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#2101057 - 06/11/13 05:20 PM Golf clubs - shafts and head weight.
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 543
Any of you play golf ?
Have you built your own set of clubs ?

The reason I ask is that I have read a LOT about swing weight, moment of inertia, shaft stiffness and head weight.
There APPEAR to be similarities with the piano hammer design - the gradation from light to heavy.

I am NOT a piano technician, but I have read a fair amount about the mechanics of pianos and how Wessell, Nickel and Gross provide different wall thicknesses.

Maybe I'm completely off the wall on this ? Maybe not.

Thoughts & opinions very welcomed, derision a bit less welcome (-:

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#2101064 - 06/11/13 05:38 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
Originally Posted By: R_B

Maybe I'm completely off the wall on this ?


Nope. You're pretty much on the wall. Higher hammer mass equals higher inertia, and heavier feeling touch-weight, all else being equal. Treble shanks need to be thin for better tone production, and bass shanks need to be more robust to counteract the added hammer mass, and resulting "whip".

And no, I don't play golf, but I do have a pretty sweet argyle collection.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2101093 - 06/11/13 06:25 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
BenP Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 166
Loc: South Jersey
Interesting comparison, except the follow-through in golf does not quite have a parallel in the movement of the piano hammer. At least, it's not supposed to . . .
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#2101096 - 06/11/13 06:27 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1241
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
It is hard to compare to a golf club's job, since all the different sizes of club are used on the same ball, whereas piano hammers are all hitting strings of different lengths and weights.

As far as I know, almost every piece of equipment that humans use, in which the flex of the equipment is paramount, (Tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, etc), has benefitted from the use of composites. I know of no professional that prefers wood for any of these things.
As far as my experience has gone with the WNG parts, there is no comparison, in any operative way, to wood. Not only in perfomance, but consistency.

I have asked before if anyone cares to mention an aspect of wooden piano parts that is superior to the nylon or carbon fiber parts. So far, nobody has mentioned anything but a vague reference to a different sound, which mine, and others, experience has yet to encounter.
If we are building an action to provide the greatest degree of control to the pianist, it is folly to use wood, since it interjects an uncontrollable variable into the equation.
Regards,


Edited by Ed Foote (06/11/13 06:30 PM)

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#2101160 - 06/11/13 08:25 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 543
Ahhh, same size ball vs different string weights, tensions and number of - I had forgotten that.

Different head weights vs same size hammer heads.

Is Back spin in any way analogous to the hammer's motion ALONG the string ?

Is hammer mass different in the bass and treble sections ?
I know shanks are shaved thinner in the treble, but I am asking about the mass of the "head" part.

Also, has anyone tried to build with different shank lengths ?
Maybe difficult to do, might require a very different layout, i.e. strike points probably couldn't be all in a neat line so a lot of things would have to be "moved around".

I have to get out more (-:

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#2101371 - 06/12/13 08:39 AM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: R_B
Ahhh, same size ball vs different string weights, tensions and number of - I had forgotten that.

Different head weights vs same size hammer heads.



I've followed some of the debates on golf club shaft flex.

I'm not sure how much of it is real, and how much superstition. Golfers are very suceptible to the latter, largely because of how difficult their task is (we wish it were impossible!)

But there are people who make a lot of money tailoring the shaft flex to the individual golfers swing speed. So it may not be as simple as hitting the same weight ball.

Or then again it may be.

If you're a nongolfer, some things you may not know:

The clubhead at impact represents a ballistic collision - the shaft no longer has an effect. If you use a hinge to connect the clubhead it makes no difference provided you swing in alignment.

The clubshaft at impact is flexed forward. This is counterintuitive. Most people think of the heavy clubhead as lagging behind, but it doesn't. The shaft flex has released and sprung forward long before impact.

Uh, are you familiar with archery and arrow spine? Spine is the measure of stiffness in an arrow. An arrow must bend around the bow, that's called the archer's paradox. It has to bend sideways exactly three times (one and a half cycles) so that the fletching is moving away from the bow as it leaves. It's first order simple harmonic motion, so the resonant frequency depends on stiffness and mass. An arrow that's too stiff might complete 4 bends instead of 3 and fly off to one side, while one too soft might do 2 and go the other way. So arrows are available in many combinations of diameter and wall thickness and can be precisely tuned to the bow weight and release style.

Just to add confusion. No charge. You can thank me later.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2101378 - 06/12/13 08:53 AM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: Ed Foote]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Greetings,
It is hard to compare to a golf club's job, since all the different sizes of club are used on the same ball, whereas piano hammers are all hitting strings of different lengths and weights.

As far as I know, almost every piece of equipment that humans use, in which the flex of the equipment is paramount, (Tennis racquets, golf clubs, skis, etc), has benefitted from the use of composites. I know of no professional that prefers wood for any of these things.
As far as my experience has gone with the WNG parts, there is no comparison, in any operative way, to wood. Not only in perfomance, but consistency.

I have asked before if anyone cares to mention an aspect of wooden piano parts that is superior to the nylon or carbon fiber parts. So far, nobody has mentioned anything but a vague reference to a different sound, which mine, and others, experience has yet to encounter.
If we are building an action to provide the greatest degree of control to the pianist, it is folly to use wood, since it interjects an uncontrollable variable into the equation.
Regards,


I can mention several benefits of wood over carbon fiber or even nylon parts. First of all, drop a few drops of acetone or even CA glue onto carbon fiber shank and a wood one and see which one survives. Put a small knick or cut into the central weave of a carbon fiber part and a wood one and see which one will lose almost all its strength. Do the same to the termination point of the weave (end) or a carbon rod or shaft and it will lose all its strength advantages. Expose a wood and a nylon part to UV rays...the wood will discolor on the surface, the nylon will deteriorate through and through. Wood will also flex more than carbon fiber shanks. This in turn acts a bit like a shock absorber as far as its wear and tear and impact on bushings and center pins and glue points. Wood also has more flexibility on torsion and will allow the impact of a hammers surface to better align and average force over multi stringed unisons that are not perfectly parallel to each other.

Carbon fiber parts also are very dependant on uniformity of weave and application of epoxy on it. When formed over a mandrel like hollow shafts are done, there is no way to inspect the internals to make sure they are consistant. A bad day at the factory or QC on a part could easily result in failure down the road. Stangely enough, high end bike builders are actually converting from carbon fiber to bamboo and bamboo resin matrix on builds now because bamboo holds up better to spills and impacts and has incredible strength comparatively.


Edited by Emmery (06/12/13 08:55 AM)
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2101384 - 06/12/13 09:02 AM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: Emmery]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
No golfer could use a wood shaft, because of torque.

The bending stiffness of wood is adequate. But it does not resist twisting like a tubular metal or a graphite shaft can.

If your swing alignment is absolutely perfect, the twisting forces are not that large. But even the pros aren't perfect, and the amateurs are hopeless. Even a slight angle change at impact sends the ball tens (or hundreds) of yards sideways, so shafts that resist twisting really do make golf easier. Perhaps even possible. And they let the pros swing MUCH harder.

I can't imagine there is much twisting on a piano shaft, right?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2101399 - 06/12/13 10:01 AM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: Emmery]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1241
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Emmery
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote


As far as my experience has gone with the WNG parts, there is no comparison, in any operative way, to wood. Not only in perfomance, but consistency. I have asked before if anyone cares to mention an aspect of wooden piano parts that is superior to the nylon or carbon fiber parts. So far, nobody has mentioned anything but a vague reference to a different sound, which mine, and others, experience has yet to encounter.


I can mention several benefits of wood over carbon fiber or even nylon parts. First of all, drop a few drops of acetone or even CA glue onto carbon fiber shank and a wood one and see which one survives. Put a small knick or cut into the central weave of a carbon fiber part and a wood one and see which one will lose almost all its strength. Do the same to the termination point of the weave (end) or a carbon rod or shaft and it will lose all its strength advantages. Expose a wood and a nylon part to UV rays...the wood will discolor on the surface, the nylon will deteriorate through and through. Wood will also flex more than carbon fiber shanks. This in turn acts a bit like a shock absorber as far as its wear and tear and impact on bushings and center pins and glue points. Wood also has more flexibility on torsion and will allow the impact of a hammers surface to better align and average force over multi stringed unisons that are not perfectly parallel to each other.


Hmm, this sounds like a someone with little experience with the WNG parts. How many sets of these things have you installed and maintained, Emmery? My experience is totally opposite to your propositions.

I just put a WNG hammer shank in a jar of acetone. It has no effect on the material. I use CA to install the hammers, no problems. I have three actions with this stuff in it at the school, and on the first one,there are several nicks in the shanks due to my own fault, they perform just fine. I cut the ends off with a grinding wheel, now, after two years of heavy use, there is no deterioration of the parts. The shanks don't have a weave in them, just oriented strands of carbon fiber.

I have nylon parts on a sailboat, been out in the sun for years and years. Discolored,yes, some surface oxidation, yes. Structural problems, no. And what does that have to do with pianos, anyway? The CF shanks will last far longer than wooden parts usually stay in a piano, anyway, and how many piano actions have acetone splashed in them?

Wood flexes more than the carbon fiber, but more importantly, wood flexes in uncontrolled and erratic ways, composite shanks do not. I have no idea what you are talking about in terms of wood allowing hammers to better align with the strings, I haven't observed that, but I do know that wooden shanks will hit the strings differently depending on the force, i.e., they allow the raked hammer to hit at different places, depending on how hard you hit the key, and all the wooden shanks do this differently. There goes control at FF...

As far as bushing wear, in comparative, destructive, testing of wooden parts vs composite, the wooden ones, with their cloth bushings, were totally worn out after 5 million repetitions, while the WNG shanks were still at factory spec. after 15 million reps. ( ref. Bruce Clark).
Modern cloth bushings are incredibly inconsistent, and they wear fast, or freeze up.
If Cristofori had had carbon fiber, he never would have used wood.
Regards,

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#2101948 - 06/13/13 12:26 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Ed, my comments were on carbon fiber/composite parts/nylon in general, I have no extensive experience with WNG parts although I do run across a fair amount of Kawai's and their composites.

I am simply leary of relatively early claims on switching out traditional wood parts. They sound far too much like the claims made by Rippen in the 60's or Steinways teflon bushings or the deteriorated plastic elbo's most of us have come across from the same era. I have used composites extesively in robotics and aircraft manufacturing and am well aware of their advantages and also disadvantages. I have a 70's era motorcycle helmet made of plastics that still survives, I also have a 3 year old composite helmet which is half as light, stiffer and provides the same protection. The difference between the two is that if i drop the new helmet from waist height on a hard surface, I am supposed to throw it away, regardless of whether there is any damage showing on it.

To the same extent, I had assembled solar panals to brackets for traffic signal installations and they get mounted above roadways. We had used nyloc nuts to secure bolts and nuts from vibrating loose. All of them had to be dissasembled because even UV "resistant" nylon will eventually harden and crack after many years exposure. A specific locking fastener is used in its place that does not have this drawback.

Only the test of time will tell how composites from specific companites hold up. They all use different resins/epoxies/weaves and manufacturing processes. This again, is not standardized in industry outside of aviation. I had a drop of CA glue practically melt through the side of my carbon fiber tuning hammer...it would not have done any thing to my 30 y/o Watanabe wood one.

I totally see the merits of composites vs wood if they are engineered and manufactured and applied in the proper way, held to an industry standard, and technicians all knew how to properly service them. I still see us in a teething stage in this regards. I see some 100 y/o wood pianos that are still functioning in original condition, will we see these composites working the same way in a 100 years?
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2104122 - 06/17/13 11:24 PM Re: Golf clubs - shafts and head weight. [Re: R_B]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
I love the sport of golf!(even though I never swung a golf club) Golf is alot like tuning a piano. Your first swing(tuining) is to get it far, but relatively on track. Your second swing(tuning), is to get it even closer. Hopefully you're now on the green and you can easily putt it in.
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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