Abel Mahogany-core Hammers fitted to Kawai Grand

Setting up the jig
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Testing the height of the string line
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Measuring the weight.
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The markings for the weight on the lowest notes 57 - 73 - 67 - 63 - 76 (grams).
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The shank-flanges are Renner standard. The Kawai action rail requires them to be 1.5mm shorter.
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It's hard to see in the photo. The original set-up had the hammers leaning to the left in the middle section, and leaning to the right in the alto section.
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Drilling the holes in the new mahogany-core hammers from Abel.
The new hammers for the end of each section are fitted first.
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The two top sections are done.
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Half way!
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Just the bass to go.
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Generally pianos are designed to have the hammers in a straight line. On this model, the top section deviated slightly such that the top hammers shanks are slightly short.
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Checking the hammer line. Each hammer is glued on and aligned against the straight-edge.
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Checking the alignment of the tenor and alto sections.
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The bass section complete. The glue needs to dry for a day before the shanks can be machined to be flush.
Back view of the hammers, showing the extra length protruding.
I machined the bass and tenor hammers one by one, removing them from the action rail, because of the angles.
Before ..
The shanks are clamped together to allow for sanding the whole section.
 ... and after
All that remains is for me to make the action work,
The old hammers were good standard hormbeam-core Kawai hammers, heavily grooved and over-voiced. The new hammers (Abel part no. 222/0) have mahogany cores, giving a warmer more rounded tone, with more possibilites. I have set the angles to follow the string angles very closely. This is closer than originally designed, but requires a little more machining, which is why it wasn't done in the factory. I anticipate that the extra time and effort put into this job will be evident in the resulting tone. I apologise for the extra time, but I am sure you will be happy with the new sound and feel.


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