KS 26: Begin Regulating with a Plan

KS 26: Begin Regulating with a Plan

In this discussion of regulating away from the piano, I have left out a lynchpin detail: how to get the action home. Grand actions are awkwardly wide, heavy, and at risk. Ideally, you should have a helper, of course. But even with another set of hands, such elements as distance, stairs, and weather threaten. I have long arms and until recently would just bight the bullet, cover, and carry. Mark Dierauf RPT (NH Chapter), however, has a superior system, featuring a lightweight folding hand cart. Here are his pictures:


Last week, I was picking up the action of a 1930 Mason & Hamlin A (quite heavy, like the rest of the piano). This involved a many-staired climb, first up with tools, then two trips back, first with action, then tools. And the tools were heavy.


So. Things to note. Plastic wrap is quick, strong, and easy to remove. First, wrap action in moving blanket, then action to hand cart. Similarly, in their turn, stack tool boxes, blankets, and so forth on the cart and wrap them to it. The stairs will still take some strength and patience. One step-at-a-time, slowly. But it's a back-jeopardy resistant method. And anti-foul-weather. And the whole process can be done lifting one side of the action at-a-time.


The hand cart is mostly aluminum, so packing it on top can work. Or it can be folded and stored to one side. Then scissors make unwrapping a breeze. Under the blanketing, use a WNG Key Level Stick to support shanks and something like my voicing plank (shown below) to hold all in place. The Level Stick will fall a few notes shy of the full scale but that will leave end hammers lower and less at risk. The slightly too-long plank on top, collaborating with the keyframe below, will keep the wrapping from bearing too hard on them. To protect new or freshly filed hammers, add in an action-wide length of paper towel.


Notice the missing keys above? Why would a superbly designed action employ stubby glidebolts, two of which are entirely inaccessible? I think the makers wanted to discourage interference with their bedding. When I took things apart, dusted the keybed, and tested, the 1930 keyframe fit perfectly as it was.

A plan for the remote regulation of a grand action, then, should include method of transportation. My Regulation Protocol (available for free on this website) avoids the subject - too many variables. But it needs to be thought through. Once solved, try my two-page outline. Its 37 steps (a salute to LaRoy Edwards), plus 14 optional, present a fresh assumption: Bench regulating, if set up correctly, produces work that fits back in the piano. Three other protocols support this one with more detail. A lot goes into regulating a grand action. A good list helps.

Not all steps have equal weight and not all regulations equal budgets, though. A well-scaled plan is needed to cover what is essential. It is easy to wander off track or leave something out, so have clear goals in mind, and take the simplest route to achieving them.

Next time: Gauging the Plan

(Index of all articles in this series)

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