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#2087883 - 05/24/13 10:19 AM Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 686
I have just replaced the wippen flanges on an early 1900's Fritz Kuhla upright with a new set of Renner flanges and I will be replacing the hammer flanges with new Renner flanges too.

I have aligned jacks to hammerbutts before but was wondering if anyone had an efficient method which makes this part of aligning easier?

Thanks,
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#2087926 - 05/24/13 11:34 AM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3546
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If they are beyond using travel paper to tilt the whippen flange-you can repin the jack using a pre-bent center pin that you rotate in the birds-eye before cutting off the end so as to leave the jack in a more vertical line. Not fun. Practice on old parts to get the trick down. You pre-bend the center pin with your wire bending pliers.
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#2088131 - 05/24/13 04:04 PM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 686
Thanks Ed for your response. I got very busy all of a sudden after I began this thread and I have only been able to get back to the computer now.

I will try to explain my method as best as possible, so please bear with me.

I have already screwed the wippens onto the beam. I usually align/space the wippen by papering the top edge of the flange or the face of the flange that gets screwed to the beam. Papering the side/edge to which the wippen needs to move to in order for the jack to be aligned correctly.

I usually will have the mechanism in an action cradle, with the hammers facing away from me. Then looking down into the mechanism from just above the hammers, I look to see if the particular jack top I am working with, whether it is directly in line with the hammerbutt, or whether it is leaning to the left or right.

If the jack is leaning to the left or right and to whatever degree it is out of alignment, I will mark the wippen, with chalk on the side to which the jack needs to move towards in order for it to be correctly realigned with the hammerbutt. The chalk mark will be a short, long, wide or narrow line, so that I know how many pieces of paper I need to insert.

I run through the entire mechanism, like this, marking all the wippens that need to move for the jack to be centered. Then I run through the mechanism again, inserting the paper strips accordingly. I may need to do two to three passes making corrections and adjustments so that the jacks are centered and that the wippens stay in correct alignment and spacing for the capstans, at least as best as possible.

I just thought of it now, as I was writing this that, instead of me peering from the top of hammers, down into the mechanism I can maybe use a torch and peer straight in from just above the backchecks. That might make the peering into the action to see which way the jack is leaning a bit easier.

Anyway, if others have a better way, I would really appreciate your input and methods.

Thank you,






Edited by Mark Davis (05/24/13 04:05 PM)
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#2088192 - 05/24/13 05:25 PM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
using a mirror may help, usually there is not as much work with new whippens.

They may line to the capstans, too.

THe papercan be inserted from below, without taking out the whioppen.
The good tool is an action cradle where one can turn the action upside down quick and fasten it

cleaning the rail and the channel for the rod that serve to line the parts, may help at papering moment.

Using a news rod too (if no rod was installd originally make a channel with the tool used to make parallel lines on wood , or a specific tool with a blade. ("grain d'orge")

Mosty of the vertical placement is obtain with the rods. (1.2 mm if memory serves I have to check it out)

Renner parts are usually well done and are square with limited papering issues (Whippens)



Edited by Olek (05/24/13 05:27 PM)
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#2088200 - 05/24/13 05:46 PM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 686
Thank you Isaac.

The mirror sounds like a good idea. I will try it.

This particular make and model of piano does not have the rod but a tongue on the beam where the wippen flange groove slots onto.
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Mark Davis
Piano Tuner/Technician

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#2088213 - 05/24/13 06:07 PM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Ah it happens that the tongue is made flat with a plane and an emplacement is done for the rod, as it is more efficient, and easier to do if a flange need to be turned a little.
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#2088263 - 05/24/13 07:02 PM Re: Aligning jacks of an upright piano to the hammerbutt [Re: Mark Davis]
Mark Davis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/08
Posts: 686
Ok, I understand now what you are saying about using the rod.

That is helpful.

Thanks Isaac.



Edited by Mark Davis (05/24/13 07:03 PM)
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