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#2084790 - 05/18/13 02:06 PM Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers
Davepost Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 142
Loc: Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
I just bought a 1983 Baldwin Model L. Like new. Seldom played. Hammers look like new. But....hard and brittle sounding. Were these hammers juiced? I was in the Conway factory spring of 1982 for training. Willard Sims noted how the hammer making cauls were so hot and cautioned us about that. Were these hammers just ironed hot to make them hard? Can I resurrect these hammers by needling or using voicing solution. Or is a set of hammers rendered useless to fine voicing once they are cooked so hot? Any help will be welcomed.



Edited by Davepost (05/18/13 04:07 PM)
Edit Reason: One year off
_________________________
David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan Chapter. www.davepostma.com Conover 9 ft. 4" (Mason & Hamlin CC-1) Conover 7 ft, Conover 6 ft 2, Conover 5ft 10 model 77, Conver 66 Fairy grand 5 ft 4, Baldwin L, Baldwin R, Baldwin M, Chickering 123,

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#2084856 - 05/18/13 05:19 PM Re: Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers [Re: Davepost]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3489
Originally Posted By: Davepost
I just bought a 1983 Baldwin Model L. Like new. Seldom played. Hammers look like new. But....hard and brittle sounding. Were these hammers juiced? I was in the Conway factory spring of 1982 for training. Willard Sims noted how the hammer making cauls were so hot and cautioned us about that. Were these hammers just ironed hot to make them hard? Can I resurrect these hammers by needling or using voicing solution. Or is a set of hammers rendered useless to fine voicing once they are cooked so hot? Any help will be welcomed.



Sure, you could probably needle them to death and that might make the piano sound better. However, I would just advocate for new hammers. I just don't see any point trying to save 30 year old hammers that will take many hours of voicing to make sound decent when you can install new, awesome hammers that will require little to no voicing, and possibly solve any excessively heavy touch-weight at the same time. Baldwins respond very well to Ronsen hammers. I have an SF-10 in my care that will be getting Ronsen Weickerts this summer. This piano will sound and play better than new, afterwards... guaranteed!

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#2084930 - 05/18/13 08:43 PM Re: Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers [Re: Davepost]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3692
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If you can afford to go the lighter, softer Ronsen hammer route you will be rewarded with a great sound. Assuming you can mount them accurately and tone regulate superbly.

You could try applying a 12 parts acetone to 1 water softening solution but go very easy from note #55 or so to #88. In fact, don't treat the 80 numbered hammers at all. wait a couple of days to evaluate result. Shape hammers then to lighten touch and open up the treble tone. Remove as much felt from the shoulders as the hammer will allow while shaping.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

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#2084977 - 05/18/13 10:43 PM Re: Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers [Re: Davepost]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1510
Loc: Michigan
I have put Cadenza hammers on SF-10 and Classical West hammers on an SD-10. You can go with cheaper hammers which will almost certainly sound better, but why not go with a premium hammer? They sound great when you put them on, and continue to sound better with use. Also, they last longer than other hammers.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
Editor, Piano Technicians Journal
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2085095 - 05/19/13 07:28 AM Re: Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers [Re: Davepost]
Davepost Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/13
Posts: 142
Loc: Hudsonville, Western Michigan,...
Thanks, guys. New hammers it is. I do a nice install.
_________________________
David Postma, Associate Member, PTG Lansing, Michigan Chapter. www.davepostma.com Conover 9 ft. 4" (Mason & Hamlin CC-1) Conover 7 ft, Conover 6 ft 2, Conover 5ft 10 model 77, Conver 66 Fairy grand 5 ft 4, Baldwin L, Baldwin R, Baldwin M, Chickering 123,

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#2085129 - 05/19/13 10:14 AM Re: Early 1980's Baldwin grand hammers [Re: Davepost]
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 787
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Yeah, 30 year old hammers that have been saturated with hardner...I would go new. Really though, it's the perfect time to experiment. Try to wash them with lacquer thinner and wash the hardner away from the strike point. Try to needle them down. If you ruin them, you were going to replace them anyways, right?

I think that the Ronsen Weikert felt hammers work very well on a Baldwin. I've tried all the brands, and different variations of each, including Steinway. Most can be made to sound good, it's just a matter of how much work you want to go through to get there. The Isaac's are great, you just have to be prepared to deal with the weight. Really, the Ronsen's with Weikert felt were the set that sounded the best right out of the box without having to do much, other than standard fitting. I used them on an SF10 a couple years ago, and was quite happy. Would go that route again.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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