winding going above the nut

Posted by: chopin_r_us

winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 03:25 PM

I've installed my £300 pounds worth of iron wound strings (26 of them). 4 broke. The winding, as Robert Wornum planned it, goes over the nut pin and just stops before the tuning pin. My maker did a fantastic job - everything just the right length. Should I have greased the nut pin? I can't help thinking the .8mm iron core was worked too hard pulling the wound section over the nut pin. Any ideas? Thanks.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 03:51 PM

"Nut pin" = agraffe?

confused
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 04:02 PM

I suppose. It is just a pin though. The piano's a 170 year old upright.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 04:07 PM

I think a photo of what you're talking about would be helpful. What I'm imagining is the winding going over the bearing bar and terminating between the bar and the tuning pin. Is that correct?
Posted by: Goof

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 04:09 PM

Take a look at some of the photographs placed on this "Pinao World" and you will see where the winding on whraped striings is supposed to end.
Also take a look on a site whoich sells piano parts and you could make a sketch or download the page so that you can learn the names of the various parts.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 04:13 PM

Here's some I put on months ago - exactly how the maker wanted it:

Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 05:53 PM

Okay, I see what you're talking about.

I've never seen an instance where windings extended this far.

Do not use any kind of petroleum-based or otherwise wet lubricant on it. It will ruin the piano.
Posted by: BDB

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 05:55 PM

Just goes to show the makers were not always right.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 06:07 PM

By that photo, it is very odd. There are some plain wire core, then some old strings that look like they were done wrong, then some new strings that look like they were done wrong.

I'd hate to have to try to tune it.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 07:16 PM

I've never seen windings above the agraffes. How old is the piano? Are the old strings in the photo originals?
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 07:55 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Just goes to show the makers were not always right.
And how! I'm glad that piano is across the "Pond" and I won't be called to tune it.
Posted by: Bob

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 08:21 PM

I can't imagine it was planned that way. The windings should stop before the pins. Only the core wire should contact the pin, and then go around the tuning pin. There are two ways to make this piano tuneable -

1. Replace the strings with ones of proper size (send the maker a paper template showing bearing points and hitch pin locations)

2. Remove each string from the tuning pin and unwind enough outer coil so it ends 1/2" below the pin. Then re-install the string.

Are these the original pins? Are they tight?

You will continue to break strings or the outer coil will separate at the pin and buzz unless this piano is strung correctly.
Posted by: Silverwood Pianos

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 08:34 PM


Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
I suppose. It is just a pin though. The piano's a 170 year old upright.


1852 Broadwood windings
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 08:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
I suppose. It is just a pin though. The piano's a 170 year old upright.


1852 Broadwood windings


Wow. That seems crazy to me. How do those strings even move?
Posted by: BDB

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 09:09 PM

Poorly!

This is something that is missing from all of those early temperament discussions. The instruments in those days did not tune as well as modern ones.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/18/13 10:10 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
Poorly!

This is something that is missing from all of those early temperament discussions. The instruments in those days did not tune as well as modern ones.


Oh yeah!

laugh
Posted by: ando

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/19/13 01:05 AM

Sounds like an expensive proposition to purchase another full set of strings. Wouldn't it be worth a try to take them off and wind off some of the winding to the appropriate length? He might break a few more in the process, but once the surviving strings are all on, he can special order the ones that are missing. Worth a go?
Posted by: Olek

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/19/13 03:30 AM

I believe the friction was lower intially with the wood rubbed with graphite and not marred (and the pin as well.

burnishing and graphiting (hard pencil) may help a little, , may be inserting a small strip of "parchemin" (French) at the moment the string is pulled, to protect it, then pull it out, if well positionned may be it will pull out easily enough, if not, lower a little the tension.

the becket are not cut after installation, but the lenght evaluated and the becket installed flush in the pin. Others may have told you that yet.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/19/13 02:42 PM

Thanks for the comments folks. I'll certainly do the graphite and maybe the parchment. The problem may be Malcolm Rose B is not up to the job. In this 1834 review he does mention new Improved Steel:

Posted by: Olek

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/19/13 05:35 PM



interesting document, thanks for posting it .

I cannot really help there but yes piano makers begin to use steel -that year (1837-38, I heard)

you need to measure the speaking lengths to check if a steel can be used. together with the tension of the basses, that may be very low.
Posted by: Goof

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/22/13 05:39 PM

Do yourself a favour: go to the Fincock piano museum in Kent where you can see many old, and some very old, pianos. I feel certain there will not be one where the winding of a string goes over the capo bar.
Whilst there ask the way to the nearby "farm" where a Mr Richard Dain, a retired mechanical engineer, puts together pianos which have sound boards made of carbon fiber.
Also go to U-tube and look for an item named " A Pianos Pin by Ronan O'Hora". He is playing Mozart's Sonata K570 II Adagio. The videos shows pins throughout the ages AND at the end your type of pins (old) in situ with the CORRECT arrangement !!!!
I do hope you get it right as I'd like to hear how the instrument sounds.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 02:33 AM

I know one of the major restorers in this country - he's said it's unusual not to have the winding going round the pin but that is what Mr Wornum wanted.

The sounding length of the bottom iron wound G# (g#2 according to this website http://www.claviersbaroques.com/CBExpertHelmholtzNotation.htm ) is 70cm. The top iron wound one, g# (g#3), is 61.5cm. They are very high for wound strings - all cores are .8mm. That's why I initial thought to plain string at least the top group (I notice on Pleyel's Pianino he plain strings down to B (b2).
Posted by: BDB

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 02:45 AM

It may or may not be what Wornum wanted, but it seems to be what he got. Even now, piano makers make mistakes.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 02:50 AM

Well how about this - every string from bottom to top (F1 (FF) to F7 (f'''')) has the same length - 92.5 cms.
Posted by: rxd

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 05:54 AM

I remember an Érard grand with covered wire over the bridge (oversize bridge pins) and through the oversize agraffe with oversize holes I didn't check the interior configuration of the agraffe holes. Probably quite a broad curve.
I didn't know it's age and the covered strings were all black with oxidisation so I didn't know what metal they were covered with.
I only saw it briefly.

It was being tuned regularly and slightly above 440. . The tuner expressed no problems with it, this was in the days when we were tuning all kinds of weird and wonderful old pianos that had been tuned on contract for many generations.
This was in the 1960's and it was all original then with no broken strings. It was just the core wire on the tuning pins. Must have been well over 100 years old then.

I have access to an old Broadwood square, 1804, I think. I know the bass strings are spiral wound with a 1/4" or so step to the spiral. I am sure the strings are wound as they go over the bridges but I will check.

I remember something about continuing the winding past the termination points reduced inharmonicity, perhaps our experts could address this matter.
Posted by: Olek

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 06:24 AM

I have seen that winding "often" on instruments of a certain era - all wooden frames
Also on some square pianos (European ones)

I am not sure the winding go on the bridge too, more probably no.
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 08:23 AM

I hadn't thought it unusual that the winding goes over the bridge:



but quite right, on my Pleyel it doesn't.
Posted by: rxd

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 01:28 PM

This picture from another thread that has covered strings going over the bridge. It's quite common in ancient pianos. I'm still wondering how successful continuous winding like this is in reducing inharmonicity. Any experts on covered string inharmonicity?

Posted by: Dave B

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 06:58 PM

Are the strings original?
Posted by: chopin_r_us

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 08:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave B
Are the strings original?
On mine they are. I'm having to replace from G#2 to G#3 as they are iron wound and sound tubby from rust.
Posted by: rxd

Re: winding going above the nut - 09/23/13 11:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave B
Are the strings original?

Dave, It's my educated guess most of them are, other than those that obviously aren't. looking at the oversize bridge pins, it looks as though a plain core wire would go between them with barely any offset as you can see by the "replacement" wire.
The instrument looks to have been built to accept this idea. The bridge pins look as though they are smaller further up the bridge.

The Érard I saw with the covering on the strings in exactly this fashion had the usual 4-5 metal struts in the form of a rudimentary plate so, while I didn't check the date, it couldn't have been very early. It, too had oversize bridge pins and the covering on the wire as it went through the oversize agraffe. It seems to me that more than one manufacturer did this, either experimentally or In their early manufacturing years so it wasn't a local aberration.

I have a feeling I may have seen this piano before, it's not every day we see a knot just like that one in the middle of the speaking length of a covered string and in approximately the same location. The one I saw was a Viennese style piano.