April 2016
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Hello piano people,

Our plan is to meet in the Hill Country at Mollberg Piano Restoration on Saturday, April 9th, at 10:30 AM.  We hope you join us for a very detailed class, and Bernard invites us to lunch afterwards.

753 Divide Pass, Blanco, TX  78606

See driving directions and class description below.

When it’s working, the grand damper system is an amazing mechanism.  Although totally rebuilding the damper system is not a frequent job for most technicians, every technician can benefit greatly from knowledge of this system as a whole.  Jack, Nathan, & Celeste (and Bernard) have built some systems that damp like a champ (better than most brand new pianos), and we get to see their process.

Retaining just some of this information will enable us field technicians to solve the sometimes perplexing damper problems we might encounter in homes, halls, and institutions.

There is little in the way of large news.  Our wounded techs are getting back to work.  Registration and certification of 2 of our younger techs continues and is nearing fruition.  Be patient.  So this section will be larger next time.  Keep saving for the national conference in July or our regional conference in October.  Check out some new courses online at PTG.org.  And, HEY, in May we get back to Monday nights for our meetings.

We need to care for ourselves as always.  But remember to care for your piano colleagues as well.  This is me telling myself as usual, but we are a stronger community when we remember to look out for the other tech (or previous tech).  Let’s chose our words wisely as we assess pianos and try to help customers.  If I try to make my colleague look sharp, he/she is likely to do the same.

Mollberg Piano is out 165 between Blanco & Henly.

People coming from San Antonio up US 281 will pass under the first blinking light in Blanco and look for the quick right turn on 163. Go about a mile & turn right on 165.  Go about 9 miles to the top of a really big hill & turn left on Divide Pass.  Bernard’s redish-brown metal gate is on the left about 1 mile in.  The gate will be open. Stay to the right ‘til you cross the bridge (slowly).  Then stay to the left; pass the chickens; and park by the shop.

Folks from Austin will go out US 290 past Dripping Springs about 9 miles to Henly & turn Left on 165.  Go about 8 miles and turn right on Divide Pass (if you go over the big vista hill, you’ve gone too far). Bernard’s redish-brown metal gate is on the left about 1 mile in.  The gate will be open. Stay to the right ‘til you cross the bridge (slowly).  Then stay to the left; pass the chickens (cluck at ‘em – everyone does); and park by the shop.


Please come out and join us the second Saturday in April!  Look at the class description below.  Bring note taking capability.

Happy piano,
Chris Prewitt, RPT

G. Christopher Prewitt
Christofori Piano Service
Bachelor of Music Performance
Registered Piano Technician
Professional Musician since 1976
President Austin Piano Technicians Guild
PTG Austin Chapter Newsletter
Booking for the BeauxTones
(830)833-5909 shop
(512)971-5302 cell

Class Description

Tip of the Pedal to Top of the Damper Head - 1 1/2 Hours
Jack Bresette-Mills, RPT; Nathan Cook, Associate; Celeste Coburn- Austin, TX

Overview of servicing, regulating, and restoring the entire grand damper system. While this topic is huge, we will demonstration how this inter-related system works, how to make it better, introductory exposure to in depth restoration operations, all in one class.

  • Service/restore pedal box, rods, guide rails, full trapwork restoration methods. Mock up of grand trapwork system/and/or upside down grand present to show all techniques to restore, service, replace cloth & leather, re-bush pivots, lever pins, springs.
  • Fitting & installing adjustable pedal rods to replace old non-adjutable rods.
  • Convert damper pitman to non-friction S&S style, w/large hole in keybed.
  • Review 3 commercially available damper underlever replacement kits, (Renner, Tokiwa, WN&G) with samples of each variety, overview of methods of matching each kit for variety of different pianos, assembling & fitting new damper actions.
  • When keeping original damper actions - methods to service/repair/recondition. When this is viable, when this is not.
  • Dampers: recondition/refinish damper heads & wires, installing new damper wires, efficient felt removal & replacement damper felt, choosing felt style & dimensions for efficient damping.
  • Damper upstop rail restoration, fitting, regulation.
  • Replacing/sizing/ironing damper guide rail bushings, aligning guide rails to the strings.
  • Sostenuto strategies.
  • Becoming more comfortable in bending damper wires for proper fit, function, and trouble shooting.
  • Regulating the entire damper system for best musical performance & function..... from Tip of the Pedal to Top of the Damper Head.

Meeting time is 10:30 AM

Bernard Mollberg
Mollberg Piano Restoration LLC
753 Divide Pass
Blanco, TX 78606
830 833-2210


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