Action Swing for Baby Ampico
by Craig Brougher

ampicoSwing4a.jpg (14 kb)  ampicoSwing3a.jpg (9 kb)
The tuner easily inserts the felt to tune the treble strings.

The Baby Ampico tray swing allows the action frame, which normally sits above the piano action and against the tuning pins, to be swung down almost to keytop level.  It also allows for easier retubing, and the removal of the entire upper action with the stack, after untubing only the function tubes and supply.

To tune, the tuner removes the front boards of the piano as usual, but also the music board and the fallboard (nameboard), and the tray then will swing in a fully controlled arc down to keytop level, vertically resting there. It makes all repairs so much easier, and tuning it becomes a normal procedure.

To initially set it up, and since each player is a little different, stand the player stack on the bench, set the tray on its supports, and screw the tray end blocks down on the tray supports. That's where it is designed to rest in the piano. From there, find a clear area roughly 5/8" to 3/4" from the rear end of the tray end block, clear the mounting screw and slightly below it, drill a hole for a test #6 screw. Establish another point at the forwardmost end of the block, about 6-5/8" to 6-3/4" away from the first, and drill another hole, clearing the tray's block screws.  As you are establishing the points on the tray's end blocks, you have to keep the swing plate positioned level and centered for its screw holes to line up evenly with the sides of the stack.  It's not critical, except you want to do it the same way at the other end.

The only other thing you may need to do now (not shown) on some models is to trim off about 3/4" of the tray support blocks at the rear, and bevel them down about 3/8" or so. That gives the block clearance for the tray block's center to pass by.

Remember that each player is different as they were hand-made through different years. So keep in mind that what fits one may be slightly different on another, but the radius arm length and swing plate should remain a constant. (Caution: Do not put screws through any cork gaskets.)

Craig Brougher
Wed, 29 Aug 2001 11:23:44 -0700

ampicoSwing0.gif (46 kb)

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Tiny piano, big piano tuner!  He's Kelvin Gunn of Independence, MO,
and he has been tuning Craig's pianos since 1980.


08 September 2001, rev. 04 December 2001