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#1484710 - 07/30/10 03:17 PM Brinsmead piano pin block
pianohead30 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 102
Loc: Texas
Hello

I was in Dallas this week and a friend of mine and I went to a friend of his house....LOL They had a Brinsmead grand in the formal living room, had been in his wife family for years.
I took a look at it and it has no pin block to it?! The tuning pins are set front wards, and have a different wrench to tune it with than a tuning hammer. I have attached pics after seeing this, for I had never come across this before. It looks for foreign but yet the piano was in perfect tune, and his wife tunes the piano herself, and showed me how its done. SO EASY!!!! Why didnt they do this to most pianos to begin with!
Non the less was really cool piano history for this piano was from 1908 from London. Anyone else come across these instruments in tuning?
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#1484714 - 07/30/10 03:23 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: pianohead30]
pianohead30 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 102
Loc: Texas
I added pics of the unusual tuning pins in the photo section.
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#1484727 - 07/30/10 03:57 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: pianohead30]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


Probably looked much like this one correct?

http://picasaweb.google.com/silverwoodpianos/RareBrinsmeadSonsGrandPiano#

A little history reading about this maker for you.........

http://www.uk-piano.org/history/brinsmead.html
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1484844 - 07/30/10 07:11 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5376
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Good reason for flat-strung pianos.

How are the strings fastened into the "tuning pins?"

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1485103 - 07/31/10 09:15 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Del]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

The tuning pins consist of a hollow threaded stem in which the string passes through on its way to attachment. The stem is held in place with brass washers that locate on the frame under a double nut assembly.

Tuning is effortless; in effect it is “geared tuning” done with two fingers on the blade of the T-bar.

I have never had to replace any of the strings or wire in this one; since ’91 I have only tuned this one twice; never seems to go out of tune much.....

Here is a picture of one of the tuning pins removed on an upright model built by Brinsmead.

Nicknamed the “top tuner” this upright is located in Johannesburg SA.

Photo courtesy of Brian Lawson RPT

http://www.uk-piano.org/history/brinsmead_top-tuner.html

Thousands of these were made and remain in Britain. They have a value of about 50£.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1485151 - 07/31/10 10:39 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 2137
Loc: Mexico City
Shhht!

Don't tell Del how it is maked. Maybe he's thinking about making a "un-untunable" piano and we won't have any tunings to do.


Edited by Gadzar (07/31/10 10:39 AM)
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1485175 - 07/31/10 11:37 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Gadzar]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5376
Loc: Olympia, Washington
I still can't tell just how the wire is actually held. The picture is not quite clear enough.

Interesting idea. Using these in anything but a flat-strung design would have been tricky at the time. Easier today with NC drilling machines.

I’ve never seen one of these pianos so I can’t tell what kinds of long-term problems there might have been. I’d guess it would be some more reliable than the M&H screw-stringer.

So many of these ideas were metallurgically ahead of their time. Even a mechanism like the screw-stringer would have worked better with today’s manufacturing technologies.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1485272 - 07/31/10 02:41 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Gadzar]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Gadzar
Shhht!

Don't tell Del how it is maked. Maybe he's thinking about making a "un-untunable" piano and we won't have any tunings to do.


Raphael, not to worry this was invented and built more than 125 years ago. There are other similar types of pianos without pin blocks that have been shown in previous threads.....
In pianos, there are no new ideas....same old, same old, pretty much for the last 300 years with the exception of Sébastien and his rep lever.......
_________________________
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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#1485275 - 07/31/10 02:43 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Del]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Del
I still can't tell just how the wire is actually held. The picture is not quite clear enough.

Interesting idea. Using these in anything but a flat-strung design would have been tricky at the time. Easier today with NC drilling machines.

I’ve never seen one of these pianos so I can’t tell what kinds of long-term problems there might have been. I’d guess it would be some more reliable than the M&H screw-stringer.

So many of these ideas were metallurgically ahead of their time. Even a mechanism like the screw-stringer would have worked better with today’s manufacturing technologies.

ddf




The original idea was to make the stress completely horizontal. I have no idea whether it could be done to a cross-strung instrument. If you are ever over the border let me know and I will contact the client and make an appointment so we can go have a look up close and personal. If you look at some of the photos you can see where somebody attempted to replace a piece of wire and got the tuning pin all over the place in the rail....one is sticking way out...

Yep ahead of its time for sure.The biggest problem with these instruments was getting a technician to service one of them. Most refused to service them because the tech would have to stock and carry a variety of parts specialized to only these.
_________________________
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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#1487235 - 08/03/10 11:06 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2198
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Dan,

I presume that the tuning pin is prevented from turning by some type of nut-and-groove arrangement between the pin and the bar through which it runs? (If I understand correctly, only the hex-nut which takes the T-lever is supposed to turn, not the pin.)

(Oh, and spoke to Brian Lawson just the other day, to get a quote for a move/inspection/tuning.)
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1487328 - 08/03/10 01:34 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Mark R.]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Hey Mark,

If you have a look through the photos you will see one photo that shows the threaded stem that is the tuning pin.

This pin is hollow; a double nut assembly with brass washers that locate against the frame; this prevents the stem from turning. The threads create a gear tuning much like the machine heads on a guitar.

In the 1885 photo of a top-tuner tuning screw, by Lawson, this consists of a threaded rod fitting loosely into a hole drilled in the iron frame. The string runs through a deep groove along one side of the rod, and over the top, held in place by a brass cap. That is how the upright is strung. For the grand I don’t know yet because the client has not decided upon restoration.

That would be an expensive one to do…..
_________________________
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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#1487670 - 08/03/10 10:18 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 2137
Loc: Mexico City
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

In pianos, there are no new ideas....same old, same old, pretty much for the last 300 years with the exception of Sébastien and his rep lever.......


Ok, I won't worry.

Who is Sébastien?
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1487968 - 08/04/10 11:30 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Gadzar]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Sébastein Erard was a mechanical genius who invented and patented the repetition lever in a grand. This was around 1821 or so.

http://www.uk-piano.org/history/erard.html


This created the double escapement that we now see in the traditional Cambridge action.
Previous to this, grand piano actions were single escapement or direct blow.
_________________________
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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#1488083 - 08/04/10 02:23 PM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 2137
Loc: Mexico City
Thankyou Dan. Great invention. It was invented just in time for Franz Liszt and F. Chopin!


I have worked on some Erard grands. Fine instruments.

Thanks for the link.



Edited by Gadzar (08/04/10 02:25 PM)
_________________________
Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx

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#1488572 - 08/05/10 09:47 AM Re: Brinsmead piano pin block [Re: Gadzar]
WillSharpe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 8
I bought one of these grands last year, and had it moved about 700kms in the back of a removal van. When I received it, is was barely a semitone out of tune. When I contacted the previous owners, they said that the piano hadn't been tuned since they had it, and they bought it back in 1993. AMAZING!

I had to have a tool made up to tune it, and that didn't cost too much, and tuning was a breeze! The whole piano seems to be of very high quality, as the soundboard is in top condition, and the hammers are perfect.

The only thing with it, is it has a very simple action, and is sometimes slow. I cannot find any diagrams of any grand piano action similar on the web.

I don't know why this idea for tuning didn't catch on, I suppose it would put piano tuners everywhere out of business!

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