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Topic Options
#2068510 - 04/22/13 08:23 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: kpembrook]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 210
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Original piano soundboards can be recrowned. It is not a simple process, but it can be done. We do it regularly, and the results are predictable and long lasting. I hope I am not crossing the line of self-promotion, but pronouncements of "it cannot be done" have to be answered.

The 110B that Chrisman has been following is in our shop, and we just removed the board from the press a few days ago. The board has been blooming sinse then. Now that it is crowned, I thought it would be informative to post a couple of pictures:





The long rib is about 120cm long and has 9mm of crown.
The short rib is 28cm long and has 4mm of crown.

This method of recrowning, because the board is removed from the case, allows a complete reset of the stress interface between the ribs and the board. This, in turn, allows true compression to reform in the entire board, so there is crown in the whole system, particularly in the treble.
_________________________
Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

If I seem slow, I simply must be stopped

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#2068520 - 04/22/13 08:42 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: chrisman]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
hello, that is impressive, you need special cauls to rib with the bridge on ?

sound as a good process, but dismounting the ribs and the board without damage ?

Did you use hide glue for the ribs ? I did once on a little grand where almost all the ribs where unglued.
I used a very strong hide glue.
The results where very positive and surprising, I heard a 1920 grand with some dynamics , more than the usual old panel.

I thought that 8 mm was yet a good crowning, (with highers spot at the treble break).

I agree that the resiliency between ribs and panel is where most of the soundboard capacity to react fast to the disequilibrium lies.
That is what I think anyway.

Now I wonder how to evaluate the original ribbing process used.


Edited by Olek (04/22/13 08:50 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2068560 - 04/22/13 10:25 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: Olek]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 210
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Olek,
Good morning.

In the early days we used notched caulding in the press, but then we figured out how to remove the bridges. So that is no longer a complication

We use steam, deviously applied, to unglue the board from the rim, and then the component parts, in turn. Done patiently, any damage to the material is minimal.

Hide glue! Yes, its wonderful stuff. Its all we use.

We have done a number of pianos like your 20s grand, here in piano parching New England. A lot of pop can be returned to a board if you can relieve the accumulated shrinkage, and then add a little compression during glue up. This helps a piano a great deal, but we were never able to do much in the treble due to space constraints.

The original ribbing process. We may never know some particulars of original bellying techniques. Were these boards pressed on flat or contoured decking? We can't know. The only thing I can prove about Steinways, for example, is that they were pressed on a go-bar deck. It can be seen in the background of a photo. As for rib-crowned systems, I know for a fact that they were used in Knabes as far back as the 1890s. So they are a legitimate configuration in their own right. We just do our best to re-realize the designers intent, using the original piano as a guide. These Chickerings, for example, were built with a 1 to 1 ratio of unstrung bearing to as mounted crown.
_________________________
Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

If I seem slow, I simply must be stopped

Top
#2068587 - 04/22/13 10:58 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2411
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
WoW! That crown looks like a new board. I never would have thought a process like yours possible. If your post is considered advertising-then I don't know how anyone could share real information on the web.

It still seems like more work than it is worth. I would rather have new wood if I am going through a belly process. However for those who want to restore as closely as possible to original-and have a fine piano to play-your system is a godsend. Have you been asked to present this material at a PTG convention?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2068680 - 04/22/13 02:14 PM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: Craig Hair]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Craig Hair
Olek,
Good morning.

In the early days we used notched caulding in the press, but then we figured out how to remove the bridges. So that is no longer a complication

We use steam, deviously applied, to unglue the board from the rim, and then the component parts, in turn. Done patiently, any damage to the material is minimal.

Hide glue! Yes, its wonderful stuff. Its all we use.

We have done a number of pianos like your 20s grand, here in piano parching New England. A lot of pop can be returned to a board if you can relieve the accumulated shrinkage, and then add a little compression during glue up. This helps a piano a great deal, but we were never able to do much in the treble due to space constraints.

The original ribbing process. We may never know some particulars of original bellying techniques. Were these boards pressed on flat or contoured decking? We can't know. The only thing I can prove about Steinways, for example, is that they were pressed on a go-bar deck. It can be seen in the background of a photo. As for rib-crowned systems, I know for a fact that they were used in Knabes as far back as the 1890s. So they are a legitimate configuration in their own right. We just do our best to re-realize the designers intent, using the original piano as a guide. These Chickerings, for example, were built with a 1 to 1 ratio of unstrung bearing to as mounted crown.


Hello , good evening !

I do not believe in any flat glueing unless cheap quality pianos. Looking at the ribs may show their shape enough I believe.

Heat and moisture ... I did not thought that it could be done as clean as pictured.

The hide glue by evidence add constrain, the one I have chip the glass when it harden, if you come by I will give you some (historical glue in sheets, stamped "extra strong ")

Nevertheless I wondered if some skin glue must be added for plasticity of the joint, but I dont think so.

I am sure some old panels are really worth keeping.

What I noticed is that the raise obtained with the humidity back was not as much as expected, I can dry air to 14% HR, may be less, but it took too long to glue all ribs while keeping the piano in this hard environment ( I used moistened rags and plastic sheets around the pinblock)

The factory had special warming equipment to glue the ribs, with heat, the glue really go deep in the wood. Not much needed but still a little.

I will try to provide you a few readings on that part of tge building, may be it will give you some ideas..

Regards


Ps traditionally alcohol is used to soften the glue , may allow the water to attain the glue within the wood.

We could not do that with the more modern glue used, as urea formalehyde


Edited by Olek (04/22/13 02:17 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2068938 - 04/22/13 10:04 PM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 210
Loc: Holyoke, MA
Ed,
Thank you for responding. "like a new board",huh? Fine praise and we will accept it.

There are many qualities to ultra seasoned tonewood that make it worth the effort. You seem to be a sober material scientist, so I will select something fundamental and crucial: Stability.

Wood expands and contracts with the seasons and shrinks over time. More in the early years and less as time passes. The wood in the original board has done just about all the shrinking its going to. That said, the wood is still strongly hygroscopic. We use curved caulding to press our boards. Even with the curve in the press, the boards come out with only a minimal crown. Scares the stuff out of me every time. The bow in the picture developes over the course of a week or so.

If you can accept the combination of a good renewed crown matched with a glacial annual shrink, then perhapse you can see how these boards have the potential to show considerable longetivity. This is stability in the long term. In the short term, my tuner friends say that these pianos only move about one quarter as much seasonaly as other solid wood boards, and so are more stable in the short term.

Anyway, in too many words, that is one reason why I find the old wood rewarding to work with. I wont even go into the lighter, stiffer, stronger triad and their multiplying influences on tone, promptness and projection.

We gave some talks in Boston and Connecticut many years ago. I think it is time to revamp the roadshow.

"godsend" Can I quote you out of context with that one?
_________________________
Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

If I seem slow, I simply must be stopped

Top
#2068989 - 04/23/13 12:03 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: Craig Hair]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2411
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Craig, Well I guess since I put it in print here on line I can't stop you from quoting me. Don't think it will help much with your marketing as I am only at most what some call "boutique famous". I would reserve any endorsement of your process until I heard and played a couple of your pianos.

Your description of the picture being taken a week after belly puts your system in more focus. I would have that much crown with a new board three to four hours after ribbing. I also wondered if the soundboard would be shrunken slightly from its original size.

The greater stability of the original wood is due to it being somewhat fatigued compared to new wood.

Anyway, good luck to you!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2069116 - 04/23/13 04:49 AM Re: RESTRINGING [Re: chrisman]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
About shinkeage, old wood continue to shrink, as it was demonstrated to me recently.

Due to a heating fail (during a few weeks I guess) an old furniture (300 years) veener on oak, shrinked enough so all the veener fall on the floor. almost 2 mm reduction in size on 10 cm large panels ...

Certainly not shrinking as much as when new.

Probably the peliculars of old panels are good for some part and less for others.

New wood is more springy, usually, violin makers know that an old Stradivarius does not provide as much tone as a new violin, for instance.

But I am sure that the color of the original tone will be retained with the original panel, while changing totally with a new one. That should be a sufficient reason, to me, and you can talk of "restoration" then.

BTW that is the exact process used by Fortepiana restorers.


Regards


Edited by Olek (04/23/13 05:04 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
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