Where do I begin?
A good place to start might be to read about the Grandwork System.
How do I find the product I need?
How do I choose between Regulation Station Packages?
Compare the items included in the three Regulation Station Packages and their costs.
Can I get a discount if I buy multiple items?
The three RS Packages are discounted 10%. For orders over $5,000, you can add items for the same discount - as long as it all ships together.
What will shipping cost me?
Domestic US shipping is FREE. For shipping outside the US, please contact me for a quote.
What problems can the Grandwork System solve?
The two big ones, both for grands, are bench regulating inaccuracy and voicing prep complexity. The Bedding and Sampling Protocols (with the suggested tools of implementation) provide accuracy on the bench, plus benefits of good access, visibility, and ergonomics. The Regulation and Alignment Protocols simplify voicing with greater regulation consistency and better rendering of hammer fit and transfer of power.
How do I combine the four Grandwork Protocols?
Why remove grand hammers for filing?
The Hammer Filing Jig simplifies getting desirable hammer shape that is consistent hammer-to-hammer. Gang-filing flared hammers misshapes them. Hand filing is laborious and hard to get the right shape and surface quickly. With a Hammer Spacing Scale to go back to, hammer removal and re-installation is fast.
And while the hammers and shanks are on the tray, tweaking the center pinning makes an important contribution to best results. Also, cleaning up crudely shaped tails can improve checking and backcheck life. And finally, knuckles can be cleaned and their shape bolstered.
Can I file all hammers on the Hammer Filing Jig?
Hammers that are tapered past the tip of their molding present an instability challenge to filing on the Hammer Filing Jig. Generally, flared grand hammers and all upright hammers have enough flat surface to their sides to not be a problem. But many straight-bored sections of grands are tapered to up near the crown and these hammers (if vertical) benefit gang-filing.
Is upright hammer removal for filing worth it?
Upright hammers are difficult to shape well with dampers in the way and the damper felt is at risk during filing. Also, upright dampers are a joy to regulate without springs or hammers in the way - particularly for spinets. Then there's pinning adjustment benefits. This approach is more expensive but produces seriously superior results - especially for spinets!
If we leave hammers and strings alone, might play solve poor mating over time?
No. The more the low string wears and compresses the hammer, the more it changes the compaction and surface quality of the felt in that spot compared to the less worn and less compacted rest of the hammer crown. The problem will never go away on its own.
Can changing hammer shape solve poor mating?
Yes and no. Example: If the right string of three is lower than the other two, the hammer will impact it first, creating noise and unbalancing bounce. Filing some felt from under that string can solve both moment of impact and bounce issues. But what does it do for soft-pedaling? As soon as the soft pedal is engaged, the fit problem is back. A problem needling cannot solve.
Can lifting strings solve poor mating?
Yes. But string-lifting works in one direction - up - so this technique is limited by how far strings can be pulled up. Too far creates a spring effect, making tuning unstable and possibly creating false beats.
What are underlifted strings?
When a piano is newly strung, all strings are underlifted, that is, they are unstable in an upward direction. Over time they will adapt a little but still be unstable - a small lift with a stringing hook and they will leap up to a more stable place. Piano wire steel is stiff and resists compliance around a corner. Any extra curve it retains will act like a spring, destabilizing tuning and possibly affecting tone quality and power.
Can strings still be underlifted in an older piano?
Yes. Two ways: each time a piano receives a pitch-raise, the wire being pulled under agraffe or capo bar is somewhat refreshed in its relationship to the bearing surface. This is good. If a previous technician overpulled at all, we have a chance to make things right. The second way has to do with human nature. If we are mating strings and receive the gift of a unison with no symptom, are we likely to go pulling on the three strings to find any that might be underlifted?
Will leveling strings first with a bubble gauge help?
A limited yes, to the extent of quickly solving worst offenders. But for results that make unison strings parallel to the keybed at strike (our goal), maybe is the best estimate for at least two reasons: First, is the piano level? Strings may end up perpendicular to gravity but the piano is following the floor! Second, where should the bubble gauge sit to be accurate? Unison strings can twist between agraffe or capo and the bridge. In that case, only one spot matters to us and that is strike. As and example, strike on most Steinways is overhung by the capo in the high treble, pinched by dampers in the melody area, and disappears under dampers at about middle C. So, there may not be one correct spot in the piano without removing dampers. The Grandwork Underlevel gets around that limitation by working from underneath the strings.
What is the simplest way to the least-compromised mating?
Travel hammers vertically (perpendicular to keybed) and make hammers vertical at strike. Pre-lift all wire lightly to eliminate underlifted wire. And fit strings to hammers. This way the crown is parallel to the keybed at strike and the strings fit to that crown will end parallel as well. The two steps of leveling and mating become one. And BTW, the piano must be at pitch and finely tuned in this best-of-all-possible mating procedures.
How do I make hammer travel and angle of address at strike vertical?
The Grandwork Squaring Platform sets up on the bench a plane parallel to the plane of a grand action (the keybed, in the piano) and positions it behind the action as the horizontal index from which the Shank Traveler and Hammer Square can reference vertical. During mating, the hammer that was traveled and squared with these tools will not be at fault, thus simplifying the process to string adjustment.