Eric Ostling wrote:
> This touches on something I've always wanted to know about harpsichords (and
> clavichords, for that matter) - how much of a pain is it to care for the
> pins over the lifetime of an instrument?
Well, let's put it this way: Last week I serviced (two brass strings broken over
the summer) a 300 year old harpsichord, still with its original wrest pins and
solid walnut wrest plank. The pins are irregular in section, the holes in the
wrest plank are a bit worn, but the pins hold without complaint.
Here's the thing - antique style harpsichord pins are for the most part
un-threaded, slightly tapered at the distal end, and are basically pressed into
place. As long as the pin hole is the right size, and the pin sits deeply
enough, is at the correct angle to the draught of the music wire, and is not
subjected to bad tuning technique, it will hold for pretty much ever.
Threaded pins, like piano pins and zither pins, tend to chew up the bearing
surface in the wrest plank, especially as they are swacked ever deeper into the
plank. I reckon that if piano pins were only screwed into the plank and not
driven like a nail, they would probably last longer in the holding department.
Just a thought.