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#2220365 - 01/25/14 04:19 AM Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer
JBenson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 31
Hello,

I bought one of those student apprentice tuning kits awhile ago at a place called KSPiano. Can't find them on the web anymore. Does anyone know if they went out of business?

The trouble is the tips keep stripping.

Also, do the tips fit on any hammer?

I've had 2 tips so far, the first has a "2" on the side and a "10" on the bottom. When that one stripped, they sent me another with "1" on the side and "10" on the bottom.

If I buy tips at Pianosupplies.com, will those fit this hammer? Is there a different size I should be getting? I'm tuning an old Yamaha U3.

Thanks for any help.

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#2220396 - 01/25/14 05:52 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 272
Loc: Scotland
JBenson, what has stripped? THe thread of the tip by which it screws onto the lever? Or the edges of the "star" interior of the tip?

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#2220421 - 01/25/14 07:10 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: David Boyce]
JBenson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: David Boyce
JBenson, what has stripped? THe thread of the tip by which it screws onto the lever? Or the edges of the "star" interior of the tip?


The edges of the star.

Thanks.

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#2220453 - 01/25/14 08:44 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
showard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Hortonville, Wisconsin
If the threads on the tuning hammer handle are the standard 1/4" you can use other tips on it. All of the Schaff, AMS, and Watanabe heads will fit the handles with 1/4" threads. I know they sell the Schaff tuning tools here on pianosupplies.com. We sell the AMS heads and tips in our online store at the address below. KSPiano was a distributor for NewOctave Global which is the wholesale company connected with International Piano Supply. You may be able to contact NewOctave to see if they would cover the damage as they advertise that they have a lifetime guarantee on their tools. But you may just want to consider getting a better "Made in America" replacement to avoid the problem in the future.
_________________________
Steve Howard
Piano Technician
Owner of Howard Piano Industries
www.howardpianoindustries.com

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#2220514 - 01/25/14 11:08 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 272
Loc: Scotland
Surely the threads are not 1/4"? 1/4" is the size of a camera tripod screw (1/4" Whitworth).

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#2220539 - 01/25/14 11:44 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This issue comes up with some regularity here. It proves the fact over and over again: the cheap piano tools marketed towards students or amateurs are not worth buying. Who cares if they have a lifetime warranty? Best case scenario they will keep on sending you more of the same stuff which will not work well, which will break and which will damage your piano.

The cheap tool winds up being the expensive tool in the end because after the initial expenditure and the frustration, you go out and buy the more expensive tool. When it is all done you have spent way more money. Think about it.

Regarding "Made in America": who knows what is still made here these days? Just because it says Hale or anything else on it is not a guarantee, as far as I can tell. Example: The "Japanese" tuning pins are now made in India. Who knows what else has been sourced out to questionable sources?
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2220713 - 01/25/14 06:48 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
JBenson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 31
The tuning hammer threads seem to be around 5/16".

Not sure what brand it is as it has no name on it, but it was from one of those typical student apprentice kits.

Is it just the tip that needs to be quality, or does the handle need to be quality too? The handle seems fine to me, nothing special obviously but it hasn't broken (yet). smile

When buying a higher quality hammer, is it mainly the tip that is the difference?

Regarding the size of the tip, for a typical piano, in my case the Yamaha U3, what should I get?

Can you link me to a specific decent tip that would work for me and would last?

Thank you all very much for your help.

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#2220725 - 01/25/14 07:23 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21292
Loc: Oakland
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2220729 - 01/25/14 07:33 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: Supply]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Supply


Regarding "Made in America": who knows what is still made here these days? Just because it says Hale or anything else on it is not a guarantee, as far as I can tell. Example: The "Japanese" tuning pins are now made in India. Who knows what else has been sourced out to questionable sources?


At least with respect to AMS tools, they are made in a machine shop, about 40 minutes from my house.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2220792 - 01/25/14 10:25 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
showard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Hortonville, Wisconsin
Yes, the tuning tools that we sell from AMS we pick up directly from them in Naperville, IL. I have actually had the opportunity to see how the tools are made and the machines used to make them.
_________________________
Steve Howard
Piano Technician
Owner of Howard Piano Industries
www.howardpianoindustries.com

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#2220795 - 01/25/14 10:28 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
showard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Hortonville, Wisconsin
I quoted the 1/4" measurement off of memory. I could be wrong on this. I'll need to double check the size on this.
_________________________
Steve Howard
Piano Technician
Owner of Howard Piano Industries
www.howardpianoindustries.com

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#2220814 - 01/25/14 11:32 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1295
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: JBenson
Hello,

I bought one of those student apprentice tuning kits awhile ago at a place called KSPiano. Can't find them on the web anymore. Does anyone know if they went out of business?

The trouble is the tips keep stripping.

Also, do the tips fit on any hammer?

I've had 2 tips so far, the first has a "2" on the side and a "10" on the bottom. When that one stripped, they sent me another with "1" on the side and "10" on the bottom.

If I buy tips at Pianosupplies.com, will those fit this hammer? Is there a different size I should be getting? I'm tuning an old Yamaha U3.

Thanks for any help.



Unfortunately, you have purchased what I refer to as "imitation tools". My violin teacher wife deals with similar "imitation violins" available on the internet--brought by her students under the delusion that they will actually be able to play these so-called instruments. Although resembling actual functional items, these imitation items may never be functional out of the box -- or, if you're lucky -- you may get minimal usage before they fail completely.

Those who use tools of any sort -- whether in piano repair, automotive repair or construction will all tell you that your most expensive purchase is the cheap tool that soon fails. Then you have the expense and going out and getting the real tool you should have purchased at the beginning.

I'm sorry you had to learn this the hard way, but that is the sad reality of the situation.

Some legitimate tools may be purchased from the website on which these forums appear. Also, stevespianoservice.com is a place where you can consult about which tool is appropriate for your needs.

Best of luck your second time around. . .
smile
_________________________
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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#2220825 - 01/25/14 11:57 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
JBenson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 31
To be honest, I find the entire piano biz to be a bit of a lesson, from buying a piano to getting them serviced to whatever else. I can see why most people just go digital, but that's all neither here nor there.

The handle seems fine enough, I just need a decent tip.

I new it was cheap, especially since the "professional" handles are quite expensive.

I don't really need some fantastic tuning hammer.

If I can't get a decent tip for a decent price, what would be the most inexpensive but decent hammer?

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#2221373 - 01/27/14 10:53 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
showard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 122
Loc: Hortonville, Wisconsin
I called AMS this morning to verify the thread size on their heads which is the same as what Schaff uses for their heads. It is the same as what was quoted from the thread in the link that BDB provided:

Shaft to head: 1/8 - 27 NPT (1/8" National Pipe Taper with 27 threads per inch).

I'm not certain if this is what NewOctave uses for their hammers, but I believe they also use the same size for their hammers.
_________________________
Steve Howard
Piano Technician
Owner of Howard Piano Industries
www.howardpianoindustries.com

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#2221817 - 01/28/14 09:40 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: Supply]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1066
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Originally Posted By: Supply
Best case scenario they will keep on sending you more of the same stuff which will not work well, which will break and which will damage your piano.


Hi Jurgen,

I agree with everything you said, but I often hear the "damage" argument. Exactly how can a soft tip damage a tuning pin, in your opinion?
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2221821 - 01/28/14 09:56 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1066
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I would not pay less than $150 for a hammer with a #2 tip. (That's the price I got from Pianophile, a Canadian supplier. It is the retail price. Technicians can buy it from them for $100) Unless the seller is overcharging, you should get something decent for that price.

See part 1005
http://www.pianophile.com/web/catalogue/...=5280&#1005

Find out where professional techs buy their tools and buy a hammer for around $150 and you should be fine.

Similarly, you could buy a good quality tip for about $40 (again, retail price) from a reputable supplier and should be assured of a quality tip that won't strip early.

See part 1012-B
http://www.pianophile.com/web/catalogue/...284&#1012-B

Note: these links are for reference. Check http://pianosupplies.com first. I just did and their prices are lower for the same item. But my prices quoted are CAD.

Here are the pianosupplies links:
Hammer: http://www.pianosupplies.com/pianos/No4.html
Tips: Couldn't find any
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2221858 - 01/28/14 11:54 AM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Originally Posted By: Supply
Best case scenario they will keep on sending you more of the same stuff which will not work well, which will break and which will damage your piano.
.... Exactly how can a soft tip damage a tuning pin, in your opinion?

I made no mention of "soft tuning tips", but I agree that annealing the tools is one one several problems. Many of them are brittle (and weak), as they have been known to break under stress.

A poorly fitting tuning pin tip can not only damage the finish of the tuning pin, causing unsightly surface damage and opening up the door to tuning pin corrosion, it can also mar the pin so that subsequently even good tuning tips will not fit on and grip the pin properly. Secondly, a poorly fitting tuning tip is more likely to jump off the pin or the whole tuning hammer can fall off when temporarily released. This can often mar the plate finish on a grand, or damage the action (snap hammers off, damage dampers) on a vertical.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2222659 - 01/29/14 04:11 PM Re: Tip stripped on cheap tuning hammer [Re: JBenson]
Goof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 347
Loc: UK
eekIt must be really loose before it strips? Not much good for small back and fourth movements.

I bought on the internet from China quite a good lever c/w a hardened tip BUT the tip was larger than a No2 so its not perfect.
The joke is the supplier when questioned did not even know about tip sizes!!
It id the old saying: If you want something good for nothing: then you'll probably get something good-for-nothing!

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