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Rye Miles #13621

Tuning a Presidents piano

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I'm going to tune a President's piano tomorrow. Yes a real POTUS! I'm going to President Garfield's house here located in Mentor,Ohio. It hasn't been tuned in 20 years! I know a lady that works there and they want to start using it. It's a Knabe upright and it was owned by Garfield, it was actually his wife's but he played some too!

 

Kinda cool!!B)

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No, VERY cool!

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It's sounds like Fun.

But the real question is if you can tune a piano, can you also tuna fish?

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5 minutes ago, Maddog McCoy SASS #5672 said:

It's sounds like Fun.

But the real question is if you can tune a piano, can you also tuna fish?

 

shall I throw Rye in the nearest river or lake next time I see him and find out?  I can report back to you....

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Wonderful!  We need a follow up story.

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What a chance to experience some real history. Kudos. I hope all goes well and it doesn't end on a sour note. 

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That is very cool

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Posted (edited)

Super cool!   Best give those keys a sharp rap to wake those strings up that have been dormant for so long.  Just had my Yammy tuned today and there’s not much finer than a well tuned piano.  (Except maybe for a well tuned ‘73!)

Edited by Two Shoots
Correct Spelling
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That’s such a cool thing, Rye. 

Apparently Garfield liked Gilbert & Sullivan’s music. Perhaps someone should play s little something from them in honor or President Garfield once you tune his piano. :D

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2 hours ago, Calico Mary said:

 

shall I throw Rye in the nearest river or lake next time I see him and find out?  I can report back to you....

 

Don't do that! They've worked hard to clean up both the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie!  :P

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20 minutes ago, Four-Eyed Buck,SASS #14795 said:

Neat experience,Rye. just be careful that none of the wires break from age:blush::blush:

I think after 32 years of doing this I would know that!! :blink:

 

This piano is from before 1881 because that's when Garfield died and it was purchased before he died. It may have been re-strung and reconditioned sometime in it's over 100 year time on this earth!

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10 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Can you post a picture of it? I’d ask for an audio of it too but computers do such a bad job of sound reproduction that that would not do it justice.

I plan on doing that!;)

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It's actually a Hallet & Davis not a Knabe. ( The lady I dealt with told me it was a Knabe) Piano was made in 1880, his wife Lucretia and all 5 kids played on this piano. They also have another one that's a little smaller, they bought them together. This one was $950.00, a healthy sum in 1880, the other smaller one was $650.00. This piano has had new strings and hammers done in the 1950's!

 

Beautiful cabinet, original never refinished!!!

IMG_1709.jpg

IMG_1708.jpg

IMG_1706.jpg

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Posted (edited)

What would something like that weigh?

TNX for the pictures:excl:

OLG

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz

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4 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Bravo.  Did you try it out?

Yes, it plays pretty well, better than I do!

3 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

What would something like that weigh?

TNX for the pictures:excl:

OLG

Close to 1000 lbs!!

 

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10 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Yes, it plays pretty well, better than I do!

Close to 1000 lbs!!

 

 

How badly out of tune was it?

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That is really nice Rye.

Thank you for the photos. 

 

How’d it play? ;)

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39 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Yes, it plays pretty well, better than I do!

Close to 1000 lbs!!

 

WOW:huh: Much more than I would have guessed.

How long did the 'tune-up' take?

OLG

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28 minutes ago, DocWard said:

 

How badly out of tune was it?

It was over a 1/2 step flat! I brought it up to exactly a half step flat and I'll be going back at least two more times.

26 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

That is really nice Rye.

Thank you for the photos. 

 

How’d it play? ;)

It played surprisingly well, it has had some work done on it in the 1950's. I'm not a trained pianist but I do play some.

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Just now, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

WOW:huh: Much more than I would have guessed.

How long did the 'tune-up' take?

OLG

About an hour, I'm going back a couple more times to "gently" raise the pitch to A 440.

 

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Actual weight would be more like 800 lbs. They vary from 500-800 and maybe a bit more!

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Mrs. Doc asked, so I'll ask, why wasn't tuning and maintenance a part of the normal routine of the museum?

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Posted (edited)

@Rye Miles #13621 :

     Those are great pictures, and thank you for posting them. ;)

     Many of us reading the forums are interested in learning new things posted on SASSPEDIA, so for them, as well as I, the following questions are being asked:

 

      1.) What is the red item in the pic and what does it do?

      2.) Are you tuning by ear? If not, what method or device is used?

      3.) What is this A 440 pitch you speak of and why if it's been tuned the needed 1/2 a step does it need tuning to A 440?

      4.) What tools are required for tuning a piano?

      5.) What is your history as a piano tuner? Self-taught - Lessons - Just a natural!

      6.) Finally, do you own a piano yourself, and if so, what brand/type is it?

 

       Thanking you in advance for taking time to respond.

 

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
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1 minute ago, Father Kit Cool Gun Garth said:

@Rye Miles #13621 :

     Those are great pictures, and thank you for posting them. ;)

     Many of us reading the forums are interested in learning new things posted on SASSPEDIA, so for them, as well as I, the following questions are being asked:

 

      1.) What is the red item in the pic and what does it do?

      2.) Are you tuning by ear? If not, what method or device is used?

      3.) What is this A 440 pitch you speak of and why if it's been tuned the needed 1/2 a step does it need tuning to A 440?

      4.) What tools are required for tuning a piano?

      5.) What is your history as a piano tuner? Self-taught - Lessons - Just a natural!

      6.) Finally, do you own a piano yourself, and if so, what brand/type is it?

 

       Thanking you in advance for taking time to respond.

 

The red item is a felt strip that mutes the strings that I don't want to hear. (They're are 3 strings on every note for most of the piano, two in the bass and one in the lowest bass.)It's called a temperament strip. I have tuning forks but I use a electronic device ONLY to get the first pitch.

 

A440 is 440 hertz or cycles per second, that's the International pitch that the world tunes to! Tools required are a tuning hammer or lever, strip, mutes and a bunch of cool tools for repairs.

 

I studied privately with a great tuner in the area. Kind of like an apprenticeship.

 

I always have a piano for sale, currently a Baldwin console.

 

Whew!!! Do I get paid for this survey??:P

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

Balance of this post was removed to 5ace361db6428_SavethePlanet-RESIZED.jpg.e0f867861d31a62ef92489dde149b922.jpg.

 

Whew!!! Do I get paid for this survey??:P

 

Bottles....give the piano man the drink of his choice, and put it on my TAB! ;)

     

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
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Posted (edited)

Since you put in that much work, I will buy the first round.

 

The second round will be after you load the U-Haul tomorrow with my safe and reloading equipment for the trip to Illinois and help unload it.

 

Moving is such fun.:wacko::angry::P

Edited by Maddog McCoy SASS #5672
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I had a supervisor who bought a grand piano. He took lessons from a guy who had grands in every room in his house, some baby grands, yes even in the bath room.

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1 hour ago, DocWard said:

Mrs. Doc asked, so I'll ask, why wasn't tuning and maintenance a part of the normal routine of the museum?

That’s a great question! I have no idea other than no one ever plays it! There’s now a lady that wants to play it especially for a Christmas program. They wanted me to check it out in case it needed repairs or multiple tunings which it did! 

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Have to get it up to 440 in steps, I guess. Since it was more or less redone in the '50's that kinda made it somewhat less problematic age wise, Rye?:huh::blush:

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