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"Tips and Tricks"


Regulating the
Sticker Rods
in a Grand


Reference Materials

Regulating the striker rods is very important. The ends of the rods are wooden dowels that screw on to a threaded metal rod. Unscrewing them (counter-clockwise) will cause them to come up. In a perfect world, they should all be exactly the same height. However, that assumes that the points where they strike the keys are all at exactly the same height. Normally, the keys are all at the same height at the back, where they rest on the backrail felt. A quick inspection of the back of the action will reveal the truth. If they are, then the 'stickers' (that's what the dowels are called) should all be set to the same height. BUT, determining that height is critical, and it can only be done by trial and error. Select four notes -two on the ends and two others at equal points from the ends, in the middle (like numbers 2 and 84, and 30 and 57) and put a mark in front of them with a pencil so you know exactly where they are. Next, locate the bellows that are connected to those stickers and mark them with a post-it note, so you know where they are. Next, mark the corresponding keys on the piano with post-it notes.

This next part requires two people (until you get the feel of the keys). With the piano action installed, individually press upwards on each of the four bellows and have the other person tell you as soon as they see the corresponding key start to move. Do this a few times. Within a few tries, you will get the feel of when the sticker rod makes contact with the bottom of the piano key. If all of the notes you have selected start to move the key the very moment you start pushing on the bellow, they are all set TOO HIGH. There must be a scant 1/16" clearance between the sticker rods and the bottom of the key. Once you have set all four notes to the correct height (undoubtedly, you will have to remove and replace the action a few times before you get the four notes set to the correct height), remove the action and put it aside. Then, using a straight edge, reset the height of the rest of the stickers to your four 'master' notes. After that's done, you can put the action back in and test all of the notes by hand by pushing up on each of the bellows to see if they all feel the same. They should all be so close at this point that you won't be able to feel the very slight differences which may be there as a result of the uneven wear of the felt on the underside of each key. But, if there is a noticeable difference, re-adjust those stickers individually as required.

Regarding the slow note. As a general rule, notes that are slow to reset have a clogged bleed (especially true if the note activates smartly). Generally speaking, the bleed can be cleared by sucking and blowing on the nipple that leads to the valve. If you have primary and secondary valves, the problem is most likely in the primary valve. In fact, it could be that the valve clearance is too narrow, or that the pouch-to-stem clearance is too shallow. These two things are very difficult to repair because they require dismantling the primary valve chest. If you only have primary valves, you can remove the valve block and visually inspect the bleed cup to see if it's clogged, and unclog it with a sewing needle -here again, blowing and sucking on the nipple until you're sure it's cleared.

All the best.

Musically,

John A Tuttle
Player-Care.com

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This page was last revised October 8, 2016 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
Expressed within the Pages of the Player-Care Domain.
Cartoon Graphics by E7 Style Graphics (Eric Styles)


Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.


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