I figure I’ve tuned over 25,000 pianos in my life, and I’ve definitely become sensitized to the process. The stability of my tuning depends on setting the pin properly, and to do that I’ve spent 35 years developing pin sensitivity in my body. Finally, finally, Charles Faulk has made a tuning lever that frees me to use all of that experience. The Faulk carbon fiber/aluminum lever allows a level of pin perception and “micro” movement that is truly extraordinary, leading to more fun and less work, more “in-the-zone” moments and far less frustration. It’s the best tuning lever I’ve ever used by two or three orders of magnitude.”
CF-TR Tuning Hammers
I’m introducing the new line of CF-TR tuning hammers. These tuning levers feature a threaded head/shaft connection that will allow you to change heads easily in the field. If you are a frequent tip changer, this design will be especially helpful. All you will need to do is to keep an extra head/tip assemblies in your tool kit. You’ll be back to work in seconds! This design features a tuning shaft that has an outer tube of titanium with an inner tube of carbon fiber for added strength and stiffness. You will have a choice of 5, 10, or 15 degree tuning heads.
Announcement: At the age of 72, I’ve felt for a long time that I needed to pass this joyful business, this stroke of luck, to a younger person. But let me say at the outset of this paragraph, I’m not retiring! Well, not yet. I thought I’d wait until I got old! Anyway, this ‘younger person’ is my friend and colleague, Jacob Erwin. Jacob has all the enthusiasm and all the skill to take these tuning hammers to another level. I think most of you will know Jacob as part of the best piano rebuilding teams in the country, Erwin’s Piano Restoration. So I’m happy to introduce some of Jacob’s work on this page. Please look at the first two tuning hammers on this page, and you will understand how fortunate I feel to have him on my team.
Important news: I’m happy to tell you that I’m introducing a new enhancement to my tuning hammers … Itoshin tips! Itoshin in a premium tuning tip from Japan that provides incredible tip-to-pin fit. From this point on, all my tuning hammers will be equipped with Itoshin tips.
Sindora Burl CF-TR
Wood specie: Sindora burl
Length: 12 1/4″
Weight: 10.3 oz
Description: Sindora burl comes from Southeast Asia. As you can tell, the grain is quite complex with burl eyes and swirls. The knob on this handle is smaller than usual (about 1.80″). If you have small hands, this would be ideal.
Western Maple CF-AR
Wood specie: Western Long Leaf Maple
Length: 12 3/4″
Weight: 10.1 oz
Description: The CF-AR is an aluminum version featuring inner and outer reinforcement with carbon fiber tubing. Beautiful curl and swirling grain accentuates the reddish color of the wood.
Wood specie: Buckskin SpectraPly
Length: 12 3/8″
Weight: 11.4 oz
Description: SpectraPly is a birch composite made with dyed veneers. Buckskin is a popular color combination of brown, black, and natural shades.
Wood specie: Chechen
Length: 12 1/4″
Weight: 11.3 oz
Description: The handle is Central America chechen with gold, red, and tan colors. I was lucky to find a small quantity of this highly figured wood. The knob diameter is 1.90″.
Coolibah Burl CF-TR
Wood specie: Coolibah burl
Length: 12 5/8″
Description: Coolibah is an Australian specie. This piece was cut from a large burl cap about 10 years ago. I almost threw it away because of all the deep checks in the wood. Finally I tried infusing the entire piece with water thin epoxy, twice. So the black stripes are actually epoxy filler. It was well worth the time and effort. By the way, if you haven’t noticed, this tuning hammer is heavy.
SpectraPly “Crossbones” CF-TR
Wood specie: SpectraPly
Weight: 11.0 oz
Description: Crossbones is one of my favorite SpectraPly designs. Its simplicity has a certain Zen-like quality.
Canxan Negro Burl CF-TR, #1
Wood specie: Canxan negro burl
Length: 12 1/4″
Weight: 12.0 oz
Description: Canxan negro is a dense hardwood found in Mexico down to Brazil. It’s noted for its golden brown swirls and areas of dark burl eyes. This one took years to dry properly. The knob on the end has a diameter of 1.80″.
Canxan Negro Burl CF-TR, #2
Wood species: Canxan negro burl
Length: 12 3/8″
Weight: 13.3 oz
Description: The description is same as the one above. This handle is the other half of a long burl square, and it has much more burl configuration. I filled in some of the natural openings on this one, but I decided it would be more interesting if some of the crevices were left in place.
Weight: 10.7 oz
Description: Most myrtles are harvested in Oregon. It’s a very light wood that finishes to a smooth surface. The handle on this one is a bit larger than most. The aluminum shaft is reinforced both on the inside and outside with carbon fiber tubing.
Birdseye Maple CF-TR
Wood species: Birdseye maple
Weight: 11.9 ounces
Description: To make a distinction, this is birdseye HARD maple from the East. Lots and lots of eyes. The large ball on the end has a diameter of 2 1/8″.
Padauk CF-TR by Jacob Erwin
Wood species: African padauk
Length: 12 1/4″
Weight: 11.7 ounces
Description: A rich red-orange padauk handle with a shiny epoxy finish. Jacob lends his own original interpretation to the shape with smooth transitions from end to end.
Mahogany/Ash CF-TR by Jacob Erwin
Wood species: Mahogany and ash
Length: 13 1/4″
Weight: 13.1 ounces
Description: A beautiful four part segmented handle with alternating mahogany and ash quarters. I decided to call this “The Joker” due to the extended smile, one eye, and a nose. What a way to take a common wood defect and turn it into a piece of art!
Burmese Padauk CF-TR
Wood species: Burmese padauk
Length: 12 1/2″
Weight: 12.5 ounces
Description: Padauk is found both in Asia and Africa. It is distinguished by it red coloring and swirling grain. It’s also a dense wood which accounts for the extra weight.
Length: 11 13/4″
Weight: 12.6 oz.
Description: Andira is found abundantly in Central America. It has a coarse grain, but it sands to a smooth finish. The ball on the end is extra large, 2 1/4″ in diameter.