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#649243 - 04/07/08 06:35 PM bottom board access, Boston UP118s
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 646
Loc: Boston, MA
Today I tuned a Boston UP118s (upright) and needed to get into the bottom for pedal regulation. I was startled by the way the access to the bottom is designed and wonder if there was some trick that I missed.
Instead of there being one or two metal clips that I could push up with my thumbs to release the board, there were two pieces of wood under the keybed that seemed to be there so that the board wouldn't fall out. The wood pieces were about 8"x1"x2" (a little bigger than a keystick) and were screwed in underneath the keybed so that they were parallel to the keysticks, positioned so that their far ends (which were felted(!)) were about 1/2" from the bottom board itself. There was one screw at each end of the pieces, screwed very tightly into the underneath of the keybed.
What I did to get into the bottom was to loosen the screws nearest the board so that I could pivot the wood pieces away from the board on the nearer screws and then take the board out in the usual way. Afterwards I had to swing the pieces back and forth until I could find the screw holes with the screw tips and screw them back in.
Is this how this is supposed to work? What is the advantage of this system? I found it to a a pain in the neck, so I hope that I missed something obvious and that there is a better way.
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

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#649244 - 04/07/08 09:45 PM Re: bottom board access, Boston UP118s
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1312
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
The Bostons and Kawaiis where I've seen these have all been "school-style", plain cases. I've always thought they are used so students can't easily open up the bottom of the piano and do damage.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#649245 - 04/08/08 05:16 PM Re: bottom board access, Boston UP118s
bellspiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 646
Loc: Boston, MA
Thanks, Eric! This is the second time I've appealed to PW for help with what turn out to be pianos designed for school use -- clearly I don't get out enough. (Or at least not to places which are dangerous for pianos.) But I do carry Allen wrenches now to get those tops open.
Dorrie Bell
retired piano technician
Boston, MA

#649246 - 04/08/08 07:56 PM Re: bottom board access, Boston UP118s
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23184
Loc: Oakland
You could probably just leave off one of the screws. Sometimes things are added for shipping that are not needed later.
Semipro Tech

#649247 - 04/09/08 01:22 AM Re: bottom board access, Boston UP118s
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645

I noticed this too on a newer Boston--two screws, not one, to keep the latch from moving. I'm also assuming that these are there to prevent them from moving in shipment so that the bottom board doesn't fall out. As BDB suggested, leaving one screw out isn't a bad idea.

I've tuned literally thousands of Kawais. They sometimes have the same sort of pivoting latch, but I've never seen it with screws at both ends. They pivot freely. During shipping, the bottom boards are held in place by wood blocks that should be removed during prep. I could build a house with all of the shipping blocks that I've removed \:D
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA


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