This Chickering was the biggest challenge since the parts are not mounted at 90 degrees to the rails and the action brackets were wood and the flanges were metal. Restoring this obsolete action would not have been possible without a WN&G complete top and back action. It only had bass sustain for the middle pedal before, but now has full sostenuto.
The hammer boring to my very unorthodox specs for this action was perfect. The manufacturers sample parts kit made it easy to work out all the dimensions for setting up the action even before parts were ordered. Down-weight came out at 46-48 grams, up-weight at 24-25 grams with some key re-leading and action ratio at 5.5/1.
The Wessell, Nickel & Gross Manufactures Kit allows the technician to test out the geometry of any action. The kit is $225.00 and refundable upon purchase of an assembled or unassembled top or back action.
A big thanks to Randy Mangus for taking on this project and for letting us tell his story! If you have a WNG rebuild project that you’d like to share with us and have featured here, please email Nina Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org!