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Charles Faulk, Registered Piano Technician, Piano Technicians Guild, is a pianist, piano technician, and professional woodworker. He has 45 years experience in piano manufacturing, piano restoration, and concert level piano work.
Mr. Faulk has been making piano tuning levers since 1996. Over the years these tuning hammers have evolved from titanium based tools to carbon fiber and metal (titanium and aluminum)/carbon fiber products. From the point of inception, his goal has been to produce levers that are lightweight, well balanced, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. He has also redesigned the tuning head to eliminate the point loading problems of conventional tuning hammers caused by the narrowing of the tuning shaft at the threaded end.
There are now two models of Faulk Tuning Hammers to choose from: The CF-TR which features a tuning shaft made with a light weight titanium with an inner core of carbon fiber high modulus tubing. The CF-3 features a shaft made of 3/4″ ultra high modulus carbon fiber tubing. The wall of this tubing is 1/8″ thick. Both models are hand made with ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing hard wood handles. Both of these are extremely rigid. I can also do custom levers to meet your individual needs.
The key striking tool is made with solid PVC and has a thick leather pad which contacts the key surface. It fits in your palm. By placing your forefinger close to the leather pad, you can orient your location on the key by touch without having to look down at the keyboard. This tool will prevent damage to your finger joints.
Thank you for visiting FaulkPiano.com. Over the last 17 years, I have developed an array of tuning hammers dedicated to the concept of lightness and balance. These levers are so diverse that they sometimes cause confusion with you. I’m asked, “Which one is the best? Which one is the strongest? Which one will suit my needs?” I feature a variety of lengths, head angles, handle shapes, wood choices, and weights. WHY? Basically because we are all different. We see the ultimate use of this simple lever from different perspectives. We envision how our customers will react when they see this special tool come out of our tool case. We were guided by our individual physique when we learned our trade. I’ve spoken to hundreds of tuners in these years, and it’s astounding how much their approach to tuning varies. And so, it’s my belief that there is no uniform product out there that will please everyone.
Having said the above, I want to leave you with one last thought. Choosing a tuning hammer isn’t always about examining your strengths and preferences. Try to think of this tool as a ‘mate’, as something you gradually become accustomed to. You’ll find that your future preferences will be forever guided by the relationship you nurture with your tuning lever. Sounds hokey? Perhaps. But it does happen.
The string leveling tool works differently from conventional tools. Instead of lifting the string with a hook, the Faulk string leveling tool uses leverage. The tool has grooves cut on both ends that will slip in between the strings and bend the strings very minutely by pulling or pushing on the other end of the tool. It takes very little effort and produces very precise results.
The string leveling gauge consists of an aluminum base with a vertical slot cut on one side. The base sits on the plane of the strings and references the level of the strings from the string plane rather than the level of the keybed. The string level is determined by a small ½” wide rule that rests loosely on its end on the strings. By lifting the dampers and plucking each string of the unison, you can determine the level of the strings by listening to the buzz against the rule. When all three strings of the unison buzz equally against the rule, the strings are level.