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#1682235 - 05/21/11 05:54 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Bill: I mispelled (course) I am very tired we moved four large grands today.

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#1682274 - 05/21/11 07:32 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
Bill McKaig,RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 86
Loc: Tampa, FL
I would think that if the panel shrinks 1/4" and then creates a crown after rib installation, then it is functioning similar to a new board.
Do you recap the bridges? I think it would be difficult to set bearing without some form of adjustment for each section of the piano.
_________________________
Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com

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#1682605 - 05/22/11 02:20 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Bill: Of all the ones we have done, only one, has been troublesome. I over did it, and ended up with way too much crown. I should have unglued the ribs again, and corrected this, but that meant repressing, I did not think it would be a problem, but it was serious. I had to set the acoustic dowels as high as possible. And put thick shimming material under the plate nuts,and even under the duplex bars, even with that,it was pretty scary. And I ended up recapping the bass bridge. Yes it was a lesson learned. If the manufacturer did their job correct,the bridges return to their original height,I kid-you-not, honest.This was on an A-3 1902.You know if some is good,then more is better, well not on crown height, that is for sure.How this happened? We are on third floor of an old mill building, when the heat comes on, the humidity drops to below 25%,and with heating the SB, and ribs to 100 degrees+,dropping the moisture content down to about 4%,and it would have been normal,except on this one, I made my press cauld's too deep, pushing them into the "dish" more than the others before this one.Thus ending up with over-crown. The temperature was correct, the moisture content was right, but too much curve.I don't know if any body else does it this way,well anyway, I threw this set of caulding away,about a three dollar loss in material.We use three quarter inch M.D.F. to make these.You see, I don't think this is conventional either?There is no concave "dish", I put more crown from fourth octave up than in the bass. I am familiar with the standard giant, thick, go bar decks.Our pressing equipment is made of steel.And between pressings it just stands in the corner.No go bars. One cauld for each rib,cut on a band saw.After I am done with them, I bundle them up, tape them together, and write on them the piano model, and serial number,and use them again and again. The caulding I made for the cir,1900 M&H we did 2 years ago, was pulled off the shelf,and reused for this 1913 M&H I pressed this past winter.The bridge and the curvature was exactly the same, only not as wide in the bass,It saved me some time in making new ones.Once the caulding is made,say for a B Steinway it can be used over and over.M.D.F.is fantastic in that is cheap and has no grain to deflect the band-saw.It takes about 5 or 6 hours to make these and that is it.

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#1682607 - 05/22/11 02:21 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Bill: Of all the ones we have done, only one, has been troublesome. I over did it, and ended up with way too much crown. I should have unglued the ribs again, and corrected this, but that meant repressing, I did not think it would be a problem, but it was serious. I had to set the acoustic dowels as high as possible. And put thick shimming material under the plate nuts,and even under the duplex bars, even with that,it was pretty scary. And I ended up recapping the bass bridge. Yes it was a lesson learned. If the manufacturer did their job correct,the bridges return to their original height,I kid-you-not, honest.This was on an A-3 1902.You know if some is good,then more is better, well not on crown height, that is for sure.How this happened? We are on third floor of an old mill building, when the heat comes on, the humidity drops to below 25%,and with heating the SB, and ribs to 100 degrees+,dropping the moisture content down to about 4%,and it would have been normal,except on this one, I made my press cauld's too deep, pushing them into the "dish" more than the others before this one.Thus ending up with over-crown. The temperature was correct, the moisture content was right, but too much curve.I don't know if any body else does it this way,well anyway, I threw this set of caulding away,about a three dollar loss in material.We use three quarter inch M.D.F. to make these.You see, I don't think this is conventional either?There is no concave "dish", I put more crown from fourth octave up than in the bass. I am familiar with the standard giant, thick, go bar decks.Our pressing equipment is made of steel.And between pressings it just stands in the corner.No go bars. One cauld for each rib,cut on a band saw.After I am done with them, I bundle them up, tape them together, and write on them the piano model, and serial number,and use them again and again. The caulding I made for the cir,1900 M&H we did 2 years ago, was pulled off the shelf,and reused for this 1913 M&H I pressed this past winter.The bridge and the curvature was exactly the same, only not as wide in the bass,It saved me some time in making new ones.Once the caulding is made,say for a B Steinway it can be used over and over.M.D.F.is fantastic in that is cheap and has no grain to deflect the band-saw.It takes about 5 or 6 hours to make these and that is it.

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#1682651 - 05/22/11 04:25 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Mr. Mckaig.I never touched a computer until last Tuesday,I haven't typed anything since high school, 1971, but I'm learning, and I find it most interesting. I checked out your shop pictures. The question That intrigues me the most is, Why do you make ribs round on top "pre-crowned". And do you do this to Steinways? Is the perimeter glued down at 90 degrees where it meets the rim.? The 1913 M&H I'm doing has a convex board, right to the very edge, all around the perimeter. The node at the bridge is adjusted to compensate for this type of construction.If the manufacturer had used a compression type crown, with the edges glued flat. Thus one of the reasons for rib pairing,do you make the SB to rim jointing angled to the same curve as the roundness of the board.The sweet spot is in a slightly different place,as Chris Robinson demonstrated one time long ago.This is why there is a pulsator bar. And I dont know how to spell pulsator.

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#1683096 - 05/23/11 01:27 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
Bill McKaig,RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 86
Loc: Tampa, FL
I've settled on a hybrid system to build my sound boards. This system uses a combination of arched ribs and compression to form a crown allowing me to dry the board down to 5.9 % instead of 4%. This gives an extra margin safety so that the spruce is less likely to be forced past its elastic limit (crushing force). I feel this gives the board a longer functional life. This hybrid system is not new. It has been used since at least 1900, probably earlier.

I've never found a need to modify the rim ledge. I don't think it helps or hinders the crown of a board. As I said earlier, a crowned board is a self-supported system, it needs a solid rim for a foundation for it to function properly, but the rim does not maintain the crown of the board (as in a buttressed arch).
_________________________
Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com

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#1683226 - 05/23/11 04:47 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Bill, Yes, I have a SB from an old Chickering upright from early 1900,that we junked, this had milled crown ribs. Also a Knabe 7'4" grand 1892, the ribs were two piece,joined horizontally, with the top half milled for the crown,That was very interisting.I kept one of them for show and conversation. And I saw a Chickering 6'8" from early 1900 that had only seven ribs, that was constructed this way also. But Steinway's always seems to be what is considered the standard example worldwide, why didn't they do this?

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#1683240 - 05/23/11 05:10 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Forum followers,
We have tried to post some pictures from our last job. Computers seem to take delight in torturing me, and I can't seem to figure out how to post a link. I think...if the URL below is copied and pasted into a browser it might work. Please let me know if it won't.

https://profiles.google.com/105412259108667869462#105412259108667869462/photos


Edited by blaisboards (05/23/11 05:18 PM)

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#1684226 - 05/25/11 09:46 AM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Thank you gentleman, for the response to my original question. Yes I've known for a long time that there are some who remove SB's from antique pianos,and reinstall them.The technique is different in that they don't use steam,just water.This would not be practical on most pianos after 1860 or so with wide glue joinery and 3/8 inch SB's.It would take a long time to loosen these glue joints. The ones I do know about are museum property,some are privately owned.And I will be happy to answer any additional questions anyone might have.

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#1684435 - 05/25/11 03:29 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
Bill McKaig,RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 86
Loc: Tampa, FL
Richard,
The work your doing to these pianos looks very nice and clean and I do believe your restoring them back to a functioning piano. But the only advantage that I see of this procedure would be for historical or antique pianos. It really is less work to build a new board. That being said, everyone has their own philosophy about piano rebuilding and if your criteria is to retain as much of the original piano as possible, I think there's a market for that.
_________________________
Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com

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#1685129 - 05/26/11 05:33 PM Re: original soundboard recrowning [Re: blaisboards]
blaisboards Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Mass
Hi Bill. I guess you will have to hear one,Idon't know how. But, as for time factor. If I had better equipment, it might be as fast.There are no pieces left glued to the rim to chisel out,and no ribs to make,and the moldings are already to glue back in. But faster,faster, is not so important, new wood will probably always be easier.It is the end result,that makes it worth it. They have amazing sonority, like they say, the proof is in the pudding.

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