Author Topic: stage leg braces  (Read 2509 times)

Offline vortmaxx

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stage leg braces
« on: March 24, 2013, 01:37:39 PM »
Greetings brothers and sisters.

I am on the hunt for some leg braces for my 54. I realize that these were not part of the original design, but I have got it in my head that there is just too much sway in the piano when I put a second keyboard on top and play with any kind of enthusiasm.

I've considered just going with a table style stand, but I really think that legs, properly braced, would provide better support. Entry level for these stands seems to be around $100, double that for the heavier duty models, so I would like to keep it to around $100 or less.

I'm either looking for anyone who might be able to manufacture something, or some guidance in making my own. Vintage Music in Portugal is the only supplier I've found so far that would try and make them, but I am a bit leery about spending around $100 on custom hardware from so far away.

From the handful of threads on the subject I've found around here, I think I have most of the info I would need to try and make something myself. I have some 3/4" conduit laying around that I could use to make some templates, but I think I would ultimately want to use something with a thicker wall. The only number I am not sure of is the distance along the upper flange (brace plate end) from the center line of the notch to the bend. There seemed to be some discrepancy about whether it was/is 1 1/8" or 1 1/2".

If anyone can confirm this, or point me in the direction of someone in the U.S. who might be able to make a set of custom braces, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.



Offline sean

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Re: stage leg braces
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 01:53:03 PM »

You should be able to make perfectly functional leg braces from aluminum angle iron purchased at any hardware store.  (Hmmm... did I just call it "aluminum angle iron?"  DOH!  Maybe it should be called extruded aluminum angle.)

The 1/8" stuff should be strong enough.  Buy a size that is rigid enough for your tastes.

The original braces were 5/8" steel tubing.  The squished ends of the braces were just under one inch wide.  The top flange was just over two inches long.  The bottom flange was 1.25" long.  Both flanges have 3/8" slots cut into them (drill a 3/8" hole in the center, and then cut away the slot with a hacksaw).

Do your legs have the adjustable section that exposes a place to clamp the braces securely near the bottom of the leg?

You will need to add an aluminum plate to the bottom of your piano, and thread it  1/4"-20 for the crossbrace knob.   Steel would be great too, if you have the strength to tap it.  (This plate has to be thinner than your feet/sphinx glides are, you don't want to set the piano on a flat surface someday, and have it wobble.)

Oh wait... the plate is 2" by 4", and is not threaded itself.  Looks like there is a T-nut installed under the plate.  The plate will keep the T-nut from working itself free, and keeps the braces from tearing up the tolex.

Since you have the flexibility to make these yourself, you might make the flange at the top end of the braces a little longer than two inches, so that you get a little more finger and knuckle clearance when tightening the knob.


I have a meticulous drawing with measurements of the original Stage 73 braces, but yahoo is no longer posting the file.  PM me with your email address, and I will email the pdf file to you.

Sean


Offline vortmaxx

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Re: stage leg braces
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 05:47:17 PM »
I have the standard issue legs, with the gap that screws tight about 4" up from the bottom of the legs. I ordered a plate which comes with some hardware, but I am counting on at least 1 trip to the store. Either way, it appears that there will be some T-nuts along with a 1/4"-20 bolt of some sort in my future.

Another thing I am unsure of is how the plate is mounted. There are 2 other holes in the plate for mounting. I'm guessing either more T-nuts and some bolts, or just some fat 3/4" wood screws.

A rough measurement from bend-to-bend looks like about 29" which is a couple inches shorter than the original braces, as it should be. I will get a more accurate number when I get the plate, but I am planning on aiming a little shorter as opposed to longer. This would keep it closer towards the back, to avoid the balance rail, but it looks like I will be okay if I center it.

I will still try to make some sort of prototype with the conduit I have laying around. Who knows, if it seems rigid enough then that just may be the end of it. I will let you know how it all shakes out, along with any lessons learned.

Offline David Aubke

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Re: stage leg braces
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 06:33:52 PM »
The leg brace is installed with the same 10-32 t-nuts as used for the leg flanges.
Dave Aubke
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Offline vortmaxx

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Re: stage leg braces
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2013, 08:32:46 PM »
Great! Thanks Dave.

Offline vortmaxx

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Re: stage leg braces
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 11:38:39 AM »
Sean, Dave, et al.

Just wanted to say thanks again, and let all y'all know how it went. I made some braces out of 1 x 3/16" steel flat stock and I think there is definitely some added stability.

My first attempts at making the braces using conduit were educational to say the least. I think the "slit" is to allow some relief in the metal where it is getting squashed/bent. I tried making the slit where I though the bend should begin, and that sort of worked. In the end, I think that using anything round will require some spot/tack weld in the vicinity of the bend, especially if there is any cutting going on.

The saving grace was that I was able to mount the brace plate last, so I had some room for error. After making the first 2 bends, I realized that I had lost about 3/8" in the length between the bends, and this ultimately pushed the brace plate back about an inch. Law of Cosines, or something like that....

Sean- the pdf you sent is fantastic- it deserves to be pinned up on the forum somewhere. I am keeping it handy for when I get some time to bounce this little project between a couple of friends- one of them has a dad who was a t.v. repair man. He's got this awesome set of tools, and he can fix anything.....