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#2297493 - 07/01/14 10:46 PM Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings?
miltonx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 11
Hi, I got an old upright with playable but sluggish action. Looks like the wippen and jack pins are tight (or sometimes tight). Occasionally stuck, and some naphtha or teflon lube drips do help a bit, but that's it.
Repinning all the action by a tech is one of the (expensive) options, but before taking to that, just for curiosity, is it viable to get rid of the bushings from wippen and jack centers to have minimal friction on these parts? I know this does NOT work on hammers, but what about the wippen and jack? I fansied that might be a lazy man's solution for a sluggish old upright - crisp fast repitition and never any more re-bushing work to be done... I searched online and did not find any mention of this kind of crazy or whatever solution. So the question is, would this work? And if so, what undesired consequences will it cause?

Thanks for your advice.

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#2297518 - 07/01/14 11:35 PM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2337
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Rapid wear and much noise!
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#2297553 - 07/02/14 01:05 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1421
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Whoa. The bushings are not that thin. The jack and wippen would be wobblin' all over the place. Bad idea. But don't take my word for it. Try it out yourself.

If you need to loosen up the centres, try alcohol and water. Add a drop to the bushing felt. It expands, compressing the felt fibres, then shrinks. The final result should be a looser fit. I've never tried this, only read about it. (Does this really work? What about moisture induced verdigris?)

I admit to pushing out a tight centre pin with the punch, when I haven't any proper sized pins, and then using the same pin and punching it back in. (Bad tooner) The flatness of the pin head seems to "shave" some felt off the bushing and loosen it up mechanically. I think this would be more permanent than alcohol sizing. Caution: line up the pin carefully (you can use a smaller pin pushed though first to line up the parts) and go slowly or you will push the whole bushing out. Then of course you can try your bushingless design! (TIC)


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (07/02/14 01:09 AM)
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#2297662 - 07/02/14 10:05 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Mark Cerisano, RPT
Whoa. The bushings are not that thin. The jack and wippen would be wobblin' all over the place. Bad idea. But don't take my word for it. Try it out yourself.

If you need to loosen up the centres, try alcohol and water. Add a drop to the bushing felt. It expands, compressing the felt fibres, then shrinks. The final result should be a looser fit. I've never tried this, only read about it. (Does this really work? What about moisture induced verdigris?)

I admit to pushing out a tight centre pin with the punch, when I haven't any proper sized pins, and then using the same pin and punching it back in. (Bad tooner) The flatness of the pin head seems to "shave" some felt off the bushing and loosen it up mechanically. I think this would be more permanent than alcohol sizing. Caution: line up the pin carefully (you can use a smaller pin pushed though first to line up the parts) and go slowly or you will push the whole bushing out. Then of course you can try your bushingless design! (TIC)


Acidity produce vertegris, not water or alcohol.

I would suggest to clean any precedent product may be with naphta or pure alcohol, before moisten with a 50 50 mix. Rubbing alcohol is better on that . clp once the parts are free.

PS I forget : make a testing on one whippen only. wait 8 hours (do not fasten the process with an hair drier it gives a different result and is better avoided)

If the parts have play, are too free, with the 50/50 mix, use less alcohol up to 80 water for a less strong mix.
Pure alcohol does nothing
Pure water does nothing -(only a very little freeing sometime and generally the opposite) The results depends on the wood and the cloth type/condition/quality.



Edited by Olek (07/02/14 05:58 PM)
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#2297963 - 07/02/14 11:05 PM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
miltonx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 11
Thanks for the all the advice!

I just realized that the bushingless proposal has further complications besides wear and noise. The eyes on the flange have a different size than that of the tenon (is it called a tenon?). That means the mortise on the tenon would have to be dilated to the same size and thicker pins would have to be chosen for a snug fit. Way too agressive... Gotta forget about it.

I came aross the alcohol+water suggestion before but didn't quite give serious thought. It SEEMED so simplistic. After reading you pros' advice, I re-searched this forum and read it. Well...You never cease to learn that simlicity rules! Especially when that simple trick comes from experienced guys who have tried and tested it. When I get around to get it done, I'll report on the reults.

Thanks, all!

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#2298092 - 07/03/14 04:48 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Milton,

The part you refer to as "tenon" is normally called the "birdseye".
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2298471 - 07/04/14 02:46 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
miltonx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 11
Thanks, Mark. That's very helpful - birdseye...

Eh...wait, that's the eye in the "tenon" I mentioned, by "tenon" itself I actually meant the "bird's head". And what do you call that part?

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#2298477 - 07/04/14 03:29 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2069
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
There are some threads that detail the repair of broken, split, cracked etc. birdseyes, yet one can't repair a hole. wink This has led me to conclude that the whole part (i.e. the wooden part with the hole) is called birdseye. But perhaps one of the professionals can confirm this.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2298502 - 07/04/14 06:33 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
I think it is descriptive enough. Not very kind to our friends the birds


Edited by Olek (07/04/14 06:34 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2302461 - 07/15/14 04:03 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
miltonx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 11
I applied 50-50 alcohol water, liberally, to jack and wippen centers, then aggressively wriggled each wippen till there was some "give". I also pinched the key bushings. Now this piano plays kind of like a new entry level one. The key bushings were pinched also quite hard and, well, a couple chips of wood did fall during that process... Now the keys are unevenly spaced as a result of this rough handling. Anyway, I don't mind that provided it plays well. The result is not bad. And saved quite some money by DIYing all this. Thank you for the help!

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#2302481 - 07/15/14 06:06 AM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Good that you have a result.

It was not necessary to move the jack , it may have fastened the process but it works without moving the parts.


If you have too much pinched the keys, take a small hammer and tap lightly on the part to close it. you may also moisten again to swell the wood.

The play in the keys is 0.4 mm front and 0.2 mm at the balance.

Clean the pins, too, with mineral spirits.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2303166 - 07/16/14 08:54 PM Re: Wippen & Jack Center without Bushings? [Re: miltonx]
miltonx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 11
I did not check the pin hole. I'll include that for future maintenance. That's very helpful, Olek!

Hard wriggling was part of my "strategy of desperation" on this old upright. Now that the piano starts to behave quite nicely, I guess I'll spare her of that next time smile

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