Installing Piano Lifter Elbows

Piano Plastic Lifter Elbows


The elbows on a spinet piano help transfer the motion down to the action.

In a lot of the older Spinet pianos they have the plastic lifter elbows that over time they become brittle and brake. The newer elbows are much stronger and will last much longer and they are quite easy to replace. One end has an opening for threading onto the lifter rod or wire, the other end has an opening for slipping the elbow on a small pin in the wippen mechanism.

Article courtesy Gemm Piano Supply

What you want to do first is brake off any parts or bits of the broken elbow from the drop lifter wire (generally the broken elbow will be attached to the end of the lifter wire) and you can do that by using needlenose pliers and squeezing at the elbow and that should get it off. You do need to be very careful not to put pressure on either of the two wooden flanges of the wippen. You do NOT want to break the wippen.  

Once you have removed all the remnants of the elbow, you will take the wire and screw on the new plastic elbow (the end of the wire is threaded - Make sure when screwing the elbows that they are straight to avoid any damage). Generally it’s pretty tight, you will use vice script pliers and lock those one and turn the elbows, and it does take several turns to tighten. You want to make sure you tighten all the way to the top of the threaded portion of the wire. You will notice the other end of the wire has a small padded wooden nut where it sets in the end of the piano key. Now it’s ready for you to install back inside the piano, you will see a slot in the end of the piano key and a hole into which the drop wire sets. After you complete attaching the elbows down below go back and make sure that all the padded nuts that are on the top of the wires are firmly seated down into these holes. Attaching the elbows to the wippens is an easy task It takes for you to push them firmly onto the pins in the wippens make sure no to cross the wires, because the will have the wrong piano key attached to the wrong wippen.

Now that you have all the repaired drop lifters attached, you can now adjust the wooden nuts on top of some of the wires to make sure that all of the keys on the front of the piano are level with each other and that the keys have the right traveler impressed and you can do this by simply twisting the wood nut up to lower the front of the key and down to raise the front of the key.


Article courtesy Gemm Piano Supply

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