Papps wedges

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vernon
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Papps wedges

Post by vernon » 14 Nov 2014, 22:39

Who was Mr Papps and did he make a wodge from his wedges?
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Bill Kibby » 15 Nov 2014, 00:16

In 1886, Papps patented the tuning wedge which is now used by most tuners in Britain - the Papps wedge, like a pair of long, wooden tweezers, sprung so that they can grip between any two strings of a trichord to stop them sounding. Modern Papps wedges are made of blue nylon, and can be supplied by Fletcher & Newman Ltd., but I bought several wooden ones from Fletcher & Newman in the sixties, before they went over to nylon in a light greenish colour, as shown above.

In 1913, Papps invented a pear-shaped wrestpin hole, the idea being that the tension of the string would pull the pin into the tapered part of the hole, and provide a better grip. There is some debate about whether the wrestplank has pear-shaped holes in the wood, or whether they are simply cast in the iron frame. It seems an unlikely idea, and I had never imagined that it would work, but John Tyrell phoned from Worcestershire about one of these which he tunes about every 5 or 6 years: The pins are very tight and difficult to tune, but it stays up to pitch for all that time!

This is believed to be the same Papps as...

1894 Kelly's Directory of the Furnishing & Cabinet Trades; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include John Henry Papps & Son, 105, St. James Road, Southsea.
1899 Kelly's Directory of the Furnishing & Cabinet Trades; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include John Henry Papps & Son, 105, St. James Road, Southsea.
1911 Kelly's Directory of the Furnishing & Cabinet Trades; Pianoforte Makers & Warehouses include J.H. Papps & Son, 382 & 384 Commercial Road, Landport, & 10 Norfolk Street, Southsea.
1914 Music Trades Directory (E. Daynes) lists Papps & Son, piano makers, 380-4 Commercial Road, Landport, & 10 Norfolk Street, Southsea.
1928 Musique Addresses Universel lists Papps & Son, 380 Commercial Road, piano makers.
1938 Music Trades Directory lists Papps & Son, 382 Commercial Road, piano makers & dealers.
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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Colin Nicholson » 15 Nov 2014, 01:21

Did he make a fortune then?
Wonder how much they cost back in those days?
Don't know where I got it from.... but I have a handmade one made from rosewood.... and cracked wooden case! .... has a much nicer tone than the ivory looking ones :)
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Bill Kibby » 15 Nov 2014, 01:24

How do you get a note out of a wedge?
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Colin Nicholson » 15 Nov 2014, 09:10

PLUCK it! .... for extreme treble unisons
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by vernon » 15 Nov 2014, 20:34

Colin
who told you of the trick of plucking the trebles with the Papps wedge?
Nobody told me.nor did I read it anywhere so is it something in tuners genes as many seem to do it?
Not in Reblitz (yet)?
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Feg » 15 Nov 2014, 22:05

I do that too:) Don't remember being taught it by anyone. It just seems the logical thing to do.

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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Bill Kibby » 16 Nov 2014, 01:41

I use fingernails. I never drop them inside the piano, and I never leave them at home, whereas with Papps wedges, I find I need to carry several spares, because it is so inconvenient to tune without them. Mind you, the extreme treble is often so false that wedging becomes almost pointless, and one is forced to chip up.
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Colin Nicholson » 17 Nov 2014, 02:15

Yeh... Mick Danby showed me that trick at college.... useful if top strings are a bit naff, and I can easily lose track which string has drifted off slightly.... so I create a sort of "rhythmical" da da da across the 3 strings with the wedge to find the blighter!.... works every time.
Everyone to their own :)
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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Olek » 17 Nov 2014, 21:56

they are very useful, I lost mine a few weeks ago and I am obliged to mute only one external string, which is also feasible to tune ( directly a doublet in treble) but I will buy a new one soon.

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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Barrie Heaton » 20 Nov 2014, 21:52

Feg wrote:I do that too:) Don't remember being taught it by anyone. It just seems the logical thing to do.
Hi Feg

I was showed it at College but I like Bill I ten to pluck with my nails on grands but its quicker on Verts with the wedge.

I carry 3 with me, but I am down to one A fork keep loosing them then fine new ones in pianos.

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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Barrie Heaton » 20 Nov 2014, 21:57

Bill Kibby wrote:In 1886, Papps patented the tuning wedge which is now used by most tuners in Britain - the Papps wedge, like a pair of long, wooden tweezers, sprung so that they can grip between any two strings of a trichord to stop them sounding. Modern Papps wedges are made of blue nylon, and can be supplied by Fletcher & Newman Ltd., but I bought several wooden ones from Fletcher & Newman in the sixties, before they went over to nylon in a light greenish colour, as shown above.
They stopped doing the Blue ones as the plastic was too soft. I've asked whey they don't make them Yellow instead of Blue, but as they have gone back to off white its not as bad if you drop one in a piano in a dark place as the Blue ones

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Re: Papps wedges

Post by Bill Kibby » 20 Nov 2014, 22:56

I stand corrected. White seems a much more sensible colour than dark blue, but I did prefer the old ivory-ish ones.
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