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#2062363 - 04/10/13 12:08 PM Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!'
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 498
Loc: Oregon Coast
Dear Folks,

Speaking of 'goofball'; ever try to find a serial number on one of these? There was a period where they put it in a unique place. Its not on the in the space between the bass/tenor plate, it is not on the soundboard, it is not on an embosssed metal plate on a beam somewhere...

Kinda like a 'Where's Waldo?'

I finally found the serial number under this Petite, quite accidently, when I was working on the pedal lyre. The serial number, in characters 4-inches tall, is whacked into the bottom of the keybed. Nifty, eh? First piano that you can read the number from across the room; if it happens to be on a skidboard and ready to move! Maybe there is a cosmic message there....

If you can't find a serial number on a Kimball Petite; try looking under the keybed. While you lay on your back, under there to get the number, take a nap. The rest may help you deal with it.....

Action Clicking; The unique action is also famous for clicking. On that particular Kimball I found that the rep-lever spring was the culprit. Under compression they bowed down too far and contacted the whippens. CLICK! And, of course, it only happens when the action is played just the right/wrong way and is a complete bugger to find...since it only does it when it wants to. I found it by pulling the whip on an offending note and playing with it...and noticed a little discoloration, not quite a dent, under the spring on the top of the whip. Ah ha!

The 'compressed' action also quite often has whips that are whacking on their neighbors, or lifting other hammers, and that can also lead to ...uh...some issues. But, the infuriating come-and-go click turned out to be the rep-lever spring. A small tweak and the clicks were gone. The church accompanist thinks I'm a genius...but a smart man would have convinced them to get another piano. (sigh)

Just FYI....
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

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#2062376 - 04/10/13 12:49 PM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2468
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
There is too much awesome wisdom contained in your post, Jeff.

I'm a bit overwhelmed...
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2062387 - 04/10/13 01:11 PM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Michigan
Dynamite is really the best solution . . .
_________________________
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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#2062397 - 04/10/13 01:45 PM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5327
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
I finally found the serial number under this Petite, quite accidently, when I was working on the pedal lyre. The serial number, in characters 4-inches tall, is whacked into the bottom of the keybed. Nifty, eh? First piano that you can read the number from across the room; if it happens to be on a skidboard and ready to move! Maybe there is a cosmic message there....

If you can't find a serial number on a Kimball Petite; try looking under the keybed. While you lay on your back, under there to get the number, take a nap. The rest may help you deal with it.....

It isn't always stamped on the bottom of the keybed. Sometimes, for you convenience, it is carefully hidden away on a small metal or paper "plaque" affixed to the back of bellyrail up near the treble end. A flashlight helps.



Quote:
Action Clicking; The unique action is also famous for clicking. On that particular Kimball I found that the rep-lever spring was the culprit. Under compression they bowed down too far and contacted the whippens. CLICK! And, of course, it only happens when the action is played just the right/wrong way and is a complete bugger to find...since it only does it when it wants to. I found it by pulling the whip on an offending note and playing with it...and noticed a little discoloration, not quite a dent, under the spring on the top of the whip. Ah ha!

The 'compressed' action also quite often has whips that are whacking on their neighbors, or lifting other hammers, and that can also lead to ...uh...some issues. But, the infuriating come-and-go click turned out to be the rep-lever spring. A small tweak and the clicks were gone. The church accompanist thinks I'm a genius...but a smart man would have convinced them to get another piano. (sigh)

Other sources for clicks include every place where one of those springs was seated against a sponge rubber pad of some sort. The spongy material deteriorates -- more in some climates than in others -- and the spring ends up resting against wood. An open invitation for clicks and squeaks.

There are also a couple of regulating screws that rested against the same material with the same result.

These actually weren't such bad actions except for the miserable quality control exercised during their construction and assembly. Once the wood had a chance to dry out and stabilize -- and with a strip of course sandpaper placed under the flanges to keep them from drifting -- and with all that foam garbage removed and replaced with more appropriate felt and leather punchings -- and with a decent regulation -- they worked reasonable well. They aren't going to challenge a new WN&G action but they were certainly suitable to the piano. That is to say, they played at least as well as the piano was capable of sounding.

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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#2062668 - 04/11/13 12:31 AM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 498
Loc: Oregon Coast
Del,

It was your post on the other thread that started this, Del. I thought that putting 'Kimball Petite' and 'CLICK!" might make useful information (...like your's!) available to future searchers of the wonderworld of the Forum. Excellent.

Quite seriously? That piano works just fine now, has a decent enough tone for a piano sized like a spinet on 3-legs and a pretty cabinet that the church-people are perfectly happy with. While I may grouse here with my technician brethren and sistren, the truth is that this little piano is quite tunable, very playable, and has found a happy home.

Making lemonade,
I am,
Smiling,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

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#2062696 - 04/11/13 01:30 AM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5327
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
Del,

It was your post on the other thread that started this, Del. I thought that putting 'Kimball Petite' and 'CLICK!" might make useful information (...like your's!) available to future searchers of the wonderworld of the Forum. Excellent.

Quite seriously? That piano works just fine now, has a decent enough tone for a piano sized like a spinet on 3-legs and a pretty cabinet that the church-people are perfectly happy with. While I may grouse here with my technician brethren and sistren, the truth is that this little piano is quite tunable, very playable, and has found a happy home.

Making lemonade,
I am,
Smiling,

That's pretty much how I looked at them: spinets on three legs. Complete with "compact actions." Kimball was not altogether out to lunch when they created these little things. At least not from a market standpoint. They were never much as real pianos -- just like most spinets were not much as real pianos -- but from a purely marketing standpoint they were sold to the same people who would otherwise have bought a spinet but wanted something a little more "elegant" and upscale than the spinet their neighbors just bought. And they did sell a bunch of them.

My first real work on one of these things -- and my last -- was for a young music major whose parents had purchased it for her as she started college. She wore the action out -- literally -- in the first year but couldn't replace the piano with anything larger, more expensive or better. I rebuilt the action, replacing all those foam bits with real felt and leather; replaced the regulating screws with more suitable pieces and regulated the thing decently. It played pretty well. She still had the piano when she graduated and, last I heard (this was in the late 1970s) she was planning to keep it as her second piano as she started teaching back home.

Could have been worse; could have been a Kimball spinet.

ddf


Edited by Del (04/11/13 01:35 AM)
_________________________
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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#2062698 - 04/11/13 01:32 AM Re: Kimball Petite Serial numbers and 'CLICK!' [Re: TunerJeff]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1344
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff

Making lemonade,
I am,
Smiling,


How we should live.
smile thumb
_________________________
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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