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HPSCHD-L  November 2010

HPSCHD-L November 2010

Subject:

Re: key balance

From:

Bill Jurgenson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Harpsichords and Related Topics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Nov 2010 09:36:01 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (85 lines)

On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 08:23:09 +0000, Michael Johnson wrote:
> On 06/11/2010 17:40, Borys Medicky wrote:
>> Michael Johnson wrote:
>> 
>> "In order for you to get the key working at its
>> best, you will be need to make sure the balance pin is slightly forward
>> of upright to give that total freedom,  
snip to his next posting
> Borys I bore my keyboard pins upright at 90 degrees and make the 
> adjust by tapping the pin into its perfect position for each key as I 
> ease them for the first time.   This operation is done after the key 
> have been finished and their sides have been cleaned off so the 
> keyboard is ready for laying.You cannot lay a keyboard until every 
> key is working perfectly.     I lay my keyboards as taught at John 
> Broadwoods, The end keys are set to height and then all the high keys 
> that move when the straight edge is tapped on the board are planed 
> down to level, then the lows are papered up.    Given excellent wood 
> selection for the blank that is a very quick job and requires little 
> time and work.

Very good advice! 
The fore/aft stance of the balance pin is extremely important and very 
dependent on the angle of the keys on their bed.
I do essentially the same things the same way. 
Most essential, that you cannot level a keyboard that has not been 
eased and, preferably, already playing.
Where possible, I do final leveling (of singles) in the instrument 
after preliminary voicing, just before staggering and pulling in the 
dampers, which I do last.

As for balancing (there is quite a bit in the archives on this 
already!), in general, the longer the key, the closer to the center is 
the balance point but. Period and region are important part as well, 
with  16th and early 17th.c. instruments being much further forward, as 
far as even 1:2 as in the Theeuwes, than in later boxes.  As a matter 
of course, balance points in front of the center tend to make the key 
fall back of its own. With two manual frenchies (originals, not 
necessarily new ones) the lower manual is blanaced so close to the 
center that the keys are usually indifferent without the jacks. The 
total mass is important, not jus the mass of the key and two very long 
jacks more than suffice to make the key fall dependably. 
Apart form actual position geometrically, thickness and possible taper 
of the panel in thickness play an important role as well as 
undercutting. For long lower keys, a minimum panel thickness and with 
it a minimum mass are simply unavoidable. Likewise jack travel is a 
given that is pretty much constant at 10-11mm, regardless of region and 
period so the farther back the balance, the deeper the touch, and with 
that the necessity for a thicker key to counteract the additional 
flexiblity of the lever. The Donzelague lowers are undercut behind the 
balance. So are most Blanchets, tho this should be known to everyone 
since Bill Dowd showed this in that first volume from Pendragon Press 
decades ago. 
Following this and simple junior high physics, the tails of the uppers 
must make the same travel at the back that the coupler dog does. That 
means that either the the upper is balanced like the lower with deep 
touch etc and necessarily weights at the back since the single short 
jack cannot do it alone - or the balance is moved forward, so that the 
playing force approaches that of the lower with two stops and this is 
the usual approach. Look at the originals and the drawings - or just 
into Bill's article. Or even more easily at the drawing in Frank's 
book. With the balance further forward, the key will usually tend to 
stay at rest. Very many upper panels are also tapered in thickness, 
thicker at the back than at the front, like most bigger clavichords BTW.

I am sure Mike die not mean batpins. Nonetheless, they are also 
generally misunderstood (archives again). Their original purpose was to 
create a wider bearing surface against the cloth or leather of the 
front mortice and of course this would have been useful in unbushed 
keyboards, had there been any batpins. That is neither here nor there. 
There were not devised to be turned or to regulate - that is a modern 
"reinterpretation" AKA misuse -  and the earliest examples are 
completely flat on the sides with relatively sharp edges and even with 
square shanks, making them in fact impossible to turn. Of course we 
don't need them or shouldn't - altho the beating "That Woman's" poor 
Hubbard has to take and which is very audible in the YuTube clips I 
subjected myself to...

b

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Note:  opinions  expressed on HPSCHD-L are those of the  individual con-
tributors and not necessarily  those of the list owners  nor of the Uni-
versity of Iowa.  For a brief  summary of list  commands, send mail to
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