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Piano Tuning & Repair - Removing a Grand Piano Action

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Welcome to this next video by Howard Piano Industries. Today we're going to be

showing you how to remove the keys and the action from a grand piano. The keys

in an action generally, in most grand pianos are all in one piece or all

connected together in one frame inside the action cavity of a piano

and we're going to show you how to remove that for working on it if you

have to do any repair work to the action or clean the inside of the action cavity.

The first thing you want to do is take off the key slip.

The key slip is this board right here, that sits in front of the keys.

The fallboard, and the key slip, and these are called the

cheek blocks here. Now those all come out of pianos differently based on

what brand of piano they are though. The way that this Mason &

Hamlin grand piano is put together, as well as a Steinway,

and some of the other American made pianos is, the key slip just slips right

off, so you can just, and what it is, is it's got slots at the end here that

sit and clip over these screws here, at the end, and that's

how it's held on. So if you've got a Steinway or a Mason & Hamlin piano I think

Baldwin may have that type of a key slip also, those can slip right off.

Some of the key slips, like if you've got an Asian made piano, a lot of the Asian

made pianos will have the key slip, it can't actually come out until the cheek blocks

come out. So going on to Asian pianos, if you've got an Asian piano what will

happen is, this is the fallboard and what this will do is, you can just

lift it right off. It's got pins on the end of the fallboard that just sit in

slots at the end of the fallboard to the fallboard hinges so what you can do is,

you can just angle it down here and then lift up like

that and it'll slide right out. So like in Yamaha, Kawai, Young Chang, Samick,

all of those, some of them will have a little set screw here that you have to loosen

like a lot of the Kawai grands, they'll have a set screw that you'll have to

loosen before you can lift that out, so if you see a little screw head there

right at the end by the hinge

make sure you loosen that almost all the way out before you try to

lift the fallboard out. So in the Asian pianos once you remove the

fallboard, then underneath the cheek block, right underneath here, underneath

the keybed there will be a screw going up into this cheek block. Sometimes

there's a screw head, sometimes it's a little knob that you can just turn

but take that screw out of each end of the cheek block underneath the

keybed and then once you've got that off, after the fallboard is off, then you

can lift those cheek blocks out and then your key slip will come out but

here we've got, because this is a Mason & Hamlin piano, and again this is the same

I believe, for Baldwin and also the Steinway pianos, you take the key slip

off first. Once you've got the key slip off then you're going to want to loosen the

screws for the cheek blocks. We've got usually

pretty good size screws but that's one of the screws for the cheek block.

Set that aside somewhere that you'll be able to find it. So it won't get lost and I'll take the

cheek block out for the other or the screw out for the other cheek block.

The way that these fallboards and cheek blocks are, is the fallboard

is in a slot at the end of the cheek block so you're going to want to lift

the cheek block up and then carefully lift it out making sure you don't drop

those key blocks on the floor because what they are, they're

just on hinges like this and they just sit over these pins here, so

they're not screwed on or anything but they're attached to the cheek blocks in

this and the fallboard are attached by those pins so you can

see there's a pin right there. So again, that's the same as a lot of

the American made grand pianos. so once you've got that out then you can see

we've got the keys, and they'll go quite a ways back and it's on what's called a

key frame, so right here we've got the key frame and underneath it you can see

the punchings, and in the front, the rail pins and so forth. So what you want

to do then, usually it's not screwed to the keybed, I've seen a

couple of brands that the keybed of the keyframe is actually screwed down to

the keybed, but not in most cases. So now, one thing you want to be careful of when

you're pulling the keybed, the keyframe, and the action out is that none of

the hammers are up at all. If you push down on a key it's going to raise

the hammer and if you've got a hammer raised while you

try to pull the key frame out you're going to break the hammer off.

Don't ask me how I know that. Most people learn it from hard

experience and I've done it once or twice, but what you'll do is, from

the sides here, is just kind of work it out you can,

again making sure that none of those hammers are raised up okay, and once

you've pulled it and just pull it and in there you've got the whole keys, keyframe

and action stack. This action stack right here is attached with

these action brackets sometimes there are five, sometimes there are four, but once

you've got that out you can take the action stack off and you've got

access to be able to take the keys off.

Now, when you are to take it out, when you go to put it

back in again, making sure none of your hammers are raised up at all or

anything, you can put that in, and I usually put the right side in a

little bit because usually on this side there's a shifter spring inside the

action cavity, so you've got to get it inside that action shifter spring

and there's going to be some tension but if you push it back in you do the

same thing in putting the fallboard back in. You put those blocks

onto the end of the fallboard or if you've got again, an Asian

type piano you put the keyslip on and then the cheek blocks and then slide

the fallboard back into place. So basically, that's how to totally remove

and replace the action on a grand piano so that you can do work to it.

If you have any questions feel free to visit us on the web which is