Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Bridle straps, continued. Took a couple of weeks to get back to it, but here the rest of the straps are replaced at last. A walk through replacing a typical strap:
18 November 2005
Old bridle strap being unhooked from bridle wire...
Held up so that...
We can cut it out.
Feeding the new strap through...
There it is!
Clipping the clip onto the catcher shank. It then must be rotated around to the
proper orientation, a tedious, finger crushing, fingernail destroying experience.
Then, I pushed the clip up against the back of the butt with this tool.
Close-up of tool in question.
As I don't have an action jig, I had to get creative in holding things...
I eventually got smarter and hooked my heel around onto the damper rail!
See the damper actuator lever? That was the only thing holding the action upright
excepting my foot/toe when I was pushing and pulling on things!
Tripping the jack. Often, during this process, the absence of the bridle strap
caused the jack to get out of position - so I'd have to manually trip it before...
Running the strap through the loop in the bridle wire...
Then hooking it on! What a pain - times 88!
And now the entire instrument is done! See all the little red tags all lined up?
Close-up. You can see the brass clips against the hammer butts.
I could have used the cork style replacement straps, anchored by corks that fit in the hole in the catcher, but the engineer in me prefers the clip on style.
Things I learned:
1) A lot of respect for the technicians who do this full time. By the time I finished, I was cramped up, beat up, and tired!
2) I'm not going to do any more major action work without a jig - they're just not that hard to build, and would have helped immensely with the above mentioned problems! Yea, I could have done this work with the action in the piano - but that would have made the cramp factor even worse!
3) I'm still glad I used the clip type bridle straps, but I can certainly understand why most techs wouldn't fool with them on an instrument like this one where they could have used the cork type. Feeding the red leatherette ends through the catcher holes was a pain.
4) I'm sure any pro tech is laughing himself sick at this point!
Update: The tuner is coming, the tuner is coming! I've found a tuner willing to tackle the beast, he's coming in late January! YAY!