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10.5 Center Pin Repair and Installation

We offer a full line of center pins and tools for center pin repairs



When the bushings in a flange wear with age, they allow the hammer to flop back and forth, and there is no cure for this.  Well, there is a solution which will swell the bushing, but the blessings are limited.  So, you may have to install a new bushing in any of a number of flanges.  Flanges are used in the following areas:

1.  At the butt end of the hammer connecting it to the hammer rail.
2.  To connect the damper levers to the damper rail.
3.  Connecting the lower end of the sticker to its mounting rail via a lever.
4.  Connecting the jack to the wippen.
5.  The bushings on a Grand Piano in the damper wire guide board.

See the diagrams of all piano types.

Also, center pins are used to connect the wippen to the sticker, and various other uses of center pins will crop up in piano actions.  So you need to learn two thing at once:

1.  How to install a felt bushing in a flange.
2.  How to install a center pin in a felt bushing.

The suspense is kill me.


You will HAVE to buy the right felt for this.  It comes in strips just the right width.  Check it out in the catalog.

The old felt bushing may have fallen out.  If not, push out both felt bushings from the old flange.   Now cut your piece of felt bushing felt strip so that it tapers to a point at one end.  Cut a pretty long taper in it.  Next, push the point through one hole in the flange, and pull it rather tight.  Now, you have the felt stuck in the flange through hole.  Carefully cut off both sides of the felt leaving the doughnut of felt in the hole in the flange.  Use a very sharp razor knife or razor blade, and cut flush with the wood on each side of the hinge point. Do the second hole.

Your flange is now ready to be repinned.

For Grand Piano damper wire guide board bushings, cut the felt the same as above. Pull the point through the board the same way as above. You will them need to cut the felt off with a very sharp knife flush with the top and under side of the guide board. I suggest you remove the board if that is possible so that you can do the work easier. See Chapter Five for disassembly of Grand Pianos.


You may have now new center pin to install.  You are in trouble.  You can use the old center pin, but it will probably push your new felt bushing out as you try to install it.  You will then say nasty things about yourself and maybe me.  Let us prevent this kind of behavior in a nice kid like you, OK?

Two choices prevail in your favor:

1.  Set the job aside, and buy the new Center Pins from my catalog.
2.  grind the end of the pin down with a small file or on a grinding wheel.

The problem with grinding the old pin is that you cannot get much taper since the pin will then not sit right in the new felt bushing.  Just blunt it a bit so it can spread the new bushing.

Hold the flange, and start the new pin through the new bushing.  Wiggle it around a bit to keep from pushing the new bushing out.  Work it through slowly.  Stop with the point of the new pin just ready to pass through the empty space where the other part in this story hangs.  

Whatever it is, a hammer, jack, or damper lever, set it in place and work the new center pin through the wooden part.

Lastly, push the new pin cautiously through the other felt bushing.  Can't see very well, right?  Did you think life would be easy bunky?  Come on, and stop whimpering and finish this job.  

Once you have the new pin all the way through, push it just a bit on through so that the tail end of the pin is about a 64th of an inch too far into the felt bushing number one.  Now, cut the point off as flush as you can on the other side of the flange with your diagonal cutters.  You now have some pin sticking out of the flange on number two bushing, right?  Well, push it back in taking up that 64th of an inch you allowed on the other side.  Perfect!  You have your moving part all fresh and tight.

Exception:  On pianos with brass parts mounting hammers or dampers, you can simply push the center pin through both felt bushings and cut the tip of the pin off.  You will slip the new pin down into the bras mounting keeper later to install the hammer, damper lever, etc.




  On to task 11