US 3550236 A
Abstract available in
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 29, 1970 w. M. LIENERT PIANO STRINGING METHOD Filed Dec. 16, 1968 k ll fi/errzerL/VLZ L672 27 21" United States Patent U.S. Cl. 29169.5 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of installing piano strings comprises the provision of an orienting fixture having apertures sized to receive tuning pins and configured in a pattern simulating a region of the tuning pi-receiving portion of a piano string plate. A carrier is assembled to the exposed upper ends of the tuning pins of preassembled string-pin units after the same have been inserted in the orienting fixture, and then the carrier and string-pin units are separated from the fixture. Subsequently, the oriented tuning pins are installed in a piano string plate in continuation of their assembly with the carrier.
This invention relates generally to piano manufacture and more particularly to the procedures involved in installing strings in a piano structure.
The traditional method of stringing a piano is strictly a manual operation involving hand-cutting of all treble strings and hand-winding of each wire coil on its associated tuning pin. The string-pin assemblies have also been installed individually in the piano frame, an operation that requires many dexterous manipulations and one that tends to limit or slow up production.
Therefore, an important object of the present invention is to provide a method of installing piano strings in groups of string-pin assemblies.
A more general object of the invention is to provide new and improved piano stringing procedures.
Another object of the invention is to provide a quick and efficient method of installing piano strings.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a procedure which permits the formation of string-pin assemblies apart from the actual stringing of the piano plate.
These and other objects and features of the invention will become more apparent from a consideration of the following descriptions.
In order that the principles of the invention may be readily understood, a single embodiment thereof, but to which the application is not to be restricted, is shown in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical string-pin unit of the type which may be used in the practice of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of an orienting fixture constructed in compliance with the present invention and shown with string-pin units inserted therein;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2 and showing assembly of a carrier to the exposed upper end portions of the tuning pins;
FIG. 4 shows installation of the string-pin units in a piano string plate in continuation of their assembly with the carrier; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing removal of the carrier from the installed tuning pins.
Referring now in detail to the drawing, particlarly to FIG. 1, a string-pin unit indicated generally by the reference numeral includes a plain or unwrapped length or section 12 of piano wire. The length of piano wire 12 advantageously has a hitch pin loop 14 formed inter- 3,550,236 Patented Dec. 29, 1970 mediate its ends by kinking or other similar procedure; and the wire in length 12 is selected to be of suitable gauge. The opposite ends of length 12 are assembled to tuning pins 16 by means of abbreviated wire coils 18; and in accordance with conventional practice, the ends of the wire penetrate cross bores formed in the tuning pins. In further accord with conventional practice each of the tuning pins 16 is fashioned with a lower, finely threaded shank 20 and an upper, tool-receiving end portion 22, portion 22 advantageously taking square cross-section for facilitating engagement by a wrench or other tool. Fabrication of the basic string-tuning pin assemblies, such as the assembly 10, may be achieved in various ways, such as for example that described in co-pending application Ser. No. 758,902, filed Sept. 10, 1968, naming as the inventors Clifford W. Anderson and William A. Wahl.
In compliance with the present invention, a plurality of string-pin units are oriented in a fixture prior to their assembly in a piano string plate. Such an orienting fixture is indicated generally by the reference numeral 24 in FIGS. 2 and 3. The orienting fixture is arranged to receive a suitable number of string-pin units; and conveniently, the fixture is fabricated to receive all of the stringpin units having a common wire guage. In FIGS. 2 and 3, the fixture 24 is shown configurated in accordance with the arrangement of all the string-pin units which employ No. 13 wire. However, grouping according to wire size is only one convenient way of arranging the fixture; and wire sizes may be combined or divided as is desired. In any event, the orienting fixture, such as fixture 24, is provided with a plurality of apertures 26 which are sized to receive the lower shank ends 20 of the tuning pins in a slightly snug but freely slidable manner. The upper toolreceiving ends 22 of the tuning pins are thus exposed above the surface of the orienting fixture. In further accord with the features of the present invention, the apertures 26 are configurated in a pattern which simulates the corresponding, perforated region of the tuning pin-receiving portion of a piano string plate, each aperture 26 corresponding positioning to a pin-receiving bushing in the string plate.
In order to establish proper alignment of the wire portion of the string-pin units, the orienting fixture 24 is addi tionally provided with a suitable number of simulated hitch pins 28. Each simulated hitch pin is aligned with a set of tuning pin apertures 26 in the same configuration that the actual hitch pins of the string plate bear relative to their associated tuning-pin receiving bushings.
After the orienting fixture 24 has been filled with the appropriate string-pin units 10, a carrier 30 is assembled to the upper end portions 22 of the tuning pins as is shown in FIG. 3, the carrier being perforated with a pattern of holes corresponding to the pattern of apertures 26. Furthermore, the carrier is desirably fabricated from a flexible-elastomeric material such as vinyl plastisol sheeting. The elastomeric properties facilitate snug but detachable assembly of the carrier to the tuning pins; and the flexibility of the sheeting promotes proper manipulation of the several tuning pins in fitting them to the string plate. While the string-pin units are being held in proper orientation by the fixture 24, it is advantageous that the strings of the units be joined with a position-preserving attaching means before the units are separated from the fixture; and a folded strip of adhesive-surfaced tape 31 is usefully employed for this latter purpose.
In accord with the invention, the orienting fixture 24 comprises a primary, rigid block 32 which is fashioned with the pin-receiving apertures 26, the fixture 24 additionally including a secondary, rigid block 34 which is swingably attached to the block 32 by means of a flushmounted hinge 36. The blocks 32 and 34 may be supported on a base plate 38, if desired; and the hinge 36 is preferably mounted in the upper surface of the blocks 32 and 34 immediately underlying the string portions of the string-pin units. As is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the secondary block 34 carries the simulated hitch pins 28 which are angulated generally away from the tuning-pin receiving apertures 26 for security in mounting the stringpin units. As will be recognized, folding of the orienting fixture at the hinge 36 releases the string portions of the units from the simulated hitch pins whereupon the carrier 30 and the assembled string-pin units may be readily lifted from the fixture.
The carrier 30 and the folded piece of tape 31 preserve the several string-pin units in the orientation established by the fixture 24 during subsequent transportation and handling operations. Accordingly, the string-pin units may be fabricated at a location remote from the place where the actual stringing operation is conducted. Furthermore, string-pin units can be preassembled and stored in ad vance of the needs of the actual stringing operation. Considerable latitude in factory operation is thus achieved.
Turning to a consideration of FIGS. 4 and 5, a metal piano string plate 40 is shown provided with wooden tuning-pin receiving bushings 42 and integral hitch pins 44. When installation of the string-pin units is to occur, a carrier 30 and a selected group of pre-oriented stringpin units assembled therein will be placed in position over the string plate 40, the hitch pin loops 14 being hooked over the appropriate hitch pins 44 as is suggested in FIG. 4. Continuing with reference to this latter figure, the tuning pins 1-6 will next be set over the corresponding bushings 42 and inserted lightly therein, the oriented condition of the tuning pins and the flexibility of the carrier 30 facilitating this operation. After the tuning pins 16 have been aligned they are inserted shallowly in the bushings 42 in continuation of their assembly with carrier 30, a light tapping on the upper ends of the tuning pins using a mallet, for example, serves to set them firmly so that the carrier 30 may be removed by being peeled from the upper ends of the tuning pins in accordance with the showing of FIG. 5. The tuning pins may then be seated to proper depth and rotated to tighten the strings. Thereafter, the adhesive tape 31 may be removed for further processing of the piano plate. It will be appreciated that this latter operation may be completed before the carrier 30 is removed if desired.
From the foregoing descriptions, it will be appreciated that the present invention provides an advantageous method of installing piano strings in pre-oriented groups of string-pin assemblies, the method of the invention being quick, convenient and efficient. It will also be appreciated that the present invention lends considerable flexibility to piano factory operation in that it permits the formation of the string-pin assemblies in a department apart from the actual stringing operation.
The drawings and the foregoing descriptions are not intended to represent the only forms of the invention in regard to the details of its construction and manner of operation. Changes in form and in the proportion of parts, as well as the substitution of equivalents, are contemplated as circumstances may suggest or render expedient; and although specific terms have been employed, they are intended in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for the purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being delineated in the following claims.
1. A method of installing piano strings which comprises the steps of: providing an orienting fixture having a plurality of apertures sized to receive tuning pins and configurated in a pattern simulating a region of the tuning pin-receiving portion of a piano string plate; inserting the tuning pins of a plurality of preassembled string-pin units in said apertures with the upper, tool-receiving end portions of said tuning pins being exposed above said orienting fixture; assembling a carrier to the exposed, tool-receiving end portions; separating said carrier and assembled string-pin units from said fixture; installing the tuning pins of said units in a piano string plate in continuatlon of the assembly of said pins and said carrier; and removing said carrier from said pins.
2. A method of installing piano strings according to claim 1 wherein said fixture is provided with a simulated hitch pin aligned with each set of tuning pin apertures and wherein the strings of said string-pin units are assembled with said simulated hitch pins and are joined with position-preserving attaching means before said units are separated from said fixture.
3. A method of installing piano strings according to claim 2 wherein said attaching means is adhesive-surfaced tape.
4. A method of installing piano strings according to claim 2 wherein said string-pin assemblies have hitch pin loops kinked therein.
5. A method of installing piano strings according to claim 2 wherein said fixture is articulated with a hinged joint between said simulated hitch pins and said tuning pin apertures and wherein said carrier and assembled string-pin units are separated from said fixture by folding said fixture at said joint.
6. A method of installing piano strings according to claim 1 wherein said carrier is of flexible, elastomeric material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,399,588 9/1968 Gebbia 84-l97 3,402,629 9/1968 Gebbia l40-93 LOWELL A. LARSON, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.