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Topic Options
#608535 - 02/15/05 04:25 PM Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
LifeWithoutLuigi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 74
Loc: Kah-Lee-For-Neeah
I have a 1923 Strohber 45" console... My problem is that when you depress a key, it takes more weight to move the key through the "after-touch" when the jack is sliding out from under the hammer butt. About half of the keys have this to varying degrees. I'm a rank amateur at regulating, but the hammers let off at 1/8" from the strings, the key dip is at just over 3/8", and the backchecks are set so the hammers check at 5/8" from the strings. There is enough aftertouch for the backchecks to work, but I would like to do something about the different feel of the aftertouch because it causes the hammers of those keys to bounce against the strings when playing very softly. Thanks for your help!
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than, "I told you so."

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#608536 - 02/15/05 04:46 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 402
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
Check the bucksin under the butt, where the jack trips out...excessive wear or flatening an cause heaviness or more friction. Also on the hammers that block...double check the dip...even a wee bit too much can cause this. Try adding a very thin paper punching .. and see if it helps.
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

#608537 - 02/15/05 08:23 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
My money is worn butt leathers and graphite off the jacks. I'll bet there's all sorts of inconsistancy in the action, keys, etc. given the age of the piano. 1923 console?

#608538 - 02/15/05 08:48 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1999
Loc: Murphys, Ca
What's the hammer blow distance? Take into account string grooves. Sounds as if you don't have enough dip for the blow distance if the hammers are bobbling. You measure the aftertouch on an upright by how much the jack clears the butt. Back checks can be set anywhere after keydip is established. Setting them closer stops the bobbling because the butt can't sit back on the jack until you play soft and you don't push the key far enough. The proper blow distance for the key dip you like is what needs to happen first. Push the hammer rail forward with some felts and take up the lost motion and see if that solves the problem. Of course if the jack is clearing the butt by a lot, more blow distance. Blow distance is your aftertouch adjustment. Then solve the friction problem by spraying the butt leather with Mclube 444. Heard that at the convention. Or TFL spray.

Keith Roberts
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

#608539 - 02/17/05 05:07 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
LifeWithoutLuigi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 74
Loc: Kah-Lee-For-Neeah
Thanks for your help, everyone!

On this piano, the butt buckskin is a little wider than the jack tip. The part of the buckskin that is not touched by the jack is obviously thicker than the part that the jack touches. So, probably a lot of wear as you mentioned.

I'll go back and check the hammer blow distance and adjust if necessary.

Maybe it's just my technique, but the hammers bobble when I'm playing softly because I'm not depressing the keys all the way, due to the increased key resistance when it's time for the jacks to trip.

Thanks again, good day!
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than, "I told you so."

#608540 - 02/17/05 06:50 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1340
Loc: South Carolina
The buckskin is worn from the sound of it. This is a common problem on older uprights. if you look closely it probably looks like the top of the jack is riding in a groove. To reduce the friction you can try using DAG on the tops of the jacks or some teflon powder. the other lubes mentioned will help but the best solution in the long run will be to replace the buckskin. you are trying to regulate to specs but you have worn action parts. Another thing about specs- they are guidelines and you may have to compromise to make things work,
Certificate in Piano Technology NBSSP
Associate Member PTG
Yamaha & Petrof/Nordiska Training
Dampp-Chaser System Installer
QRS/ Pianomation Service
Certified Piano Disc Technician/Installer

#608541 - 02/19/05 10:49 PM Re: Excessive jack/hammer butt friction?
LifeWithoutLuigi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 74
Loc: Kah-Lee-For-Neeah
Thanks for the suggestion, Jimbob. I'll order some teflon powder tomorrow and try that.
Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than, "I told you so."


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