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#610160 - 01/07/03 12:37 AM Help with tuning lever!
Josef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 190
I am trying to pick out a new tuning lever but I can't make up my mind. I am looking at the extension lever from Pianotech. I need comments about it to see if I might like it.

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#610161 - 01/07/03 10:16 PM Re: Help with tuning lever!
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
I like the Renner models better than pianoteks.It's all a matter of personal choice. \:\)
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

#610162 - 01/08/03 10:47 AM Re: Help with tuning lever!
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Get an extension lever. Sometimes you need extra leverage. It saves on you elbows. It gives you a choice to extend it or not. Great for extremely tight pins.

#610163 - 01/08/03 05:13 PM Re: Help with tuning lever!
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Which type of extension are you talking about? A hammer that gets longer, or taller? As for getting longer, it makes obvious sense to be able to lengthen your lever for more leverage. Not that I'm against the other models. I used to use an extended hammer a lot, but found that I had less stable tunings. Indeed increased leverage is a benefit, but making the lever longer also causes you to "flex" the pin a lot more. The longer the lever, the less control you have in the up/cown motion of the lever, and this causes a lot of flex. The problem here is that you can think you're moving the pin, when you aren't. I recently went back to a shorter hammer, and even on the tight pins, I do a lot better with it. I can feel each and every small movement in the wood, and am able to move the pin more accurately. This greatly improves unisons for me.

Also, the hammers that have the extended head for the treble section in grands:

I used to use one of these, but found again that I had a huge problem with flexing the pin rather than moving it. Now, I stand at the side of the piano, and tune from there, which allows you to use a normal size hammer, and not have to worry about flexing.

Hope that helps a tad.

Oh, and as mentioned earlier, get the one that feels the best. You're going to be using it A LOT, so it might as well be comfortable for you to use.

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#610164 - 01/08/03 09:20 PM Re: Help with tuning lever!
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
I vote for the WonderWand by Wayne Saucier RPT. It is a conventional head, but has a thinner handle, and a round wooden ball on the end. You grip the ball with your entire hand. It is a bit awkward at first, but is worth taking the time to learn. Much easier on your hand, arm, and wrist. I have been using one now for several years. 973-628-8863. No, I do not know or work for its inventor/distributor......Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#610165 - 01/08/03 10:54 PM Re: Help with tuning lever!
Josef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 190
I have had trouble obtaining a Renner Catalog so unfortunately I can not look at the tuning levers. I have several hammers at this time. I have a wonderwand but I have never been able to get use to it. I have a compact lever from Schaff that I use most of the time but when I get to tight pinblocks I feel like my back is on fire when the job is done. I have a T handle that I have never done anything with. I also have a Harpsichord lever and there was not a choice for that type of lever when it came to buying one.And last, I have an inexpensive gooseneck lever that is great for shop work, restringing and chip tuning. I got that idea when I went to the Yamaha piano factory. I am looking at the extension lever from Pianotek and the one from Schaff that is a foot in length. I feel like I have had bad luck when it came to picking out tuning levers. Thanks for the comments.

#610166 - 01/09/03 12:57 AM Re: Help with tuning lever!
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Have you tried an impact hammer? Some tuners really like them. Schaff has them.

#610167 - 01/09/03 01:43 AM Re: Help with tuning lever!
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
I haven't used the wonderwand, but I went to a class taught by Wayne several years ago at a PTG convention, where he headlined his new tuning hammer. Like I said, I haven't personally used one, and it looks hard to use. I have however talked to some people who advocate it, on the basis that it is much healthier on your arm. The repetitive motion of tuning can seemingly cause tendon problems. I haven't encountered these, as I work my arm in the other direction as well when climbing. (supposedly exercising a group in both directions helps with the problem of repetitive motion)

Anyway, it's worth looking into, as it may be a healthier hammer for those suffering from "tennis elbow" \:\)

Outlive Yourself - Become an Organ Donor

#610168 - 01/09/03 11:35 PM Re: Help with tuning lever!
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
After doing work for Baldwin in my early years, an extension lever was a welcome tool for tight Baldwin pins. I've recently bought additional extensions, threaded on each end, cut them in half and permanantly installed different size heads and sockets on each. To change a head length or socket size, I simply slip the extension out of the lever and put a different one in. No more fighting to unscrew tips.


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