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#2135094 - 08/18/13 10:57 PM Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high
Tuneless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 314
Loc: AZ, USA
I am about to remove the base damper felt, unichord, bichord,and trichord from the cushion felt. But I see they are not symmetric, but about a 16th of an inch high, and not very uniformly. I assume I need to reproduce this non-uniformity. Can I just eyeball the position while gluing the new ones on? The new dampers have much more material, so that the 2 sections are only about an 1/8" apart instead of a good 1/2 inch. I hope this does not pose a problem.
http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/image/151614134

Thanks for helping out a beginner,
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2135107 - 08/18/13 11:24 PM Re: Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high [Re: Tuneless]
Chuck Behm, CPT-E Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 829
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Hi Cynthia - In your photo, the two dampers on the right are upside down.

Have you purchased new treble dampers with the wooden backing or without? If you have a set with the wooden backing (which I would recommend) you need to remove the old damper / backing from the damper blocks (the part that the damper wire extends through). Put the damper block in a small vise with the top even with the top of the vise, then pop the damper and backing off with a mallet.

For the bass dampers, scrape the felt off of the damper block with a sharp chisel.

With that done, return the damper levers with attached damper blocks to the action. Put in the piano, and glue the dampers in place, using the strings as the clamps. Don't try to adjust the dampers exactly to the strings at this point - glue them on to align with the damper blocks.

When the glue is dry, you will need to adjust the damper wires and damper spoons so that the dampers are fitted to the strings, so that the entire set lifts evenly when the sustain pedal is applied, and so that each damper begins to rise when the key is half way down, and lifts an even amount. Finally, each damper should exert enough push against the strings so that when you push on the strings with your thumb, the damper will follow.

Learning to do all this takes practice. I'm sure others will give you plenty of tips. Chuck Behm
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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#2135345 - 08/19/13 12:00 PM Re: Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high [Re: Tuneless]
Tuneless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 314
Loc: AZ, USA
The new bass damper replacement felts have the wood shelf, so I just need to separate the old wood shelves from the cushion felt. The other new damper felts just have red felt backing. Am I correct in gluing the bass dampers a 1/16th" high.

Wow, that is interesting about the up side down damper blocks. Someone changed the damper felts a long time ago on only the treble section, leaving the felts short there (about 2/3rds as long) for some reason, which someone here suggested they may have done so to change the sound. I suppose they may have turned all of the tenor/treble blocks over for the same purpose (making them less efficient?). The only block in these sections right side up is #30, the first tenor damper at the cross over that is cut short to make it fit (center damper in the picture). No doubt they wanted to turn it over too, but couldn't. But it also had the newer felt.

Almost everything else in the piano is original, save for a few felts and repairs, so I guess I should ask if you have ever seen a manufacturer put the blocks on up side down? Since we know the dampers have been messed with, I guess the answer is going to be no, and I should plan on turning them back over.

Loved your upright rebuild pictures. Hope to have mine up to such standards over time.
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

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#2135552 - 08/19/13 05:16 PM Re: Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high [Re: Tuneless]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
eyeball all the damper blades and wire before you begin, you may find some that need a strip of paper under the flange to straighten, or some wire that could be bend a little.

THe wires are supposed to be located at best (at large at last) in front of the strings before the heads are glued.

So to save some job later. tryo eyeball the wires so they are parallel and located the same in front of the strings.

No need to take too much time but working from parts that are parallel and well spaced helps (now strings are not perfectly spaced, often, but try to understand what is there alittle)

damper thickness must be similar or with very very little difference with originals as the thickness change the location also.

Good luck. But special pliers are necessary for that job usually.

if you have not you may need at last something to grasp the wire so you can bend it front to back and side to side without too much stress on the flange.

can be made in old screw driver blades, may be.
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Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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#2135636 - 08/19/13 08:31 PM Re: Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high [Re: Tuneless]
Tuneless Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/13
Posts: 314
Loc: AZ, USA
I have been collecting piano tools that look useful, so I am sure I have damper wire benders. The dampers were lined up quite well with the strings before removing the action, so I am not expecting alignment problems, but the bass dampers will take extra care when putting the action back into the piano to make sure all the wedges land where they should the first time going into the piano.

I'll wait until the action is in the piano before I try to turn the damper head blocks over, one by one, to see if there are any problems doing so and get them aligned correctly.
_________________________
Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano(yet) and couldn't tune a guitar, much less a piano.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.

Top
#2135874 - 08/20/13 10:12 AM Re: Bass dampers offset about a 1/16 th high [Re: Tuneless]
Chuck Behm, CPT-E Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 829
Loc: Boone, Iowa, USA
Quote:
so I am not expecting alignment problems, but the bass dampers will take extra care when putting the action back into the piano to make sure all the wedges land where they should the first time going into the piano.

Cynthia - Again, put the action in the piano with the damper levers and blocks in place, but without the new dampers glued in place.

For bass dampers, apply your glue to the backing felt on the damper, then hold the damper in place above the damper block and between the strings for the notes with 2 strings, or on the single string for the notes with one string. With your left hand pull the damper block out away from the strings a bit, with your other hand slide the damper down into position and release the damper block to clamp it in place. Try the hammer slowly to make sure the bottom of the hammer clears the top of the damper. If not, slide it down just a bit further.

If you do it this way, you'll have no alignment issues. Chuck


Edited by Chuck Behm (08/20/13 10:13 AM)
_________________________
Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke

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