January 2013

Ah! A new year and a new start. After I get these tax issues under control maybe I can get some things done. Remember; you're never too old to learn new things. This may be a good time to evaluate our situations. There may some some fat we can cut out of our business to improve our profit margin. Or, learn some new skills to increase our diversity which could increase our financial security. Create new business contacts and solidify the ones we have. Increase awareness of PTG and it's standards with our current customers to get them in a comfort zone with our services.

We have transferred our Chapter Cabinet to D.C. Moore & Sons warehouse, all intact. We will have our meeting there this month. We can take inventory of our stuff. Please bring any items from our cabinet that you may have.

I have been working hard on the Chapter Website. The link is in the menu at the top of this page and in the right column. Please check it out and report errors in any personal info and other things that may need changing. Please test your links!! If you would like to finish any of the" Lorem ipsum" (dummy text) stuff let me know.

Contribute to our newsletter. Link above.


Old Case On A New Piano

I think we all agree that the woodwork on early twentieth century pianos was usually quite nice and sometimes extraordinary. I ran across a technician on the internet that I cannot find now that offered a service of recasing a piano.

How to put an old case on a new(er) piano.

  1. Find a piano you like for tone and action feel that is reasonably priced. Perhaps a later model Kawai or Yamaha.
  2. Take accurate measurements of all case parts including keybed arrangement and action to string placement. Mark hammer strike line on new(er) piano
  3. Preserve keybed / keyframe assembly to install in new arrangement.
  4. Find a beautiful old upright with carvings etc. that are well designed and in good condition.
  5. Take a ton of photographs of both pianos with detail shots of connections and assembly.
  6. Release tension on both pianos.
  7. Remove all case parts from the old piano including sides all the way down to the plate / soundboard / frame assembly. Marking locations on the parts with a rough explosion drawing.
  8. Do the same with the new(er) piano.
  9. Clean the frame assembly of the new piano to prepare for attaching old parts.
  10. Strip old parts and clean off old glue.
  11. Design attachment of old parts to new(er) piano including trapwork and action to frame assembly with preserved keyframe / keybed assembly.
  12. Do woodworking to fit old parts to new(er) frame.
  13. Glue sides onto frame with correct alignment of keybed and action to string / frame assembly. Strike position should be the guide.
  14. Fit other parts to sides including top, bottom board, front panels and fallboard.
  15. Finish all parts to chosen specs.
  16. Attach parts to piano
  17. Tune to pitch.

Now you have a beautiful case with a beautiful action and resonating structure. This would be considerable less work than installing a new soundboard / bridge, pinblock / stringing, action parts and rebuild trapwork. Lets do it!!


I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.

- Billy Joel       singer songwriter, pianist

(Except for my wife's grandmother who, when asked of Bocelli's performance of Con Te partirò..."It's all noise to me!" )  db


Recently I had to do some work on a Chickering action built long ago. Chickering pianos have a wonderful sound much of the time and have even won blind hearing tests at PTG conventions for richness of tone in the bass. That being said, the front action screw configuration I found on this action was hands down awful! Check out the photos below and see if you say "What WERE they thinking" or were they thinking? To enable the use of a regular screwdriver, I drilled a hole through the let-off rail as seen below. Even when using the access hole the screw became inaccessible when it was at the top of it's travel because the bracket was so close.


long action screw
Q  Does a piano soundboard really need to have crown?

A.1 Yes, when it is constructed and before it is strung to pitch.
After that mother nature takes over and the ball is in her court. I have played pianos old and new, with and without crown (I measure crown all the time.) Usually they measure no more than a 1/16 to 1/8 inch at most. Some of the best sounding pianos I have played had no visible crown. That being said, crown and bearing are quite critical when restringing. Sometimes the best solution is to recap the bridge and set the bearing according to the crown left in the board if keeping the old board. db


Bushings For Larger Holes

Here is a quick way of determining the width of felt for bushing a hole.

  1. Cut triangle shaped pieces of various sizes of bushing cloth.
  2. Mark them accordingly
  3. Remove the old cloth and clean out the hole.
  4. Pull a piece of cloth through the hole until the edges touch.
  5. Test fit with the part that will ride the bushing. Find a cloth that gives the right fit.
  6. Put a small mark on the cloth or attach some tape.
  7. Measure the width at the mark.
  8. Cut or tear a new piece of cloth to the size and cut a tail.
  9. Glue and trim the bushing as usual.
damper cord 01

You could measure the diameter of the hole and multiply by pi (3.14). Nah!


damper cord 02
Visit our new website (link above) and look it over

Check your links, info and service areas. Let us know if you travel outside of your service area.

Offer to finish articles.

Let us know of changes needed.

January 30, 2013 - 10 am

D. C. Moore & Sons, 1201 Upsala, Sanford


  1. Continue PTG promotion
  2. Web site - adjustments
  3. Meeting schedule
  4. Chapter cabinet items
  5. Open forum
Technical: Grand Regulation / Steinway style / open forum style. Bring any tools & information you have to share. Patsi Franklin will share her recent Steinway class info. Thank you Patsi

February 27, 2013 - 10 am


  1. Success of PTG, RPT promotion
  2. Idea's for the year ahead
  3. Election committee

Technical: Info coming soon


Ahoy buckos!

Current hammers from Steinway are like the one thar on ye right (see photo) and usually work well..arrr. When replacing hammers and especially when using ye old back checks, me find it helpful to round the back edge of the tail to keep the hammer tail from diggin' into n wearin' ye back check like me cat-o-tails. Older Steinway hammer tails were shorter and the back checks longer. It takes a couple of swipes with a course sanding paddle with ye action oriented so the hammers rest on ye bench. (see photo)

Ye fellow tech,

Cap'n Scott

square rubber grommet


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Unless where otherwise noted.  

"All expressions of opinion and all statements of supposed fact are published on the authority of the author as listed, and are not to be regarded as expressing the view of this chapter or the Piano Technicians Guild Inc. unless such statements or opinions have been adopted by the chapter or the Piano Technicians Guild Inc."