Cedar Mill Piano Tuner lgoss@europa.com
Tue, 04 Jun 1996 10:19:50 -0800

On Tue, 04 Jun 1996 09:12:05 -0600 (MDT), scott.e.johnson@24stex.com wrote:

> Lg> Subject: Emerson 1895 piano with no capstans
> Lg> expect to see capstans, there were black rectangles of felt, upon
> Lg> which the whippens
> Lg> rested directly.  Lacking a jack stretcher,  I see no way of adjusting
> Lg> lost motion!
>Sometimes I've seen a flat head screw underneath this little black rectangle
>of felt. If the felt is not glued down on either the front or back side, look
>underneath for this adjustment screw. You will need to remove the keys one at
>a time and make trial by error adjustments.

No wonder it's so far out of adjustment.   Amazing.

> Emersons must have been high tension scales because they always seem to
>be string breakers.

Now you tell me!  <g>

>Try lowering the pitch slightly on each string as you
>tune to break rust loose at the termination points.

 I do that.  What's your opinion on the question of what, if any, lubricant may be used to
reduce friction from rust?  At the "Hopeless Piano" class last Summer (Alb, NM) the
answer was (surprising to me) Liquid Wrench.

> Remember when splicingbass strings to use a splicing segment that is 1/2 size
> larger than the core wire.

Fortunately, no bass strings broke, only trebles, which are fairly easy to replace.  But
yes, I always (both times) use string 1/2 size larger than the core when I splice bass

> If the bridge pins are still at the proper spacing and angle you might
>get away with tuning.

And if they're not, I'll just get away.

>There is always the option of offering to keep your ears open for a replace-
>ment piano and walking away from this one. 1895 is right on the boarder for
>tuning to A-440 without breaking to many strings. Being an Emerson and having
>rust puts it over the edge. ...

I think that's the correct option in this case, although there's no one paying to live at the

customer's house (boarder?  Sorry).

> ... Why not give her an estimate to restring it?

Two reasons:
1. I don't consider myself qualified to perform a restringing, so I'd turn this over to a more

experienced tech in her area, and let him give his own estimate.  Of course, I'd enjoy
helping and watching and learning,  <g>

2. I think this piano needs more than a restringing.  There's a crack in the bridge, and the

pin block is marginal, too.  Once all that money is spent, it could be a very nice piano
except that  the capstan design will make it prohibitively expensive to regulate ( or so it

seems after reading your post).    If I were the owner I certainly wouldn't invest this kind
money into that piano.

Thanks for your response, Scott!
Larry Goss

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