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#629384 - 07/24/02 09:38 AM krakauer strike point
Dr.Thump Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Athens, Ga.
I am restoring a 1922 Krakauer 50" upright. I bought new Abel hammers on shanks and carefully lined them up with the hammer moldings on the saved guide hammers. When I stepped back, there was a distinct, elongated "v" in the hammer line, with the bottom bass hammer about 1/4" higher than the top bass hammer, and the top tenor section hammer about 1/4" higher than the first hammer above the bass break. I have yet to install the treble section, but if I go by the original guides, hammer 88 will be almost 1/8" higher than hammer 59. I have removed the original guides and set them side by side to check, and they are indeed the source of this curiosity, not bad gluing on my part! Is this a factory defect? A goofy design feature? Does anyone reading have a Krakauer like this for comparison? If not, what should I do? What is the best way to determine strike point? I guess I could glue the hammers so that, with 1-3/4" stroke, the hammer hits the string perpendicularly, then move the action up and down until it sounds best. Would this work? PLEASE help! I'm doing this for a church and rather desperate to meet a deadline. Thanks!

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#629385 - 07/25/02 11:47 AM Re: krakauer strike point
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Maybe the last hammer job was not the original and you are duplicating an incorrect installation.

Does your installation involve new shanks as well?
Because having determined the correct strike point for note #88, you could then cut each shank to that length and you'd presumably have the proper shank height in each hammer butt. Then you'd want to dry fit the hammers in various locations just to see how things line up.

Mark Mandell

#629386 - 07/25/02 02:04 PM Re: krakauer strike point
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
On average your strike point on C88 is about 1/16th" so I would go by that and by the SOUND. I always fit hammers to shanks rather than the shanks to the butts. With new hammers they will be bigger that the original, draw a center line on the moulding or the original hammer and the adjacent new hammer and compare where they hit the string, and LISTEN.
Brian Lawson, RPT
South Africa


#629387 - 07/25/02 07:00 PM Re: krakauer strike point
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Yeah, come to think of it, in light of what Brian said, I would modify my suggestion somewhat. What I would suggest to really do a correct job here is to replace all the hammer butts, but keep everything intact on note 87 or 88(they'll be replaced later of course). Either of these can determine the proper strike point. Then with a new hammer butt, shank and hammer for the adjacent note, determine precisely where it hits the string(which needs to match the adjacent orginal one)and produce an audible enough sound.
Having determined that, you can then cut the remaining shanks to match the length of that first one.


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#629388 - 08/12/02 09:33 PM Re: krakauer strike point
Bob Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 4185
I always replace every other hammer, whether doing shanks or not. That way, there is always a guide hammer either side of the new hammer for purposes of alignment. Half the hammers are replaced at one time, and when dry, the other half are replaced. Shanks are usually cut section by section, to match the original butt to hammer distance. Strike point at the last 6 hammers is critical for good tone. Changing the action height may require damper wire adjustments, as the alignment could change.

#629389 - 08/13/02 10:07 PM Re: krakauer strike point
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Cool, Bob. I do it that way too. There is never a problem with hammer line that way. Might take a little longer, but if you're like me, you don't run a high production shop anyway. Slow, steady, and accurate.............Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.



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