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changing felts

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  • #76284
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Does anyone here use the pedal felt clamps?

    #76285
    paul-knoke
    Participant

    I use spring clamps originally intended for gluing ivory key tops onto piano keys. The springs are flat, hence less in the way when I’m sewing the felts on. Yes, I know I’m probably one of the last people still to be sewing the felts on….

    #76286
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I just wondered about the clamps. I stuff wadded up paper towels between the pedals up by the fulcrum to try and keep the pedals from shifting when the base is off. I also stick hatpins thru the felt and slot felt to hold them. Folding the pedals up on either side of the one I’m working on helps, too. I wondered if clamps were supposed to hold them in place or what. If it’s to hold one while you wrap, there’s no need for that…I just hold with one hand and wrap with the other.

    I wonder if your clamps are for when you sew or to hold the pedals to keep them from sliding around? Do you have a picture of them? As for sewing, yes I do. My Etude is rather nasty to get the base back on, and glued wraps can be dislodged and cause major trauma to the harpist…namely me…so I still sew those…one gluing experience was one too many.

    Sewing is slow, but it’s the surest way to keep them where they need to be, and you can play on them right away. On my 15, sometimes I sew, and sometimes I glue…however the spirit moves me.

    #76287
    paul-knoke
    Participant

    The clamps are for holding the felts tight while I trim and sew them. I hold the pedal in position with a big screwdriver that has a kind of deep groove around the handle, and a rubber cover on the handle. I pull the pedal in question towards me, and stick the screwdriver crossways behind it. The rubber handle (and the pressure from the spring) keeps the screwdriver in place, and the groove keeps the pedal bar in place. Did I describe that OK?

    #76288
    Sylvia
    Participant

    How can you pull a pedal toward you? Once the felt is wrapped and the pedal is against the wood, the felt stays in place while I work on it…it doesn’t go anywhere…and I just do one at a time. I just wish (and I’ve asked, to no avail) that LH would make some kind of felts that could be put on without removing the the base.

    #76289
    paul-knoke
    Participant

    I have a special set of wooden horses that the harp goes into when I’m changing felts. The harp is held with the column down, the pedals sticking up and the base elevated so it’s a good height to work on while I’m sitting down. I pull the pedal toward me by grabbing the pedal brass and pulling it toward me! I find it a lot easier to sew if there’s some free space all around the pedal bar. The problem with “instant felts” is that not all harps take the same number of wraps. Many older harps have narrower pedal slots that need fewer wraps of felt, and a few harps have narrow pedal slots just on F and G.

    #76290
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I thought the pedals are fastened to the harp, unless you mean just unfolding it and leaving the others folded. I wondered why you would trim a felt. I always use the whole felt because I thought that’s the amount it’s supposed to be. I’m not familiar with different harps…you must be a harp tech.
    I just get down on the floor with something stuck under the end of the harp so the body end is not completely next to the floor …too hard to get the base off and on. I like contortive exercise, but it seems to me in the 21st century replacing felts is sort of like heating water on a cookstove instead of having a water heater….it’s so early 20th century, and no one is using advanced tech to change it…they just let us suffer.

    #76291
    paul-knoke
    Participant

    Sorry, I’m not doing the greatest job explaining. On the other hand, without pictures, it’s sort of like trying to describe knitting to someone!

    I pull the pedal away from the the base frame (once the pedal box is off) so the pedal is somewhere between the natural and sharp positions. I have big hands, so the extra room around the pedal bar is useful.

    The amount of trimming depends one the harp. Older harps seem to have slenderer pedal bars, so once the felt is wrapped tight, there’s about 1/4″ extra. Newer harps often have thicker pedal bars and the felt comes out about even. You want the felts tight and firm to give a cleaner and more positive feel to the pedals, and so the felts will be less likely to catch on the corners of the slot. Yup, I’m a tech. Very astute guess!

    I used to sit on the floor to work, too, but that was pre-spinal stenosis. I can still get down to the floor OK, but standing up can be quite a project!

    I hear you about the retro technology, but I like that kind of stuff. There’s no TV in the living room, but there is a Victrola.

    #76292
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I get three wraps around the pedal with no leftover felt. I’m retro, too…the TV is there, but it’s not flat screen, and it’s not on very much….mostly to watch skating I’ve taped, and news….and I exercise while it’s on.

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