This morning I began work (this was just going to be a tuning and repair of a broken hammer shaft) on an old Emerson small upright, ser # 50188, and I noticed considerable lost motion on almost every key. By "considerable" I mean you could move some keys as much as perhaps .07" before the jack would begin pushing the hammer butt. I told "the lady" that among other things, her piano needs regulating. I removed the action at one point (to more easily repair the broken hammer) and noticed something I've never seen before: at the rear of the keys, where you would normally expect to see capstans, there were black rectangles of felt, upon which the whippens rested directly. Lacking a jack stretcher, I see no way of adjusting lost motion! Of course, having said that it occurs to me that perhaps I could simply raise the center rail. And this would help the severly bobbling hammers, too, would it not? This piano lived in the Phillipines for a long time, and was actually taken to a shop there for "a tuning", according to the owner. It has numerous newly-replaced strings (and now that I've started working on it it has a couple more broken ones!), new keys, and was "antiqued" black. (Ironic, given the age of the piano.) Any advice on how to make this piano playable again? It's 130 cents flat. The strings that weren't replaced are PDR (pretty rusty), there's a shallow, 4 inch crack in the bridge cap at the treble end of the bass bridge ("always inspect the piano" - Randy Potter). For some reason (probably Phillipine humidity) the pins are tight enough to hold a tuning. I've already warned the owner that it's time to start looking into a cemetery plot for it, but she really wants to use THIS piano (but she isn't interested in spending a lot of money on it). Also, is there any advice on how to avoid getting calls from owners of pianos like this?? <g> I hate charging people good money for working on junk (although the work is fun!). Larry Goss in Cedar Mill, Oregon Dues-paying PTG novitiate (officially, "Associate", but not "member", since the PTG absconded with that word. Lexicographers of common English usage are still wondering where it went), rare attender of local guild meetings, unmotivated PTG exam procrastinator, authentic Klutz, and semi-retired house husband.
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