Чистка пианино от пыли.

 

В связи с часто возникшими вопросами по необходимости содержания инструмента в чистоте и на основании опыта работы по восстановлению и «реанимации» старых пианино, длительное время выведенных из эксплуатации и хранящихся в недопустимых условиях (гаражи, сараи, чердаки, подвалы, даже балконы, лоджии и т.п.), считаю возможным предпринять попытку дачи рекомендаций владельцам инструментов и начинающим настройщикам.
 
Требование содержания инструмента в чистоте обусловлено двумя составляющими, а именно: гигиена и качество звукоизвлечения.
 
По истечении многих лет у меня сложилась практика предварительной чистки пианино перед его настройкой. Могу её порекомендовать всем начинающим настройщикам, так как опытные специалисты знают её  в совершенстве. Не рекомендую заниматься этим самим клиентам, для них я её привожу только с целью заострения внимания к этому, на первый взгляд кажется простому, но, как оказывается, достаточно объёмному и, самое главное, обязательному и необходимому процессу каждой настройки.
 
Для примера могу привести подробную технологию весьма и весьма «запущенного» инструмента. Рабочий инструмент, как правило, находится в довольно удовлетворительном состоянии, и приведенная ниже технология может быть несколько упрощена. Общеизвестно, что если на пианино постоянно играют, то моль там чувствует себя «неуютно». Однако, нередки случаи, когда инструмент находится последнее время в активной эксплуатации, а состояние его, в смысле пыли и других загрязнений, просто ужасное. Это обусловлено тем, что перед его приобретением, оно хранилось длительное время в неудовлетворительных условиях, а перед вводом в эксплуатацию, профилактические работы проводились некачественно и формально, либо не были выполнены вообще. Косвенным признаком этого может быть невыровненная клавиатура, под клавишами которой моль «сожрала» прокладки.  
 
После демонтажа облицовочных деталей и вскрытия клавиатуры, производится предварительная очистка деталей механизмов с помощью пылесоса. Нужно быть осторожным в районе молоточкового механизма, чтобы не повредить детали.
После этого необходимо внимательно осмотреть все детали, узлы и соединения механизма пианино и удалить, возможно появившиеся в результате небрежного хранения, остатки жизнедеятельности вредных «домашних животных». В основном это последствия активного размножения на текстильных, войлочных и фетровых деталях инструмента моли. Здесь пригодятся различных размеров и конфигураций кисти, сначала с жёстким, а потом и с мягким ворсом. Потом я убеждаю клиента, что, в связи с неудовлетворительным состоянием инструмента, вынужден немного «попылить», переставляю шланг пылесоса «на выброс» и «выдуваю» остатки пыли. Процесс, как правило, сопровождается трагическими восклицаниями клиента, с ужасом наблюдающего на то, как извлечённая «столетняя» пыль оседает на предметах мебели квартиры. К этому надо быть готовым, убеждая хозяйку, что «искусство требует жертв».
 
Классическим и эффективным способом борьбы с молью является масло чайного дерева. Оно расфасовано в ёмкости по 3-5 грамм, устанавливается в цокольной нижней части инструмента, в крышке необходимо проделать небольшое отверстие. Замену нужно производить один раз в полгода. В наших степных условиях очень эффектна обычная белая полынь. Небольшой веничек «спасает» пианино от моли от полугода до года.
 
Но не только моль является вредителем пианино, хотя она наиболее характерна и широко распространена, в практике наблюдал неоднократные случаи, когда под клавиатурой, почему-то в районе 4-5 октавы, обнаруживается классическое мышиное гнездо, иногда с мумифицированными мышиными детёнышами. Чаще всего это происходит на первых этажах многоэтажек, либо при эксплуатации инструмента после его длительного хранения в ненадлежащих условиях. В качестве строительных материалов мыши, чаще всего, используют газеты. По довольно крупным фрагментам одного из таких гнёзд, я определил газету «Правда» с материалами похорон товарища Сталина И.В.  В другом случае это были фрагменты бумажных дореформенных купюр, причём взгляд бабушки при этом выражал некоторые смутные подозрения, а дедушка отводил глаза, с явным сожалением о безвозвратно потерянной «заначке».
 
Анализ показал, что мыши, в качестве входа в своё «благоустроенное» жилище используют окно педали, а всё остальное уже - «дело техники». Старые настройщики, в состоянии персонажей на известной картине «Охотники на привале», рассказывают случаи об успешной эксплуатации пианино в качестве жилья, такими представителями животного мира как домашние хомячки, бурундуки и даже белки. Ничего по этому поводу не могу сказать, белки у нас не живут, им нужен лес, а у нас всё больше степь и даже пустыня.
 
Надеюсь, что убедительно показал, что гигиеническая составляющая необходимости чистки инструмента немаловажна и, более того, обязательна. Приведу только один случай, который убедительно подтверждает это заключение. К нам в город, после известных событий, переехала одна семья из Чечни. Спустя некоторое время девочка заболела тяжелейшей формой аллергии. После неоднократных медицинских обследователей был установлен диагноз и наиболее вероятный аллерген – домашние мыши. Квартира новая, современная, европейского исполнения, третий этаж, мусоропровода нет, мебель вся новая, итальянская. Производя настройку пианино, кстати весьма и весьма неплохой инструмент, под клавиатурой я обнаружил мышиное гнездо. Всё встало на свои места, болезнь девочки возникла сразу после приобретения пианино бывшего в употреблении и неизвестно как хранящегося до этого.  Ежегодно сейчас я настраиваю это пианино, тяжелейшая болезнь девочки, даже на удивление врачам и к большому удовлетворению родителей,  прошла сразу же после настройки.
Вопрос влияния пыли на качество звукоизвлечения тоже немаловажен, безусловно, чистый инструмент звучит «чище» и, на мой слух, несколько громче, в отдельных случаях это отмечают и заказчики.
 
Пользуясь случаем,  не могу не остановиться и на массовых случаях обнаружения в инструменте посторонних предметов, обнаруженных мной при настройке. Различные монеты, иногда старинные и ценные, иголки, всевозможные заколки и шпильки, ножницы, пилки для ногтей, расчёски, баночки из под косметики, коробки спичек и отдельные спички и ещё много и много всякого «барахла», иногда довольно объёмного и необъяснимого по способу попадания внутрь. Часто это обнаруживается в процессе эксплуатации пианино, когда отказывает механика. Не менее часто всё это вскрывается в процессе настройки. Некоторые, наиболее сообразительные и изобретательные дети, занимающиеся музыкой «из-под палки», часто пользуются этим, «подбрасывают» в пианино и отказываются, хотя бы на короткий срок до прихода настройщика, от занятий, делая себе своеобразные каникулы от ненавистного предмета.  
 
Таким образом, на основании вышеизложенного, позволю себе заметить, что «пропылесосить под клавиатурой раз в двадцать лет, это нормально», утверждение не совсем корректное, думаю, что такую процедуру желательно делать всё-таки почаще, хотя всё, естественно, зависит от условий эксплуатации; в элитных концертных аудиториях, с климат-контролем, периодическими влажными уборками и обеспечением требуемых параметров влажности и температуры, данная проблема менее актуальна.

                                           Remove dust from piano

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member
Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 108
Loc: KZ

I always remove dust from piano. I think this procedure necessary for full-fledged work.The Sounds after removing of dust gain the bright colouration. What do you think about it? It is Necessary take the additional payment with client or this procedure must be a firm rule for tuner?
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEE5A7A3D00BE00FA&feature=mh_lolz

_________________________
A=440

 

 

beethoven986

Piano owners should due their due diligence to minimize the need for piano cleaning by keeping their pianos closed. I keep mine closed all the time, unless I'm using it, and over 10 years after its restoration, the piano still looks brand new inside. As a field technician, this is something I'd badger my clients about.

That said, I was taught by my mentor that techs provide "piano service", not "piano tuning"; so, I was frequently on piano cleaning duty with the Spurlock soundboard cleaners, a paintbrush, a really awesome shop-vac, and McLube. This is part of the job.

_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011 (Just graduated!)
Piano Technician in Training

Current projects: Finding a job.

 

Loren D

I use a shop vac and Spurlock soundboard cleaners when necessary. And I charge for it!

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)
Certified Dampp-Chaser™ installer

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 2390
Loc: Madison, WI USA

This subject has come up before and not too long ago. It seems to me that most (but certainly not all) technicians neglect this duty. It is apparently someone else's job or one that can wait time after time until it becomes a big job. When it becomes a big job, there seem to be many that proudly proclaim, "I charge for that".

I have more grand pianos in my clientele than verticals. When I go to service a grand piano, I always bring in the vacuum cleaner and blow out the few wisps of dust and lint that have collected since the last time I was there. It usually takes about 30 seconds, so it is a normal part of my service for which I don't charge anything extra. Naturally, when the service requires removal and replacement of the action for which there would be an additional charge, I also clean the action cavity and the action itself. The cleaning fee is built into that charge and it is still a minimal task.

All of the grand pianos in my regular service clientele are therefore clean appearing at all times. Even the older ones that have built up patina are free of accumulated dust. I also clean inside vertical pianos when it appears necessary. If I need to do anything that involves lifting out the keys, the keybed is vacuumed and that kind of cleaning is built into the price for such services.

Last week, however, I had a new client who had just moved to the area with a grand piano. I brought in my vacuum cleaner as usual. The lady had come out to meet me at my car. As I took my tools, I said that I was bringing in my vacuum cleaner because cleaning grand pianos is a normal part of my service. "Oh good", she said, "Mine really needs it!"

When I got to the piano, I could hardly believe what I saw. There was a thick layer of fine dust that coated everything. The piano needed a thorough tuning with pitch correction and fine tuning. It also needed some hammer alignment and capstan adjustment. If there had been the usual amount of dust I find, I could have removed the action, done the spacing, flange tightening and capstan adjustment and vacuumed and blown away the dust as usual. I may have even had time to file the hammers and clean up the residue.

Sadly, I could do none of those extra services at that time. I told her, "This is a case of a piano that is too dirty to clean". It had been apparently neglected by the technicians who had previously tuned it. I had to make another appointment for nearly a month later when I would have a half day to do what I normally would get done in about 30 minutes extra time. I told her I would certainly be able to make a remarkable difference in the appearance and playability of the piano but when a piano has such deeply embedded dust as this one had, it is impossible to remove all traces of it.

Cleaning it will certainly be a big deal. I will not only clean out the piano but also clean the floor after I clean it out and the exterior too. I'll have to wear goggles and a dust mask. It will cost her twice what I normally charge for a regular piano service after she has already paid for a regular piano service. I told her however, that if she keeps me as the technician thereafter, she will never need to pay for having the piano cleaned again and it will be cleaned each time I tune and otherwise service it.

So, I wonder. Why did this piano get to this point when she says that she has had it tuned regularly the entire time she has owned it? Whose job was it to clean the piano if not the technician's? How dirty did it have to get before it was obvious that it needed cleaning? At what point did it get past the point where anyone would clean it as a normal part of piano service? Why (as the lady told me) did no technician she had ever used before even mention cleaning as part of regular piano service? Why was I the only one who ever did?

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

Loren D
1000 Post Club Member

Nothing wrong with charging for what we do, Bill. If I recommend a service that the customer declines (such as cleaning), I don't do it. Now, do I include extras as part of my service? Sure! Adjust pedals, no problem. A few sticky keys? Gotcha covered. Couple letoff button or damper adjustments? Included.

But if I'm going to lug a shop Vac into the house, bring in the Spurlock tools, pull the action and clean/vacuum (which btw takes 30 minutes start to finish, not 30 seconds), then yes, an additional fee is both fair and reasonable.

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)

 

RPD
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan

Originally Posted By: Loren D



But if I'm going to lug a shop Vac into the house, bring in the Spurlock tools, pull the action and clean/vacuum (which btw takes 30 minutes start to finish, not 30 seconds), then yes, an additional fee is both fair and reasonable.



We charge for deep cleaning on a grand (double tuning fee usually, and I'm making a seperate appointment for that normally), but minor surface vac is part of the service but I always ask the clinet to provide a hose vac if they have it...saves me dragging my vac unit into the home...but interestingly, sometimes producing a cleaned piano is THE thing that keeps clients happy...

FWIW

RPD

EDIT: PS, I typically hope to do the deep cleaning service along with an action pull/lube clean...which means if the piano needs alot of attention, I'll work cleaning into the mix...for instance, if we're installing a full Dampp Chaser system, I'm either comping the work or if its really bad, we'll do it for a minor charge at the same time we're installing equipment for himidity.



Edited by RPD (09/17/11 12:21 PM)

_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)

 

BDB
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Loc: Oakland

I clean under the strings using a rag with a string tied to it. I push it under the strings using a strip of plastic, actually, key front material. It will clean anything, and I can take the rag outside and shake it out, rather than blowing it around with a vacuum.

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Semipro Tech

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
Loc: Madison, WI USA

Just so everybody understands, cleaning for me is not always complimentary. I tuned a Steinway B this morning and even though I had cleaned it last time I tuned it which was some time last year, it was dirty enough and key pin holes were a bit tight, so I pulled the action, cleaned the action and cavity completely, blew out the dust and wiped all surfaces as well. Yes, I charged extra for it.

The vacuum I use fits right on my shoulder along with my tool bag. Even if I have to park my car a fair distance away, I can comfortably walk with both the tool bag and vacuum from parking ramps or on another street, etc.

If all one does is wipe the soundboard, all of the dust that can't be reached is still there and accumulates over time. If the piano has a string cover, it does cut down on accumulated dust but if the piano is never cleaned because of the string cover excuse, a big surprise will come when it is eventually done.

Generally, I do not "blow dust around" or raise "huge clouds of dust" as some have claimed as a reason not to clean. The pianos I service don't have enough dust in them to ever create such a problem. When the exception comes along such as with the piano last week, I prepare the customer for what the cleaning project will involve and I rarely have any resistance to that, only a "Oh, that's all right. I want the piano cleaned. Do what you have to" or something along those lines.

Of course, if the technician balks at keeping the piano clean and says something like, "Oh well, I'd have to lug in this big shop vac and blow dust all around the room and charge a triple fee for it, so you wouldn't want that, would you?", then I can see how most people would say no. I just do it for the most part and my customers are appreciative of it.

Actually, I would say that more of my customers, upon completion of the tuning then ask, "What about that dust?" and I say, "I was just about to clean it. I have my vacuum right here to do that" than I ever have someone decline to have the piano tuned. I wonder why it seems to be different for me than nearly any other technician?

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

 

JohnSprung
Loc: Reseda, California

I clean my own piano. Why pay an expert to do menial work? My tuner/technician likes it.

_________________________


-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

 

 

Jonathan Alford
Loc: Colorado

We clean ours also.

Just had a tech our this week (his first time looking at our piano) and he said it was the cleanest piano he has ever worked on!

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Loren D

Spurlock tools,


What is "Spurlock tools" ?

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A=440

 

 

 

BDB
Loc: Oakland

Spurlock Tools website.

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Semipro Tech

 

 

 

accordeur
Loc: Québec, Canada

http://www.spurlocktools.com/id32.htm

_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musicien, accordeur et technician

 

Dave B
Loc: Philadelphia area

A few of my customers have made their own string covers and they work great. Customers usually ask me how to clean the piano. So I just show them. When I file the hammers, I will vacuum the inside.

 

 

 

Maximillyan
Loc: KZ

Thanks accordeur for explanation, I am understood.I usually lay cotton rag under grand piano's strings and move rag wooden walking stick it from sides aside

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A=440

 

accordeur

Loc: Québec, Canada

BDB made me realize, so thank him also.

I sent you the link because I believed you would not be able to navigate the site.

I use many of Mr. Spurlock's jigs.

They work really well, from hammer tapering jig to the damper mitre box, key bushing system, key clamps, etc...

I don't know what would be the cost for you to get a few of these and a good supply of protek and whatever other supplies you need.

Let me know.

All the best.

_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musicien, accordeur et technician



JeanieA
Loc: Reno, Nevada

I would LOVE to get at the dust on my soundboard but I'm really afraid of breaking something.

I'll be honest; poking something between or under all those strings under all that tension . . . brrrrrr! Scary stuff to me. Am I being unreasonably apprehensive? If I proceed very carefully, and with the correct tools, is there really anything to be overly concerned about? I would probably clean just before my next tuning, which will be soon, but is there a strong chance of knocking the piano out of tune while dusting the soundboard?

We live in a very dusty part of the country, so just keeping the lid closed won't do it for me, although it helps. My china cabinet gets dusty inside, and that's got a tight-fitting door that's rarely opened, the piano isn't sealed half as well as that. I'd really like the piano's insides dusted, and waiting for the twice-a-year tech visit is too far between cleanings for my taste.

_________________________
Collector of sheet music I can't play.

 

 

 

Loren D
Loc: PA

I've told customers to get those little cans of compressed air used for blowing out computer keyboards, etc. Using short bursts, blow the dust to the bass string side of the piano, where there is no plate. Then they can vacuum it.

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)
Certified Dampp-Chaser™ installer

 

 

 

Johnkie
Loc: England

Yep ... this gets my vote - and for all the places you can get at, just use a hoover with the nozzle attachment to suck up the dust whilst brushing with a good quality 2 inch paint brush.

_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 45 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)

wayne walker
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada

Swiffer duster work good too, you can push them under the strings with a hammer shank. They pick up a lot of dust

_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service

 

Bob
Loc: Orlando FL

When a customer tunes their piano regularly, A quick blow out of dust (or dust vac on uprights) with my metro vac leaves little dust in the room - like Bill, that's part of my service, and I don't charge for 30 seconds of work. I'd rather not have dust clouds coming off the hammers and in my face on a test blow. Major dust is always an extra charge ie if it won't blow out or vac out, it's major. I'm amazed at the number of customers and tuners that don't do something to clean the piano. If you can't blow or vac it....at least wipe it down, or take a paint brush and brush the dust away. I'm always cleaning pianos at the University. I feel a clean piano stays cleaner. A dirty piano attracts more dirt.

_________________________
Registered Piano Technician serving Orlando Florida and surrounding cities
1927 Steinway M, rebuilt in 2005

 

Dave B
Loc: Philadelphia area

I have used an air compressor at 40 lbs to blow out customers pianos. I cover the strings and plate with a movers blanket and, starting from the upper treble, roll it back as I blow out the sound board. Then vacuum the dust pile along the bass side. Take the action outside to blow it out.

 

Maximillyan
Cleaning piano this not only procedure hygenic. It made for change the general aesthetics (the person - a piano - a purity)! It is physic for piano, deleting dusty sectors from piano we change sounds. The Piano finds initial, conceived by constructor coloring sound. Than senior piano, that deeper submersion in timeses its initial timbre.

_________________________
A=440

 

 

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
Loc: Madison, WI USA

I'm not sure that cleaning out minimal dust changes the sound in any way but if Maximillyan says that cleaning out large amounts of collected dust does, I believe it. I will get a chance to prove that next month.

I knew that Bob would agree with me. He seems to be the only other technician on here who always cleans as a part of normal service. A regularly cleaned piano stays clean and if it is new looking, stays new looking for decades. A new piano not cleaned for a decade will never be clean because imbedded dust in inaccessible places cannot be completely removed unless the piano is rebuilt and that is not going to happen.

I take the two piano owner's claim that they clean their own piano with a grain of salt. Most owners will not do that. In hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and schools where inspectors certify that the premises are clean, the piano is always the dirtiest object in the place. In the finest homes where professional house keepers take care of everything else, they won't touch the inside of a piano.

It is really the technician's job and no one else's to clean the piano because it is a technical cleaning. The owner may make the piano look clean but will probably leave dust in inaccessible areas. the same goes for merely wiping the soundboard whether with cloths or Spurlock's squeegees. I don't have those. I don't need them. They would clean a soundboard about as well as a squeegee would clean your automobile's wind shield. They would leave streaks that you have to wipe away after using the squeegees.

The pianos I regularly care for don't need the soundboard wiped in that way. The dirty pianos I have to clean get the dust blown into the bass corner first, as Dave described. The dust bunnies are then vacuumed up, thus minimizing what comes out into the room and on the floor.

I can recall many an instance where I was called to solve a problem with the action of a piano where I could not do anything until I cleaned up the long accumulated mess first.

At a hotel, I had to solve a "sticking key" problem where the damper underlever weights were coming out sideways. I had to get the hotel cleaning staff to help clean up what came out of that piano before I could address the problem. Of course, that was not the only problem. I got a call from the general manager of the hotel after the first few bills asking me why there were suddenly all these big bills when he had paid for "piano tuning" twice a year for several years and none of the bills were anywhere near what I had charged.

My reply was that he had essentially paid for substandard service and all previous bills had not been worth paying. I added that he should call the dealer who sold the piano and tell them what I had told him. Naturally, I was accused of "lying" and "exaggerations" but when that dealer spoke to me, I simply to him what the fact were. I got the piano service account and to this day, 15 years later, that piano gets tuned, cleaned and otherwise serviced once a month. That dealer is now out of business.

The technical college where I have to tune a Mason & Hamlin BB later today was much the same story. They used to have the "best" technician (as far as they knew). But when the piano didn't play properly any more and the Music Director was told "It needs a lot of work and I don't have time for that", I was called. I had to call the janitor of the building to sweep up dust pans full of dirt and debris before I could do anything else. Now, 20 years later, I have the account for all 20 pianos in their inventory and have had them ever since.

I heard a few months ago that the "best" technician had visited the dealer with whom I have contracted for over 20 years looking for work. He was told by the RPT owner that only RPT's did any of his work. The "best" technician complained that "PTG had been encroaching on his territory to the point where he could barely make a living". He was told that he was the only person who could do anything about that.

Between the now out of business dealer from whom he used to do much of the work and the many school and performance venues that he has lost, not due to anything PTG had done but due to his own inadequate service, he now would have plenty of time to actually start taking proper care of the pianos he has left in his clientele. That should start with cleaning them out. That would take much of the time he has on his hands.

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

Loren D
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 1353
Loc: PA

Bill, I'm with you on the cleaning part. Where you lose me is in the "for free" part. From the sounds of it, its not really "free," as the cost of it is probably figured into your fee. I don't do that. When tuning is all that's needed, they pay for a tuning. When it's necessary to get the shop Vac and cleaning tools out, I do that and charge an additional reasonable fee for the extra work. My way, the customer is only paying for what they need when they need it.

As for PTG, MPT, et al.....being in a trade org does not necessarily make one an honest and professional expert. Conversely, not being in an org doesn't necessarily make one a slouch. There are idiots and experts both in and out of the trade orgs.

I'm sure you've dealt with a few.

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)
Certified Dampp-Chaser™ installer

 

 

 

UnrightTooner
Loc: Bradford County, PA

I once asked a customer if I could use thier vacuum to do some cleaning under the keys. They didn't have one. It was a very awkward moment...

_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner

 

Jerry Groot RPT

Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

Usually the customers vacuums are attachments to their regular vacuum that they run over the carpeting. Takes them 5 minutes (or more) to get all of the crap out, the attachments etc., and then, it doesn't suck worth a crap which takes even longer yet because you can't just zip through it, let alone blow anything with it. I have a Dewalt. Blows and sucks like mad. But, I don't usually do it for free.

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan


We love to play BF2.

 

daniokeeper
Loc: PA

There is another aspect to this...

Just like with even the simplest medical procedure, there is always risk. When cleaning a piano, especially deep cleaning, there is always the very small, but still possible risk of damage. A scratch, snagging a loose piece of veneer, etc., is possible. it just takes a lapse of a second... the phone rings, the dog sneaks up behind you and barks...

Cleaning can also reveal a pre-existing defect such as damaged soundboard decal, for which the technician is blamed. "It was fine until you tried to clean it!"

I'm not saying not to clean, of course. But, there is always the possibility of complications.

Edit: My point is that it's not necessarily the client that assumes the risk in all cases; the technician may also assume some risk as well if there is a problem (or a perceived problem) after performing any procedure.



Edited by daniokeeper (09/19/11 12:51 PM)

_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair

 

 

Jerry Groot RPT
5000 Post Club Member Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

Very good points Joe!

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
We love to play BF2.

 

Silverwood Pianos

Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

 

Originally Posted By: Loren D


As for PTG, MPT, et al.....being in a trade org does not necessarily make one an honest and professional expert. Conversely, not being in an org doesn't necessarily make one a slouch. There are idiots and experts both in and out of the trade orgs.

I'm sure you've dealt with a few.





Hey Loren,

As you have not been around here for very long; so instead of running around in the background like others do here fixing threads and what not, I thought it best to address this with you out in the open.

It seems that most tech here have abandoned the issue of member versus non-member of any organization.

With the exception of certain members who seem unable to cannot avoid the temptation of intentionally posting inflammatory and provocative comments even when previously asked by the owner to cease and desist from doing so.

It is the reason there is the sticky posting about “behavior in the tech forum” up top. It is the continual and deliberate “poking in the eye” such as the comments you have addressed that resulted in the sticky….

So when comments come up like the one you have addressed we just let them go, because whether or not one belongs to a professional organization, is not important to any of the professionals here with the exception of one or two, who simply cannot abide by the rules stated in that sticky...

What eventually happens is the objectionable members are dealt with by the mods or the owner of this forum as they have previously.

So let’s ignore these types of provocative statements here in the future; comments of this type add nothing of value to the topics or conversations, and simply have the potential to destroy the thread.

_________________________
Dan Silverwood

 

 

 

Loren D
Loc: PA

Not sure what good that accomplishes Dan, but ok

 

Silverwood Pianos
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

My mistake Loren,

I neglected to quote your statement in the previous posting; I went back and fixed it now.

It is merely a suggestion so as not to start this inflammatory subject up all over again...

All of the independent techs just ignore the side swipes from this poster nowadays that is all. The continual poking at this issue by some does not reflect upon us as independents.

 

meadpiano
Loc: East TN

Oh it agrivates me to no end when I come to a piano that has been recently worked on by another tech but major things were not addressed! The most common around here is the no dusting. A customer I have was told their piano could not be cleaned except by blowing it out into the room with an air compressor! When I said I could clean the piano and not make a mess they were shocked! I try to mention that I can clean a piano if it really needs it. I think I will have to start shopping for a small vac to carry and give my regulars a nice keep-it-clean vacuuming. I think it comes down to that techs get too many clients booked in a day and can't or will not take the time to even tell the owner about the problem. I have even found missing strings that I know were left by a previous (recent) tech that were not mentioned to the owner. But I have gotten numerous regular clients from this because I try to offer a full service. I do not try to oversell by any means but if there is something I can do for a small fee that I know might make them more satisfied I do it! Also like other techs a sqeaky pedal or small adjustment is free and sometimes not even mentioned.

_________________________
Daniel Bussell
Mead Piano Works
East Tennessee

 

 

 

Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

but if Maximillyan says that cleaning out large amounts of collected dust does, I believe it. I will get a chance to prove that next month.


We shall wait results of Your testing problem " Influence process removing of dust on particularities of the piano's timbre " anxiously

_________________________
A=440

 

 

 

Bill Bremmer RPT

Loc: Madison, WI USA

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

but if Maximillyan says that cleaning out large amounts of collected dust does, I believe it. I will get a chance to prove that next month.


We shall wait results of Your testing problem " Influence process removing of dust on particularities of the piano's timbre " anxiously



I will be delighted to do that. Unfortunately, that client must wait until I have the time in my schedule. I have to also align the action which will make a big difference in the tone, so it will be difficult to determine which effect is which.

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 2390
Loc: Madison, WI USA

Originally Posted By: meadpiano

I think I will have to start shopping for a small vac to carry and give my regulars a nice keep-it-clean vacuuming.



Here is what I use. I don't usually use anything but the crevice tool and the brush which fit right on the machine's holder. (not seen in the photo). A convenient strap lets me carry it on my shoulder to any job. If I need to clean the floor afterwards, I use the other cleaning heads and the extensions which I keep in the trunk of my car.

The dust bag is easily removed for blowing with the full force the vacuum has to offer and avoids "filtering" the air through all of the dust in the bag. The hose tucks nicely under the wrapped up cord for carrying. It only weighs five pounds but has plenty of power and does not make much noise.

I used it three times today, including at the technical college where I had to park in a parking ramp and walk a block to the site and then down and back up stairs. Since the piano is cleaned each time I tune it, it appeared clean already and I saw nothing even blow out of it when I took the extra minute to plug in the vacuum. That was certainly not the case the first time I serviced that piano.
_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

Maximillyan
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

but if Maximillyan says that cleaning out large amounts of collected dust does, I believe it. I will get a chance to prove that next month.


We shall wait results of Your testing problem " Influence process removing of dust on particularities of the piano's timbre " anxiously

I have to also align the action which will make a big difference in the tone, so it will be difficult to determine which effect is which.


Do two video - before and after. Necessary to perform the Mozarta's play. And you will feel difference

_________________________
A=440

 

 

Maximillyan
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

In hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and schools where inspectors certify that the premises are clean, the piano is always the dirtiest object in the place. In the finest homes where professional house keepers take care of everything else, they won't touch the inside of a piano.


You raised a very important issue. The client often does not know what and who lives in a piano. The technicians must explain to ordinary people (the laity) to perform any preventive sanitary works. Otherwise, they (people) are at risk of various diseases. I think the problem should make for a broad public discussion. Doctors and piano's technique in conjunction shall develop the basic methods and tools for security various diseases from the operation of a piano. Must make a mandatory requirement sanitizing piano and set rates for technicians. This service should be regarded as a necessary operation to customers.
I am cite an instance from my practical act. This happened more than five years agoes. In our town, after the events, one family moved from Chechnya. After some time the girl became ill with severe allergies. After numerous medical interviewers her was diagnosed and the most probable allergens - house mouse. Apartment is new, modern, European, third floor, there is no garbage disposal, all new Italian furniture . When piano tuning, by the way is very good tool, under the keyboard, I found a mouse nest. Her mother was shocked . She many times made to sanitary things whole home. But doctors said that the girl suffers from the presence of rodents in their house. Examiners, representatives of the Medical Service said that we have poisoned everything that is possible in this house and they said - no mice in the house. All fell into place, the disease girls occurred immediately after the acquisition of second-hand piano. Each year now I tune the piano, the worst disease girls, even on surprise to doctors and to the great satisfaction of the parents, was held immediately after my visit.

_________________________
A=440

 



JohnSprung
Loc: Reseda, California

Since I clean my own piano, I have the luxury of scheduling it as the first step in a major house cleaning. So, I can just blow it out with the air compressor at 100 - 120 PSI. Then close it up and vacuum the whole house after the dust settles.
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
Loc: Madison, WI USA

Originally Posted By: Loren D

Bill, I'm with you on the cleaning part. Where you lose me is in the "for free" part. From the sounds of it, its not really "free," as the cost of it is probably figured into your fee. I don't do that. When tuning is all that's needed, they pay for a tuning. When it's necessary to get the shop Vac and cleaning tools out, I do that and charge an additional reasonable fee for the extra work. My way, the customer is only paying for what they need when they need it.



My way only takes about 1 minute from start to finish. No, that is not built into the fee. I do it for my own sake as well as the customer's. That way, my way, the piano always looks clean because it is. When cleaning becomes necessary, it has already been neglected for too long. When it takes longer than what I usually do for free, I start adding to the bill. In the 35 years since I have offered cleaning as a regular part of my services, there has never been any kind of damage that resulted from cleaning nor has there been the perception of damage caused by cleaning.

Neglect of cleaning which I consider to be necessary at each grand piano service has analogous consequences to many other services if they are neglected. If a piano's regulation is allowed to get to the point where it is unplayable, regulation maintenance has been neglected. If an action's flanges are allowed to get so loose that they don't hold alignment, it damages and excessively wears the hammers. There can be many other examples.

My point is that if cleaning is neglected to the extent that it is all too obvious that the piano needs it, no amount of effort put into cleaning will ever get rid of every trace of dust, dirt and patina that have accumulated. The piano is damaged due to neglect. If we want to speculate about would could possibly happen because a technician finds an excuse not to clean, then a technician can be sued because the piano has been damaged. It can never have the same value as one which had been properly maintained.

Last summer, I was involved in just such a scenario. A professional cleaning firm was being threatened with a lawsuit because they could not remove all the imbedded dust and patina from a piano. I wrote in my assessment that the piano had never been properly maintained, so the damage was not due to any inadequate service by the cleaning firm but by neglect from those who had serviced the piano in the past. the owners dropped the lawsuit. The cleaning firm paid for my time to inspect the piano and write a formal report.

Originally Posted By: Loren D


As for PTG, MPT, et al.....being in a trade org does not necessarily make one an honest and professional expert. Conversely, not being in an org doesn't necessarily make one a slouch. There are idiots and experts both in and out of the trade orgs.

I'm sure you've dealt with a few.



Sure, I have dealt with and known more than a few on both sides of the issue that you raised but I did not. What I said about the individual who apparently never cleans any pianos, neglects other services and is now looking for work were simply the facts. The only dealers left around here and virtually all institutions and public performance venues only hire RPT's. That may not be the case elsewhere but it is here and has long been the case.

Those facts were not intended to be a reflection upon you or anyone else. Yes, I could have chosen to leave out a portion of what really happened and why but that would mean I would have to leave out an important dimension of the story.

Here is what the owner of Piano Wold Forums wrote:

Quote:

STOP Soliciting! We have rules against advertising, the same applies to trying to recruit. While I have respect for the PTG, this is not a recruiting outlet for them or any other organization.

I'm not saying you can't talk about the organization(s) you belong to, just don't beat people over the head with it.

There are plenty of good techs who do not belong to any organization. If they want to join one, great, if the don't, leave them alone.



I did not solicit anyone. I did not advertise. I did not "beat anyone over the head". I did not try to recruit anyone. I did not say, nor imply that any technician who is not a PTG member is not a good technician. I only said what was factual in this case.

I take this portion of what Frank says to be just as important as the rest:

Quote:

I'm not saying you can't talk about the organization(s) you belong to...



What becomes inflammatory and libelous is to write a long and off topic post that accuses me of what I have not done.

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

I can just blow it out with the air compressor at 100 - 120 PSI.


It is splendid. I recommend to take care of its own comfort when work with compressor ( gas mask or medical mask)

_________________________
A=440

 

 

 

Loren D

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Originally Posted By: Loren D

Bill, I'm with you on the cleaning part. Where you lose me is in the "for free" part. From the sounds of it, its not really "free," as the cost of it is probably figured into your fee. I don't do that. When tuning is all that's needed, they pay for a tuning. When it's necessary to get the shop Vac and cleaning tools out, I do that and charge an additional reasonable fee for the extra work. My way, the customer is only paying for what they need when they need it.



My way only takes about 1 minute from start to finish. No, that is not built into the fee. I do it for my own sake as well as the customer's. That way, my way, the piano always looks clean because it is. When cleaning becomes necessary, it has already been neglected for too long. When it takes longer than what I usually do for free, I start adding to the bill. In the 35 years since I have offered cleaning as a regular part of my services, there has never been any kind of damage that resulted from cleaning nor has there been the perception of damage caused by cleaning.

Neglect of cleaning which I consider to be necessary at each grand piano service has analogous consequences to many other services if they are neglected. If a piano's regulation is allowed to get to the point where it is unplayable, regulation maintenance has been neglected. If an action's flanges are allowed to get so loose that they don't hold alignment, it damages and excessively wears the hammers. There can be many other examples.

My point is that if cleaning is neglected to the extent that it is all too obvious that the piano needs it, no amount of effort put into cleaning will ever get rid of every trace of dust, dirt and patina that have accumulated. The piano is damaged due to neglect. If we want to speculate about would could possibly happen because a technician finds an excuse not to clean, then a technician can be sued because the piano has been damaged. It can never have the same value as one which had been properly maintained.

Last summer, I was involved in just such a scenario. A professional cleaning firm was being threatened with a lawsuit because they could not remove all the imbedded dust and patina from a piano. I wrote in my assessment that the piano had never been properly maintained, so the damage was not due to any inadequate service by the cleaning firm but by neglect from those who had serviced the piano in the past. the owners dropped the lawsuit. The cleaning firm paid for my time to inspect the piano and write a formal report.

Originally Posted By: Loren D


As for PTG, MPT, et al.....being in a trade org does not necessarily make one an honest and professional expert. Conversely, not being in an org doesn't necessarily make one a slouch. There are idiots and experts both in and out of the trade orgs.

I'm sure you've dealt with a few.



Sure, I have dealt with and known more than a few on both sides of the issue that you raised but I did not. What I said about the individual who apparently never cleans any pianos, neglects other services and is now looking for work were simply the facts. The only dealers left around here and virtually all institutions and public performance venues only hire RPT's. That may not be the case elsewhere but it is here and has long been the case.

Those facts were not intended to be a reflection upon you or anyone else. Yes, I could have chosen to leave out a portion of what really happened and why but that would mean I would have to leave out an important dimension of the story.

Here is what the owner of Piano Wold Forums wrote:

Quote:

STOP Soliciting! We have rules against advertising, the same applies to trying to recruit. While I have respect for the PTG, this is not a recruiting outlet for them or any other organization.

I'm not saying you can't talk about the organization(s) you belong to, just don't beat people over the head with it.

There are plenty of good techs who do not belong to any organization. If they want to join one, great, if the don't, leave them alone.



I did not solicit anyone. I did not advertise. I did not "beat anyone over the head". I did not try to recruit anyone. I did not say, nor imply that any technician who is not a PTG member is not a good technician. I only said what was factual in this case.

I take this portion of what Frank says to be just as important as the rest:

Quote:

I'm not saying you can't talk about the organization(s) you belong to...



What becomes inflammatory and libelous is to write a long and off topic post that accuses me of what I have not done.



Bill, for the record, and just to clarify, *I* wrote no such thing. I responded to what you said, and felt it was a healthy exchange with no coercion, etc. I'm sure civil discussion about piano trade orgs that's carried out respectfully is acceptable in a piano technicians forum.

Now as to your vac...that's indeed a nice one! Much smaller and more manageable than the current shop vac I have. It's a small shop vac, but still bulky and not shoulder-carried, like that one. I may have to spring for one of those.

As for the dusting

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)
Certified Dampp-Chaser™ installer

 

 

Loren D

Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

My mistake Loren,

I neglected to quote your statement in the previous posting; I went back and fixed it now.

It is merely a suggestion so as not to start this inflammatory subject up all over again...

All of the independent techs just ignore the side swipes from this poster nowadays that is all. The continual poking at this issue by some does not reflect upon us as independents.



I appreciate the guidance, Dan. It sounds like there are some issues here that pre-date me, but I don't see the harm in debating as long as it's respectful and of course keeps in line with PW's guidelines of no soliciting, coercing, etc. I didn't take Bill's comments that way, and certainly don't think he too mine that way. After all, I was merely saying that good techs are good techs and bad ones are bad ones, regardless of the letters (or lack of) after their name.

_________________________
Loren DiGiorgi, piano technician, pianist, performer & composer
MPT (Master Piano Technicians of America)
Certified Dampp-Chaser™ installer

 

Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: beethoven986

over 10 years after its restoration, the piano still looks brand new inside. As a field technician, this is something I'd badger my clients about.


In 2009, I made tuning the piano "Red October" made in 1948, ( former factory "Becker"). This piano from 1958 to 2009, no one tuning. I found that the white keys are not completely worked. Keys did not want down, something kept making the necessary downward spiral. The reason that the dust was collect for half a century in 10 millimeter. This substance like a felt lining. This case is of course an exception. But it explains a lot. So ignoring the process of removing dust, it is gradually collect in mass. Over the years, when the humidity, the dust turns to mud first. Mud dries again. The result is a " new unnecessary material" (body). This mass can be danger for some parts of piano (keys, hammerbank, strings etc ).

_________________________
A=440

 

 

Bill Bremmer RPT

Quote:

Examiners, representatives of the Medical Service said that we have poisoned everything that is possible in this house and they said - no mice in the house. All fell into place, the [girl's illness] occurred immediately after the acquisition of [a]second-hand piano.



Many times during my career I have serviced a newly acquired second hand piano that had at the very least, mouse droppings inside of it, at the worst, a mouse nest and sometimes dead mice. Once, I was called to service a vertical piano that had a number of playability issues with it. It had been sold by the same dealer as I mentioned here in another post.

Of course, the dealer immediately took issue with me as he has on virtually every occasion until he went out of business. "That piano has a long record of service which I can prove", the dealer said to me on the phone. "It was tuned just prior to delivery by our technician. I have the signature and date right here in my hands."

"Were there any other services noted besides tuning that were ever performed?", I asked. "Well no, not specifically", the dealer replied but our technician usually takes care of whatever is necessary. "So, there was no mention of a mouse's nest under the keyboard?", I asked. "What???!!!", the dealer exclaimed.

I calmly told the dealer that the problems the piano had with "sticking keys and poor repetition" were dues to a mouse's nest under the keys. "You imported a mouse's nest to these people's home and I believe you are responsible for that", I said. Then the dealer immediately authorized the work needed to clean up that mess and apologized for it.

On another occasion that I vividly recall, a new customer challenged my assertion that the used piano they had acquired from another dealer needed extensive work. "I've heard that you piano tuners are all alike", he said. "You try to run up the bill with unnecessary work that won't make any difference to most people. The dealer warned us about that. He said that he had a man go over it before delivery.

"Well", I said, "Then you need to call the dealer and have him send someone out to clean up all the dust, debris and mouse droppings that are under the keys. The dealer's tuner sure went over it, alright but did not get into it." That dealer is also now long out of business.

One can only imagine the lawsuit against a dealer that sells a piano to a family that has a mouse's nest in it and then someone in the family becomes ill or worse, a death occurs that is traced to exposure to the Hanta virus. Here is a quote from a website on that subject:

Quote:


Hantavirus

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome; Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

Last reviewed: March 11, 2011.


Hantavirus is a life-threatning disease spread to humans by rodents that has symptoms similar to influenza.


Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hantavirus is carried by rodents, especially deer mice. The virus is found in their urine and feces, but it does not make the animal sick.

It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with such dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time.



Here is a link to the full article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002358/

The PTG Journal had a series on that subject last year written by Chuck Behm who often participates on this forum. What is shown in the article is rather shocking. So, let's be careful about the determination of what is necessary and when it is so.

meadpiano
Loc: East TN

Thanks Bill, that is a nice vac! I will agree Bill and Loren, there are all kinds of techs and it often doesn't matter what qualification they have. I know cruddy techs who are RPT's but I know most are not that way. I learned from an RPT and I have a great respect for the label but I pay more attention to the individual's behavior not their qualification.

"On another occasion that I vividly recall, a new customer challenged my assertion that the used piano they had acquired from another dealer needed extensive work. "I've heard that you piano tuners are all alike", he said. "You try to run up the bill with unnecessary work that won't make any difference to most people. The dealer warned us about that. He said that he had a man go over it before delivery."

Isn't this the same problem mechanics have? You know also to never send a woman to the mechanic or he will overcharge for sure! haha As I get older this kind of mentality seems a little crazy and defensive. Most people can understand the extra charge if it is explained but then some will not listen no matter what anyway. I guess it take all kinds to make the world go 'round!

I perform most work on my family's cars but I do not mess with changing tires off the rims!(who does!) Had enough of that when my dad made me help him change a tire on a rim by hand once as a teenager. So I take the car in and have that taken care of. I think they must be reading my mind but they never offer to even check anything else. I would say no even if it needed it because I will do it myself. But generally pianos are not something Joe-do-it-yourselfer can handle. So explaining any problems is always best even if it's not taken care of then. At least it's not a suprise to the owner when you or another tech show up to the problem later. When I see a missing string on a piano and mention it to the owner I am happy to hear things like 'oh yeah I remember that now the tech who was here last said they' fill-in the blank problem or excuse. At least I feel like the previous tech might have been honest.

Oh and Max, I have had the same problem with extreme dust in the keybed. It was like a bushing thick white substance at the center rail and a thick carpet of gray dust at the front rail. Amazing and disgusting for sure.

_________________________
Daniel Bussell
Mead Piano Works
East Tennessee

 

Maximillyan
Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

[quote]Examiners, representatives of the Medical Service said that we have poisoned everything that is possible in this house and they said - no mice in the house. All fell into place, the [girl's illness] occurred immediately after the acquisition of [a]second-hand piano.



It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings. You may come in contact with such dust when cleaning homes, sheds, or other enclosed areas that have been empty for a long time.
[/quote
Bill Bremmer you have noted else one massive problem. That rodents in piano, their nests and infect present the mortal threat not only people.But also for technician servicing piano. Wake vigilant! Take the shower after removing of dust!

 

JohnSprung
Loc: Reseda, California

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

It is believed that humans can get sick with this virus if they come in contact with contaminated dust from mice nests or droppings.



Not just believed. It's absolutely true. It happened from dust raised by the Northridge earthquake in 1994
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

 

 

 

ChopinAddict
Loc: Land of the never-ending music

I always keep my piano closed (unless I am having a short break, like now for example). And even when it is open because I am having a break, I put a cloth on the keys.

By the way, are there any particular brushes for cleaning between the keys?

"Our life dreams the Utopia.
Our death achieves the Ideal." VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

 

 

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

I always keep my piano closed (unless I am having a short break, like now for example). And even when it is open because I am having a break, I put a cloth on the keys.

By the way, are there any particular brushes for cleaning between the keys?



Closing the piano and even string covers (and key covers) won't prevent dust accumulation, only slow it down a bit. The only way to really clean under the keys is to take them off the key frame and brush and vacuum the frame.

I say that mostly about key frames that have long been neglected. A vacuum cleaner brush, paint brush or nearly any kind of brush will loosen dust that is stuck around front and balance rail felts so that it can be vacuumed or blown away (such as with the frame taken outside).

There is no brush that will go between the keys and do that. I saw while looking at your profile that you have a nice looking vertical. Verticals are far slower to accumulate dust inside because they are closed but they still do and need to be cleaned every few years. Closing the fallboard when the piano is not in use will slow down dust beneath the keys. The key frame does not come out like in a grand but the keys are far easier to remove for cleaning.

If the key slip (the piece in front of the keys) can be removed without tools (many are screwed in but some just slip on and off), you can remove it and vacuum with a crevice tool. That will take out most, if not all of any light accumulation. You can also blow out the dust between the keys with an air can such as you would use to clean a computer keyboard.

I have a few vertical piano customers who are just as fastidious about keeping the insides of their pianos clean as grand customers are. They want me to vacuum and wipe all surfaces with a Swiffer cloth each time I tune. I don't mind doing that for no extra charge because there is always very little to do. If you want your technician to do that, all you have to do is ask.

_________________________
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

 

 

 

 

ChopinAddict
Loc: Land of the never-ending music

Thanks for the reply.
My piano tuner is supposed to come in January of next year (and then every year in January), so I will ask her about that.
I don't think the key slip can be removed without tools.
If it only takes a few minutes, I hope she won't mind doing the job herself. She seems to be nice. I am also a little bit fastidious about keeping the inside clean...
"Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal." VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

 

jayr
Loc: Middle Tennessee

I'm with Bill Bremmer on this one. I only charge if I have to remove the action. I do mostly verticals and when I have to remove an action I usually remove the keys and clean under them also, especially if it is a drop action. I totally believe in good customer service.


Jay's Piano Tuning Service

 

 

 

jayr

Amen Mead Piano. I so have the same problem and then I have trouble matching the string. Although I am usually able to do it. I will never leave a piano with a broken string or missing string.

I carry a supply of strings with me and have never have had to leave a piano for more than a week with a missing string.

Jay's Piano Tuning Service

 

 

 

Maximillyan
Originally Posted By: Bob

If you can't blow or vac it....at least wipe it down, or take a paint brush and brush the dust away. A dirty piano attracts more dirt.


Yesterday I was able to do an experiment. I removed the dust from all hammers the piano. I took old newspapers and put it under gammerbank. The total mass of dust was 6 grams. This is negligible. Remove dust is need. What techniks of piano think about this ? Here a link to this operation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q7gJ1AwbGk

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A=440

 

 

 

 

Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

but if Maximillyan says that cleaning out large amounts of collected dust does, I believe it. I will get a chance to prove that next month.


We shall wait results of Your testing problem " Influence process removing of dust on particularities of the piano's timbre " anxiously


I have to also align the action which will make a big difference in the tone, so it will be difficult to determine which effect is which.



I removed the dust from the piano, "Alexander Hermman" № 1973 year. At first part Tanya plays "Fantasy Dance" by Schumann when dust did not removed . If you feel the difference in sound before first part "Fantasy Dance" and end , such a procedure is not only hygienic, but it can change the timbre. Sorry for the bad video quality.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSWV9bXaVrA

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A=440

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Jerry Groot RPT
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 5078
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

In looking at that video, it appears to me there are much more important things that should be addressed first such as, perhaps repairing what appears to be maybe a broken hammer? The hammers themselves should be filed AND THEN spaced. The spacing is horrible. Cleaning first makes no sense in this case. File the hammers and it will have to be cleaned again. The other work should be done first along with tuning to make it sound better. No offense but, the tuning on this piano is "not good."

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
We love to play BF2.

 Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

No offense but, the tuning on this piano is "not good."


What "is "not good?"
What offense ? We are here to listen and understand . Please explain exactly what you do not like . All sounds are properly tempered, I think

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A=440  

Johnkie
Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

No offense but, the tuning on this piano is "not good."


What "is "not good?"
What offense ? We are here to listen and understand . Please explain exactly what you do not like . All sounds are properly tempered, I think



Whilst due respect should be paid to you for doing what you do, giving consideration to your particular circumstances i.e not having the right tools and training, it is quite plain for all to see from your videos that you struggle with all aspects of working with pianos. I'm sure you feel that you are doing a good job, but the truth is that your tuning and technical skill are well below expectation and need to be improved if you are ever to be taken seriously.

Jerry Groot RPT
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

You need a little more ear training to hear what is, or isn't sounding good in the tuning. Unison's are off, octaves are off etc., Max. You're trying, that is good but, get a proper tuning hammer for starters and good tools too.
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan

 UnrightTooner
3000 Post Club Member
Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

No offense but, the tuning on this piano is "not good."


What "is "not good?"
What offense ? We are here to listen and understand . Please explain exactly what you do not like . All sounds are properly tempered, I think



Max:

The only opinions that REALLY matter are those of your customers. I am sure that you are doing the best you can with what you have. And I applaud you for trying to improve your skills by being part of this Forum.

Since you are asking for the opinions of those on this Forum, take them ALL "with a grain of salt." We cannot really understand your situation there.

I hear many unisons that are not pure. It sounds like the piano had not been tuned for a while. Perhaps the problem is with your hammer technique. You may not be “setting the pin” very well. The residual torque in the pin and the imbalance in the tension of the singing and non-singing parts of the string need to be dealt with. This may be partly to do with the quality of the tools that you have. Do you have an actually piano tuning wrench/hammer, or are you using mechanic's tools?

 Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

Unison's are off, octaves are off etc., Max.


Thank you for understanding. I shall try to learn it is correct to tuning by means of Your advices on Forum. My hammer beside not classical. It's tetrahedral and repair. I have conciously done two plays before and after the tuning piano. I was shown that changes to sounds have occurred. Sting That me not to manage it is correct to tuning piano . Why You were shown that unisons not right, I so do not think. Respectfully yours, maxim_tuner

rysowers

Loc: Olympia, WA

I enjoyed hearing Tanya play "Fantasy Dance" by Schumann! When I listen as a technician I can be very critical, but when I listen as a musician I'm much more forgiving. I have worked for some excellent piano teachers and professionals who don't seem to mind it that much when their pianos get out of tune. That doesn't mean they don't appreciate it when they do get it tuned! My point is that 99% of pianists in the world enjoy their pianos despite them being somewhat out of tune.

There is a point, of course, when even a complete amateur can tell that their piano's tuning is really bad - to the point of not being able to enjoy playing. At that point, even the most mediocre tuning will sound like a huge improvement.

I think Maximillyan's community is lucky to have him. He's keeping the instruments going and allowing the musicians to get some enjoyment out of instruments that might be intolerable otherwise.

Edited by rysowers (09/27/11 12:17 PM)
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

 

 

Jerry Groot RPT

Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

Unison's are off, octaves are off etc., Max.


Thank you for understanding. I shall try to learn it is correct to tuning by means of Your advices on Forum. My hammer beside not classical. It's tetrahedral and repair. I have conciously done two plays before and after the tuning piano. I was shown that changes to sounds have occurred. Sting That me not to manage it is correct to tuning piano . Why You were shown that unisons not right, I so do not think. Respectfully yours, maxim_tuner



Hi Max,

It is normal if a person does not have a lot of experience in tuning by ear, to not be able to hear it well so, take no offense in that you cannot hear it. Some day you will be able to hear it and then you will say, oh, wow, like I did, the first time I heard my own tuning. I thought it was good. It was not. With practice, you too be able to make it pure. Continue trying... I respect that you ask for advice from us.

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
JohnSprung
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 299
Loc: Reseda, California

Perhaps someone else here can make a little video about tuning unisons and setting pins. Or perhaps point us to one that already exists and is good.

_________________________


-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

 

Jerry Groot RPT
5000 Post Club Member


Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan

Here are some great videos by Ron Koval. He visits here occasionally too.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ron+koval&aq=f

_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

 

 Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: rysowers

I think Maximillyan's community is lucky to have him. He's keeping the instruments going and allowing the musicians to get some enjoyment out of instruments that might be intolerable otherwise.


Thank rysowers, for your words of support and understanding of temperament of a vertical piano, "Aleхandro Hermman." I analyzed the situation for a long time before starting to work. This piano since 1973, no one ever tuning.
So I'm very anxious and I very gently twisted each pin. I believe that the adjustment took place. As my employment, I will attend this family and try to bring order to the more correct tones of piano.
P.S Tanya sends you a huge heartfelt greetings! She is very happy. Hers is appreciated in far America .

Maximillyan
Full Member
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

Unison's are off, octaves are off etc., Max.


Thank you for understanding. I shall try to learn it is correct to tuning by means of Your advices on Forum. My hammer beside not classical. It's tetrahedral and repair. I have conciously done two plays before and after the tuning piano. I was shown that changes to sounds have occurred. Sting That me not to manage it is correct to tuning piano . Why You were shown that unisons not right, I so do not think. Respectfully yours, maxim_tuner

I respect that you ask for advice from us.


Thanks, Jerry Groot RPT
"Попытка не пытка"

JohnSprung
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 299
Loc: Reseda, California

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT

Here are some great videos by Ron Koval. ...



Thanks, Jerry. I found those searching for tuning videos.

Alas, Ron uses all the high tech stuff that Max doesn't have. What we need to find for him are videos of the old traditional aural method of counting beats.

Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Has today met one client. I was tuning his piano year ago. His piano was very dirty. Dust did not delete more than 15 years. I deleted dust from each hammer by hard paint brush. He (client) is a professional pianist and has assured about new sensations appeared in hammers . I was afraid that they negative. However he has declared that blow of the hammer became more concentrated. "Enigmatic depth" appeared in bass register from his words. Though like statements subjective. But I shall take into account such change

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A=440

 

 

Supply
2000 Post Club Member
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

... What we need to find for him are videos of the old traditional aural method of counting beats.


There seems to be a language and cultural gap which makes communication difficult if not impossible at times. Max, it would be helpful for you to find a technician and mentor with whom you can communicate without these barriers. We have one Russian native, Gene, an excellent tech, here on PW, his screen name is PianosXXI. If he is not able to help you, I suggest connecting with other technicians. Here is contact information for the Russian Association of Piano Technicians:

Russian Piano Masters

http://www.euro-piano.org/html/modules/Static_Docs/data/org_russia.html

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 rysowers

Loc: Olympia, WA

I find the translations highly entertaining! Usually they make sense if you think about it a minute. "Deleted" obviously means "removed". It sounds like the pianist noticed a change in the tone after the brushing, which is not surprising.

Maximillyan: If you brushed the top of the hammers where they contact the strings, the change in tone is probably due to the felt becoming softer on the surface. I doubt that removing the dust has much of an effect. Brushing the hammers with a stiff brush is a common practice to soften the tone on some pianos. You have to be careful, though. If the string cuts are very deep in the felt you can make the tone very dull by brushing.

_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

 

 

Maximillyan

Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Supply

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

... What we need to find for him are videos of the old traditional aural method of counting beats.


Here is contact information for the Russian Association of Piano Technicians:


Thank Supply

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Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: rysowers

If the string cuts are very deep in the felt you can make the tone very dull by brushing.


Thank rysowers too. I always take into account power of the pressure.(brush with felt sector)

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Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Kids help maxim_tuner to clean piano"Iveriya"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvcaKu68eGU

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A=440

 



ChopinAddict
Loc: Land of the never-ending music

This morning I tried something. I used the smallest brush of the vacuum cleaner (like this one) around the keys...

Well, the piano now really sounds better! I had a small problem which I thought could be caused by humidity (it has been very humid here lately), but it seems to be completely gone!

 

rysowers

Posts: 1773
Loc: Olympia, WA

If cleaning the keys makes your piano sound better, it is for the same reason that changing the windshield wipers on your car makes it run better!Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

 daniokeeper
Posts: 583
Loc: PA

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

This morning I tried something. I used the smallest brush of the vacuum cleaner (like this one) around the keys...

Well, the piano now really sounds better! I had a small problem which I thought could be caused by humidity (it has been very humid here lately), but it seems to be completely gone!



It might be better to use a very soft paint brush (new and dedicated just for this purpose) to clean around the pins. Some of thee vacuum cleaner brushes I've seen are quite stiff and the bristles can be quite rough. They may leave tiny scratch marks over time and dull the finish.


Piano Tuning & Repair

 

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

Well, the piano now really sounds better!


I am glad for ChopinAddict, Any facility good
A=440

 

Maximillyan

Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: daniokeeper

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict



It might be better to use a very soft paint brush



toothbrush too

 

ChopinAddict
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 3894
Loc: Land of the never-ending music

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: daniokeeper

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict



It might be better to use a very soft paint brush



toothbrush too



Actually (unfortunately) I had to do it from outside (so I didn't get to the pins at all), just "lifting" the keys a bit and sucking in the dust with the vacuum cleaner (and also a little bit between the keys)... Not a perfect cleaning method, but I can't do it otherwise because it is all perfectly closed... I will ask the tuner to tell me if there is a way I can open the case myself. I would really like to be able to get inside and keep the pins clean. There seems to be a lot of dust here and it accumulates on stuff very quick. I am not even sure where it comes from (probably mostly from outside?).

 

Bill Bremmer RPT
Loc: Madison, WI USA

The dirtiest place in most homes and other places that have a piano is underneath the piano keys. Most owners are shocked to see what is actually under there. Other rivals are behind and underneath the refrigerator. Inside a computer is another. Dust is always in the air, even in the cleanest environments. It collects in places that are difficult to reach. It's just a fact of life.

Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA

JohnSprung
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 299
Loc: Reseda, California

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

.... just "lifting" the keys a bit and sucking in the dust with the vacuum cleaner (and also a little bit between the keys)...



Check what comes out in the vacuum cleaner. The aftertouch and key level may change if you suck out torn punchings. Silverfish eat them to where they're weak enough for the vacuum to tear them loose.

 ChopinAddict
Loc: Land of the never-ending music

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

.... just "lifting" the keys a bit and sucking in the dust with the vacuum cleaner (and also a little bit between the keys)...



Check what comes out in the vacuum cleaner. The aftertouch and key level may change if you suck out torn punchings. Silverfish eat them to where they're weak enough for the vacuum to tear them loose.



There was not much apart from a little bit of dust... But the piano is only 4 months old.
It is also not quite closed at the top - which is good for the sound, but I guess insects can easily get in there, and probably like it too (like they like refrigerators, as Bill said).

 Maximillyan
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Most owners are shocked to see what is actually under there.


You will find under keyboard of the stickpin, needles, small piece of the newspapers, needles Cristmas fir tree, armor all known insect, baby toys and jewelry embellishment,nest of rat except dust

A=440

 rysowers

Loc: Olympia, WA

Don't forget old coins or tax tokens, bobby pins, paper clips, and guitar picks!

Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

 

 ChopinAddict

Loc: Land of the never-ending music

And maybe some seeds. My bird won't stay on his own in another room when I play, so I have to keep the cage in the same room where I have the piano.


 Our life dreams the Utopia. Our death achieves the Ideal." VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

 

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

And maybe some seeds.


The birds do not present some threats. The spilt millet also. The escape home hamster is warned. It like make nests under keyboard. Hamster penetrate through pedal's window

A=440

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Maximillyan

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict

And maybe some seeds.

nests under keyboard.


Mousy nest in piano "Belarus"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cN8e1RugPA

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A=440

Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Propose to establish an 'International League cleaners piano. "
Statutes and banal task is simple. Net piano - a credo. No one will monitor how and to what extent members of the organization will it's do. However, the removal of dust from the piano becomes the moral norm for every member.
Charter "International League cleaners piano,"
I remove the dust, because:
1. This is a hygienic necessity (health clients)
2. It is able to degrade the performance of mechanisms (additional costs for repairs)
3. Adversely affects the full sound of the piano
I agree

 

 ChopinAddict

Loc: Land of the never-ending music

Well, I bought a small handheld vacuum cleaner the other day. Only 20 bucks. I keep it by the piano now.
Anyway, I don't know if it is the vacuum cleaner or the better weather, but my piano sounds really nice at the moment.

By the way, last week I saw a spider with very long legs crawling on my piano and making its way to the heart of it (inside).

_________________________

 

"Our life dreams the Utopia.
Our death achieves the Ideal." VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

Supply
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 2142
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Only with a lot of mixed feelings will I engage in and help perpetuate this thread which probably should have fizzled out a few weeks ago. However, I feel I had to respond to this:

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

Check what comes out in the vacuum cleaner. The aftertouch and key level may change if you suck out torn punchings. Silverfish eat them to where they're weak enough for the vacuum to tear them loose.


Any punchings like this have no place in a piano anyhow, they should all be vacuumed up and disposed of. All paper punchings should go as well - they could harbour eggs of the next brood of felt-eating bugs and insects. If the punchings are infested, it is probably time to replace the back rail strip too. Re-regulate with new paper and felt punchings.

_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply

JohnSprung

Loc: Reseda, California

Really it's probably time to replace the piano, but that's a whole other discussion..... (Unless it's worth rebuilding)

_________________________


-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

Jeff Clef
3000 Post Club Member Loc: San Jose, CA

"...And maybe some seeds. My bird won't stay on his own in another room when I play, so I have to keep the cage in the same room where I have the piano. "

This reminded me of the time I used to raise canaries. They are not as affectionate as a dog, but I used to let them out to fly for awhile each day, and I found that they would follow me from room to room in my home. The DP I had at the time took no hurt from seeds, but with any animal if it's not seeds it's fur and dander, and if it's not fur and dander it's feathers. I even find hummingbird feathers in the house once in awhile.

That is life. Accept entropy or else do a little maintenance.

The piano lid stays closed overnight. My tech cleans out the inside. I dust the top daily with a soft ostrich feather duster. Maybe this does make some tiny dust scratches, but that is why God invented Cory's Piano Polish. Better the finish is abraded than the action parts.

The canaries liked piano music, but anything noisy would get them singing. Motorcycles, garbage trucks. I still miss hearing thirty canaries singing in my garden.

_________________________
Clef

 

 Jonathan Alford
Loc: Colorado

I am looking at purchasing a different grand. I "visited" it today. It was filthy! Dirt/dust everywhere under the lid. Looks like even a cat urinated or threw up on the soundboard. I did not bring my tech with me yet (I wanted to see if it was worth spending the money to bring him along first.) The piano is only 12 years old but seems to have aged more due to the dust.

The action felt good to me but what should I be concerned about with a piano this dirty? BTW last tuning was in 2008.

Thanks,

Jonathan

 

 

ChopinAddict

Loc: Land of the never-ending music

Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

"...And maybe some seeds. My bird won't stay on his own in another room when I play, so I have to keep the cage in the same room where I have the piano. "

This reminded me of the time I used to raise canaries. They are not as affectionate as a dog, but I used to let them out to fly for awhile each day, and I found that they would follow me from room to room in my home. The DP I had at the time took no hurt from seeds, but with any animal if it's not seeds it's fur and dander, and if it's not fur and dander it's feathers. I even find hummingbird feathers in the house once in awhile.



My bird is a cockatiel, and cockatiels are very affectionate and sociable... But yeah, when I play he is either in the cage or if he is outside I give him his teddy bear, so he won't fly around. When I don't play the lid is closed. I used to leave it open when I had a break of say 20-30 minutes (as I posted earlier in this thread), but I decided to close it now. It is not a big deal (it only takes a few seconds), and the keyboard stays cleaner.

_________________________

 

"Our life dreams the Utopia.
Our death achieves the Ideal." VICTOR HUGO, Intellectual Autobiography

 

Supply

Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Originally Posted By: JohnSprung

Really it's probably time to replace the piano, but that's a whole other discussion..... (Unless it's worth rebuilding)



I don't know who would replace a piano because it needs front rail punchings. That hardly constitutes re-building...

_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
JohnSprung

Loc: Reseda, California

When it's had bugs so bad that the punchings are coming apart, it's usually in real bad shape overall. They eat everything, not just the punchings. So there's a good probability that it's time for the minimal repair vs. replace vs. rebuild decision. You have to look at the whole piano.

_________________________


-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Kawai FS690

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

They eat everything, not just the punchings.
The Bedbugs do not love the smoke. Can start the smoke in piano?



Edited by Maximillyan (10/13/11 04:09 AM)

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A=440

 

 

 

Maximillyan
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 144
Loc: KZ

Originally Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

[quote] a mouse nest and sometimes dead mice.


It's happen tuner delete manure of the rats and mouses
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKdpThuoQs4

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A=440

 

 

 

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