Archive for the ‘News’ Category

What You Can Do With a WNG Action in a Steinway: Dr. Mark Sullivan

Posted on: February 28th, 2020 by WNG No Comments

Dr. Mark Sullivan has been teaching in Southern California since 1984 and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he studied under Menahem Presslera. He also has a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music.

“I was playing a piece, Ravel’s Alborada Del Gracioso. The thing that is the hardest in the piece is a couple of passages of extremely fast repeated notes, and I calculated according to Ravel’s tempo marking, it requires the pianist to repeat a note about 14 times a second. Very few pianos—very few pianists too—can do that, but the Wessell, Nickel & Gross action made the [Steinway] B the perfect choice for that.”

Wesell, Nickel & Gross met with Dr. Sullivan at his home in Southern California where he has two pianos that are both equipped with Wessell, Nickel, & Gross Actions—a Steinway Model D Concert Grand and Steinway Model B. Dr. Sullivan’s background in classical piano led him to seek a high-performance action that could achieve the precision and uniformity needed for the rigors of hours of practice, as well as flawless performance on the concert stage. He found this exact combination in the Wessell, Nickel, & Gross Composite Action. With the help of Registered Piano Technician Bruce Stevens, Dr. Sullivan now has both of his pianos equipped with high-performance actions that can handle any virtuosic feat from the practice room to the stage.

Dr. Sullivan, as well as many others, has discovered that although there is a call to remain with traditional wooden actions in the piano industry, this does not always yield the best results. For a piano action that can deliver consistent performance in both touch and feel, as well as uniformity in volume, Wessell, Nickel & Gross is the ideal choice. Our state-of-the-art composite actions can be fitted to almost any piano to deliver high-performance touch and feel that can be uniquely tailored to your preferences and needs.

“Ideally for a pianist, once you’re out on the stage…you should have done enough practicing that you can concentrate on the concept, you can concentrate on the sound, you can concentrate on where the sound is leading to, and the way you touch the keys becomes sort of intuitive…and I think the Wessell, Nickel & Gross action allows that intuitive feeling of transmission from the concept to the sound to be more seamless than any action I’ve used before.

For more information on Dr. Mark Sullivan or Bruce Stevens, please visit Dr. Mark Sullivan’s website here, or Bruce Stevens’ website here.

Material Matters: Jim Ialeggio

Posted on: January 3rd, 2020 by WNG No Comments

Materials matter. The quality of construction, craft, and end result depends not only on the skill of the craftsman, but also the quality of materials used. Wessell, Nickel & Gross went to Grand Piano Solutions in Shirley, Massachusetts to visit piano technician, Jim Ialeggio. Ialeggio has been a technician for 32 years and does rebuilds, repairs, and tuning with his son. He shared about his material science background and how it aided him immensely when he became a piano technician.

For Jim, the materials used determine what a product can or cannot do, and traditional materials have many limitations. In particular, the action centers of wooden actions can be extremely inconsistent and lose their regulation with very little provocation. This problem is completely eliminated with Wessel, Nickel & Gross’ hard bushing action centers, granting them complete consistency and reliability.

“When I got into piano work I immediately realized that some of the traditional material were crazy. They were just trying to do something that the materials were not capable of doing. One of my biggest complaints…was actions centers…If Wessell, Nickel & Gross did nothing else—just the hard bushings—they would have made an amazing contribution…”

The hidden benefit of using Wessell, Nickel & Gross parts is the value that it gives—it saves technicians time, energy, and ultimately, money. Regulation time is cut down, parts do not malfunction, and the quality does not degrade.

For more information on Jim Ialeggio, visit his website: http://www.grandpianosolutions.com/

Survival in the Piano Trade: Chris Brown

Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by WNG No Comments

Generally, people don’t think that a farmer or a sailor have much in common with a piano technician. However, much like a sailor or farmer, a piano technician is an individual with a very specialized set of skills and tools who must be able to adapt to solve a problem. To that end, a piano technician’s skill set involves much more than what initially meets the eye—resourcefulness, an aptitude for unique out-of-the-box solutions, and years of honing a specific craft.

Wessell, Nickel & Gross met with registered piano technician Chris Brown to ask him about his many years of experience in the industry and what led him to eventually develop his own entrepreneurial approach to improve piano technology—the Grandwork System. This innovative combination of benches, jigs, and fixtures incorporates Wessell, Nickel, & Gross parts to create a system that provides consistent, precise, and invaluable tuning and voicing guidance for piano technicians.

“As I went out and gave classes and socialized with my peers, I discovered the problems I had were universal. My mission is, similar to WNG, is to make the process more joyful, less of a problem, and more successful.”

Chris’ approach and philosophy of problem solving to make the piano technician’s job easier closely mirrors Wessell, Nickel & Gross’ mission of collaboration and creativity. We designed our tools and products to eliminate or reduce challenges and to simplify processes for technicians—more joy, less problems. Our innovations such as anodized aluminium capstans or hard bushings reduce the time it takes to hang hammers, and the bushings hold their shape over extended periods of time. Hammer flange pinning is also crucial to good voicing and regulation outcomes, which our hard bushings vastly help with.

“WNG has been a leader in encouraging smart people with great talent and imagination to make things for them or to share with them the things they have made, and make it available to the technician public.”

Collaboration in the piano industry is crucial to innovation and creativity. We value and appreciate technicians like Chris Brown and others whose work fosters and inspires innovation and resourcefulness for the next generation of piano technicians.

For more information on Chris Brown and his Grandwork System, visit his company’s website: https://grandwork.tools/

Piano Technician’s Guild Tucson 2019

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by WNG No Comments

What happens when the largest group of Piano Technicians in the world gather? Collaboration. Creativity. Reconnection. At this year’s July PTG in Tucson, Arizona, technicians, pianists, and experts in the piano field and industry gathered to share new ideas, knowledge, and techniques for three solid days of classes and exhibits. Many technicians visited our Wessell, Nickel & Gross booth and we asked them what features they liked best about our products. The overwhelming consensus was our innovative designs and materials, which give our actions low maintenance and convenience—saving technicians and customers time, energy, and money. Delwin Fandrich, the famed piano designer, said it best at this year’s convention:

“When I started driving cars, I had to rebuild the engine in my car every 50,000 miles. If my engine gives me any trouble now at less than 300,000 miles, I’m going to be upset, and yet, we still tell customers that you are going to have to have your piano tuned two or three times a year, and, oh by the way, you are going to have to regulate the action and you are going to have to fix sticky bushings. Buyers today don’t like that—they want something trouble free.”

The owner of Wessell, Nickel & Gross, Kirk Burgett, was also present at this year’s PTG. He enjoyed meeting new technicians and seeing familiar faces at the Convention and at the Wessell, Nickel & Gross booth. “It’s been exciting, we’ve had new technicians trying out our new products… At this convention, it’s been a wonderful time because people we haven’t seen for years have been here. Technicians around the States and internationally have been doing training here—it’s actually been a really wonderful time getting to know people again.”

At Wessell, Nickel & Gross we strive to empower technicians with not only great products that make installation, regulation, and tuning easier, but also extensive knowledge and technical services and resources through our website and classes. We’re committed to providing only the very best tools and products that give you the stability, consistency, and flexibility you need for your customers.

An Interview with Jim Busby

Posted on: August 21st, 2019 by WNG No Comments

Introduction

My name is Jim Busby and I live in Mount Pleasant, Utah and I’ve been in piano tuning and technology for about 44 years.

How did you become a full time Piano Technician?

Well, actually my uncle was a piano technician and I’ve always thought I’d tune pianos because I liked my uncle so much, and I just tuned on the side and then one year I decided to quit school for a little while and I was going to come back in, but I never got back into teaching again so I just found out I had an aptitude for it and I liked it and actually made more money than teaching so win, win.

When was the first time you encountered Wessell, Nickel & Gross parts?

I think the first time I was exposed to them was at Brigham Young University. We had a Mason & Hamlin there—an A, a really nice piano. I really liked the way it felt and then I went to Boston for a visit and I decide to tour the factory and spent the day there. I fell in love with the people there. I loved the factory and the people were so good to work with and there is kind of a small feeling in the factory and I just loved the way it felt there. I loved the dedication the people put into their parts and the things they were doing there.

What is your experience with Wessell, Nickel & Gross parts?

Well my experience with Wessel, Nickel & Gross parts is mainly is at BYU. I had a fellow colleague that bought some and we hung some hammers with the shanks and flanges and there is just nothing like them. They were so even, and I put it on a piano, a 9-foot Steinway, and I had the faculty come and play the piano, and they were saying how wonderful it was and how much quicker it played and responsive it was. So, I put it on two more pianos and the same thing with the faculty—they just loved it because it was so responsive, and it is just very dependable. It stayed where you put the regulation. The next day that you came, the next month that you came, the next year it still stayed regulated very well and very easy to maintain.

What are your thoughts on our hard bushings?

You know, at first, I was skeptical of them but now I just love them because after years and years it doesn’t vary. It’s 3.5 grams for the flanges and years later it’s still 3.5 grams unlike the other bushings—the cloth bushings—and so I’m very sold on the parts.

In your opinion, do the carbon fiber shanks change the tone of a piano?

That’s a good question. You know, some people think it changes the sound of the piano, but I didn’t perceive that. And most people that I had play our pianos with the new Wessell, Nickel & Gross parts didn’t perceive any tone change—just more velocity and control—but I really didn’t see the difference that other people talk about and I think my ear is pretty good and I didn’t perceive any huge difference. In fact, not even a little difference with them—it’s just was easier to play. I didn’t notice any different tone quality or anything.

Find out more about Jim Busby by visiting his website: http://www.pianotechniciantutorials.com/index.php

WNG Rebuilder Series: Bruce Stevens

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by WNG No Comments

Bruce Stevens, the owner of Bruce Stevens Piano Tuning & Restoration, has been a registered piano technician for over forty years. He works out of his piano shop in Bellflower, California and services the West Los Angeles area to South Bay, up into Orange County. In this video, Bruce shares his experience working with Wessell, Nickel, & Gross parts and their versatility in his various rebuilds, his customers’ reaction to using our composite actions, and the connection that WNG has with the rebuilding community.

“From the parts to the tools, WNG seems like they’re thinking ahead, thinking about what the technician needs, thinking what might make their life easier…they have that kind of connection with our community.”

When beginning an installation, rebuild, or remodel, piano technicians and rebuilders know that selecting the right parts is essential. Often, there are challenges and problems on the manufacturer level—sometimes this means hammers are glued in the wrong place, or that the top action is positioned incorrectly, which can lead to inconsistency in the feel and weight of the keys. As Bruce explains, when it comes to actions, the geometry of the heel and knuckle placement play a large part in determining the feel and dynamic weight of the keys. Wessell, Nickel, & Gross offers a wide variety of options that are suitable for almost every piano project and type. With 9 heel sizes, 14 heel locations, 4 knuckle sizes, and 9 knuckle locations, WNG parts have the most customization in the industry, giving the technicians the freedom to keep the piano’s original specification or even make it better.

I’m able to select the right parts, and I emphasize that because it’s not just a whippen assembly—it’s the heel height, it’s the selection of the right shank and knuckle, and everything I need, WNG offers.

As piano technicians ourselves, we designed our parts and tools to be as easy to use and accessible as possible to technicians like Bruce Stevens, and the rebuilding community as a whole. Much of the inspiration and creativity in creating our products came from our own experiences and the need for quality piano actions with an emphasis on flexibility, customizable action geometry, and longevity.

WNG Rebuilder Series: David Sposto

Posted on: March 3rd, 2019 by WNG No Comments

David Sposto of Sposto Piano has been a piano technician for thirty nine years, servicing the Los Angeles and Orange County area. He provides custom piano rebuilds, restorations, and installations out of his workshop in Long Beach. In this interview we ask David about his experience working with Wessell, Nickel, & Gross (WNG) actions and parts. He shares three main features why technicians and customers love our products.

Flexibility and consistency. Due to WNG’s unique and innovative materials, composite actions deliver the same quality of sound and performance regardless of changes in humidity or climate. Our epoxy carbon fiber hammer shanks do not experience any loss of energy from bending or wobbling, and unlike wood, each shank is exactly the same strength. This ensures that the player and customer will experience consistent touch, feel, and sound in their instrument, even at a professional concert level.

Customizable parts. WNG actions provide a variety of interchangeable parts from heels to shanks to repetitions. We provide an extensive list of customizable parts to accommodate all different kinds of rebuilds, installations, and restorations that make it easy and convenient for technicians. From back actions to anodized aluminium capstans, we offer and match parts from every major piano manufacturer.

It’s got a built-in flexibility, it allows me to customize feel, especially if a customer likes a light feel or a heavy feel—you can actually try things and let them see how they like it.
— David Sposto
Registered Piano Technician and Rebuilder

Longevity. The backbone and core of WNG’s piano actions is its iconic black composite material. Not to be confused with simple plastic, this advanced composite material is much stronger and durable than wood. Additionally, our bushings are made out of an innovative hard, dense material. Not only is this material completely impervious to moisture, but keeps extremely stable pin torque and uniform touch after being tested at 40 million blows.

These three features are just some of the many reasons why Wessell, Nickel, & Gross is the best and preferred product for piano players and technicians alike, and why it comes standard with every modern Mason & Hamlin piano.

An Interview With Bruce Stevens

Posted on: February 19th, 2016 by WNG No Comments

Introduction

My name is Bruce Stevens. I’m from Southern California and I live in the city of Bellflower which is close to Long Beach, California. I’m a piano technician of almost 37 years and have a business that provides in-home service as well as running a shop where I do full restoration of fine pianos. I am the technician for Concordia University in Irvine, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and have assisted the piano technicians at UC Irvine, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach, and Claremont Colleges—basically I will go wherever I’m called by other technicians to help for various reasons, but primarily I do in-home service and major restoration in my shop.

Bruce-Stevens

What is your experience with WNG parts?

When I first heard about WNG, my curiosity was certainly aroused because of what was being said regarding the quality and value of these parts, and because I’m always interested in something that is new and better than what I may be currently using. I was invited to attend the information seminar in Sacramento and decided it would be worth my time to attend. I spent five days learning all about the wide variety of parts available for a technician and the new WNG tools and jigs. When I saw the wonderful tool array and the parts that are available from WNG, I thought, “It’s a no-brainer! With these—the highest quality, most versatile parts on the market today, and the special tools and jigs to make the needed measurements, how could I not commit to taking the plunge in becoming skilled in using the parts and making the investment in the tools available?” I bought the tools right on the spot, ordered parts, and was soon involved in my shop with some hands-on experience. I was counting up the other day how many new sets of parts I’ve used and it’s certainly well over 15 sets of complete action parts and about 15 back action installations. What impresses me today—after all the installations I have made—is the consistency and quality of the product. Oh, one other thing…the capstan that WNG offers…I have probably installed 40 sets since I was first introduced to them. When dealing with touch weight issues, installing these capstans has been one of the best things I have done to deal with part of the problem, and they are so simple to install with the nifty tool WNG has.

What have the universities that you’ve worked at thought about WNG parts?

I don’t think the universities I have worked for knew about the WNG parts. The first action that I did was for UC Irvine and the staff there loved the piano immediately; there was no doubt about it. I had another job with my son at another college in California and they agreed to use the parts. Upon completion of that project, the faculty was amazed and thrilled with the results. Early on, I didn’t have my own experiences to inform the clients of the reasons to use WNG parts, and it was so helpful to have all the valuable information available on the WNG website. It was great being able to direct people to read the reviews from other technicians from other colleges and universities.

Do you have to “convince” or “sell” the parts to your personal customers?

Well, this business of directing the customer in which parts to use can be a touchy subject, but I believe it’s my responsibility to present the best possible parts options to the customer, and if they choose to use an alternate part other than WNG, that’s their business. I’m there to support the customer’s wishes, but I have found that a careful informative and comparative presentation can open their eyes to something new and exciting. I think one of the easiest things to present is the fact that these parts don’t change under variations of humidity. The bushings don’t change—they are stable—and that causes individuals to wake up and go, “Oh, well that makes sense!” Explaining the demonstration that I saw in Sacramento with the sample WNG part put alongside the wooden cloth-bushed ones after going through millions of test blows, and the end result is that he WNG part holds up, is really great. Sure, there’s some wear but it holds up! I know this demonstration test is an extreme case—it’s not a real-life situation, but it proves a point—it proves how stable the material is, and that’s one of the reasons that caused me to have so much confidence in the parts. I could see it, I could hear it explained to me, I could look at the actual parts, and I made my decision. Having this information on the WNG web site is so valuable to be able to refer the customers to.

What I’ve experienced in using these parts for my clients is they all talk about how smooth everything is. It’s so consistent! It’s so even! It’s a smoothness that is unique. Please understand that I am fully aware and experienced in the many other things that go into the equation of what it takes to create a touch and tone that the pianist loves. I think it’s not only the smoothness, but it is the connection that the pianist feels when they play the piano that makes them love the action and touch. One of my regular clients, after I had installed these parts on his Steinway B, had an artist from New York play at soiree at his home and he told me, “Everyone just raved about this piano!” (I told him) “I know what it is, it’s the action—it’s what this material does, it’s magic!”

Now that I have done so many WNG actions, it makes it easier to “convince” or “sell” WNG by referring new customers to play one of my completed pianos. My goal is to always have a piano at my home outfitted with WNG materials and parts where a client can come experience the feel of the action.

What was your impression of the WNG class?

It was SO worthwhile! Bruce and Mark I believe were the instructors–they did an amazing job. I spent almost five full days there and felt like they covered the information in an excellent and complete way. There were several things presented in the weeklong seminar that convinced me of the need to use these parts—one of the most amazing things to me was the ease of burning in a shank. I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw it demonstrated by Bruce Clark—I was so impressed! Gluing a hammer to the composite shank was a big question in my mind, but that was answered and demonstrated how easy and effective it is. Other selling points for me were the rigidity of the shanks, the hard bushings, and the versatility and installation of the whippen heels and knuckles for custom installations. I would recommend anyone to go to those classes. To any technicians I would say, spend the time, invest the time because once you do that, you’ll have the confidence to get right into using those parts.

Did you come out of the class confident that you could install WNG parts?

Yes I did. You know the first job—it can be slow and maybe a bit tough because now you’re going to put what you heard in class into practice, but then you see that what you were told in class actually does work, and so if there’s any intimidation or hesitation it’s gone. One thing that encouraged me right after the class and that’s been helpful for me in the shop ever since is to have a printout of the step-by-step instructions for all the procedures listed on the web site. Since those instructions are in a pdf format, it was easy to print out the many pages. What’s so great about these instructions is that there are also pictures of the process as well, and having these instructions in a binder has made it so easy to refer to every time I set up to build a new damper action or install new back checks. I have also written in some of my own thoughts and instructions, and that’s made some of the process easier.

What do you think about our composite shanks?

The rigidity of that shank is amazing. The transfer of energy is felt by the pianist and when they say, “Oh it just feels amazing” it has to be the shank that’s causing this impression. I also feel that there is a certain clarity of tone that I am getting from my restorations because of this composite shank.

What do you think about the tools WNG offers?

All the tools available, especially for the damper action installation (WNG Damper Installation Kit) are amazing. They are worth every dollar I spent! Every time I use them to set up a new back action I am very appreciative of their quality and ease of use. I also can’t leave out the tools and jigs for installing the WNG backchecks—they’re fantastic! Oh yes, the regulation and pinning tools…I love the way they feel! I would have to say that the attention to detail is what’s so impressive. Their design is well thought-out and as Bruce explained in the class—especially in some of the regulation tools, it’s a feel—he designed these tools because they felt a certain way. And as I use these tools, especially the tool for adjusting the capstan in the damper system, it feels good—the tools just feel great! From your tools to jigs, they all work well as described and I’m very impressed.

What are your thoughts on WNG as a company?

I have high regard and praise for the individuals that are leading and driving this forward-looking and forward-thinking company because change and innovation is hard in any business and industry. But I believe they are going to succeed because this company is offering something to our industry that is really great, it’s not just in words, but it’s also in a product that is now proven to be something special and unique. There’s always competition, but without competitors in the business, we wouldn’t have new products like WNG is supplying. I believe in the future for new actions—thank you WNG!

Thanks again to Bruce Stevens for the interview!

An Interview with Mike Reese

Posted on: December 21st, 2015 by Calvin No Comments

Introduction

My name is Mike Reese and I work in Birmingham, Alabama. I operate a restoration shop and have been in the piano rebuild / repair / tuning business for 43 years.

When did you start installing Wessell, Nickel & Gross parts?

The last 4 years—it’s been pretty intense—we’ve got a contract with a school in Jackson, Mississippi (Hinds Community College). They called me and said we have eight Steinway pianos we want to restore, and I said ok you got my attention. During my interview for them I saw what the pianos needed, and when I was asked if I was going to use genuine Steinway parts I said, “No, you’ll have to hire someone else for that—I know better!” So I took the first one back to them after I finished the restore and you know, with great skepticism, they sat down to the bench and she said, “Oh this plays

Michael-Reese

just like a Steinway!” and I said, “Well I was hoping for better than that, but I guess I’ll take it.” I’m working on the seventh one for them now and there’s four more to go, and they have been just overjoyed with the results.

What do you think of the materials that Wessell, Nickel & Gross uses?

Oh I love them, just recently I did a Baldwin SD10 for a gentlemen and he actually requested your parts. We did a whole new top stack for it, which was an experience. I bought it unassembled and put it all together myself. I tried to talk him into doing the back action but he thought, “No that’s good enough”, and sure enough, eight weeks after we put the main action in he calls me and says, “You’re right”.

What have the benefits of using WNG composite parts been for you?

Well the biggest advantage to me is I have so many options! I move capstans fairly routinely and being able to choose from various heel lengths and locations—that’s wonderful to me. We do quite a bit of geometry mods, and we automatically replace key pins and capstans with WNG ones.

Does using WNG parts save you time?

Probably after the fact they do, because they stay regulated remarkably well. As far as installing the parts, it takes me about the same amount of time, but I have so much more confidence in the fact that what I put in the piano is going to stay like I put it—the pinning, I don’t have to worry about the pinning.

What do you think about the WNG repetition?

They are beautifully engineered! That’s the magic—that’s what I preached at a recent seminar. Recently I had an experience with a dyed-in-the-wool Steinway artist. He unknowingly sat down to a B that I completely restored using WNG parts. It was obvious he was impressed, but I didn’t expect him to exclaim, “That’s the best B that I have ever played!” I removed the action from the cavity to reveal the secret. He was stunned, but it didn’t stop him from purchasing the instrument. I no longer “try to sell” these parts; I simply install them and explain the extraordinary results afterwards. Those people who harbor contempt prior to investigation are absolutely robbing themselves of a fantastic action.

What do you think about the carbon fiber shanks?

I love ‘em—I haven’t broken one, I can tell you that! Actually, I have an associate that works with me and he has a really bad reach in his hands over [keys] 87 and 88 when he slides an action out. He was pulling one out and he broke the hammer but the shank didn’t break and I thought, “Dear God, that’s strong!”

What problems would you say WNG has solved for you?

Maintenance. These pianos that I’m building for a college in Mississippi—I’d be scared to death putting in standard parts and putting the pianos over there because they have a horrible humidity situation in that building. It’s fun to put a product out there and drive away with a check in your hand and not worry about getting a phone call about something that’s not right.

How would you say WNG parts improved a piano that you’ve worked on?

The control factor is just out the roof. You know, the two words I hear almost all the time when someone sits down is, “Wow, is this responsive!” And then when they start to take it for a test drive, so to speak, and start seeing how softly they can play and how easy they can just kind of paint in a low bass note—you know, barely making it whisper—they’re stunned and say, “Man, there’s just so much control.”

Have you used any WNG tools and if so, which is your favorite?

Yes, the level stick is a thing of beauty. I use that routinely—I love it—lightweight, easy to monogram and put your name on it. I have all of the jigs for locating various things. The back action jigs are marvelous, I mean I love that you can use the guide rail and figure it out—all that’s a great set up.

Thanks again to Michael Reese for the interview!

Douglas Laing and His 1910 Henry Miller Complete with Stickers!

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by Calvin No Comments
01 Douglas Laing

Douglas Laing of Magnum Opus Piano Works, Safety Harbor, Florida completed his Bachelors degree in Music History and Musicology at the University of Michigan in 1986 and has had extensive training in Piano Technology. He rebuilt a 1910 Henry Miller upright and of course it had to have stickers. See how he overcame the obstacles.

02-Ferdinand-Pointer

Ferdinand Pointer of The Piano Company, Clearwater, Florida. Ferd has been a piano technician since 1972 and an RPT since 1975.Ferdinand is always the “teacher” and assisted Douglas with this upright.


 

 

03 Old hammers and dampers

This 1910 Henry Miller in original condition, presented rebuilding challenges. [Old hammers and dampers]

04 Dirty key frame

One challenge was cleaning over a century of dirt and grime. [Dirty key frame]

05 Key frame removed

With the key frame removed all the fun begins… [Key frame removed]

06 Using and placing the WNG Vertical Tools

WNG offers upright rental tools which helps installing the new action so much easier. [Using and placing the WNG Vertical Tools]

07 Aligning the action

[Aligning action]

08 Jigs removed and support blocks in place

[Jigs removed and support blocks in place]

09 Getting ready to install dampers

[Getting ready to install dampers]

WNG Vertical Installtion Tools Rental Includes:

  1. V-bar, 72-88 strike gauge
  2. Hammer 5 degree rake angle gauge
  3. Set of 5 hammer tilt gauges
  4. Dowel capstan inserter
  5. Dowel capstan wire bender
  6. Hammer Jig – Bass
  7. Hammer Jig – Treble
  8. Bass damper dowel locator
  9. Treble damper dowel locator
  10. Sustain rod block
  11. Rail support block – bass
  12. Rail support block – treble
  13. Action Locating jig – (2 each)
  14. Shanking jig
  15. Shank trimming jig

10 Bending damper wires and cutting

The action bolt on this piano had to be raised about 1.25″ and Douglas drilled through the place. [Bending damper wires and cutting]

11 Bass dampers in place

Note the severe angle of the dampers. [Bass dampers in place]

12 All dampers installed

[All dampers installed]

13 Flattening back of key sticks

Prepping the keys for the added extension blocks. [Flattening back of key sticks]

14 Blocks glued and installed to raise dowel capstan

Conversion of old sticker action to dowel capstan action. [Blocks glued and installed to raise dowel capstan]

15 Hanging hammers

Hammers are WNG Premium Select Gross 4 and are special-made for vertical pianos. [Hanging hammers]

16 Ready to regulate

Douglas’ customer is very happy with her cherished 1910 Henry Miller Piano! [Ready to regulate]

Many thanks to Douglas and Ferdinand for sharing this experience with us!