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Topic Options
#627885 - 01/24/08 09:46 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Sam,

Ouch! Those springs are nasty-sharp. I did something similar replacing a damper pedal lever spring. I hate bleeding on customers' carpets, furniture, pianos, etc...
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#627886 - 01/24/08 11:44 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
What I hate most is when you try to very slowly screw back the hammer into the rail and the screw drops underneath where it is inaccessible. You have to dismantle the action and shake it till the screw drops to the floor.

JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

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#627887 - 01/24/08 12:04 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Junmer,

Get a telescopic magnet from an auto parts store. This helps at retrieving things from actions without drastic measures!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#627888 - 01/24/08 12:38 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
I went off early to my first tuning appointment with an empty stomach. It was breakfast time and as I opened the client's door, the smell of bacon came as a welcome guest to my nostrils. My tummy grumbled. The lady of the house said, "I'm preparing breakfast. What can I offer you?" I politely declined saying, "I've just had something before I came. I don't mind having a glass of water, though."

As I was strip muting the strings, the smell of bacon became stronger and stronger and I said to myself how stupid I was for having lied. After I have finished taking the inharmonicity reading and was about to start tuning, the lady set up a small table next to the piano and before I knew it a plateful of bacon sandwich, fried eggs, french fries, and orange juice was served steaming hot. I went, "Oh, you're so kind. You shouldn't have bothered." While saying this I was reaching in for some french fries and taking them into my waiting mouth.

When she turned her back, I thought it was best for me to do my first pass on the piano first before having a break and some chat perhaps. At that time, her husband emerged wearing a robe, holding the morning papers, sat down in front of "MY???" food and started eating it. He said, "Do you mind if I watch? I've never seen a piano being tuned."

And then the lady came back with a glass of water and placed it on top of the piano.

I felt I wish I hadn't been born at all!!!


JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

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#627889 - 01/24/08 12:42 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Stahl:
Junmer,

Get a telescopic magnet from an auto parts store. This helps at retrieving things from actions without drastic measures! [/b]
This is a great idea. Thanks, Dave.

But in the first place, it is because of my magnetic screw driver that makes the screw fall.


JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

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#627890 - 01/24/08 01:22 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Jumner,

Hahaha, I'm setting here laughing my head off at that one. That's a hilarious story!!! Good one!!
Sam's was prett good too.

Boy, can I ever relate to the screw falling out. Why is it that when it drops, it always goes underneath or in something where you can't grab it or get at it?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627891 - 01/25/08 08:59 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Come on you chickens, own up to something.... We've all done or said stupid things at one time or another. We all need a few more laughs.
I'll tell you another to hopefully, get you going.

One time, oh, probably about 20 years ago, I was all alone in a customers home. The piano hadn't been tuned in 20 years. They called because it was full of problems. Squeaks, rattles, clicks etc. I raised it a full tone to pitch fixed all of the other little crap and was happy to be done. So, I put the piano back together, threw my screw driver into my tool case and POP FIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ SPLATTER..... I had hit my LARGE can of WD-40 with the tip of my screwdriver. WD-40 sprayed EVERYWHERE!!!! On the piano, on the walls, the carpeting, all over the fricken place. I spent the next hour or more, cleaning it all up. I did get it all off but, Whooweee, was I mad!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627892 - 01/25/08 10:44 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 155
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
For the most part (not always successful but almost), I solved the problem with a skinny little screw starter I bought from Joe Goss (mother Goose piano tuning. . .you can google him). It has a little "wedgie" at one end that snaps very tightly edge-wise into the screw slot, holding it very well, and the magnet is very powerful and because it is skinny, easy to get into the action to grab the screw if it does drop. The only irritant is that the device lays at the bottom of my tool kit with everything else stuck to the magnet! Seriously though, it does work and is one of the handiest little tools in the kit!
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#627893 - 01/25/08 11:30 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21293
Loc: Oakland
I like the claw-type screw starters that Schaff sells. I can get the screw starting to thread with them, and then switch to a screwdriver.

If screws fall in the action, I fish them to where I can get them out with a spring hook. It is tough if they fall behind the jack on an upright.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#627894 - 01/25/08 04:22 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
junmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 397
Loc: United Arab Emirates
Looks like I'm the only one removing the action and shaking it. Do you somehow resort to that?


JUNMER
_________________________
JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
0097150-6543009
0097155-6543009

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#627895 - 01/25/08 04:23 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21293
Loc: Oakland
Sometimes.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#627896 - 01/25/08 04:50 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
SuperTuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Manhattan, Montana
Okay, I've got one from last month -

I opened up a grand piano lid to find a handy hammer, tightly screwed into it's handle. Fortunately, the owner was out of the room, so I discreetly tucked it into my case and took it home to my husband, who had lost his there about 12 months ago! Now he has two.

The WD-40 story was painful to read, Jerry! It reminded me that quite a large puddle of Brasso can be cleaned off of a Steinway keybed. ;\)
_________________________
Elizabeth Heppler, R.P.T.
www.hepplerpiano.com

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#627897 - 01/25/08 05:23 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Piano Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/01/03
Posts: 400
Loc: Southern Ontario,Canada
Just last night around 10 pm the pastor from a local church left me a message wondering if I had been by to pick up my check. He then said because I have it. It was either lost or stolen from the church mail slots. When I called today to find out more, he explained I had been a suspect in an armed robbery. Seems just across the street a hold up occured. The bandit must have rifled through the mail slots in search of money, finding cheques he tossed them. The police contacted the pastor to explain they were looking for the "Piano Guy", a suspect. After police described the perp as a one armed bandit, the pastor assured them that I had two functioning arms. Thankfully I was taken off the suspect list. YIKES!!
_________________________
Richard, the"Piano Guy"
Piano Moving Tuning & Repair
From London ON to Fort Erie ON

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#627898 - 01/25/08 10:21 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Richard,

That must have been a weird experience. Glad you managed to stay out of jail!

Almost 30 years ago when I first got into the piano biz, 18 pianos were stolen from the store I worked for. I ended up on local TV as the lead in to the commercial before the story--they filmed me moving a piano onto a truck with my partner. I was thinking, "great, instant suspect." Never did get questioned, though.

On the other hand, they never found out what happened to those pianos....
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#627899 - 01/25/08 10:26 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21293
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
After police described the perp as a one armed bandit, the pastor assured them that I had two functioning arms. Thankfully I was taken off the suspect list. YIKES!!
Gee, the idea of someone being convicted of a crime he did not commit, escaping from jail, and going on the lookout for a one-armed man sounds like it would make a great plot for a TV series or a movie!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#627900 - 01/25/08 10:27 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Richard, I for one am glad we will never see a headline: Bandit Piano Guy Terrorizes Mail Slots in Canada. hehe That wasn't funny to you, I'm sure..

So glad your two arms got you off!!!!! I think I'd have had a stroke if the cops had shown up to arrest me for something like that.

One of the most stupid stupid things I have done lately was around Christmas of 2006. I had a full day of tuning. When I got home, I sat my tool bag down and began taking my checks out of my pocket. Alas!!!! One was missing. I went back to my auto and did a police type search. Tore everything but the seats and carpet outta that sucker!!! Still no check. Well I decided it was lost; gone forever. There are no honest people left in the world except Jerry Groot and me, and sometimes I aint so sure about Jerry..hehehehehe (Just kidding Jerry!!!!!!!)

To get to the point of this epistle, I had dropped the check from my pocket (pulling out my keys I suppose). A guy from the church found it in the parking lot, called the lady whose name and phone number was on the check (how embarrassin'!!!!!!!), got my address and he mailed it to me. Now I have to confess there are at least three honest people in the world, Jerry, me and that guy from the church. I now put all checks written to me in the glove compartment, so I wont lose them. Sure am glad you're not the Bandit, Piano Guy or I'd be spillin' the beans to the wrong guy, especially if you ever got down this way!!!!
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#627901 - 01/25/08 10:53 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
The Steinway Pedal thread got me to thinking of one of my more embarrassing moments in the piano industry.

Many years ago, my partner and I delivered a 6 foot or so Kawai for a wedding. The piano had to go up about a dozen outdoor steps onto this platform. Everything was set up for 200+ people to witness the ceremony in a hoity-toity part of town (Atherton, CA for those who know the area). We got it up the stairs and took off for the next delivery.

It was one of those busy days where the sales guys had us jumping hither and thither, back and forth, up and down, so we were kind of in a hurry, which, as we all know, can cause problems.

Long story short, my boss got a call from an irate and irrational wedding mom saying, "they broke the piano!"

We hightailed it back to the scene of the wedding, and there they were, all 200 + guests, musicians, bride, groom, and irate mom, ready to lynch me.

I tried the piano, and sure enough, all the dampers were off the strings. I got on my back under the piano, and put the pitman back into it's hole in the trap lever. Voila, done!

Needless to say, I did NOT bow for this audience. But I did learn to ALWAYS check the pedals when delivering a piano!
_________________________
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#627902 - 01/25/08 11:01 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
I love that story Dave!!! I would love to have seen the look on that Mom's face. I dont think I would have set foot in that place without a bodyguard!!!! hehe
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#627903 - 01/26/08 07:19 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I used to wear ties. I say USED TO WEAR TIES....[/b] Until, that is, this incident occured. There were more of these "incidents" that led up to this event, but this one took the cake and broke the camels back.

I was working on an old upright. I had JUST finished with the final filing of the hammers with 600 grit wet/dry sand paper. Had just finished shining the hammer rail with pretty ornate cute litte things on it when I leaned forward one last time to inspect my work. When I leaned back, the tag on the inside of my tie, you know, the one where we tuck the tongue into it to keep it out of the way other than tucking it into our shirts between the buttons when we're cheating?? That tongue, not the one hanging out "our face." It caught on one of the fronts of the hammers. I was pulling back, turning to walk away all in one movement. It pulled the action off from my bench, turned it sidesways, slide the corner of the treble bracket off the side and you guessed it to begin with, SMASHED all over the floor hitting everything else in sight.

Not only did several hammers break off, but, the end bracket also snapped right in half. As if that wasn't bad enough already, I found at least 15 hammers that now had very loose hammer flanges that needed repinning.

Can you hear ME NOW???? My wife's friend could. scared the pants off from her. She left very quickly! I think she thought I went insane. I had to cancel my appt to return it that afternoon to repair the dang thing instead.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627904 - 01/26/08 08:45 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Artisan Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 338
Ties are evil. What a nightmare!
_________________________
Steven
RPT

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#627905 - 01/26/08 10:24 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Jerry, that's a good one. How awful.

I have a friend who tripped over a cat while carrying an action into a house. The cat darted under his feet as he was going through the door. Same sort of deal....action parts everywhere.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#627906 - 01/26/08 10:38 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 784
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I have one...
This was back when I was working for Baldwin here. I was the store tech, and went out to do the first in-home tuning on a new piano. It was a Kranich and Bach....a small, cheap piano, and so was the bench. I'm not "that" big,(6' 230lbs) but big enough to occasionally stress-test a bench. Especially a small, cheap bench.

I arrived at the customer's home, and the husband showed me the piano. It was on a hardwood floor, against the wall directly across from the front door. He explained that the wife would be home in a few minutes, and she was the one to talk to about the piano. I started the tuning. In a few minutes the wife arrived. I heard the key turn in the front door. I turned to look, and the bench exploded out from under me. The lady walked in the door with an arm full of groceries. There I was, sprawled out on the floor on my back, the bench in pieces under me. I don't remember what she said, but we were both kind of shocked.

I have been very careful about sitting on benches since that one.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#627907 - 01/26/08 05:23 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
I had a old lady insist I try a "antique" spin up bench that was to be a Christmas present for her daughter. I begged off with a pat on the stomach and said "no I don't think we need that kind of stress test." She gave me one of those sweet little old lady looks and I gingerly sat down, made a half turn and the top snapped in half. Wasn't my fault but sure took the wind out of her.

I always lift the bench lid to see it it's overfull. Sheet music does not compress and the customer with hastily pitch everything into the bench and if I sit out, there goes the bottom.

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#627908 - 01/26/08 05:48 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Funny stuff. I'm giggling at the cat and bench ones. Funny how when something like that happens to another person how we laugh then isn't it? Not so funny the other way around.

I was tuning a grand once, really into it. Lost completely in my tuning, it was coming out very nice. As I went to round the corner way up in the treble you know how you sneak around the corner of the piano a little bit to finish off the upper portion? I slid right off from the edge of the bench onto the floor landing flat on my rear end. Nobody around to laugh at me fortunately.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627909 - 01/26/08 06:30 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Got another one.. In my younger days, I also moved pianos for the dealer I serviced for. Anyway, we were moving a brand new Yamaha French Provential through a very snowy, winding sidewalk leading up to the front of the house. It was snowing quite heavily yet. We tried to slide the piano dolly on all fours through the snow on the walk but, it kept catching on everything. The snow was probably 4, 5 inches deep or so. Finally we just picked it up and carried it the rest of the way to the house which was probably another 20 feet yet.

We gingerly picked the piano up and over the front steps, brought it inside, removed the piano dolly, gently set the piano in place. We moved it this way and that, lining it up perfectly underneath the picture on the wall then we took off the piano cover. I glanced down to discover that one of the front legs was completely missing. It was there when we left!!

I said, uhh ohhhhh.... The lady walked back into the living room and said what? So, I just pointed. The lady was like WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LEG? I said, I have no idea. The guy I was with had this look on his face like he just wanted to crack up in the worst way which certainly didn't make life any easier for me. Every time I looked at him our faces started contorting. But, we managed to control ourselves.

We walked back outside and found the leg buried in the snow by her fence. Apparently, we had caught the edge of the wooden fence somehow snapping it right off. Neither of us heard or felt a thing.

Needless to say, we took the piano back apologizing all over the place. Once back into the truck, we busted out laughing, of course it's NOT funny but, we just couldn't help it.

The owner of the store was NOT pleased with us... He ordered a replacement piano and proceeded to tell us off for the next 30 minutes or so.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627910 - 01/26/08 06:34 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Sorry, just to clarify, I made it sound like we removed the piano dolly twice. We did. What we did was after we got the piano in the house, we put the dollie back under it again to roll it through the house to the spot in the living room on the other side of the house.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#627911 - 01/26/08 07:20 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Gosh this is some funny stuff. I'm just sittin here laughin. Tis funny how we laugh later, but at the time, anything but. There needs to be a collabration here ya'll...a book I'm thinking. "The Secret Lives of Piano Tuners." No names please!!!!!!For a start that's a good title. Betcha the PTG wouldnt touch that book with a ten foot pole though!!!!!

A couple of years ago, I was tuning a grand piano at a church. The bench was solid (I always check). I needed a tool, so I threw my right leg over the bench, and scooted back to be able to reach my tool bag. It was one of those short artist padded benches, and there was not enough bench to accomodate my backside when I shifted back. I fell completely off the bench, hitting my head on the raised platform behind the piano. I saw stars, and everything went black for a moment. I finished tuning that piano with the worst headache. I guess I had a slight concussion from the fall.

Back to the necktie post, Jerry I believe that's you, hehehe. I never wear and necktie, and after reading that...I never will!!!!!!!!! Gosh was a nightmare.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#627912 - 01/26/08 07:32 PM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Another one from the duflous piano tuner. I try never to use gutter language even when I reach the highest point of frustration when working on a piano. But a couple of weeks ago, I was tuning one of whose new Chinese imports that had sat far too long before being tuned. I was having a hard time stablizing the new strings on top of it being just a tad low. When I finished the tuning, I was already calling the piano all kinds of names under my breathe, but then I had a major squeek in the damper pedal on top of everything else. I isolated the squeek in the little dowel thingy that lifts the damper rod, but was having a hard time getting lub where I wanted it to go. I was doing everything to keep from disassembling the bottom, because I couldnt get the thing out at the keybed. After a few times, trying to get the lub where I needed it to go, it still squeeked, and I uttered the "S" word and not under my breathe. The lady of the house and the cable repair woman kinda snickered, but I continue working (kinda embarrased without letting them know). I finally conquered that squeek, but I can tell you it was only after saying the "S" word a few more times, but not to where they could hear me...hehe
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#627913 - 01/27/08 01:24 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
A dealer loaned a Everett Studio to a little country church for a try out and forgot about it for a year. Of course the church declined to buy it and he was desperate to sell it. Brought it in, had some customers waiting and I happened to be wandering thru the store and he asked me to come over and give an opinion on it. I knew he wanted me to blow sunshine but it was easy, Everett studios were nice. So I pulled the front piece of, commented on the light wear on the hammers, pulled the fallboard over the keys and there was a mouse nest from about C2 to C6 with must have been every punching plus insulation, nut shells, newpaper pieces, etc. The customers were standing right behind me and I slammed the fall open, spun around and leaned back on the keys. I had intended to make some serious piano tech speech but then I just got the giggles and I started laughing and could not stop. Had to leave the building. I heard them behind me saying, "what was that on the keys?"

The most incredible part?? THEY BOUGHT THE PIANO!

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#627914 - 01/28/08 08:29 AM Re: Don't you hate it when....
snoopycar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 976
Loc: Singapore
Wah ha ha ha ... all accounts above are so funny


mdm, the piano is tuned. would you like me to play fur elise? oh thats ok, i'm tone deaf.. my daugther just start learning .......
_________________________
Hailun dealer in Johor Bahru base in Ulu Tiram
Genio Silent system installer
Piano Tuner tech +65 90228720 Singapore & JB 012 7702587

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