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28. Piano Hammers- Grand- Alignment


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Aligning Grand Hammers- Side to Side

First. Look down into the grand. Can you see that some of the hammers are not hitting all three strings (two in the bass)? Are some hammers hanging up on each other? When you push the soft pedal, and the key bed shifts left, are some hammers actually now hitting all three wires instead of just two? Get a piece of paper, and write down the note identities of the hammers which are clearly out of alignment with the majority. Make a note which way the hammer should be moved to correct it.  

This is a clear case of musical democracy-- the majority rules. NOTE: If ALL the hammers are shifted to the right, DO NOT adjust them. You have a broken return spring, or you have junk along the left of the key bed holding it from returning. Go to, Pedal- Grand- Key bed fails to return when soft pedal pushed, and find your problem and solution.

Now, using the instructions in Chapter Five, sub-topic "Opening the Piano," take the action out of the piano. Hey dummy, are you going to take the action out of the piano without reading Chapter Five like I told you? Wow, are you nuts or something? READ Chapter Five or weep later.

Once the action is out and on a flat surface, find the screws at the hinge end of the hammers. These are called hammer shank flanges. Under them is usually a piece of sand paper to help secure them. Loosen each hinge screw for the hammers you noted before you took the action out. Move the hammers right or left into parallel with correct hammers nearby, then retighten the screws. As you tighten the screws the hammer may move slightly out of alignment, so tinker a bit until you find a system of getting it right. When the incorrect hammers are right, tighten ALL 88 hammer hinges since others may be getting ready to move. Snug is the rule, not over tight. Old wood breaks easily.

Reinstall the action. If there are still problems, you may have to repeat the process again to get it correct. CAUTION: You must have one cup of tea or coffee between every removal and installing of the action. Don't get all worked up over this. You will break something.

Leveling Grand hammers side to side

This is mysterious because there seems to be no way to straighten grand hammers which are cocker to one side or the other. Well, we know the secret, bunky, and we are going to tell it.

If a hammer is not parallel with the ones next to it, again, make a record of this, and remove the action again. Remove the hammer and flange of the offending hammer completely from the action. Now, but a small piece of thin but hard paper, say, 1/8 inch by 1/2 inch. Lay it beside the hole where the screw goes into the hammer flange rail. Lay it on the side of the hole so that when the flange is installed again, the bit of paper will lift the flange in the direction you want the hammer head to move. Replace the hammer and flange. If it is not quite parallel, do the process over.

Align the hammer as you tighten it so that is is midway between the ones on either side.

That trick is one the trade does not like you to know.


 On to task 29