 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: cjburget]
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
I find when a Acro is infested with O'Reilly's one must don a hazmat suit before burning. Best to quickly flood the wreck with roach fog before dousing with gasoline.

#1284599 - 10/10/09 11:47 PM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: Sam Casey]
JBE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 377
Loc: USA
When I find a Pelosi in one I usually call in an air strike immediately. Otherwise a simple home-nuking will do.

How's that for political? Heh heh heh.

#1284631 - 10/11/09 12:46 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: JBE]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23470
Loc: Oakland
A long time ago I copied the method from the Baldwin Service Manual to a post explaining how it is done. Do a search for it.
Semipro Tech

#1284740 - 10/11/09 08:33 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: BDB]
zissr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 63
Loc: north jersey
Thanks for all the posts. I secured the finger rail with set screws. The bridle straps were long clip ons. They allowed many jacks to block the hammers to the strings when inserting the action. Does it matter whether you remove the finger rail from the brackets or the brackets from the keybed?

#1284751 - 10/11/09 09:18 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: zissr]
Dan Casdorph Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 398
Loc: Morgantown, West Virginia
I've found it better to remove the brackets from the keybed, because when you replace the action they are not in the way. I leave them attached to the rail.

I use 6 damper blocks to hold up 2 lifter pins in each section. Lift the lifter as high as possible and install the damper block/clamp. lean the rail toward the action, and tie the lifter rail/ brackets against the main action brackets.

I always remove the keys on these Baldwins because if you start dropping those lifters out it quickly turns into a really bad day.
Casdorph Piano Service
Morgantown, WV
All pianos are bald ones.

#1284755 - 10/11/09 09:32 AM Re: acro spinet action removal [Re: Dan Casdorph]
tds Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/06
Posts: 446
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
Originally Posted By: Dan Casdorph

I use 6 damper blocks to hold up 2 lifter pins in each section. Lift the lifter as high as possible and install the damper block/clamp. lean the rail toward the action, and tie the lifter rail/ brackets against the main action brackets.

Zip-ties work very well for securing the rail to the action brackets, one on each end and one in the middle. Just be sure to have enough ties for when you return the action to the piano.
Stay tuned.

Tom Seay, Recovering Piano Technician
Bastrop, Texas


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