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#2323141 - 09/02/14 01:38 PM New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Hello,
I'm new to the Piano World Community. This place seems like it may be the right place to inquire about my piano repairs. I've been playing piano off and on for 12 yrs and recently I have been wanting to learn more about how the piano actions work. The book: "Piano Servicing, Tuning, and Rebuilding: for the Professional, the Student, and the Hobbyist" is being shipped to me, so I will have the resource as well.

I just recently bought a small 64 key Spinet Piano(it was very cheap) and thought it would work well for the Limited Space that I have. The brand name is Cameo. Looks like the plate is made by Alcoa, and the hammer rest says Pratt & Reed CO. It looks like the Soundboard and back of the piano are intact--no cracks! The Serial Number on plate is RV-2111-D.

I had to replace the elbows and I found a good resource tutorial to do that repair. I just recently had it tuned and the piano tuner/technician said it wouldn't be worth regulating.
I don't accept that advice because I'm a stubborn person, so I'd rather much like to learn to regulate it myself and save money anyways.

So here are some of the things I can hear that concern me:

*The A bass string resonates long long after the key has been relased

*The Eflat bass string sounds like something isn't allowing it to resonate clearly( muffled with a metallic sound).

*When I press and hold down keys and then release, I hear a dull metallic sound at the end of releasing a key( very slight sound at release).

*Some of the keys are make clicking sounds as I release the key.

Here are some things that I can see that may not look right:

*Some of the back checks don't meet the hammerbuts all the way when playing lightly.

*Some of the bridlestraps don't look as taunt as their neighbors and wave a little upwards.

*Some of the whippens/entire action bounces slightly indicating something loose.

*A lot things are not spaced evenly in the action.

*The keys are not level.

So any advice that pinpoints these problems would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking to make these repairs adjustments myself. Are there any regulation/repairs that a novice can do?

Your help and advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan

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#2323191 - 09/02/14 03:27 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 860
Loc: Seattle
Jonathan,
Not to put too fine a point on it but the instrument you have, while unique in some regard, isn't of a great quality. Alcoa plates move around a bit making them somewhat unstable instruments. For a professional technician it may not be worth their while to do a great deal of work on one of these short compass instruments since the results frequently don't reflect the amount of time put into them. That said, you may be able to achieve a minor degree of improvement by fixing and replacing what needs to be done. Drop action spinets are tricky on the best of days. Perhaps your tech may be willing to offer guidance for a small fee?
_________________________
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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#2323215 - 09/02/14 04:04 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: SMHaley]
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks SMHaley for your input and advice.

I want to learn how to regulate my spinet piano. I bought a cheap junky piano to play on, and to learn how it works. So, it's probably a good thing I bought it cheap because if I break something major on it, in the process of learning/regulating/repairing, I won't lose that much money :D .

The piano tuner cameover tuned it and said it wasn't worth regulating, but I don't care because I'm trying to learn more about piano repairs.

I would appreciate help pinpointing those issues I'm having so I can learn to make the repair myself.

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#2323235 - 09/02/14 04:37 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
pinkfloydhomer Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 378
Jonathan, I know exactly how you feel. You want to learn, and you don't care if it takes a lot of time and isn't "worth it", as long as

1) You are learning

2) It improves the piano

I feel the same way.

The problem is, the piano you bought is difficult to learn from and work with (because of the drop action and so on) and difficult to improve. You would be much better off with a larger piano that doesn't have a drop action, where it is easier to learn and where improvements might be made. I guess it is "unfair", but it is easier to learn regulation, tuning, repairs and so on a piano that is already of some quality.

The piano I am working on I got for very little money. I am lucky that is is easier to work on than yours and that the quality is better, even if it is not great at all. And I have learned a lot working on it. But I would have learned more, the improvements would have been greater and the experience much more satisfying if I was working on something better.

I am sure you can find something very cheap that is better suited for your purpose of learning and improvement.
_________________________
Piano: Nordiska 120CA upright from 2004.

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#2323342 - 09/02/14 08:55 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 860
Loc: Seattle
There are a great deal of interrelated adjustments to regulation. I think you need to become familiar with all of the action parts and their adjustment prior to asking for specific guidance from a forum like this. We can't see what it is you're working on so the commentary and direction possible is limited.
_________________________
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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#2323359 - 09/02/14 09:33 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: SMHaley]
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
Thank you PinkFloyd"" and SMHaley for your comments.

I agree with what you all are saying, it would be best to learn on a decent upright, but for the time being I will learn with what I got. I've got lots of time to learn and patience.

I just got the book "tuning, regulating, rebuilding" by Arthur Reblitz in the mail today, and I will study from that and from whatever advice I can get on this forum.

If someone could give their best guesses on the issues I'm having as to what is causing the Eflat string in the bass to barely resonate(soundslike something is muffling the sound). The A string in the bass resonates for longer than it should-- maybe damper felt needs replaced ?? Clickey key sounds that are coming from the whippen part I think.

I did take some pictures that I can post if that helps any..

Thanks for Patience and Advice
Jonathan

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#2323380 - 09/02/14 10:03 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1266
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Your short keyboard piano was made by Winter for the Melodigrand Corp. in approx. 1949. Can you tell if anything else in the action is made of plastic, other than the elbows? The few pianos I've seen with Alcoa plates have all had plastic in the actions. Hammer flanges, whippen flanges, damper flanges, jacks, back checks...all plastic...and all disintegrate like the elbows. Some of these actions had only plastic in the elbows and the damper flanges. If so, just removing the action can cause things to break. If this is the case, your technician was correct in that it's not worth regulating. If there isn't any more plastic, go ahead and have at it!
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#2323408 - 09/02/14 11:03 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
Paul678 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 875
Jonathan, you seem as stubborn as me! That's a good thing!

I was in exactly your boat: A decent spinet, the Reblitz book, and
a whole lot of curiosity!

Removing the spinet action was a pain in the rear the first time. You'll
have to tie those lifter rods together. It will be easier the second time,
but I won't miss it if there isn't a second time!

But I definitely improved the feel and play-ability of my piano, mainly
by reshaping the hammers, restoring lost motion, easing tight key
bushings, hammer letoff and checking regulation, re-aligning hammers to strings, lubricating the sustain pedal, and re-staining the cabinet.

I even made a small profit when I sold it later.

There are many very helpful techs and pros here: Post good clear pics, and be patient.

Good Luck in your piano adventure!

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#2323431 - 09/03/14 12:03 AM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: Eric Gloo]
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
@Eric Gloo

Thanks for the information on the Maker and age of my piano!

Thankfully only the elbows were made of the crumbly plastic stuff.

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#2323434 - 09/03/14 12:15 AM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: Paul678]
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
@Paul678

Thanks for your encouragement and advice! Nice to hear from someone who has tackled the spinet action removal! I'm not up to removing the action yet because I'm still learning the parts/mechanisms. I could probably lubricate the sustain pedal lol..

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#2323439 - 09/03/14 12:32 AM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
Mark Cerisano, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hi Jonathan,

I'll give a jab at some of your specific questions.

Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra


*The A bass string resonates long long after the key has been relased

Damper issue? Missing or something's getting in the way?
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*The Eflat bass string sounds like something isn't allowing it to resonate clearly( muffled with a metallic sound).

Loose winding?

Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*When I press and hold down keys and then release, I hear a dull metallic sound at the end of releasing a key( very slight sound at release).

Could be dry dampers? Try rubbing sand paper on one and see if it goes away. Also , grab the damper with your finger, lift it and let it go. You will hear the dry damper. Actually I don't mean dry dampers. It's a condition the happens when they've been wet in the past. They dry hard.
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra


*Some of the keys are make clicking sounds as I release the key.

Loose key bushings? Hard felt under back of keys? Key tops rubbing on neighbours?
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

Here are some things that I can see that may not look right:

*Some of the back checks don't meet the hammerbuts all the way when playing lightly.

Do you mean catchers? Anyway that's ok if the hammers aren't hitting twice.
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*Some of the bridlestraps don't look as taunt as their neighbors and wave a little upwards.

Not serious.
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*Some of the whippens/entire action bounces slightly indicating something loose.

Sideways motion indicates looseness. Bounciness indicates poor design.
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*A lot things are not spaced evenly in the action.

Yes, a sure sign of poor quality. You can adjust most if it though.
Originally Posted By: HelloMrZebra

*The keys are not level.

That's a fun job.


Read the Reblitz twice through. Get some tools. Search PW for my posts on the regulation triangle. Go to some PTG meetings. Make friends. Ignore anyone who says you shouldn't be touching the piano.

Most of all, have fun!


Edited by Mark Cerisano, RPT (09/03/14 12:35 AM)
_________________________
Mark Cerisano, RPT
www.howtotunepianos.com

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#2323466 - 09/03/14 02:23 AM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: Mark Cerisano, RPT]
HelloMrZebra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/01/14
Posts: 42
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
@Mark

Thanks for your advice on those specific issues! I will be sure to give an update once I discover the issues and learn how to make repairs.

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#2331551 - 09/27/14 12:05 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: HelloMrZebra]
Greg the Piano Tuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 43
Loc: Boston
Dear Jonathan,

As for that ringing bass note- open the top, hit the key, and watch what happens. Hit the keys on either side and watch what happens to them. If only that A rings, you can bend the wire that holds the damper. You can also open the tiny adjustment screw at the top of the damper and re-seat it. Either one of these steps is going to be difficult, however, because of the drop action.

When you are ready to take out the action, just follow the steps in Reblitz. It's a good idea to take the keys off when you do this. It's more work, but they will be out of the way, plus, you will be able to vacuum the keybed once the keys are off. Let us know how you make out! Everyone reading this is remembering the first time we had to take out a spinet action.

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#2331591 - 09/27/14 01:07 PM Re: New to Piano World, Seeking Advice on a Spinet Regulation [Re: Greg the Piano Tuner]
Paul678 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 875
[quote=Greg the Piano Tuner]Dear Jonathan,

Everyone reading this is remembering the first time we had to take out a spinet action. [/quote]

Indeed. For me, it was not too long ago. I tried using
coathangers to manage the lifter rods, but my effort
wasn't as clean the pictures in the Reblitz book. I ended
up using a long cord, to tie them together.

And I just removed my first studio upright action. [b] WAY[/b] easier!

:thumb: :ha:

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