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#1932747 - 07/26/12 02:38 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
I watched a renown tech use a rotational bumping motion to set a pin which was cracking, when several other techs before him (including myself) tried and said it couldn't be easily done. Sometimes wiggling the handle around while pulling will set the crack of the pin off from a different place. Also slightly deformed or oblong pin holes put most of the static friction on the string sideof the upper part of the pin. I will sometimes use my other hand to tune and have the handle at 11 oclock where the tilt is less severe (being opposite the string tension). This reduces the friction on the tilted pin enough to minimize the cracking in many cases.

An impact wrench that has the same shape of a traditional lever, L shaped with the handle above the pin, does everything a normal lever does as far as force vectors...and this includes the vector of tilt force on the pin. It simply does it on a higher order of speed affording smaller movements of the pin because you are overcoming static friction more efficiently than slow application of force. Force vectors don't change values in relation to each other unless its applied to a different location on a part, or from a different angular direction. Both levers get the force applied from the handle in identical ways therefore the amount of tilt force stays equal in relation to rotational force.
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#1932751 - 07/26/12 02:43 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Srry, dbble post
(edited)


Edited by Emmery (07/26/12 02:43 PM)
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#1932788 - 07/26/12 04:23 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Emmery, I'm referring to the grand version of the Cyberhammer, which has two equally weighted arms protruding away from each other, with the head in the middle. You spin it instead of pull or push. Pure torque.



Edited by Loren D (07/26/12 04:26 PM)
Edit Reason: added Youtube video
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#1932815 - 07/26/12 05:48 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Emmery]
Tunewerk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 405
Loc: Boston, MA
I have great respect for Dan Levitan and think he's one of the best technicians out there, technically as well as artistically, but I am confused about the claims of this lever.

It seems that there is an equivocation being made to the effective lever arm being in the plane of rotation, and the elimination of bending force (flagpoling) in reality.

Effective leverage arms are used in action design to state how a whole assembly will behave. These are mostly theoretical, however, because they don't delineate force transfer through an actual structure. They only summarize a structure in terms of it's effective lever arm lengths; also the start and stop angles of rotation.

In Dan Levitan's design, force applied to the handle near the keys will translate to a bending force in the handle rod, against the normal force exerted by the pin. This will be translated to a torsional force around the main rod and back to a bending force in the pin rod. This will 'flagpole' the pin like any other lever.

The only constraint may be the stiffness of the lever, made of .035" stainless. This will reduce torsional and bending loads from at least increasing the stress angle.

I was present at one meeting discussing the design of his lever. He focused on components of force, saying that any force applied above the plane of rotation of the pin results in two components: one in the plane of the pin, and one orthogonal to the plane, a component determined by the sine or cosine of the angle and the length of the lever arm.

This is true, as basic physics. As you increase the angle of application of force, you introduce an increasing component of bending force, described by the sine of applied force, or F*sin[a]. But to physically accomplish the theoretical rotation along the plane, you'd need a lever going through the pinblock.

Even though the effective leverage arm goes through the pinblock in Levitan's design, and the theoretical angle is zero, the real angles or force transfer are not zero.

I'm going to guess that this lever feels good because of the stiffness of the material it is made out of, the welded joints, and the fact that all pin deflection is forced to occur at 90 deg. to the speaking length.


Edited by Tunewerk (07/26/12 09:14 PM)
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#1932873 - 07/26/12 09:11 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Chris Leslie Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 565
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I would be happy to see the measured results of a controlled experiment with varying the position of the force applied to the lever's handle both above and below the horizontal plane of the pin (pinblock), and varying the length of the lever. The measurement would be of rotational force at the pin but in the vertical plane (flagpoling).
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#1932936 - 07/27/12 01:51 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Tunewerk]
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
I am also suspicious that the Levitan C lever may not work precisely as it's been described. But I've rationalized how I think the practical forces work. (I have not used one, so I am clearly blowing out my arse on this, but that won't stop me...)

Let's say you have a relatively loose fitting tip on on your lever, say a Watanabe 2 or 3. It's not a nice, tight fit, so the points of contact with the pin are roughly at the top of the pin, and lower on the pin near the coil. You lean on a regular lever, and flagpoling ensues with the fulcrum roughly at the bottom of the tip, while the lever arm is supported by the contact at the top of the pin.

Now imagine a C lever like the Levitan design, but the handle is longer. Grab this imaginary lever at the bottom of the handle, to clarify the force vectors. Then the fulcrum is still near the coil end of the tip, and is effectively fixed in place. But because of where you've grabbed the handle, since the rotational plane is way below the level of the pin, the behavior at the top of the pin like an uneven teeter-totter, and the top contact point on the pin is actually pushing the opposite way you are pushing the handle of the lever. So the pin does not flagpole in the direction it does with a normal lever, and some amount of force is actually pushing it the other way, because of that orthogonal force vector. I think that's the way this imaginary C lever would work, reverse flagpoling. Then I imagine that the actual length of the handle in the real Levitan design is made short enough so that the opposing force I just described is close to zero.

I was not at Dan's presentation, so I don't know what was said there, but from the descriptions I've seen in the videos, and diagrams in articles, I'm not sold on the idea that manipulating the pin above the plane of the pinblock can actually cause the pin to rotate as if an imaginary lever is grabbing it in the center of the pinblock and turning it, which seems to be implied. It seems to me, at best, you are doing some cancelling of the ordinary flagpoling force, perhaps in a similar fashion to the Reyburn grand impact lever (which Loren conveniently linked to above). But I'd say that alone is an accomplishment.

I wonder if you could hang that lever off the right side of a grand. Then you could get a better feel for whether any flagpoling was going on. As it is, the default position is parallel to the strings, conveniently, where flagpoling has less effect anyway even with a normal lever.

I'm not sure it matters much to me though, I like my Fujan, and being able to position it either parallel or perpendicular as I see fit; the string rendering while (lightly) flagpoling is good information too.
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#1932958 - 07/27/12 02:53 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3467
Kamin

Quote:
Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.


I think he just wants to emphasize how easy his tool works. Working hard on the attacks might not fit that.
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#1932963 - 07/27/12 03:07 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: wouter79]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Kamin

Quote:
Sure about tuning unisons it was not the purpose but I see no reason why he should do differently. He tune just a little too soft and late, not working the tone during the attack.


I think he just wants to emphasize how easy his tool works. Working hard on the attacks might not fit that.


possible indeed , well seen ...
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#1932966 - 07/27/12 03:17 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Loren D]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Emmery, I'm referring to the grand version of the Cyberhammer, which has two equally weighted arms protruding away from each other, with the head in the middle. You spin it instead of pull or push. Pure torque.



This works on the assumtion that the wave of the impulsion is raising all wire segments the same.

Then the tuner have no control on that front segment (which is indeed the less easy part of the wire to control as stated a colleague on a French forum lately)

A good way to break bass strings in my opinion , as nudging with them.

Then again on the video a demonstration of non tuning.
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#1933026 - 07/27/12 07:04 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Gosh, guys. Haven't you ever used a box end wrench on a rusty bolt and flipped the wrench around so the plane of force was the same as the plane of resistance? The wrench is less likely to slip from the bolt. Dan's lever works just like he says it does.
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Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1933039 - 07/27/12 07:57 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: UnrightTooner]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Gosh, guys. Haven't you ever used a box end wrench on a rusty bolt and flipped the wrench around so the plane of force was the same as the plane of resistance? The wrench is less likely to slip from the bolt. Dan's lever works just like he says it does.


Not sure what you mean Tooner...are you talking about a box or closed end wrench with an offset on the head such as this?...

If you had the clearance for the handle, a wrench like in the image can be flipped so the forces are applied lower, along the area where the bolts threads sit.
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Niagara Region

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#1933048 - 07/27/12 08:17 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: Emmery]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Emmery:

Box end is the same thing as a closed end, as far as I know. You have the right idea about flipping the offset around, but a combo wrench (one end box, one end open) has a simple angle instead of an offset.

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Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1933063 - 07/27/12 09:04 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2356
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Okay, I know what you mean by the angle now. Wasn't sure what you meant at first.
_________________________
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George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1933131 - 07/27/12 12:02 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
the lever is still acting differently, in my view because of the tip and the part above it, it may lighten the pressure on the bed of the pin so the bottom is worked sooner


Edited by Kamin (07/27/12 12:07 PM)
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#1933216 - 07/27/12 02:57 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: beethoven986]
PaintedPostDave Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 524
Loc: Upstate New York
Beethoven,
The price is $149.95 plus shipping.
smile

I stand corrected: it is much more than that. Sorry.



Edited by PaintedPostDave (07/28/12 03:05 PM)
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Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
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#1933260 - 07/27/12 04:28 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: PaintedPostDave]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
Beethoven,
The price is $149.95 plus shipping.
smile



You want the C-shaped lever, right? $149.95 isn't even close. I'll send you a PM....
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#1933381 - 07/27/12 08:49 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: Philadelphia area
It's my understanding that the lever is much more than $150.00

I don't see how the C-Shaped lever offers greater advantage than working any normal hammer through the plane of the tuning pin turn. The presentation's assumption that the L-lever always creates a downward or upward movement against the tuning pin turning plane is not true. Especially for techs who use ball grips. From what observe on the video, The applied pressure from under the end of the lever handle tilted the hammer tip against the angle of the tuning pin. I don't know if this is an advantage or a disadvantage.

I would like to try one out. The discussion hasn't reached the topic of the possible ergonomic advantages the C-shaped lever may offer. Anyone have experience with this Lever????

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#1938494 - 08/06/12 09:23 PM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Dan Levitan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 2
A client of mine emailed me that there were some posts on PianoWorld about my C hammer, and after reading the very interesting discussion, I thought I'd take the liberty of chiming in.

When I started working on the tool, I was interested in seeing how a tool would work whose handle was in the plane of the pin block. I started with a few wooden prototypes, very flexible, so I could more easily see how the tool reacted to the application of force to the handle. The post by Tunewerk is insightful, and in my view absolutely correct: pushing or pulling on the handle in the plane of the pin block did indeed torque the long, horizontal (on a grand) shank. However, as best as I could tell, the resulting force at the tip was perfectly rotational.

However, I've seen many tools come and go that had a great theory behind them, but for some reason didn't work well. Once I started having metal prototypes made, the torsion didn't show as clearly in the tool itself. But using the tool, it seemed to me that I really could, for the first time in my tuning career, turn or twist the pin without bending it, judging from the effect of my movements on the speaking length.

Many prototypes later, I had a tool of 1 1/4" tubing with a 0.020" wall (thinner and lighter than the Pianotek model). The stiffness of this tool, fully welded, with no threaded joints, seemed to be key. As I grew used to the tool, I found that I was having much better control, tuning more stably and more rapidly. It seemed to me that the greater control came from being able to separate--if not completely, certainly to a very great extent--the turning and tilting forces on the pin. But that mattered less to me than the fact that, for whatever reason, my work was better. Interestingly, I found that there were many pianos that, try as I might, I couldn't tune stably without tilting (or "flagpoling") the pin. The looser the pin in the block, and the higher in the treble, the more I seem to need to tilt the pin.

By the way, I have worked side by side with excellent tuners who tune almost exclusively by tilting the pin. With the tool in line with the string, pointing towards the hitch pin, they move the handle up and down in the vertical plane. These tend to be tuners working in concert halls. Those pianos are very well in tune to begin with, meaning their pins are in more or less the ideal rotational position, so I surmise that these tuners are reluctant to turn the pins and possibly destabilize the tuning.

To me, the approach makes sense in that context, but makes no sense in the context of most tuning work. In any case, any time we use a conventional we tilt the pin; as far as I can tell, for every two pounds of force turning the pin, one pound is tilting it. To me this all confirms the posts that offer the opinion that piano design has evolved to accommodate tilting of the pin while tuning. In fact, in my present view it is a feature of pin block design that helps to make fine tuning possible.

Since I was so pleased with the tool, I approached Pianotek about manufacturing it. No matter how much I liked the tool, I was curious to see if it would work for others as well. Yes, Pianotek sells only to technicians who have registered with them, and I'm sorry if that is an obstacle to those who aren't in their files. But I have been very much involved with the process, and I think they've done a great job, in both producing a well-made tool and in offering it at a reasonable price. They sell the hammer for $300, which is an order of magnitude less that what my last two prototypes cost me, and significantly lower than many other premium tuning levers. As the name of the tool suggests, I envisioned the market for it to be pretty much limited to professionals interested in doing very high level work. It turns out, though, that a number of tuners who have developed severe shoulder pain from the stress of tuning have been able to work again without pain using the tool, and that is very gratifying.

The video was intended not to demonstrate tuning technique, but to demonstrate how I put the tool on the piano, sit, etc., for first-time users. I assure you, if you've never tuned for a room full of tuners, you don't know what stress is! And making a video that lots more tuners can rewind and watch in slow motion...yikes!

Anyway, I hope this answers a few questions. I greatly appreciate all the interesting input and feedback.

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#1938641 - 08/07/12 07:02 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Dan:

Welcome Aboard! I hope you don't regret it. smile
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Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1938654 - 08/07/12 07:34 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Quote:
I would like to try one out. The discussion hasn't reached the topic of the possible ergonomic advantages the C-shaped lever may offer. Anyone have experience with this Lever????


Being both a Piano Technician and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I would like to weigh in. Based on this thread, I placed an order for the Levitan lever with Pianotek and received it last month. Prior to receiving this lever I had been using my Fujan hammer for about four years. After tuning numerous different brands/sizes of grand pianos with the Levitan lever over this past month I can truthfully say that it takes pin control and ergonomics to a new level. It makes it extremely easy to finesse the pin in both rotational and horizontal planes, while allowing the technician to remain in a functional neutral posture that places no strain/wear and tear on any of the upper extremity joints, as tends to occur when using traditional tuning devices. Based on my own experience with this lever over the past month, I can unequivocally, and enthusiastically, endorse it.


Edited by CC2 and Chopin lover (08/07/12 07:42 AM)
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#1938670 - 08/07/12 08:28 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7264
Loc: France
Thanks for the witnessing CC2 and also for your presentation, Dan.

Yes for the body that sound like a good answer, assuming one have to tune a large amount of pianos each day.

What is the weight of the lever ?
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#1938712 - 08/07/12 10:18 AM Re: Dan Levitan's Lever [Re: dancarney]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Hi Dan, all~
I just ordered the C Lever. I tore the labrum and bicep tendon in my right shoulder in February of this year, developed bilateral cubital and carpal tunnel prior to that. Neither is a result from tuning pianos, but they have prevented me from all tunings, including sitting at a keyboard/typing, playing the piano, among other things, etc. Thank goodness for dictation software - it's been a lifesaver!

Prior to all this medical drama, I started using Joe Goss', Mother Goose - plateau, ball lever on Bill Bremmer's recommendation to better utilize the tap method for many tunings along with Issac's techniques - they've worked great as both predicted, but at this point, it's still not possible utilizing either at this point.

As I have gotten stronger and continue to manage the symptoms under the proper care of an OccupationaI Therapist, a PT, an Acupuncturist, a DO, and a Neurologist, I look forward to giving the C Lever a solid test-drive once it's delivered and I am more fully able to get back to turning pins, taking care of clients, and furthering my education in piano care. I have a 1931 Story and Clark Petite Grand learning piano waiting in my garage to continue reworking, etc.

Glen
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