piano hammer shaping cost

Here is a detailed post about the Piano Hammer Shaping Cost. So, if you have been searching for piano hammer replacement cost or other keywords online, then this article is dedicated to you. It contains piano hammers for sale. Read on to enjoy all these and more.

A piano hammer (the wool mallet that strikes the strings) has a significant role in the tone of a piano. When we speak of tone, we are not simply speaking of sound production. The tone is how soft or how harsh the sound is that is produced. It also is defined by how full the sound is and how long it lasts when left to ring. Each of these items can be adjusted by making alterations to the shape of the hammer and by hardening and/or softening different areas of the hammer.

Piano Hammer Shaping Cost

Piano Hammer Shaping Cost

The basis of proper hammer function is proper shape. Hammers have a shape that is similar to an egg. The top of an egg is round, not flat. Having a round crown on the hammer is vital to creating proper tone that is not harsh. To illustrate, hold your left hand in front of you with your palm facing up. Then, using your right hand with the palm facing down, strike your left palm (simply put, clap your hands). You probably heard the typical clap that you are used to hearing when you strike your palms together. Now, hold your left hand in front of you again with your palm facing up. Then, strike your left palm with your right hand in “karate chop” fashion. You will hear a sound, but it is much quieter than clapping your hands. 

How does this apply to the piano hammer? New piano hammers have rounded crown because it reduces the surface area that is contacting the strings (think “karate chop”). Over time, piano hammers develop grooves and are worn flat, increasing the surface area that contacts the strings (think hand clap). As the surface area of the hammer’s strike point increases, so does the harshness of the tone that is produced. This is because there is a larger surface striking the string which causes excess ringing in the sounding strings. Some people call this harsh tone “bright” or “brassy”. Whatever you call it, it is not a pleasant tone. 

Often, when a piano hammer becomes compacted and grooved, a trained piano technician can reshape the hammer to restore the proper strike point and improve the tone of the piano. This is done by filing the hammer to remove some of the felt and restore the rounded egg shape. This on its own can do wonders for the tone production of the piano. Mating the hammers to the strings and voicing the hammers (both topics are covered in a previous blog article) are critical steps that follow shaping the hammers. However, reshaping the hammers is sometimes all that is needed to get the piano’s tone back to bearable. 

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piano hammers for sale

What are Hammers, How Do They Work, and Why do They Deteriorate?

Hammers are responsible for producing the sound of the piano when you depress its keys. They are manufactured with thick, stiff felt stretched around a wooden core or molding at great tension. This tension is designed to cause a “bounce.” When the hammer strikes a string, its deflection results in a specific vibration or tone.

Hammers are designed to be extremely durable but are worn down with use. Over time, your piano’s steel treble strings and the copper windings of its bass strings tamp down the felt, breaking its fibers into pulpy, dead layers with each repeated strike.

Not surprisingly, the piano’s sound is affected by this. Eventually, a hammer doesn’t produce a clean blow at all, but strikes with a flattened, grooved surface, generating a harsh and unsatisfactory sound and making the keys difficult to control. At this point, your piano’s original tone can only be restored by replacing the hammers.

Is There A Less Expensive Option?

If the damage is minimal, a technician can remove the broken felt and reshape the hammer. If doing so compromises the integrity of the hammer’s original shape (reminiscent of an egg), it will also compromise the voice (tone and quality) of the piano. So while reshaping is an option to consider early on, at some point in the life of your piano you will need to change its hammers.

What is the Process for Replacing Hammers?

Hammers are like eyeglasses in that they are custom-tailored for the specific needs of an individual. Because hammers play such a critical role in the tonal quality of a piano, the process for replacing them must be meticulous and done with great care and attention to detail.

Step 1: Selection

The first step in this process is to select a set of new hammers matching the original’s dimensions and the tonal preferences of the piano’s owner.

Once these hammers have been selected, careful measurements are taken to properly calibrate them, including:

  • Felt weight
  • The bore angle of the shank to the molding (hammer’s wooden core)
  • The rake (angle up and down)

Hammers are drilled with careful precision so that they strike the strings exactly as the originals did. Each detail is critical to achieving the best result; special drill presses bore holes in identical right angles to and within the confines of the original’s location and position.

Step 2: Installation

Hammers are then glued into position, a process that sounds simple on its face, but is, in fact, a complex undertaking. Technicians must select a glue to accurately match the piano’s requirements, taking into consideration whether a cold glue or a hot glue (at specific temperatures and viscosity) might be used. Experts will check for a ring of excess glue in the form of a well-defined “collar” to determine if a replacement has been done correctly.

If original shanks and butts are retained, the technician must remove the remains of the old glue with a great deal of care, and size the end of each shank using a specialized tool; the fit must be neither too tight nor too loose for proper adjustment.

A straightedge is then used to take four separate measurements as a quality control measure and adjustments are made as necessary to achieve a “factory” level finish.

How Does Hammer Replacement on Pianos Affect Their Value?

The value of a piano, in fact, lessens if old hammers are not replaced. If you think in terms of a classic car with a balding set of tires, a set of worn hammers negatively affects performance, and are obviously an indication that the piano is in need of maintenance. If the beauty of a piano’s voice is masked by worn hammers, its valuation goes down significantly.

It’s important to engage the services of experienced technicians with expert knowledge of traditional methods when replacing piano hammers. For excellent service and top-quality workmanship, contact the professionals at Moore Pianos. They offer a risk-free guarantee, and you’ll know you’re in great hands because unlike big box supply stores, pianos are their exclusive focus.

Grand piano tuning regulation and repair price list

This a list of services most commonly performed in the maintenance of the grand piano.

TUNING (includes pedal adjustment and minor action adjustments necessary to tune the piano): $120.00

This does not include a pitch raise if the piano has not been tuned in many years and has dropped pitch significantly.

PITCH RAISE:

minor – $25.00

major – $50.00

CLEANING SERVICES:

  • Apply center pin cleaner action centers: $14.75
  • Clean balance and guide pins (shop): $26.25
  • Clean keys: $6.25
  • Clean soundboard and plate: $25.00
  • Remove keys, vacuum key frame (shop):$17.50
  • Vacuum action, keys, and key bed: $7.50

REPAIR/REPLACEMENT SERVICES:

  • Hammer shank repair: $12.50
  • Re-glue ivory head/tail (shop): $50.00
  • Re-glue sharp (shop): $50.00
  • Re-pin action center: $7.50
  • Replace all backcheck leather (shop): $225.00
  • Replace damper felt: $14.75
  • Replace drop screw: $7.65
  • Replace felt punching keyframe and action: $5.00
  • Replace hammer: $15.00
  • Replace hammer f & s: $15.75
  • Replace hammer f & s Steinway: $21.25
  • Replace hammer shank: $14.75
  • Replace jack: $11.50
  • Replace keybutton: $22.00
  • Replace key end felt: $3.75
  • Replace spring loop: $11.25
  • Replace wippen: $18.00
  • Replace wippen flange: $12.50
  • Replace wippen Steinway: $28.00

STRINGS AND TUNING PINS:

  • Extract broken agraffe & replace: $35.00
  • Replace bass string universal (temporary): $50.00
  • Replace bass string original (permanent): Estimate
  • Replace treble string (single) $45.00
  • Replace treble string (double) $90.00
  • Replace tuning pin: $15.00
  • Splice bass string (if possible): $22.50
  • Splice treble string (if possible): $15.00

ACTION REGULATION (by function):

  • Action guides & bed keyframe to key bed: $25.00
  • Align, Burn, Travel Hammers: $25.00
  • Check: $25.00
  • Damper lift: $37.50
  • Drop: $25.00
  • Ease key centers: $25.00
  • File Hammer Grooves/Shape Hammers (shop): $150.00
  • Hammer Blow/hammer line: $37.50
  • Jack height & alignment: $37.50
  • Let off: $25.00
  • Level/Square Keys and Set Key Dip: $75.00
  • Mate hammers to strings: $37.50
  • Pedals (sustain, sostenuto, una corda): $25.00
  • Polish capstans (shop): $17.50
  • Repetition springs tension: $37.50
  • Replace all balance, guide rail, and key rest felt (if needed shop): $75.00
  • Seat Strings: $12.50
  • Tighten action screws: $18.50
  • Tighten backaction screws: $11.25
  • Wiippen alignment: $25.00

KEYS:

  • Acrylic ivory/key top repair (shop): Estimate
  • New key bushings: $360.00
  • New balance and guide rail pins: $310.00
  • Set of new key tops: $650.00

IN-HOME ACTION REGULATION: $500.00

STRINGING SET WOUND STRINGS (IN-HOME): $700.00

STRINGING WHOLE PIANO (SHOP): $1,600.00

PLATE LETTERING: Estimate

TRANSPORTATION: Estimate

ACTION PARTS REPLACEMENT SERVICES:

  • Backchecks (set): $445.00
  • Backcheck leather (set): $310.00
  • Damper backaction kit: Estimate
  • Damper felt (set): $580.00
  • Damper heads (set): Estimate
  • Hammers (set): $860.00-$1,110.00
  • Knuckles (set): $430.00
  • Let-off rail/dowel felt (set): $190.00
  • Prehung hammers (set): $1,305.00-$1,905.00
  • Shank and Flange (set): $365.00-$424.00
  • Wippens (set): $1,530.00-$1,680.00

WIPPEN RESTORATION: heel felt; jack stop felt; repetition lever felt; clean/polish repetition springs; graphite repetition levers and jacks: $900.00

JACK AND REPETITION LEVER SPRING LOOP REPLACEMENT (SET): $290.00

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