Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#1313650 - 11/28/09 01:14 AM tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand?
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Hi,

I own a Mason Hamlin BB.
I'm prepping to tune my piano.

On reading the Reblitz book, I learned that good hammer technique is to put the hammer on the pin so that the handle is parallel and away from the string at about a 5 o'clock position. He says " you'll have the least tendency to bend the pins as you tune" this way.

He goes on to say you should have your elbow firmly resting on the piano so that as a right handed person pushing will tighten the string.

Now, I do have a simple student type tuning hammer but doing what Reblitz suggests means that the handle of the hammer does not end up being high enough to clear the board above the keys ( sorry, don't have the term for it)

So, I guess I have two options. Put the hammer at a different angle with the handle pointed away from the keys

or buy another hammer or tip extension. Of course my 'student' hammer has a 2 1/2 inch tip screwed on to the handle.

So, my question for you guys:

Do you use Reblitz's technique?
If so, how do you extend up over the 2 1/2 inch height of the wood between the keys and the pin block?

I have searched extensively the various tuning hammers, I'm just not sure if this is really that important to do it from the above mentioned angle.

thanks,
Neil

Top
(ad 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
Win a year subscription to the PTG Journal
#1313684 - 11/28/09 02:25 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
You have one of the finest pianos available today. Work with your tuner to make sure you have the correct sized tip for your pins, and to learn the correct technique.

It would be a shame to accidentally damage such a piano. You shouldn't be learning from an online forum: it's like playing tennis by mail.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

Top
#1313760 - 11/28/09 08:22 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]
David Jenson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1949
Loc: Maine
The questions you are asking indicate that you should work with a pro as a mentor. Cy is right. That's a very fine instrument that can easily be damaged by inexperience.

Try working on a junker to find out what tuning entails. That way, the inevitable missteps won't ruin a fine piano.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

Top
#1313766 - 11/28/09 08:45 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: David Jenson]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
I share Cy's and David's opinions. Unless this is a really old, beat up piano, you're better off getting a beater for $100.00 or so (roughly the price of a tuning) to practice on.
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

Top
#1313774 - 11/28/09 09:13 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Dave Stahl]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
I use a different technique to tune. I hold the hammer with the handle away from me, pointing towards the tail, maybe at around one or two o'clock.

I pull to raise the pitch, and push to lower.

... diff'rent strokes ...
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

Top
#1313783 - 11/28/09 09:33 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Randy Karasik]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Originally Posted By: Randy Karasik
I use a different technique to tune. I hold the hammer with the handle away from me, pointing towards the tail, maybe at around one or two o'clock.

I pull to raise the pitch, and push to lower.

... diff'rent strokes ...




That is called "flag-poling", and bends the tuning pin. It also ovals out the top of the hole in the pinblock. There's a whole lot to know just to manipulate the pin and the lever. In fact, "Different Strokes" is just one of the books written on the topic.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

Top
#1313826 - 11/28/09 11:01 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Thanks for your all your concerns about my piano. The point is that I want to do the best for it. Learning to tune it is just an extension of being a musician and making my piano my own. So, if you are too worried, it's fine, I understand.

Anyway, it sounds like you guys agree with Reblitz. What sort of hammer do you use to get over the wood then?

I found a page that lists various solutions-
http://www.mypianoshop.com/store/home.php?cat=43&sort=orderby&sort_direction=0&page=4



thanks
Neil


Edited by Neil Sundberg (11/28/09 11:43 AM)

Top
#1313843 - 11/28/09 11:45 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1054
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Neil, why don't you at least hire a professional tuner for the first tuning. Watch, discreetly from a distance and try to pick up some of the answers to your many questions. Then you can observe some of the techniques for yourself.

Though the Reblitz book is a fine source, much of what is in there is not current practice. I'm not sure I'd agree at all with the tuning hammer technique you described. Certainly not the way I position the lever.


Edited by Dale Fox (11/28/09 11:48 AM)
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

Top
#1313845 - 11/28/09 12:01 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Dale Fox]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Hi Dale,

It's OK. I have a tuner who does an fine job. If i get too lost with this, I'll just give him a call( and I imagine pay him extra for the extra work wink )
I have hired two different tuners. But I wasn't thinking about this detail when they were here. On the other hand, I don't recall either of them having a hammer that would extend over the wood opposite the strings.
How about this? Anyone in Seattle want to come give me a tuning lesson? Yep, I'm sure I can call the local guild or one of my tuners. I know there is a sizable learning curve here. I'm happy to do my homework though.

Neil

Top
#1313854 - 11/28/09 12:35 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1430
Loc: Old Hangtown California
So, if you are too worried, it's fine, I understand.

You missed the point - it is you who should be worried.
Learning to tune pianos is not necessarily an extension of musicianship. It is a craft all by itself and takes years to master.
Your enthusiasm is a good start and I am certain that you can learn if you want to invest the time and effort required to properly learn the necessary skills.
There is a great PTG chapter in Seattle - I would suggest that you attend a meeting and meet the pros - it would be a demonstration of your desire to learn then you can connect up with someone willing to help - a much better approach to this imho.
Purchasing a student hammer was your first mistake, using it to turn pins on a BB would be another.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#1314002 - 11/28/09 06:15 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Gene Nelson]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Thanks guys. I guess I'll ask elsewhere.

This is my path, this is what I intend to do, it's my piano, I really didn't expect this to end up being about me. In the end though, it's all about me because this is my dream just like it was your dream to become a tuner.

Bottom line, everyone starts somewhere. And I didn't miss anyones point. I really think on the contrary there was only one person here that actually answered my question

I have wanted to learn to tune pianos for over thirty years. At this point even if I ended up totally destroying my beloved Mason Hamlin it would be worth the fact that I had the courage to try to do what I wanted to do. After all, my life is about trying to improve and learn, not about protecting what I happen to be fortunate to own.

Always mystifies me the barriers people try to put up. I respect you or what you have learned to do. Frankly though, I have plenty of brains to do the same, and so I will.

Neil


Edited by Neil Sundberg (11/28/09 06:20 PM)

Top
#1314042 - 11/28/09 08:24 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Gene Nelson]
Alan T. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 97
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Neil:

Buy a better hammer with an extension. Resting your elbow is not as important as pulling the hammer straight in the same plane as the pinblock otherwise you will bend pins. I like to keep the handle about the 2-4 o'clock position. Small movements produce the results you want. Too much movement and you add too much tension and will break a string. Sounds like for you, though, that would just be another learning opportunity.

You do have an exquisite piano. Proceed, and be cautious and deliberate. Use all resources you can. This forum, books, dvds, consult with your tech, etc. I admire your desire to learn.
_________________________
Piano Tuner
Schimmel 174T

Top
#1314048 - 11/28/09 08:32 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
I don't know very many techs who push on the handle to raise the pitch, if any. I and others I know pull the lever from about 1-3 o'clock, depending on pin position. Pushing on the pin to tighten it offers virtually zero control for me. I was always taught "12 o'clock, give or take a couple of hours."

The point is, you want to turn the pin, not bend it. Bending it, as Cy says will cause damage to the hole.

I have a couple of occasional customers who do a creditable job of tuning their own pianos. Like you, they seem to be intelligent and sincere in their quest for knowledge. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a fair amount of practice to get proficient enough to be pleased with your own results.

Be cautious, have patience.


Edited by Dave Stahl (11/28/09 08:32 PM)
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

Top
#1314072 - 11/28/09 09:14 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Dave Stahl]
David Jenson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1949
Loc: Maine
This post illustrates a problem that comes up again and again with DIY tuners. If a question is asked that reveals a woeful lack of basic knowledge it becomes very difficult to make suggestions that will not insult the questioner.

Inevitably the original poster takes to insulting the technicians, and very little is gained on either side.

DIYers, take some courses. Get some mentoring. That's really the best course.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

Top
#1314076 - 11/28/09 09:21 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Alan T.]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Originally Posted By: Alan T.
Neil:

Buy a better hammer with an extension. Resting your elbow is not as important as pulling the hammer straight in the same plane as the pinblock otherwise you will bend pins. I like to keep the handle about the 2-4 o'clock position. Small movements produce the results you want. Too much movement and you add too much tension and will break a string. Sounds like for you, though, that would just be another learning opportunity.

You do have an exquisite piano. Proceed, and be cautious and deliberate. Use all resources you can. This forum, books, dvds, consult with your tech, etc. I admire your desire to learn.


Thanks Alan,

So, it sounds like your hammer position is normally perpendicular to the string. And I get what you are saying about trying to keep the torque in the same plane as the pin movement.

This gets to the central issue I wonder about and which Reblitz has me concerned about. Because if I buy, say, a four inch long tip for my current hammer to get over the wood above the keys, it just seems that the longer tip may put more bending force into the pin. I suppose, similarly, too much angle used may do the same thing.

In other words, my thought is that the shorter the tip the better for minimizing pin bending forces. In looking at the available levers, it appears that many lever makers do seem to keep that part of their lever short.

In any event, it just sounds like I need to ignore Reblitz's advise ( parallel to string, handle away ) on this one.

I did read a whole thread from last year here about levers. It sounded to me like you all have your faves.

I had some fun last night checking out some of the pricey tuning levers. I especially liked the Fujan or maybe the Jahn. Problem with all that is I wouldn't know in detail how to configure such a purchase. To some extent thats what I'd like someone's advise on if they care to write about it.

I did find a nice article on Fujan use here http://thundermush.com/fujan/

Again, perhaps it doesn't matter that much about tip angle or length. That would be interesting to understand too.

Anyway, I can understand that this subject may be hard to detail without being able to show it. I probably need to seek out video(s) like you said.



Neil

Top
#1314079 - 11/28/09 09:25 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 427
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
If you're going to get a pricy tuning hammer, check out Charles Faulk. He has pictures and descriptions of what he has available, no configuring involved.
_________________________
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

Top
#1314090 - 11/28/09 09:41 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: David Jenson]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
This post illustrates a problem that comes up again and again with DIY tuners. If a question is asked that reveals a woeful lack of basic knowledge it becomes very difficult to make suggestions that will not insult the questioner.

Inevitably the original poster takes to insulting the technicians, and very little is gained on either side.

DIYers, take some courses. Get some mentoring. That's really the best course.


I'd be happy to take back whatever you may have thought was insulting in any of my posts David. As I see it, everything I have said was a statement of my position.

I have read many posts recently where long time piano tuners are taking issue with each other, so apparently even after years in the field, there is plenty to discuss, argue about, whatever.

On the other hand, sure, I can see there would be plenty of reasons an experienced tuner might role their eyes at my post. That's fine, I can handle it.

On this particular subject though, as I am apparently finding out, there seems to be at least some divergence of opinion, and especially from what Reblitz said in his book.

I suppose if this is just too elemental to be interesting to you, why not just move on to the next post? Like I said before, this just happens to be where I'm at right now. Sure, if and when I can find a teacher, that sounds good to me.

I really do respect your profession and find it amazing that people can count 4.5 or whatever beats in 5 seconds. Takes a long time to learn. So I'm at the beginning of my journey

Neil

Top
#1314561 - 11/29/09 04:17 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
I am not a tech but I do own a new BB. I agree with all the tech posts.

But even excluding the danger of harming the piano, don't you think a good experienced tuner could do a better job of tuning?


Edited by pianoloverus (11/29/09 04:18 PM)

Top
#1314592 - 11/29/09 05:09 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Dave Stahl]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Originally Posted By: Dave Stahl
I don't know very many techs who push on the handle to raise the pitch, if any. I and others I know pull the lever from about 1-3 o'clock, depending on pin position. Pushing on the pin to tighten it offers virtually zero control for me. I was always taught "12 o'clock, give or take a couple of hours."

The point is, you want to turn the pin, not bend it. Bending it, as Cy says will cause damage to the hole.

I have a couple of occasional customers who do a creditable job of tuning their own pianos. Like you, they seem to be intelligent and sincere in their quest for knowledge. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a fair amount of practice to get proficient enough to be pleased with your own results.

Be cautious, have patience.



Dave offers sound advise...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

Top
#1314640 - 11/29/09 06:41 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Originally Posted By: Monster M&H
Originally Posted By: Dave Stahl
I don't know very many techs who push on the handle to raise the pitch, if any. I and others I know pull the lever from about 1-3 o'clock, depending on pin position. Pushing on the pin to tighten it offers virtually zero control for me. I was always taught "12 o'clock, give or take a couple of hours."

The point is, you want to turn the pin, not bend it. Bending it, as Cy says will cause damage to the hole.

I have a couple of occasional customers who do a creditable job of tuning their own pianos. Like you, they seem to be intelligent and sincere in their quest for knowledge. It isn't rocket science, but it does take a fair amount of practice to get proficient enough to be pleased with your own results.

Be cautious, have patience.



Dave offers sound advise...



Yes, I like Dave's advise. I do think it would be interesting to hear from a tech about what might have happened to Arthur Reblitz's method and the apparent fact that very few current tuners use it. ( edit; yes, I see Dave said pushing to tighten doesn't give him the control he wants, to paraphrase)

Neil



Edited by Neil Sundberg (11/29/09 06:54 PM)

Top
#1314646 - 11/29/09 06:50 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: pianoloverus]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I am not a tech but I do own a new BB. I agree with all the tech posts.

But even excluding the danger of harming the piano, don't you think a good experienced tuner could do a better job of tuning?


Congrats. Happy to hear we have this good fortune in common. I love my Mason Hamlin almost as much as my girl friend. smile At least that's what I have to say in her presence.

And who knows how good I'll get at tuning. It's simply something I am learning to do and having fun doing.

I should say, I understand the reaction I have gotten here. It's OK. I get that tuners have put a huge amount of time and effort into learning their trade.

Neil

Top
#1314936 - 11/30/09 08:27 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
I can't imagine that using a student hammer will actually damage a piano. If anything, the student hammer will take the bigger beating due to its cheap material and construction. Has anyone of us here actually damaged a piano using a student hammer?

And using an extension lever is entirely unnecessary. The important thing is to have a hammer that has a clear path, is tall enough, and is comfortable to use.

I gave up extension hammers years ago due to their heavy weight. I'll never buy one again. Using a rigid, light-weight hammer allows you to feel the pin and the string better. You are much better connected to the string and you have much less fatigue to deal with. A pear-shaped handle is best. I use a Jahn non-extension pear handle.

And 'flag poling' is extremely effective for fine tuning - if done correctly. It settles the string and the pin at the same time. It increases speed and accuracy for a skilled tuner. The tuning pins are being twisted as you tune the piano. Learn to use the twisting to your advantage. Holding the hammer parallel to the strings gives the best advantage for this.

This technique does not harm pianos. I have been tuning some pianos now for almost 30 years and the tuning pins are still very tight.

The previous suggestion to hold the hammer at 12:00 give or take an hour is a perfectly fine place to start. If your body needs a better position in order to accomplish the task, that is an individual adjustment that the technician determines for himself.

The most important issues are that you listen - LISTEN - to the piano and feel the string and tuning pin as you adjust the strings. It takes months or years to get the coordination down to a fine skill. When you can tune a piano from start to finish in about an hour, and manage to lock in the frequencies with good stability, it is a very satisfying feeling to have.

For those of us professional tuners with hundreds of satisfied clients (who try other tuners only to come back to us again and again), we experience a lifetime of confirmation that our skills are the correct ones to use. After several decades, we learn that our technique delivers the best possible results without harming the piano.

Start with the student lever if you want to. Buy a better one if you're going to continue your quest to become a skilled tuner. But don't expect perfect results unless you become a full time tuner and are willing to devote years to hone your craft.
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

Top
#1314996 - 11/30/09 11:02 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Randy Karasik]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
I came across a cheap hammer with a bad tip that left ridges on the tuning pins. Yes, there are hammers that can damage pianos.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#1315000 - 11/30/09 11:10 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Randy Karasik]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Thanks Randy.

I enjoyed reading your post. Tuning does sound like a great career. And I appreciate the lever technique tips.

If you are ever in Seattle, please look me up.

Neil

Top
#1315008 - 11/30/09 11:20 AM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: BDB]
Neil Sundberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 140
Loc: Seattle, Washingon
Originally Posted By: BDB
I came across a cheap hammer with a bad tip that left ridges on the tuning pins. Yes, there are hammers that can damage pianos.


Good info, this is the kind of thing I need to learn about.

I plan to buy the best I can afford- maybe a Fugan. I need to know what size tip to buy for my Mason.

Right now I am assuming #2 since my impression is that is most common.

It makes sense that the tighter the tip on the pin the better. I see the pins are tapered.

I have also read somewhere that I want the tip to be near the coil but not touching it. On this student hammer I have the tip ends up about 3/16 above the coils.

Neil

Top
#1315069 - 11/30/09 12:39 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1430
Loc: Old Hangtown California
In all cases it is not the hammer that does the damage.
When poor quality is combined with inexperience the risk increases dramatically.
Always buy quality.
I have 4 hammers and for each I have all tip sizes and extensions available. Neither is a Faulk or Fujan.
There will never be one hammer tip combination that fits all situations.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#1315212 - 11/30/09 03:19 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: BDB]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
Originally Posted By: BDB
I came across a cheap hammer with a bad tip that left ridges on the tuning pins. Yes, there are hammers that can damage pianos.


That makes sense.

My first student hammer was kept in the workshop and used from time to time while my good hammer was in my tool kit in the truck.

I continued to use the student hammer for chip tuning and non-tuning work in the shop. It never damaged pins, but eventually the tip failed. It literally cracked wide open and became worthless. I kept it and showed it at a PTG meeting in Denver.

Exhibit 1 - A cheap tuning hammer that fails after 20 years of use. We got a kick out of that one.




Edited by Randy Karasik (11/30/09 03:21 PM)
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

Top
#1315217 - 11/30/09 03:24 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Neil Sundberg]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
Originally Posted By: Neil Sundberg
Originally Posted By: BDB
I came across a cheap hammer with a bad tip that left ridges on the tuning pins. Yes, there are hammers that can damage pianos.


Good info, this is the kind of thing I need to learn about.

I plan to buy the best I can afford- maybe a Fugan. I need to know what size tip to buy for my Mason.

Right now I am assuming #2 since my impression is that is most common.

It makes sense that the tighter the tip on the pin the better. I see the pins are tapered.

I have also read somewhere that I want the tip to be near the coil but not touching it. On this student hammer I have the tip ends up about 3/16 above the coils.

Neil



Yes, start with a #2 tip. My guess is that it's the only one you will ever use.
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

Top
#1315279 - 11/30/09 05:03 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Randy Karasik]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2247
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Before I bought my first grand piano about 4+ years ago, a 1915 M&H A, I had a Japanese upright for about 15 years. I knew absolutely nothing about tuning a piano. The upright had a Pianocorder as well as the M&H A. That Pianocorder was playing the the grand every day, and the piano would not stay in tune for very long...so I called the pro-tuner in..he did a great job.....a few weeks later, piano was not in tune, for my ear. I asked him about learning to tune, in fact he suggested it after he came back to tune it again and again. I bought an ETD and with a little help from him, started to tune. 4 1/2 years later, I have broken only 1 string, and it was on a friends upright that had all rusty stings, and it was the last string in the treble....lol...murphy's law.

I have found the most difficult thing to master is the pin-setting.....To get those pins to not wander. Thank heavens for the improvements in ETD's, otherwise I might not have been able to do it on my own. I plan to take some lessons from the pro's to get this pin setting better.

I use a Fujan hammer most of the time.

For those not familiar with my postings, here are a few of my tunings on my 1925 Mason & Hamlin BB. They are not perfect, but they are pretty good considering I am not a pro-tuner.

Bottom line, it IS possible to learn to tune your own piano. smile

"The Age of Innocence" Reyburn Cyber Tuner OCT5 Stretch, Normalized in Audacity http://www.box.net/shared/hagt0fk2ly

"The Age of Innocence" Stopper Tuning, Corrected in Audacity. http://www.box.net/shared/s4huo9y1pm

"Dancing in the Dark" http://www.box.net/shared/eb4bmh0uoa
"Yours and Mine" 1930's Fox Trot http://www.box.net/shared/f6sdscfus8
"Il Postino" Theme http://www.box.net/shared/1qifx1ep3p
"Out of Africa" http://www.box.net/shared/1qifx1ep3p
"IF You Knew Susie" 1920's Fox Trot http://www.box.net/shared/e2isp8k8u0/1/31495054/327262276
"Somewhere in Time" http://www.box.net/shared/g63xlxj4og




Edited by grandpianoman (11/30/09 06:58 PM)

Top
#1315288 - 11/30/09 05:29 PM Re: tuning hammer for a Mason Hamlin grand? [Re: Randy Karasik]
AUTPHF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/20/09
Posts: 55
Hi Neil,

I am not a tuner (yet). But like you I am bound and determined to learn. Personally, I think using some basic common sense with a basic understanding of leverage (ie incorrectly used leverage of the hammer can damage a pin) will keep you safe from any chance of doing any damage. Piano's seem to be pretty solid instruments, from what I can tell. You already mentioned the importance of moving the hammer and the pin in the same plane. That with very small movements should get you the results you wants WRT chnaging the pitch / beats slightly. As far as the technical side of guessing beat rates and setting the temperment ... well ... theres no quick and easy road there. I think I have seen most of the YouTube vids on tuning now and have bought several books on it. I am fortunate in having a junker baby grand to hone my (lack of) skills on. I wish I could get someone to tutor me for an hour or two for 100 bucks on tuning, it would be money well spent!!

It was my understanding that you should have some play between the hammer and the pin (ie not a super snug fit) so that you can kinda rock the hammer while setting the pin? It also makes small movements of the pin easier and more accurate? Maybe a tech can confirm this technique.

Just out of curiosity will you be using an ETD to start your tuning?. I am using TuneLab (free download) as a training aid and just out of curiosity. It's kinda cool, but I want to be an aural tuner with the ETD as a backup. Tuning is an interesting field with no end to perfecting it. I am gonna take the plunge and do the Randy Potter course starting in the new year.


Cheers


Tony


Edited by AUTPHF (11/30/09 05:31 PM)

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
148 registered (accordeur, 3rd Ear, Anote, 41 invisible), 1471 Guests and 47 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74258 Members
42 Forums
153608 Topics
2251306 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Advice needed: what to do with piano during a major remodel
by akita
04/20/14 02:31 PM
Few questions from a newbie regarding Bach and playing piano
by The Lark Ascending
04/20/14 02:18 PM
Should I play piano with different tone setting?
by Clannad
04/20/14 01:53 PM
I just can't get my head around temperament!
by LarryShone
04/20/14 01:05 PM
clavinova clp 115
by rochoula
04/20/14 01:01 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission