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#2106082 - 06/22/13 03:55 AM Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
Hi forum,

About to embark on restringing a Baldwin F. The current pins are 3/0 x 2 1/2" in the bass and 3/0 2 3/8" in the treble. The pinblock was appropriately snug throughout, tune held well. Could one get away with 3.5/0 x 2 3/8 Lo-Torq throughout the scale, or is it best to go all the way to 4/0?

I'm thinking I'll save doing a new pinblock for the next go around in say 10-20 years when it would probably be appropriate to also consider some bridge work as well.

Thoughts?

Thanks all!
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2106100 - 06/22/13 07:19 AM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1845
Loc: Conway, AR USA
"F" was the forerunner of the SF10. Serial number would be helpful. Block may be too old, needing replacement. Nevertheless, examine the block thoroughly for splits. If it is still decent, oversize + 2 is usually recommended. So, that would require 5/0. Be sure and jack the block while driving the pins.


Edited by bkw58 (06/22/13 07:24 AM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2106110 - 06/22/13 08:07 AM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: bkw58]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1340
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: bkw58
"F" was the forerunner of the SF10. Serial number would be helpful. Block may be too old, needing replacement. Nevertheless, examine the block thoroughly for splits. If it is still decent, oversize + 2 is usually recommended. So, that would require 5/0. Be sure and jack the block while driving the pins.


You can get Lo-Torq at 4.5/0 which would likely be suitable. Because the surface area increases faster than diameter as size goes up a 3/0 to 5/0 jump will tend to be tighter than a 2/0 to 4/0 jump.

If I repin, I always use Lo-Torq -- which is as expensive for materials as using a cheap block.
_________________________
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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#2106113 - 06/22/13 08:24 AM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Hi forum,

About to embark on restringing a Baldwin F. The current pins are 3/0 x 2 1/2" in the bass and 3/0 2 3/8" in the treble. The pinblock was appropriately snug throughout, tune held well. Could one get away with 3.5/0 x 2 3/8 Lo-Torq throughout the scale, or is it best to go all the way to 4/0?

I'm thinking I'll save doing a new pinblock for the next go around in say 10-20 years when it would probably be appropriate to also consider some bridge work as well.

Thoughts?

Thanks all!


If you can't replace the block, and the current pins are holding well right now,(and if they are smooth and easy to control) why not consider reusing them? I'm a big proponent of keeping the existing pins when restringing. As long as you form new coils on a dummy pin and only back the pin out 1 to 1.5 turns you shouldn't decrease the present torque at all. Works for me...
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2106230 - 06/22/13 01:33 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: bkw58]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
Bob, the serial is 146256 (ca. 1960 by my research). Presumably restrung once already, maybe in the early 80's. If it were really necessary to go all the way to 5/0 then I may as well jump off the deep end and do a new block with appropriate 2/0. Since the instrument is on site and can't be brought to my shop/workplace I'm trying to take a reasonable (if conservative) approach. Im still going through the rest of it so that it will look and perform well however.

James, I personally don't consider using existing pins the route I would prefer, especially since I'm going to the trouble to put everything back in to first rate condition, including re-lacquering. It would be a shame in mind to have a nicely repaired and refinished case and hardware with tired looking blued pins. Also, since there was an inconsistency in pin length (no idea why) I wanted to do the intelligent thing and get the thoughts of the forums more experienced techs/rebuilders.

Thanks all!
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2106364 - 06/22/13 05:31 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Oakland
Are you professional? If so, you should reflect that in a signature to your posts. It is a requirement of the board, and particularly important in this area, because it helps us formulate appropriate responses.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2106668 - 06/23/13 10:56 AM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Are you going to remove the plate for refinishing? If so you should definitely replace the pinblock, or have it done for you. Not sure how you're going to be able to do this work "onsite" though...
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2107184 - 06/24/13 12:37 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: BDB]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
BDB, I'm not currently working in the trade professionally at this time. I did some mentoring/apprenticeship work with a tech more than a decade ago, and didn't quite get a job working for a rebuilding shop, which was ok since they closed and were absorbed by a dealer not long after. While I'm currently a pipe organ builder professionally, I still like to keep the piano tech skills fresh. I take care of a few instruments for a church, which is enough to keep me happy at present. While I've never done so, I'd like to think I'd have a good chance at passing the RPT testing.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107185 - 06/24/13 12:39 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: James Carney]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
James, I wasn't necessarily going to take out the plate. The finish is actually in good shape. If a new pinblock was absolutely necessary then obviously I would just bite the bullet there as well.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107194 - 06/24/13 01:00 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3367
The Baldwin F is a serious instrument that demands respect. If the pins have been replaced before, best practice dictates replacing the block.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2107217 - 06/24/13 01:50 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: beethoven986]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
Beethoven, I don't disagree. I considered it quite a fortuitous find given that it was retired from the fleet of a major university and at one heck of a good price given its potential value (if done right of course). If anything I'm slightly intimidated by going to the extent of a new block, because it has been quite a few years since I last did such extensive work, and then under the tutelage of a good tech. Perhaps a good tech in the Seattle area might be willing to serve in an advisory/mentoring capacity. If anyone has such a recommendation I'd be thrilled.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107233 - 06/24/13 02:16 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1340
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Beethoven, I don't disagree. I considered it quite a fortuitous find given that it was retired from the fleet of a major university and at one heck of a good price given its potential value (if done right of course). If anything I'm slightly intimidated by going to the extent of a new block, because it has been quite a few years since I last did such extensive work, and then under the tutelage of a good tech. Perhaps a good tech in the Seattle area might be willing to serve in an advisory/mentoring capacity. If anyone has such a recommendation I'd be thrilled.


LoTorq can be a legitimate, almost-equally-valid substitute for a new block.

If you do put in a new block, I'd recommend Falconwood -- the only pinblock that has never had a failure.

An onsite mentor in your area would be ideal. If you are interested in our DIY support, you can send me a PM.
_________________________
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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#2107250 - 06/24/13 02:39 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: kpembrook]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
Thanks Keith. I'm sure I'll be calling upon your experience at some point. I'm fairly comfortable with the woodworking aspect of it and all the drilling work. So many holes is not unlike organ work, and the need for accuracy and caution at a drill press. I'm more concerned about a good fit to the plate since much of the initial shaping of the blank will have to be at my workplace whereas the piano is at the church. I suppose doing the rough shaping in shop and then taking select tools onsite for getting a good fit to the plate/flange is not out of the question though. I'm painfully aware this is a part where small errors can equal large expense if not done correctly the first time around.

Is it true that Baldwin pinblocks are fairly simple to remove and replace? I have seen a post or too eluding it doesn't get much easier.

What do you think Keith... is a new pinblock worth it for those fantastic new strings Ari is making for it, and all the rest I'm going to put on?
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107263 - 06/24/13 03:00 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Oakland
Yes, Baldwin blocks are just flat planks screwed to the rim and plate, no glue. Fitting a board is not real difficult, but you will probably have to turn the plate upside-down to fit the new block.

If this is just going to stay in the church, then replacing the block is probably more effort than it is worth. I would just go up a couple of sizes of pin. Whether you use special pins, or just standard ones makes more difference to the tuner than to performance, and if a tuner cannot handle it, he or she is not much of a tuner.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2107329 - 06/24/13 05:01 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: BDB]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
BDB, well I do think that tuning an instrument should be as pleasant a process as possible... fussing with 5/0 eh... Especially if I'm going thru all the effort of making it as first class as it can be (which would suggest doing a new pinblock). Since I'm the one who will be doing all the concert prep, I think it is wise to make it easy on myself. In my piano experience I have never found myself in a position of restringing and repinning an instrument for the 2nd time around so thinking about new pinblocks and refinishing the plate is a little bit of a new experience. The only down side, if there really is one, is that it delays the availability to use the instrument at the beginning of the concert series.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107342 - 06/24/13 05:13 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1845
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Bob, the serial is 146256 (ca. 1960 by my research). Presumably restrung once already, maybe in the early 80's. If it were really necessary to go all the way to 5/0 then I may as well jump off the deep end and do a new block with appropriate 2/0. Since the instrument is on site and can't be brought to my shop/workplace I'm trying to take a reasonable (if conservative) approach. Im still going through the rest of it so that it will look and perform well however.

James, I personally don't consider using existing pins the route I would prefer, especially since I'm going to the trouble to put everything back in to first rate condition, including re-lacquering. It would be a shame in mind to have a nicely repaired and refinished case and hardware with tired looking blued pins. Also, since there was an inconsistency in pin length (no idea why) I wanted to do the intelligent thing and get the thoughts of the forums more experienced techs/rebuilders.

Thanks all!


Looks like you've been given much to consider. If you opt for a new block the only thing I'd add is to be sure you keep the drill bit real cool. Best wishes on your endeavor.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

Top
#2107350 - 06/24/13 05:21 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: bkw58]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
I've already got a chiller unit in mind Bob (Pianoteksupply is a great place). Probably should have had one of these at the shop on the main drill press years ago anyhow. Give the 60 gal compressor something to do other than just blow out dust and run nail guns.
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2107354 - 06/24/13 05:31 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Oakland
I can say is that I never check the size of the tuning pins before I tune. It might be interesting to see if any of the other techs here do.

In any case, the torque will be higher the more surface area between the pin and the block no matter what the top of the pin is like. The amount of pitch change per degree of movement will depend on more than just the size of the tuning pin. The length of the piano should make more of a difference.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2107364 - 06/24/13 05:54 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: BDB]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1845
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I can say is that I never check the size of the tuning pins before I tune. It might be interesting to see if any of the other techs here do...


I never did, either. 6/0 is commonly seen around these parts in some of the older "rebuilds." These were bit of a pain to deal with.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2107451 - 06/24/13 09:02 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1340
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Thanks Keith. I'm sure I'll be calling upon your experience at some point. I'm fairly comfortable with the woodworking aspect of it and all the drilling work. So many holes is not unlike organ work, and the need for accuracy and caution at a drill press. I'm more concerned about a good fit to the plate since much of the initial shaping of the blank will have to be at my workplace whereas the piano is at the church. I suppose doing the rough shaping in shop and then taking select tools onsite for getting a good fit to the plate/flange is not out of the question though. I'm painfully aware this is a part where small errors can equal large expense if not done correctly the first time around.

Is it true that Baldwin pinblocks are fairly simple to remove and replace? I have seen a post or too eluding it doesn't get much easier.

What do you think Keith... is a new pinblock worth it for those fantastic new strings Ari is making for it, and all the rest I'm going to put on?



The Baldwin block is easy enough to remove -- no glue or attachment to the front beam (stretcher). However, you must have the plate and block in the same location to do the fitting. (Yeah, you can fill the gaps with epoxy, but after witnessing failure with that approach, I think it best to meet Baldwin's minimum standard, which is contact between the plate flange and pinblock at least every 2 inches.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#2108765 - 06/26/13 10:24 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: SMHaley]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21916
Loc: Oakland
I wanted to add to this that the other day, I tuned a piano that I had worked over in my younger days, a Steinway A from about 1896. The soundboard looked like a real mess, but I did not have facilities to replace it, so I thought I would restring it with 3/0 pins and see what it was like. It is about 30 years later, the piano still sounds pretty good and it stays in tune really well. If the pinblock feels good, 3/0 pins may be all you need.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2109087 - 06/27/13 01:27 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: BDB]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 853
Loc: Seattle
That was my initial thought BDB. But since it has 3/0 in it already, then it seems the prudent thing to do would be to replace the block. I'm not comfortable with the thought of going to 5/0. And once it needs bridge recapping and/or a new sound board (say 20 years), replacing the block would probably be one less thing to deal with if its at 2/0 with this go around. Although I would imagine that if such work were to take place it may get another block anyhow..while one is under the hood...
_________________________
AA Music Arts 2001, BM 2005
Pipe Organ Builder
Chief Instrument Technician, Chancel Arts
Church Music Professional

Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

Top
#2109136 - 06/27/13 02:58 PM Re: Repinning/restringing with Lo-Torq [Re: BDB]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Originally Posted By: BDB
I wanted to add to this that the other day, I tuned a piano that I had worked over in my younger days, a Steinway A from about 1896. The soundboard looked like a real mess, but I did not have facilities to replace it, so I thought I would restring it with 3/0 pins and see what it was like. It is about 30 years later, the piano still sounds pretty good and it stays in tune really well. If the pinblock feels good, 3/0 pins may be all you need.


I've had numerous similar aged pianos do the same for me over the years and still holding at +80 in/lbs....not a new condition but definately workable as far as stability.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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