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#1586618 - 12/29/10 04:45 PM Jack spring repair
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
Looked at a Kimball upright with what appears to be a malfunctioning jack spring on A#5. Reblitz says to remove action, then whippen, then glue in new spring. However the spring doesn't appear to be broken. Is there something else it could be?

Also, I should fix this before tuning it, right?
Thanks,
John
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1586632 - 12/29/10 05:05 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
It could be a tight jack center, if it's not the spring. BUT...take a careful look at the spring. Sometimes they don't look broken, but they are. They can also weaken over time.

As for the springs, I never glue them. I ream the hole good with a jack spring reamer so it has a good, solid seat.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1586694 - 12/29/10 06:30 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Loren D]
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
Thanks Loren! I better get on the Schaff website!

jw
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1586709 - 12/29/10 07:11 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
Another thing to check is to make sure the jack isn't loose from the wippen.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1586712 - 12/29/10 07:13 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

You mean the jack tower Ryan?
_________________________
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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#1586714 - 12/29/10 07:19 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: rysowers]
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
The follow up question is, "how much do you charge for small repairs like this one?"

Thanks as always- there are some really great people out here!
jw
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1586756 - 12/29/10 08:23 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
If your already tuning there and it's not a big deal to fix, I'd just do it.

just my $0.02
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1586832 - 12/29/10 10:46 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2340
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

You mean the jack tower Ryan?


The "Jack Tower"? That's a new one for me! I've heard it called the jack flange. You Canadians and your strange terms! grin
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1586836 - 12/29/10 10:50 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: rysowers]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

You mean the jack tower Ryan?


The "Jack Tower"? That's a new one for me! I've heard it called the jack flange. You Canadians and your strange terms! grin


I live in Canada and call them jack flange
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1586865 - 12/29/10 11:54 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Les Koltvedt]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1252
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Les Koltvedt
If your already tuning there and it's not a big deal to fix, I'd just do it.

just my $0.02


An interesting and congenial perspective. However, consider the likelihood that the malfunctioning jack is probably the "real" reason why the customer called, anyway.

In terms of conveying value to the customer, the repair is probably more significant than the tuning. My conclusion from personal experience and observation is that, more often than not, tuners downplay the value of technical work and don't compensate themselves well enough to make it a priority.

Personally my repair rate is calculated apx. 1.5 times my tuning rate. I've never had a complaint.

Discussing specific prices here may be illegal and may put the website at risk. (See other post this thread).
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1586866 - 12/29/10 11:56 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Les Koltvedt]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1252
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Les Koltvedt
If your already tuning there and it's not a big deal to fix, I'd just do it.

just my $0.02


This is OK, but I just wanted to mention that discussion of specific prices by people that work as piano technicians is likely a violation of US antitrust laws.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1586869 - 12/29/10 11:59 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20757
Loc: Oakland
There is nothing wrong with a discussion. An agreement is another matter.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1586871 - 12/30/10 12:03 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: kpembrook]
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
I appreciate your thoughts, Mr. Akins. By "1.5 times my tuning rate" do you mean a per hour rate?
Thanks,
jw
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1586873 - 12/30/10 12:08 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
ok, so I have to do more than read, and log in here to comment.

Our technical expertise is extensive, gathered over the years, some are more knowledgeable than others, and repairs are an experienced based factor.

To that end, it is entirely proper and correct to charge for that, even tho it may seem a simple fix if we have the knowledge to do it in 2 seconds. That said, I would say it also depends on customer and if that is long term or short.....

sm

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#1587008 - 12/30/10 06:15 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: SM Boone]
jpscoey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 306
Loc: Manchester, England, UK.
Originally Posted By: SM Boone
... even tho it may seem a simple fix if we have the knowledge to do it in 2 seconds.


Just like the old quip about the car mechanic -

Q: "£20 to turn ONE BOLT? - it only took you 10 seconds".

A: "Yeh - £1 to turn the bolt... £19 to know which bolt to turn".
_________________________
John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace

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#1587016 - 12/30/10 06:47 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
I charge extra when called for, but don't nickel and dime my customers. A quick capstan, letoff, pedal adjustment, etc., goes with the service. If I have to pull the action, then an extra charge is called for, imo.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587031 - 12/30/10 07:15 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Here’s how I deal with it. I have an hourly rate that I won’t mention. To get me to the house (service call) is one hour and to tune, two more. A single or a double pitch raise is another hour charge. But I am quite lenient for adjustments and repairs. For instance, if I charge an hour for a single pitch raise and all the capstans need adjusted, I won’t charge extra. Usually one broken string is not extra, either. Some customers make out better than others, all get thorough service, and I don’t have to say “Mother may I?” when something needs to be done.

I am betting it is the towering jack flange coming unglued from the whippen, also.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1587039 - 12/30/10 07:23 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: kpembrook]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
edited out

Thanks Loren


Edited by Les Koltvedt (12/30/10 08:01 AM)
Edit Reason: After having a cup of joe...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1587043 - 12/30/10 07:27 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2545
Loc: PA
Discussing prices is not illegal. Our agreeing on a set price is a different story.

*edit* That said, by all means obey the forum guidelines. If PW says no discussing price, then no discussing price!


Edited by Loren D (12/30/10 07:58 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587064 - 12/30/10 08:11 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: kpembrook]
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 498
Loc: Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
[quote=Les Koltvedt]
Personally my repair rate is calculated apx. 1.5 times my tuning rate.


So if you charge $X per hour for tuning, that means you charge $X.5 per hour for repairs?



Edited by Randy Karasik (12/30/10 08:13 AM)
_________________________
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com

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#1587178 - 12/30/10 12:16 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20757
Loc: Oakland
Piano World has no rules about discussing prices.

The problem with repairs like this is that most of the time spent on them is travel time.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1587231 - 12/30/10 01:36 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: BDB]
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
The other question I have is, do you "mark up" your parts prices?

I had to put a starter in my car last week, then it turns out that something else was wrong too, so to extend good will, he said he'd give me the starter for "his" cost, which reminded me that they do that.

Obviously 7 cents for a jack spring isn't much, but there's shipping, etc. I don't want to stick it to anyone but I don't want to stick myself either wink
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1587239 - 12/30/10 01:42 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20757
Loc: Oakland
If I have to order parts, I will mark up the price. However, some things are not worth the bookkeeping trouble, like a jack spring left over from a set of them. I just consider some things to be supplies, rather than parts.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1587629 - 12/31/10 03:58 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: jmw
The follow up question is, "how much do you charge for small repairs like this one?"

Thanks as always- there are some really great people out here!
jw



With all respect: considering that you are coming on-line to find help diagnosing such a basic problem and are cutting your teeth learning these kinds of repairs, perhaps you shouldn't really be asking how much to charge a client for your education and experience....
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1587706 - 12/31/10 09:48 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Gadzar]
Roy Rodgers Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 344
Loc: Ranger, Texas
I think you have to take these type repairs and make your best judgment whether to charge or not to charge. If it is simply a matter that the jack spring slipped out of place and takes a few seconds to pop it back in, then I just do it and go on. If it were a bunch of them then a small fee might be in order.

If it's broken and has to be replaced and it involves a little more work, then maybe charge a little extra for what you are doing.

For me it's a case by case decision. Before doing any tuning I inspect the piano to see what is needed. Especially a piano that I am seeing for the first time. Then before I do any work I visit with the owner to let them know what I see and what I recommend along with the cost to do the repairs.

I recently tuned an old Clough Bros upright that seemed like every other jack flange was unglued. Because of the number of jacks that had to be repaired I did charge a little extra for gluing them back into place.
_________________________
Tuning and repairing pianos since 1981 in Ranger, Tx. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roys-Piano-Service/173273022711505

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#1587710 - 12/31/10 09:55 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Gadzar]
Chuck Behm Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 620
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Hi all - One aspect to consider which has not been mentioned is that oftentimes when parts start breaking, more will follow. I ordinarily would replace a single broken part without charging an extra fee, especially something as simple as a jack spring. At the same time, however, I will point out that once a particular part starts to break, more will certainly follow, whether it be bridle straps, plastic elbows, hammer butt springs, jack springs, etc., etc. I'll give an estimate for a total replacement job, and a price quote (on the high side) for future individual replacements. The appeal of having the entire job done at a reasonable price and being done with it once and for all wins the day, at least in my experience.

Just a thought to add another viewpoint. Have a great New Years, all, and thanks to all for the support I've been given in my various writing endeavors. I appreciate your support! Chuck Behm

P.S Illustrated promos now available include: 1. bridle strap replacement, 2. hammer filing, 3. ivory keyset restoration 4. plastic elbow replacement and 5. vertical action regulating.
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#1587777 - 12/31/10 11:34 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Supply]
jmw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Girard, KS,
Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Goering. I didn't intend to charge the client for this particular thing- I just wanted to have an idea for my future reference. This is a side line for me that I enjoy doing and want to get better at. That being said, if I know what to do and am able to do it, I don't think it's out of line to charge something for my time. If I don't know and have to do some research to get it fixed, then I don't charge anything. In all cases, I tell the everyone I'm new, and learning, and charge accordingly. In my geographic area, there are very few options for piano tech's, so most people are just tickled they can get someone to do the work.
John
_________________________
Music teacher and beginning Tuner

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#1588676 - 01/01/11 08:56 PM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: Chuck Behm]
SM Boone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/10
Posts: 303
Loc: VA USA
I agree with Chuck on this one. I evaluate each scenario individually, if it is a piano that is literally falling apart, then I am honest about that, and will not become involved. Odds are if glue joints are failing in one spot, especially on older uprights, they will fail in other places. The customer expects... perfection~ and doesn't understand why that can't happen. It is a Loose-Loose situation, so despite the love we have for pianos and the desire to see them live forever.... there are times when we need to let them go, and let the relatives know that. s

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#1588874 - 01/02/11 07:41 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: SM Boone]
Chuck Behm Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 620
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
I agree with Chuck on this one. I evaluate each scenario individually, if it is a piano that is literally falling apart, then I am honest about that, and will not become involved. - SM Boone

Actually, our only point of agreement here is to evaluate the piano carefully. I'm not at all saying that if things are coming apart I'm unwilling to become involved. Far from it. Things that are coming apart almost always may be put back together again.

What I am saying is that instead of fixing a problem on a piecemeal basis, I would much rather take on the problem as a whole and get it done right the first time, so that the same repair doesn't come up time and time again, just for different notes each time.

For example, if I'm working on the restoration of an ivory keyset , and some of the individual ivories have come loose, I would prefer to reglue all 52, instead of fixing a few, then having more pop off later. This adds a lot more time to the job, obviously, but ensures that the problem is fixed for good.(If you would like to see more details on this approach, go to the Schaff webstore, open up the technical articls section and download the article titled "Invisble Ivory Keytop Replacement.")

And unlike you, if the piano is one the customer wants to save, and it's within my power to do so, I almost never advise pulling the plug, so to speak. I'll give them a quote on fixing what they have, advise them to look at new pianos and consider their options, but at least I will be giving them an option, not just a sad story of why it can't be done. That approach very often turns out to be a win-win situation.

Have a great New Years, everyone, and think positive! Chuck
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#1588882 - 01/02/11 08:33 AM Re: Jack spring repair [Re: jmw]
David Jenson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 1947
Loc: Maine
Each of us who undertake to fix the pianos of others will develop slightly different approaches to repair work. In many years (more than I like to think about) of tuning and repair, I've come to the private conclusion that repair, in most cases, is why I was called in the first place. For that reason I charge a good fee for all repairs. My bookkeeper (wife) insists on it!

There are occasions where I can tell that the owner is really struggling, and I'll apply glue, or fix a small part while whistling tunelessly and looking off in another direction. I don't have to charge for those repairs, and no one is the wiser.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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