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. For an additional $30.00 on your purchase of a Faulk tuning hammer, you can now have the best tip on the market. Once you use it, you’ll see why I’m so enthusiastic about the Itoshin.
Burl Walnut CF-TR by Jacob Erwin
Wood specie: Burl walnut
Weight: 10.5 oz
Description: If you haven’t heard yet, extra long tuning hammers are trending right now. This one is extra light and capable of moving tight pins with lots of sensory feedback. The finish is basically CA glue formulated to be less brittle. The sheen is a bright and hand polished.
Cherry CF-TR by Jacob Erwin
Wood specie: American cherry
Weight: 10.8 oz
Description: This is a well variegated cherry handle stained a walnut/red color and again finished with a CA process.
Wood specie: Terrain SpectraPly
Length: 11 3/4″
Description: SpectraPly is a birch composite made with dyed veneers. Basic earth tones, green, gold, and red. The handle is comparatively larger than normal with a ball diameter of 2 1/4″. Itoshin tip.
Wood specie: Andira
Length: 11 3/4″
Weight: 12.3 oz
Description: The handle is heavy andira from Central America. It is a coarse grain wood, but the grain is completely filled in with poly finish. The ball is 2 1/4″ in diameter. Itoshin tip.
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.
Bog Oak CF-TR
Wood specie: Bog Oak
Length: 11 7/8″
Weight: 10.2 oz
Description: An extraordinary wood! The black color is real, no dyes! Dated at 3000 to 6000 years old, bog oak occurs when an ancient oak tree falls by a stream as the result of erosion. The tree settles into the silt and is virtually preserved in the airtight mud. The coloring comes from minerals that wick into the wood over the millennia. I was lucky to find this rare wood. It’s so black that the photo just doesn’t do it justice. THERE ARE MORE OF THESE IN THE MAKING AS SOON AS THE NEW BLOCKS REACH OPTIMUM MOISTURE LEVEL.
East Indian Rosewood CF-TR
Wood specie: East Indian rosewood
Weight: 11.2 oz
Description: East Indian rosewood, although it is a member of the dalbergia family, is less dense and less endangered than its South American cousins. But, nevertheless, I’ve decided that this will be the last time I’ll use this beautiful wood. I guess it’s part of being a little more responsible to our environment. It looks a little like walnut, but the color is darker and richer.
SpectraPly Blue Angel CF-AR
Wood species: Blue Angel SpectraPly
Weight: 11.5 oz
Description: SpectraPly is a composite made up of dyed birch laminates. This is a new model featuring a 7075 aluminum shaft sheathed on the inside and outside with carbon fiber.
Weight: 12.9 oz
Description: Katalox is a dense, heavy wood from Central America. It darkens with age to an almost black color. Nice diffuse grain.
American Cherry CF-TR
Wood species: American cherry
Length: 11 3/4″
Weight: 10.3 ounces
Description: Dark cherry from Pennsylvania with accent rings of two colors.
Wood species: Purpleheart
Length: 11 1/2″
Weight: 12.4 ounces
Description: Well aged purpleheart, over 25 years. The wood is solid, but it’s a three piece ‘glue up’ made from a single plank. Starting with this tuning hammer, I will be including an Itoshin tip with every unit. These tips have been so popular that it just makes sense to upgrade all subsequent levers with them.
Wood species: Eucalyptus
Length: 11 3/4″
Weight: 11.4 ounces
Description: I bought this eucalyptus block 18 years ago. It’s of Australian origin, but the tree was re-planted in California. A reddish wood with outstanding curls. There are a few shallow check lines on the knob, but they were filled with epoxy resin.
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.
Weight: 12.9 oz.
Description: Brownheart is a South American wood. Very dense and heavy. Lots of figure and contrasts. Itoshin tip.
Macassar Ebony CF-TR
Length: 11 1/2″
Weight: 13.1 ounces
Description:Macassar ebony comes from Southeast Asia. It’s highly prized for its color and grain. Itoshin tip.