Author Topic: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?  (Read 120 times)

Offline Aidan

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« on: September 12, 2017, 05:43:01 AM »
My Wurli has OK action- not perfect (even when action parts are lubed) and at some point I'm considering a full re-felt... does anyone know somewhere I can buy a felt product for a different intended use that can be modified/repurposed and used instead of the expensive existing parts out there...? perhaps just a roll of felt that I can cut to size? or parts for an acoustic piano that happen to fit.. looking for cheaper alternatives... If anyone has any tips or advice that would be much appreciated!!

Keep on groovin'
Aidan

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 2958
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 08:00:48 AM »
Never try to replace the hammers in a Wurlitzer with anything other than hammers from another Wurlitzer. They are miniature versions of acoustic piano hammers. There is no way to re felt them or make new ones without owning piano factory hammers manufacturing tools. You can not cover over them, nothing will work. New hammer felt will not make the action feel better. Buying a roll of felt and gluing it on will only ruin the hammers you have. Hammer felt is extremely thick and dense, thin felt is completely different. It will just fray and make a big mess.

The damper felts should be relatively easy to find. I believe Vintage Vibe sells replacements.
If you don't own the let off adjustment wrench, you can buy the best style on eBay. That will make your action work much better.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Aidan

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 09:18:09 AM »
Alright, thanks for the warning not to let my DIY enthusiasm get the better of me! So what about re-shaping the hammers? I seem to recall having this done to my upright piano ages ago, would this work on an electric piano? And what about using a roll of strong piano felt to reconstruct some of the thinner felt parts? labour-intensive I know.. but I seem to have more time than money these days!

Thanks again!
Aidan

Offline mvanmanen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 174
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 11:44:18 AM »
+1 on the let off adjustment wrench

It took me some time to really get the hang of doing this but it is one of the best bang-for-buck things. I also bought the wrench from vintage vibe. I think it is actually handy to have both sometimes.
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes (1971, 1975, 1980)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N
Hammond B3

Yamaha CP4
Hammond SK1

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 2958
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 05:51:06 AM »
The Wurlitzer ep tool on eBay is the best one there is. It is a very hard metal, and it is angled perfectly. Those long flat tools are a pain to use. The end of the tool is very difficult to get in between the parts for one thing. And the metal is softer and gets chewed up.

No reshaping either!  Wurlitzer hammers are tiny. In my 40+ years of owning and repairing Wurlitzers, I have never shaped or needled a Wurlitzer hammer. Reshaping is difficult enough on full size hammers, you would just destroy them. There is no reason to do this in a Wurlitzer Ep.

What are you specifically asking about with adding felt strips? Again, do NOT glue felt strips to your hammers. Adding felt to the top 2 or 3 hammers may sound like a good idea, but it can easily cause the hammer to get stuck in the reed bar. There just isn't enough space to use strong piano felt on top of the felt that is there.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 06:33:12 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 2958
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 06:06:56 AM »
Again, I just want to say that Wurlitzer ep hammers and acoustic piano hammers are not the same thing. I can't stress this enough. Acoustic piano hammers get grooves worn into them on the trichord hammers especially, and eventually those need to be filed. They are much larger, and can be filed one or two times. Wurlitzer reeds do make marks in the hammers, but do not groove them like piano strings do. There is no reason to EVER file Wurlitzer hammers. You can't just order new hammer heads like you can with Rhodes tips. Nobody makes Wurlitzer replacement hammer heads, and likely never will. I wish I had some way to post pictures here showing the differences between Wurlitzer hammers and acoustic piano hammers. Please heed my warning when I say, never ever, file, glue felt to, or try to reshape in any way a Wurlitzer ep hammer. You can buy used replacements from some people. I may even have some spares but I need to look.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline tjh392

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 689
    • View Profile
    • YouTube
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 09:20:49 AM »
Nobody makes Wurlitzer replacement hammer heads, and likely never will.

VV do:

WURLITZER 140, 200 SERIES HAMMER TIPS
Rhodes Stage 73 1975 with Satellite System, Wurlitzer 200a 1976, Hohner String Performer

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 2958
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Felts, Hammers & Dampeners- cheapest replacements?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 08:19:04 PM »
I find it hard to believe that they are new replacements. I'm 95% sure they are pulled from parts units.. I seriously doubt that anyone has the proper equipment to duplicate these miniature hammers.
But, I'm sure someone from VV who knows for sure will chime in.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 06:30:26 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...