April 2016 This beautiful new video from the Wurzen Felt Company shows the making of felt for pianos. My friend Jack Brand, company owner, takes us on a whirlwind tour of felt manufacture. Piano Forte Supply carries Wurzen made Crescendo™ Punchings and Crescendo™ Felt.
March 2016 The Orca single needle voicing tool is now available again. This tool makes single needle voicing easier and more precise, whether you are needling a the top of grand hammer or the underside of an upright hammer.
This tool is hand made in small quantities and is not only unique, but looks and feels soooo good.
click below for more information
February 2016 Master Craftsman Piano Technician Henry Studley left us, and the world, an amazing legacy: his magnificent tool chest. This collection of his tools is famous, with posters of it gracing many woodworkers’ walls. Up to now it was unavailable to the world, housed in a private collection. This book is an in depth look and analysis of the tool chest and by extension, to its creator. A fabulous “must have” for piano technicians and tool lovers.
click below for more information
Jan. 2016. The Dr. Bendit String Bending Tool will help settle new strings, aid in tuning stability and improve tone. This tool helps to better define the bend of string wire at the bridge pins, resulting in a string which “hugs” the bride pin instead of traveling in an arc in front of and behind the bridge.
The benefits of a well defined string wire bend at the bridges are well known. Up to now, technicians have done this by pushing or tapping against the string just past the bridge pin. The bridge pin takes the brunt of the force, and often it is loosened as the wood holding it in the bridge surface is compressed and crushed. This can lead to false beats and other tonal problems.
With this tool, is easy work to safely define the string bends at the bridge pin. The tool is placed onto the bridge pin and by turning it, the little nose catches the string and defines the bend in the wire. The bridge pin is not on the receiving end of the stress involved on defining the bend.
This tool is available in two sizes:
Item # 110420 Regular size – fits onto bridge pins up to #7 (2.50mm)
Item # 110425 Large size – fits onto pins up to #10 (3.10mm)
September 2015 The Hide Glue book by Stephen Shepherd is now back in stock. The book had been out of print for a while, and we are happy to be able to offer this important work of practical knowledge aka the “Bible of Hide Glue”!
Sept. 2015. Piano Forte Supply is pleased to announce that we now offer special pliers designed for side voicing piano hammers.
Side needling, or lateral needling, as it is also called, is becoming increasingly well known and popular – for good reason! Side needling can help to soften hard hammers without disturbing the integrity of the hammer surface.
Feb. 2015 Trimming tri-chord dampers can help to eliminate damper “whoosh” and zinging noises. Oliver Esmonde-White, high end technician from Montreal, demonstrates how to trim damper felt using damper felt scissors in the video below.
Jan, 2015. Last fall, we were approached by a high end accessories firm who was designing an exclusive bar cart. What they needed was the perfect matching casters to provide the foundation – and transportation.
The criteria were strict: the casters were to have clean elegant lines, to complement the hardwood and leather cart. The needed to roll easily and swivel smoothly, and of course there had to be a locking mechanism to keep the cart from wandering. In the end, the choice fell on our medium size casters, with the non-marking rubberized coating, with the star brake handles.
Here is what the website states:
“The Sidecar rolls (or rests) on precision-turned casters fabricated for concert grand pianos. Solid brass and wrapped with a protective coating to preserve delicate floors: the wheels swivel and lock with precision.”
Piano Forte Supply is very proud to play a part in helping to bring this project together.
For the price of a compact car, you too can own one of these bar carts!
Someone asked which tool can be used to remove hammers from WNG shanks, which have a significantly smaller diameter than wood shanks.
The Piano Forte Supply hammer shank extractor pliers have a punch/die/plunger which is threaded and screws in. It is secured by a small set screw. see photo.
This allows the user to:
1) adjust the depth that the die plunges into the workpiece
2) replace the die if it should get damaged or lost
3) fit the tool with other, customized dies of different diameters, lengths and taper.
The die is essentially a piece of 6 mm threaded rod (or a machine screw with the head cut off) with the business end machined to slightly tapered punch. It would be fairly easy to make your own custom dies for this tool, even without a lathe, using only a drill press.
This photo shows the business end of the pliers with the die removed. The die threads into the tool and is secured by the small black set screw. You can adjust the depth by how far the die is screwed it. You can also replace the die with a slimmer one for small diameter shanks.
For some time, Piano Forte has been offering special leads for weighing off piano keys.
Several features make these the go-to material for technicians doing precision Touch Weight and Inertia Adjustment and regulation, to get that “Touch to Die For”.
- The material is a very pure lead – considerably softer and hence easier to swage than other lead slugs.
- Our leads are not tapered like slugs from domestic sources. Tapered leads will only contact the edges of the hole at their thick end (unless someone can bore a conical hole to match their shape). Our leads will never rattle around in their hole and are less likely to loosen and dislodge
- Our leads are extruded, not cast, which means they have no voids and are are very uniform in size. They are a consistent very snug (thumb pressure) suction fit into holes bored by Forstner bits
- The best thing: our leads are extremely consistent in weight. The variance is 0.1g at most from one piece to another. Conventional leads have variances exceeding one gram! See the following email I received from one technician:
Celesta Tone Bar rest felt now available.
[May 2014] In response to a demand for proper rest felt for tone bars of Celeste (Celesta), xylophones and other percussion instruments, Piano Forte Supply has created a wonderful solution.
Our tone bar rest felt is especially made for us according to our specifications, by the premier manufacturer of musical instrument felt in Germany.
This felt measures 14 mm wide (.550″) at the base and is 11 mm (.430″) high. The strips are 50 cm (19″) long, to be cut into custom lengths according to the individual tone bars.
While rubber and man-made materials will harden and crumble after some time, felt will last and last, giving decades of good service. The high density of this felt assures that it will maintain its shape for years to come.
Whether your instrument is a Deagan, Schiedmayer, Mustel, Yamaha or any other, you will be interested to know about the availability of this felt.
[March 2014] The single needle ring voicers are coming back. This tool was developed by my friend Jack Houwelling and popularized by Don Mannino, Director of Technical Training for Kawai and Shigeru Kawai Pianos and certified Kawai MPA (Master Piano Artisan).
After being out of production for over a year, we have sourced a new manufacturer. The new ring voicers are available in aluminum or solid brass. They will feature more ergonomic shaping and a beautiful, lacquered bead blasted surface allowing for a better grip.
These single needle voicing tools are good for getting into tight spots such as on verticals. As well, they can be used on grands to good effect.