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1. Aligning grand piano hammers

You have grand piano keys that seem to play reluctantly. You look down into the hammer area, and you see that some of the hammers are hung up on each other. Here are the temporary and the permanent solutions:

Temporary solution:

First, raise the hammers up toward the wires by depressing the keys. Be sure to note which are really the trouble makers and which are right. Get a long medium screw driver. Poke it, through the wires, gently into the hammer area. Put the screw driver as far as possible back down the hammer shank (the round dowel on which the hammer is mounted), away from the hammer head. Try to move the non-parallel hammer into parallel with the ones next to it. If it works, you will have some days, even weeks, of peace. If the shank refuses to move under moderate pressure, DO NOT keep pushing on it.

Permanent solution:

Raise the hammers up toward the wires as described above. Write down the number or note ID of the hammers that are messed up. Remove the grand action by following the instructions in Chapter Five. There are some things in this book that you will just have to do the way I tell you. this is one of them :-) Read Chapter Five before doing anything on the grand piano action.

With the action on a table, you can now see the hammers that are out of alignment. Be sure you DO NOT mess (UK English- "muck about") with the ones that are straight. At the back end of the hammer shank is the hammer flange which mounts on the hammer rail. Loosen the screw, move the hammer back parallel with the ones next to it, and tighten the screw. Flip the hammer a couple of times. Is it still not parallel? That is because as you tightened the screw, it twisted the hammer around. Work at it until you have it right.

You can use this section to correct a hammer that is not hanging up, but you can see that it is hitting only two of the three wires in a note (or one in the upper bass). Push the soft pedal. This will help to confirm that there is trouble because the offending hammer will move to hit the wires wrong as compared with the hammers next to it.

Re-install the action into the piano as per Chapter Five. This little job paid for this book.

On to task 2.