Title:
Piano action
United States Patent 2032745


Abstract:
This invention relates to piano actions and more specifically it pertains to that portion of a piano action commonly known in the art as the, "repetition". It is the object of the invention to improve the construction and principle of operation of piano repetitions, and so to construct such...



Inventors:
Finholm, William S.
Application Number:
US74091134A
Publication Date:
03/03/1936
Filing Date:
08/22/1934
Assignee:
Finholm, William S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G10C3/22
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Description:

This invention relates to piano actions and more specifically it pertains to that portion of a piano action commonly known in the art as the, "repetition".

It is the object of the invention to improve the construction and principle of operation of piano repetitions, and so to construct such machanisms that the mechanical results as well as the satisfaction of operation are greatly increased over any possible attainment with piano actions as they are generally constructed.

A feature of the invention resides in a novel construction and arrangement of parts whereby the periodicity of a complete note striking operation is materially reduced over that of the repetitions as generally constructed, thereby providing a greater rapidity of action than is possible with the so-called standard repetition.

A further feature of the invention resides in a novel construction whereby the so-called, "touch", of the piano action is greatly enhanced, thereby making for greater satisfaction in the operation of the action.

A further feature of the invention resides in a novel construction whereby the noise incident to the operation of the action is reduced to a point where it becomes negligible.

Still a further feature of the invention resides in a novel construction wherein all after vibration of the striking keys is eliminated. In other words the striking key after release from a striking operation immediately returns to a position of rest without vibration.

Still a further feature of the invention resides in a novel construction whereby the repetition is greatly simplified and consequently its cost of construction materially reduced.

Still a further feature of the invention resides in the provision of a novel piano action which in its complete and erected form may be substituted for standard actions at present in use without. necessitating material changes in the case, or other elements of the standard actions for which the present action forms a substitute.

Still a further feature of the invention resides in a novel construction and arrangement of parts whereby a perfect or accurate balancing of the keys may be accomplished without the use of leads or other weights as are now commonly employed. Still a further feature of the invention resides in a novel form of key leveling device which not only renders more rapid a key leveling operation, but permits of such operation without necessitating the removal of any of the elements of the action.

Other features of the invention relate to certain novel and improved constructions, arrangements and combinations of parts hereinafter described, and particularly pointed out in the claims, the advantages of which will be readily understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art.

The invention will be clearly understood from the accompanying drawings illustrating the invention in its preferred form and the following detailed description of the constructions therein shown.

In the drawings, Figure 1 is a view in elevation, partly in section of a piano action and illustrating a repetition mechanism constructed in accordance with the present invention, the several parts thereof being in a position of rest, Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1, except that the parts are shown in that position which they occupy after a key has been struck and with it held depressed or before it has been released and after the hammer has struck its string and rebounded into holding engagement with the back check, Figure 3 is a view similar to Figures 1 and 2, except that the parts are shown in the position which they occupy after the striking key has been released but just prior to the movement of the parts to their normal position which is the position of rest, Figure 4 is a top plan view of a single key and repetition mechanism, Figure 5 is a detail vertical sectional view, taken substantially on the line 5-5 of Figure 3, Figure 6 is a fragmentary view partly in eleva- S5 tion and partly in section more clearly to illustrate details of construction, and; Figure 7 is a view partly in elevation and partly in section on a reduced scale, illustrating a slightly modified form of the invention. In the preferred embodiment of my invention which is illustrated in Figures 1 to 6, inclusive, of the accompanying drawings, the reference character 10 designates the key frame of a piano action which may be of any desired construction. The improved mechanism being of substantially the same construction for each of the several keys, I have illustrated but one mechanism and a single key which latter is designated I . The key 11 is pivotally mounted upon a balancing and adjusting pin 12, which in the present invention, is of special construction and will be more specifically described hereinafter. The inner end 13 of the key is supported upon a key rest 14, when 55 the key is in a position of rest and carried by the inner end of the key there is the conventional back check 16.

The key I I carries a conventional capstan screw 17 and this capstan screw serves as the operating connection between the key and the fly lever, all in the usual manner.

The supporting frame is designated 18, and this frame has secured thereto suitable supporting rails 19 and 20. The supporting rail 19 provides for the mounting of the hammer shank flange 2 1, upon which the shanks 22 of the hammers 23 are pivotally mounted as at 24.

The supporting rail 20 provides for the mounting of the several repetition mechanisms of which there is one for each key as heretofore stated.

Each repetition mechanism is pivotally mounted in a bracket 25 which is secured or attached to the supporting rail 20 as at 26, this attachment being rigid. A bracket of the type preferred is best illustrated in Figures 5 and 7, and will be seen to comprise a frame-like body portion 27 having a vertically elongated opening 28, which provides two side walls 29 in which the repetition is mounted.

Pivotally mounted as at 30, there is a fly lever 31, which when the several parts of the mechanism are at rest, rests upon and is supported by the capstan screw 17. The balancing lever which is designated 32, is pivotally mounted as at 33, in the bracket 25. It will be noted that the pivotal points 30 and 33, are spaced from each other and the purpose of this construction will be hereinafter described. Pivotally mounted as at 34, there is a fly 35 and by reference to Figure 6 of the drawings, it will be noted that the end of the fly lever is cut out or bifurcated as at 36 to provide for the reception between the furcations of the fly 35. The fly has a tail piece 37 which normally lies within the bifurcated portion 36 of the fly lever and the bottom wall of this bifurcated portion 36 forms a stop for engagement by the tail 37 of the fly, to limit the pivotal movement of the fly in one direction. A bumper felt 38, may be provided at this point if desired.

The balancing lever 32 has on its free end, a hammer knuckle 39, and the upper end 40 of the fly 35 occupies a position beneath this knuckle when the several parts are in their position of rest. The hammer knuckle 39 lies beneath the hammer shank slide 41 of the hammer shank. It will be noted that in the repetition mechanism herein illustrated, the hammer knuckle is carried by the balancing lever instead of being attached to the under face of the hammer shank as is the case in standard actions. This feature of construction I consider important in two respects.

First, it relieves the hammer and its shank of the weight of the knuckle and tends thereby to produce lighter action of the hammer and second, it eliminates the necessity for two fly adjustments which are employed in standard actions.

The reference numeral 45 designates what I term a fly release and return element, since it functions to remove the fly 35 from beneath the balancing lever 32 when the striking action is produced, and again to return the fly to position beneath the balancing lever when the key is released to permit the parts to return to their normal position of rest.

In the present embodiment of the invention this member 45 is illustrated as a spring connected at one end as at 46 to the under face of the balancing lever at a point closely adjacent the pivotal point 33 thereof. The opposite end of the memher 45 is formed to provide a rolled portion 47 which rests upon the tail piece 37 of the fly 35, and which also occupies a position closely adjacent an adjusting screw or bolt 48. Connected as at 49 to the upper face of the balancing lever 32, there is a spring 50 which extends around the pivot 33 of the balancing lever and has its lower end connected to an adjusting screw 51, which has threaded engagement with the bracket 25, as best seen in Figure 3. The spring 50 has a tendency to lift the balancing lever 32 against the weight of the hammer 22 and the effort of this spring may be adjusted by the screw 51.

As heretofore stated, the member 45 acts to both release the fly from its position beneath the knuckle 39 and to return it to position beneath said knuckle upon return of the several parts to their position of rest upon release of the key after a note striking operation. In the first of these functions, the member 45 acts as a lever which pushes against the fly to move it out of engagement with the knuckle 39, while the return of the fly beneath the knuckle is accomplished by pressure exerted upon the tail piece 37, which pressure, in the present embodiment of the invention, is derived from an inherent characteristic of the member 45 which is constructed of spring metal.

The movement of the fly 35 out of engagement with the knuckle 39 is accomplished in the following manner. With the parts in the position of rest as illustrated in Figure 1, upward movement of the fly lever 31 moves the pivotal point 34 of the fly closer to the pivotal point 33 of the balancing lever. This action moves the fly into engagement with the end of the member 45, which pushes upon the fly to rock it outwardly from beneath the knuckle 39 to the position in which it is illustrated in Figure 2. As before stated, the member 45 is of a resilient nature and when the parts are in the position in which they are shown in Figure 2, this member 45 is slightly bowed. This bowing of the member places the same under tension and exerts a 45 downward pressure upon the tail piece 37 of the fly 35, which pressure serves to return the fly to position beneath the knuckle when the parts are permitted to return to the position of rest.

This bowing and tensioning of the member 45 also serves to hold or support the balancing lever 32 in elevated position until such time as the fly positions itself beneath the knuckle as illustrated in Figure 3 of the drawings, even though the fly lever 31 is moving downwardly in said figure. After the fly has moved to position beneath the knuckle 39, a hooked member 60, which is adjustably carried by the fly lever 31 by having threaded engagement therewith, engages the balancing lever 32 and assists its return to its position of rest.

The elimination of all after vibration of the striking key heretofore referred to is obtained in the following manner. It will be noted that the fly lever is maintained at all times in engagement with the capstan pin 17, and the knuckle 39 at all times in engagement with the hammer shank slide 41 by the fly release and return element 45 which, under all conditions of operation, will maintain the contacts described permanent, thus prevent lost motion between the parts and eliminating all vibration of the striking key when it is released to return to its normal position and bringing the key to rest immediately it reaches this normal position. This elimination of lost motion is also an important factor in the quiet operation of the mechanism.

In Figure 7 I have shown a slightly modified form of the invention in which the balancing of the balancing lever is accomplished in a slightly different manner.

In the modified form of the invention, the two members, or elements 45 and 50 are combined in one spring 65, which passes through the balancing lever 32 as at 66, is passed around the pivot of the balancing lever, and has its end 67 connected to an adjusting screw 68. When constructed in this manner, the mechanism functions in the manner heretofore described and it is not considered necessary to herein repeat the description thereof.

By the construction described, it will be readily apparent that by the adjustments provided, an extremely sensitive and accurate balancing of the balance lever 32 may be obtained, and that by this extremely sensitive balancing, all dead weight is eliminated, thus producing a repetition mechanism which is light of touch, is capable of adjustment so that the touch throughout the entire keyboard is uniform, the touch may be adjusted to individual desires and which eliminates many of the parts present in standard actions.

The balancing and adjusting pin heretofore referred to, consists of a main body portion 70, the lower end of which is threaded as at 71, for reception in a threaded recess 72, in the key frame 10. The balance rail 73, is recessed as at 74, to receive a key supporting flange or collar 75, a felt 76 being interposed between the key and said key supporting flange or collar 75. The upper end of the body portion 70 may be squared as at 77, for engagement by a suitable tool in order that the balancing pin 12 may be adjusted as a whole in the threaded recess 72, to raise or lower the key supporting flange or collar 75, and thus bring the key to the desired level.

Thus it will be apparent that the leveling of a piano keyboard can be accomplished with the present invention in a more easy and more simple manner than is possible with actions of the so-called standard types.

While the invention has been herein illustrated in its preferred forms, it is to be understood that it may be practiced in other worms without departing from the spirit thereof and that it is limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed, is: 1. In a repitition mechanism for piano actions, a balancing lever, a fly lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and operable thereby to elevate the balancing lever from rest to an elevated position and resilient means for moving the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever as the latter reaches the said elevated position.

2. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a balancing lever, a fly lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and operable thereby to elevate the balancing lever from rest to an elevated position and resilient means for moving the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever as the latter reaches the said elevated position, said resilient means also serving to support the balancing lever in its elevated position until the fly is re-positioned in engagement with the balancing lever.

3. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a balancing lever, a fly lever, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever, and a spring rigidly connected at one end to the balancing lever and operable to move the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever upon movement of the fly lever.

4. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a balancing lever, a fly lever, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and a spring rigidly con- i; nected at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end spaced from the fly, said spring being movable into engagement with the fly to disengage it from the balancing lever upon operative movement of the fly lever. 5. A repetition mechanism for piano actions comprising in combination with a hammer, a striking key and a back check for said hammer, a balancing lever, a fly ever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate the balancing lever to produce a striking action of the hammer, and means for momentarily holding the hammer and balancing lever in partially elevated position while the striking key, fly and fly lever are returning to their normal position of rest, said last mentioned means comprising a spring rigidly connected at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with said fly.

6. A repetition mechanism for piano actions comprising in combination with a hammer, a striking key and a back check for said hammer, a balancing lever, a fly lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate the balancing lever to produce a striking action of the hammer, and means for momentarily holding the hammer and balancing lever in partially elevated position while the striking key, fly and fly lever are returning to their normal position of rest, said last mentioned means comprising a spring rigidly connected at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with said fly, and an adjustable stop carried by said fly and adjustable towards and away from the fly end of said spring. 7. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a fly lever, means for pivotally mounting said fly lever, a balancing lever, means for pivotally mounting said balancing lever with its pivotal point in line with, but spaced from the pivot of the fly lever, whereby pivotal movement of the fly lever and the balancing lever moves the free end of the fly lever through an arc eccentric with respect to the pivotal point of the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate said balancing lever, and a spring connected at one end to said balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with the fly, said spring functioning as a lever to move the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever upon movement of the parts to produce a striking action, and exerting its tension to return the fly to position beneath the balancing lever upon movement of the parts to their normal position of rest after a striking action. 8. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a fly lever, means for pivotally mounting said fly lever, a balancing lever, means for pivotally mounting said balancing lever with its pivotal point in line with, but spaced from the pivot of the fly lever, whereby pivotal movement of the fly lever and the balancing lever moves the free end of the fly lever through an arc excentric with respect to the pivotal point of the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate said balancing lever, and a spring connected at one end to said balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with the fly, said spring functioning as a lever to move the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever upon movement of the parts to produce a striking action, and exerting its tension to return the fly to position beneath the balancing lever upon movement of the parts to their normal position of rest after a striking action, and means for adjusting the leverage and tension of said spring.

9. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a fly lever, means for pivotally mounting said fly lever, a balancing lever, means for pivotally mounting said balancing lever with its pivotal point in line with, but spaced from the pivot of the fly lever whereby pivotal movement of the fly lever and the balancing lever moves the free end of the fly lever through an arc excentric with respect to the pivotal point of the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate said balancing lever, a fly operating lever connected at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with the fly whereby operation of the fly lever moves the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever and resilient means for returning said fly to position beneath the balancing lever upon return of the parts to normal position after an operation. 10. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a fly lever, means for pivotally mounting said fly lever, a balancing lever, means for pivotally mounting said balancing lever with its pivotal point in lne with, but spaced from the pivot of the fly lever whereby pivotal movement of the fly lever and the balancing lever moves the free end of the fly lever through an arc excentric with respect to the pivotal point of the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted to operate said balancing lever, a fly operating lever connected at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end in engagement with the fly whereby operation of the fly lever moves the fly out of engagement with the balancing lever and resilient means for returning said fly to position beneath the balancing lever upon return of the parts to normal position after an operation, said resilient means being inherent in the fly operating lever.

11. In a piano action, in combination, a striking key, a hammer, and a repetition mechanism forming the operative connection between the key and the hammer, said repetition mechanism including a fly lever, a balancing lever, and means carried by the balancing lever for maintaining constant contact of the fly lever with the striking key and the balancing lever with the shank of the hammer.

12. In a piano action, in combination, a striking key, a hammer, and a repetition mechanism forming the operative connection between the key and the hammer, said repetition mechanism including a fly lever, a balancing lever, and means for maintaining constant contact of the fly lever with the striking key and the balancing lever with the shank of the hammer, said last mentioned means comprising a member under tension and interposed between the fly lever and the balancing lever.

13. A repetition mechanism comprising in combination a rigidly supported bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivot in vertical alinement with the pivot of the fly lever, a hammer operating knuckle carried by the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted for engagement beneath the knuckle on the balancing lever to support the balancing lever, and a spring rigidly connected to the balancing lever and extending into engagement with the fly, said spring serving to return the fly to position beneath the balancing lever during operation of the mechanism.

14. A repetition mechanism comprising in combination a rigidly supported bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivot in vertical alinement with the pivot of the fly lever, a hammer operating knuckle carried by the balancing lever, a fly carried by the fly lever and adapted for engagement beneath the knuckle on the balancing lever to support the balancing lever, and a resilient member under tension carried by the balancing lever and extending into engagement with the fly, said resillent member serving to return the fly to position beneath the balancing lever during operation of the mechanism and means for adjusting the tension of said resilient member.

15. A repetition mechanism for grand piano actions including, a stationary bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket independently of the fly lever but with its pivot in vertical alinement with the pivot of the fly lever, a fly mounted on the fly lever and engageable beneath the balancing lever to support the same, a relatively long flat spring for moving the fly to position beneath the balancing lever, a relatively short spring connected at one end to the balanc- '0 ing lever and at its opposite end to the said bracket adjacent the pivotal point of the balancing lever.

16. A -repetition mechanism for grand piano actions including a stationary bracket, a fly lever ,5 pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivotal point in vertical alinement with the pivot of the fly lever, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and engageable beneath the balancing lever to support the same, a relatively long flat spring extending from the under side of the balancing lever and into engagement with the fly to move the fly to position beneath the balancing lever, and a second spring extending from the upper side of the balancing lever and adjustably connected to said stationary bracket.

17. A repetition mechanism for grand piano actions including in combination, a vertically extending stationary bracket, a fly lever and a 5g balancing lever independently pivoted to said bracket with their pivotal points in vertical alinement with each other, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and adapted to engage beneath the balancing lever to support the same, resilient 3. means carried by the balancing lever and having engagement with the fly to move the same to position beneath the balancing lever, a second resilient means carried by the balancing lever and extending from the upper side thereof from a ;:o point adjacent the pivotal point of the balancing lever, said second mentioned resilient member embracing the pivotal point of the balancing lever and having its free end occupying a position substantially parallel with said stationary bracket, , and means carried by said bracket and having engagement with the free end of the second mentioned resilient member for adjusting the tension thereof.

18. In a repetition mechanism for grand pianos, a vertically disposed bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivotal point directly above and in vertical alinement with the pivotal point of the fly lever, a hammer knuckle carried by the balancing lever and projecting from the free end thereof, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and having its free end adapted for engagement beneath the hammer knuckle to support the balancing lever in its normal inoperative position and resilient means for supporting the balancing lever when the fly is out of supporting engagement with the balancing lever.

19. In a repetition mechanism for grand pianos, a vertically disposed bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivotal point directly above and in vertical alinement with the pivotal point of the fly lever, a hammer knuckle carried by the balancing lever and projecting from the free end thereof, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and having its free end adapted for engagement beneath the hammer knuckle to support the balancing lever in its normal inoperative position and resilient means for supporting the balancing lever when the fly is out of supporting engagement with the balancing lever, said resilient means including a spring connected at one end to the balancing lever, said spring projecting through said bracket, and having its free end portion extending in substantial parallelism with said bracket, and means for attaching the free end of said spring to said bracket and for adjusting the tension of the spring.

20. In a repetition mechanism, a stationary vertically disposed bracket, a fly lever pivotally mounted intermediate the ends of said bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket with its pivotal point above and in vertical alinement with the pivotal point of the fly lever, a fly pivotally mounted on the fly lever and adapted to engage beneath the balancing lever to operate the same, and resilient means for elevating said balancing lever, said resilient means including a spring secured to the balancing lever and having a slotted free end extending through said bracket, and means adjustably mounted on the bracket and extending through the slot of the slotted end of the spring to regulate the tension thereof, said spring having sliding movement relative to the tension adjusting means upon operation of the repetition mechanism.

21. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a stationary bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, and a spring for maintaining said balancing lever in its elevated position, said spring being attached at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end slotted and disposed substantially parallel with said bracket, and means passing through the slot of said spring and having adjustable connection with said bracket to adjust the tension of said spring.

22. In a repetition mechanism for piano actions, a stationary bracket, a balancing lever pivotally mounted in said bracket, and a spring for maintaining said balancing lever in its elevated position, said spring being attached at one end to the balancing lever and having its opposite end slotted and disposed substantially parallel with said bracket, and means passing ,. through the slot of said spring and having adjustable connection with said bracket to adjust the tension of said spring, the balancing lever, spring and adjusting means being so constructed and arranged that during operation of the repe- .. tition mechanism, the spring will have sliding movement relative to said adjusting means.

WILLIAM S. FINHOLM.