Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools

Posted by: UnrightTooner

Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 07:51 AM

I have sometimes replaced missing pins on school grand piano lids with balance rail pins. There are a little bit thinner and go in without having to hammer so hard when the hinges get out of whack. It does bother me, though.

Without the "ell" part I keep thinking it could work its way out. Then I tell myself that is silly, it could work its way out even with the "ell".

But I am also bothered that they are not removable without tools, or if someone decided to use tools they would probably ding up the case work. Then I think about how dinged up the case is anyway and the rough use that caused the problem to begin with.

So then I was thinking about using TWO balance rail pins, each with an "ell" and each going only halfway into the hinge from each side. It is not usually hard to get a pin out once you are halfway there. But then why leave the temptation for the students to get at the pins to begin with? The length of the balance rail pins are the same width as the hinges. Nothing sticks out to grab hold of.

Any thoughts?
Posted by: rxd

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 08:53 AM

That's a good tip, Jeff. If they can't grab the 'L' they can't take it out. They mightl also think twice about removing the lid if it doesn't look easy. They never thInk of putting the lid back on or keeping track of the pins (or the lid, sometimes).
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 11:13 AM

I guess it depends on if there is a real reason to remove them. Most schools will never need to take the lid off, so if I notice a pin missing, I replace it with it with a longer one that I bend into a double "L" once it is in place. I found some giant paper clips that are brass colored and about the right diameter. They are soft enough to bend easily with pliers, if the lid needs to be removed.



Ron Koval
Posted by: BDB

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 11:26 AM

In an emergency, when the proper pin is not available, or the hinge is so whacked up that a pin will not fix, I take some music wire, stick it through, and bend both ends to hold it in place.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 11:39 AM



For grand’s in commercial areas such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, community centres, etc. I take out the hinge pins and put a slight bend in the middle of the length. This way the pins are impossible to remove without a set of grips and small hammer.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 11:50 AM

An 1/8 inch diameter brazing rod can be used in an emergency, even though it is a bit small, damhik... Might be easier to find than a Goliath sized paper clip.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 11:55 AM

Or you could buy brass rods the proper size. Hardware stores carry them.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 07:47 PM

I used hair pins once.
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/08/13 10:51 PM

A future beginning tech will never know to thank you when you make sure those pins are tough to remove either by the double bend or the kink in the middle...

But they won't have to repair the hinge or refinish the top after watching it slide off the side of the piano while they lift the lid either!

Ron Koval
Posted by: JohnSprung

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 03:06 AM

Piano Rule #1: Always check the pins before you lift the lid. ;-)
Posted by: Pianos & Pianos Mexico

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 05:19 AM

Nice paper clips! Ron they for real?

Once I had this hinge too loose from a fall board desk yamaha type, so i curve the pin a little and the hinge went harder, thinking on that if the balance pin try his way out you can curve it to keep it in place
Posted by: Olek

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 05:49 AM

The different diameters, in imperial or in mm are really a trouble ...

Hopefully those hinge rarely make noises, as I have seen anything used, nails, paperclips, NOTHING !!!
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 07:27 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Piano Rule #1: Always check the pins before you lift the lid. ;-)
Piano Rule #2: Make sure there is someone else to blame if you forget rule #1.
Posted by: UnrightTooner

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 07:32 AM

Lift the lid just a couple of inches, waggle it, and then decide about lifting it further. Even if the hinge pins are in place, the hinge screws might not be.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 10:33 AM

lift the lid a little, and when you are sure there are no hinges lift it all (just wait for someone to stand on the left of the piano before)

Works nicely when there is also only one hinge left, but the results are less spectacular
Posted by: RonTuner

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/09/13 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Pianos & Pianos Mexico
Nice paper clips! Ron they for real?

Once I had this hinge too loose from a fall board desk yamaha type, so i curve the pin a little and the hinge went harder, thinking on that if the balance pin try his way out you can curve it to keep it in place


That was a random online photo, but I found some a little smaller at the local office supply store and keep a few in my tuning kit. Handy to snip off as much as I need...

Ron Koval
Posted by: James Scott

Re: Grand Piano Hinge Pins in Schools - 01/13/13 01:44 AM

Mine came with a couple of nails instead of pins. I eventually replaced the nails with brass rods (as BDB mentioned) with a custom L bend. It's not a school instrument so I don't have to worry much about them being removed, but I do have kids so I suppose that I should start.