Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Treble Stringing Braid Replacement.
4 April 2007, Part 3
89 year old stringing felt was utterly rotten. It disintegrated upon removal.
Best way to weave this in. Start by feeding the working end through
the "wrong way" under the topmost string of the trichord de jour.
Next, slide it down as shown to the middle string...
Using a small screwdriver, carefully poke the braid under the second
string so it is now facing the correct direction.
Slide it down to the bottom as shown.
Make absolutely certain that the working length of the
felt is looped as shown during this process - no twists!
Pull it tight and you're ready to do the next trichord.
If you get a twist in the loop, either work it out or remove and start over.
Watch out for this!
Close-up of both a splice and the braid termination.
Practice mute back in - sure looks better!
Back together, ready to play? Not quite, see text.
Ok, so the inside is starting to look pretty good what with the resurfaced hammers, replated action nuts, and nice clean new dampers. The bass stringing braid had been replaced long since as it was an easy job. I had been putting off the treble as I felt it would be a royal PITA to do. I just couldn't stand looking at it any more. It was rotten, faded, dirty, and broken where I had replaced the treble string almost two years ago - it had to go!
After looking at the situation a bit, I figured out the far easier and smarter way to do it - as depicted above. So the job wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought. The only caveat to this was that I had foolishly cut the stringing braid to the correct length before I started (and before I figured out my technique). So, yes the braid was the correct length for the finished job, but not long enough to make the "trip" up to the top row of tuning pins as I got towards the end of the job. So I got to figure out how to do a running splice (weave both under at least two strings) as well as how to terminate the run (go behind the end two strings of the end trichord, loop back around the end string and under the middle string - then under the middle string of the next to last trichord).
The objective is to pass the stringing braid UNDER the center string of each trichord, and OVER the two outer strings. Its amazing to me that the old stringing braid was so rotten, yet the equally old felt in this instrument is not!
Damper regulation. First off, the new trichord damper felts are NOT aligned with their respective trichords on quite a few notes. It turns out, upon examining pictures of the old felts, that same were skewed to one side so that they would correctly mute all 3 strings. How they got that way is anyone's guess, but with the new felts I need to align the vast majority of the damper heads side-to-side.
That's the easy part.
Then I have to regulate the dampers to the sustain rod - an examination reveals that they are pretty far off. Reblitz tells us that this is one of the most tedious, lengthy jobs to accomplish. I'm not exactly looking forward to it, but it must be done. And then check the regulation of the damper spoons and adjust if necessary. Fortunately, I have the tool for that!
The result of all this work is that there is WAY less "after ringing" in the piano, even with the dampers as way out of regulation as they are. Since it was the Piano Smith who recommended I change the damper felts, credit goes to him!