cutting out piano keys and other questions.

Posted by: TecFlip

cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 05:38 PM

Through trial and error, i have not found a good way of cutting out even straight piano keys. Any suggestions? I am going to make a clavi- type insturment.
Posted by: Supply

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 05:40 PM

A good band saw with decent blade guides, a steady hand, and practice.
Posted by: BDB

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 06:40 PM

No matter what you use, you need to practice.

I have heard of a bowsaw blade with a right angle bend in it, so you can saw straight with the top portion, pull the bend through and saw perpendicular to the start of the cut with the bottom portion. That could saw the sharps.
Posted by: Supply

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 08:47 PM

I have seen on of those saws at an organ building shop in Germany. An amazingly simple and clever solution to a century-old problem - cutting a 90 degree turn in the middle of a plank....
Posted by: woodfab

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 10:37 PM

Hello
In order for you to receive some realistic feed back we have to know what tools you have access to and more detail of what your trying to do.
A ruff sketch would help.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 11:22 PM

currently, i have a miter saw, coping saw, jig saw, and other various saws. I thought i could cut the front of the key before the accidentals as a section and the rest of the key and glue the two together. turns out the bond is very weak.
Posted by: Del

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/26/12 11:38 PM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
currently, i have a miter saw, coping saw, jig saw, and other various saws. I thought i could cut the front of the key before the accidentals as a section and the rest of the key and glue the two together. turns out the bond is very weak.

Typically -- in small shops, at least -- keys are cut out using a band saw of reasonable quality (and precisely adjusted). The ends of the sharps are cut with a thin and very sharp chisel (and a good whack with a suitable hammer).

And, as others have pointed out, a lot of practice. It's best to be experienced and skilled with the use of the tools you're going to use before you start cutting something like keys.

ddf
Posted by: Olek

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/27/12 08:54 AM

Ad don't do like a friend, he bored the balance on the plank, cut all his keys but forget to bore the balance rail at the same time than the keys...

He spend 15 days adjusting every key to the key frame and in the end they where not lining well....
Posted by: bellspiano

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/27/12 09:12 AM

Not a good idea to cut and glue the keystick. You want one long integral piece so that there is leverage from finger press to actlion lift without any possibility of losing energy at a glue joint.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/27/12 10:59 PM

How would i make those sharp 90 degree turns? It seems I may need extra space between accidentals and naturals when cutting. Also, how do I know where the balance pin holes on accidentals are placed. They are offset towards the back of the key, but how far back?
Posted by: BDB

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 01:48 AM

You could start by reading all the messages here, but you really need some woodworking and mathematics instruction for this project.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
How would i make those sharp 90 degree turns? It seems I may need extra space between accidentals and naturals when cutting. Also, how do I know where the balance pin holes on accidentals are placed. They are offset towards the back of the key, but how far back?


Best thing to do is find a decent working piano and reverse engineer it. Study the geometric relationships of the keys, the grain line on dog legged keys, pin locations ect.... Its pretty self explanatory and if you can't figure it out that way then vague instructions from fellow techs won't help you much either.
Posted by: Olek

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 07:31 AM

I have a study on pianos and other instruments keys, mostly from dimension side. In French..

A friend had to do that job to design a Vortzetser (automat to play keyboards)
Posted by: TimR

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 08:06 AM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
I thought i could cut the front of the key before the accidentals as a section and the rest of the key and glue the two together. turns out the bond is very weak.


I'm not sure I'm picturing this correctly.

In my brain there are two ways to make a two piece key.

One is front to back. Cut a thick section that goes from the front to the sharp, cut a thin section that goes from sharp to fallboard, glue a butt joint. No way that is ever going to work.

Second is side by side. Cut a thin section that goes all the way back. Cut a second thin section that goes from front to the sharp. Glue a lap joint. I don't see any reason this shouldn't work, given decent glue and clamping.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 10:09 AM

A tad bit OT, but how do i upload pictures into the post?
Posted by: Supply

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 12:09 PM

Now that is ONE frequently asked question. If I could explain it in one sentence I could, but it is a bit more involved. Check the FAQ...
Posted by: Gene Nelson

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 12:14 PM

I am going to make a clavi- type insturment.
___________________________________________________________________________________
Have you designed this insturment yet?
Seems to me that keys would be down the road a bit??
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 03:09 PM

I have made a whole octave-minus-a-note. It can be viewed here along with the way i made the two piece key.

http://funwithblender3d.weebly.com/clavi.html

You can see how the C, E, F, and B keys are smaller than the rest.
Posted by: Emmery

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
A tad bit OT, but how do i upload pictures into the post?


This is one easy way to do it. Go to this site....

tinypic.com

Clik the browse button and load the pic from your computer.
Clik the "upload" button.
Copy the "Image Code for Forums and Message boards" field and paste it in your posting. (It will have [IMG] at the start of it).
Posted by: BDB

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/28/12 10:23 PM

Or you can go to the Piano area and read the FAQs.
Posted by: TimR

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/30/12 09:48 AM

I like your tuning pin setup.

Wish we could retrofit that to a piano.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/30/12 04:02 PM

Originally Posted By: TimR
I like your tuning pin setup.

Wish we could retrofit that to a piano.

I got the idea from top tuners on an old grand I saw. The tuning is very stable.
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/31/12 09:58 AM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
Originally Posted By: TimR
I like your tuning pin setup.

Wish we could retrofit that to a piano.

I got the idea from top tuners on an old grand I saw. The tuning is very stable.
It's a rough remake of the Mason & Hamlin screwstringer.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 12/31/12 10:15 AM



Kind of like the Mason Hamlin but more the top tuner from J. Brinsmead. If tecflip installed two nuts on both sides of the plate the stem runs through, then the wire would not twist when tuning. Would need to make a tool to turn the outside nut….


Top tuner
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/01/13 11:40 AM

That was what I tried to re-create. I just couldn't find any bolts that were hollow all of the way through. Any clue how much they would be if I ordered them online?
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/01/13 05:51 PM

Well, you’re almost there now. What you need to do is fit double nuts on both sides with a flat washer against both sides of the steel plate, so the nut will turn. Then drill out the plate slightly so the threads of the stem do not contact the plate.

What you want is the stem to travel because the nuts are drawing it one way or the other. By having the threads of the stem contact the plate the stem will turn causing the wire to twist.

Hollow rods that have exterior threads? Pull out your wallet I would think. You might get lucky with one of these places. They could have a smooth hollow rod that you can thread if you have a die set…

some links

http://makezine.com/pub/tool/McMaster_Carr_Online_Catalog


http://www.fostermation.com/rods_shafts.htm?gclid=CPjf6vmdyLQCFQ_hQgodJ3IAMA


Hollow rod images

The rest of my search results are

here

best of luck
Posted by: Olek

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/02/13 12:14 PM

Well I understand why tuning pins are used ! so simple and easy !

A customer of mine is making similar test instrument, mostly to find correlation between different soundboard materials and setup,

The holding of the tone is almost secondary for him, the hammers style and materials, the soundboard, reaction to downbearing, is more what he is looking for, on a very basic setup (he was lucky I provide him an octave of straight keys)
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/02/13 02:47 PM

This is getting real expensive, fast. I think i may just get some 'ol piano and pick out the goodies. Seems to be the cheapest.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/03/13 07:22 PM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
This is getting real expensive, fast. I think i may just get some 'ol piano and pick out the goodies. Seems to be the cheapest.


Lots of them around for spare parts and experiments.

Best of luck,
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/04/13 02:48 PM

Thanks!
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/05/13 02:30 AM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip
... I just couldn't find any bolts that were hollow all of the way through. Any clue how much they would be if I ordered them online?


It would probably be easier to find steel or brass tube stock of the appropriate size. Get a tap and die set to run the threads, and just double nut one end to use as a head.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/05/13 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: TecFlip
... I just couldn't find any bolts that were hollow all of the way through. Any clue how much they would be if I ordered them online?


It would probably be easier to find steel or brass tube stock of the appropriate size. Get a tap and die set to run the threads, and just double nut one end to use as a head.


That's not a bad idea. But would the threads be as strong as regular bolt threads(Unless that is how bolts are made)?
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/08/13 04:42 AM

Originally Posted By: TecFlip

That's not a bad idea. But would the threads be as strong as regular bolt threads(Unless that is how bolts are made)?


Technically, probably not. But not by enough to be a problem. Maybe make one and test it before going to the tedious work of doing them all.
Posted by: TecFlip

Re: cutting out piano keys and other questions. - 01/08/13 10:14 AM

Sounds like a plan. I will have to try that!