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47. Piano Pedals- Grand-
       Including: Key bed fails to return when soft pedal pushed

What a deal we have on all Grand Piano Pedals!
Also, lyres and braces and hardware for pedal repairs are available.


Remove the desk from the piano.  Now, plant your face up over the action area so that your nose is pointing right down at the hammers.  Look down into the piano at the hammers while you plunk on the keys. Are they all hitting only the right two wires in the middle notes? Check to see if the soft pedal is for some reason too tight. Look it over real well. If it has some part that has moved or jammed, see the previous section, Pedal and trap repair and adjustment, or Lyre Repair. You need to adjust the pedal works so that the key bed returns all the way to the left when you let up the pedal.

If the hammers are hitting correctly, but when you press the quiet pedal, the action does not move much, you probably have slop in the pedal linkage which needs to be removed. See Pedal and trap repair and adjustment.

If there is nothing wrong in the pedal department, nor any adjustment needed, please go on. There are two possible problems:

Easy Fix:

There is junk along the left side of the key bed inside the piano. It is preventing the key bed from returning to rest where it belongs. Using the topic, Opening the Piano in Chapter Five, open the piano, and remove the action. Clean out the junk in the way (usually LEGO blocks or a pencil),

If the key bed will not shift all the way to the right, junk could be the trouble again, but this time, it is on the right hand side back inside. Something, probably a pencil, is lodged between the side of the cabinet and the return spring. You will need to open the piano enough to remove the junk. See Chapter Five to open the piano.


Glide Pattern:

There is another potential problem. Grands have glides. This is mysterious, is it not? In the action there are metal pins just like tuning pins in a vertical position. There will be two or three in near the front, and others toward the read of the action. They stick up where you can get at them with a tuning lever from the top. On most grands, the rear ones may have another method than pins. They are also not easy to adjust in the piano.

When grands are made, a special piece of round hardwood is inserted in the key bed of the piano so that it us right under each of these pins on which the piano action glides. This wood is usually facing up "end grain" and polished smooth.

With the action out of the piano, you should lubricate the "bearing points" or special wood with DRY graphite or Teflon powder. These can be purchased from our Online Catalog (Bottom of the page). You can usually see the "bearing points" where the inset piece is rubbed or indented by the pins coming down from above through the action frame. Rub in the dry lubricant very well with your finger.

Now, you need to put the action back inside the piano and check the clearance between the action frame and the key bed. Make sure the action is precisely where it will be when you reassemble it later, not just "close". Slide a piece of thin cardboard in between the bottom of the action frame and the key bed. If it hangs up in any spot, take your tuning lever, and tighten the vertical glide pin nearest the problem until the piece of cardboard stops dragging. Do not overdo this, for you can set your action's adjustment off by overdoing it. Check to see if the action slides better. If it is still sluggish, it may be dragging at the back glides. You cannot check this with the cardboard. Remove the action enough to reach the rear adjusters, and take a quarter turn down on them. They may have screw heads instead of tuning pin heads. Replace the action, and see if it slides better. Do not keep this up if it is not helping. Once it slides well, leave it alone and reassemble. (See Chapter Five)

If you need a tuning lever, we sell them in the Online Catalog.

More Tricky Fix:

You opened the piano and removed the action, and there was no junk on the left or right side. You lubricated the glides, and adjusted the glides, and it did not help. Check the spring on the right side. It is broken, right? Put the action back in place, and order a grand action return spring from your trusty tuner or from my Online Catalog (scroll down at that page). There are two kinds. Be sure to check and see if it has a complete "C" shape or half a "C" shape. Specify that when you order.

Installation is obvious. The only hassle will be that you have to spelunker your way into the action cavity to get the spring in. Console yourself that the guy in the factory does it all day long. Be thankful you do not have his back problems.

Replace the action, and lubricate the "bearings points" again as suggested above.  If the key bed is still sluggish, you must resort to your helpful tuner. Something very strange is wrong in the back parts of the action area. This is very hard to determine without some training in the art.

  On to task 48