Hohner Clavinet Resource Homepage

Clavinet.Com Restoration Guide: Re-Yarning the Clavinet

The yarn in the clavinet plays an extremely important role in the functioning of the instrument. We get many questions asking if there was a sustain pedal ever manufactured for the clavinet and the answer is NO. Why? Because of the Yarn. Without it, every single note on the clavinet would sustain forever when struck. If you plan on re-stringing your entire clavinet or if your yarn is damaged, this guide is for you. 

Using the right kind of yarn is CRUCIAL, if you do not, you'll wind up with hours of hard work down the drain. The brand we use is made by CARON INTERNATIONAL under the name of "Aunt Lydia's Craft & Rug Yarn". Its 100% POLYESTER, 3 PLY.  Its available at the "Rag Shop" chain of craft stores in the U.S.A. Color is unimportant.  

From the factory, the clavinet was issued with 8 strands of yarn; each strand of yarn makes 2 passes across the strings. This gives a total of 16 lengths of yarn across the strings. If you use the above make of yarn, you will only need about 5 strands of yarn because it is slightly thicker than the original blend. The general rule is use as much yarn as you can before you run out of room, but do not overdo it. 

 


harpyarnbridge.jpg (82375 bytes)
The Yarn Bridge
Click for a Larger Image


harpcloseleft.jpg (80630 bytes)
The Lower Bass Strings
Click for a Larger Image

Strand #1 Pass #1

Take your first piece of yarn, thread it through a needle (NOTE: A YARN WEAVER TOOL IS AVAILABLE FROM CLAVINET.COM) and make sure it doubles the length of the hammer anvil (the long strip of metal). Begin weaving the yarn closest to the anvil and beginning at the yarn bridge (the slotted piece of metal where the yarn goes). You must weave the yarn UNDER for two strings and then OVER for the next two strings. 

NOTE: Leave a small amount of slack while weaving because if you weave too tightly, the yarn will pull the strings together.

Strand #1 Pass #2

When you reach the last bass string, you should have enough yarn to make it back to the yarn bridge. Loop the yarn around the last bass string. Reverse your under/over pattern (weave the yarn OVER for two strings and then UNDER for the next two strings). Try to get as close to the first pass of yarn without overlapping it. When you reach the yarn bridge, you should have two ends of the same piece yarn. Place each end in a slot in the yarn holder and leave a two slot space in between. Tie the two strands together.

harpcloseleft.jpg (80630 bytes)
The Lower Bass Strings
Click for a Larger Image

harpyarnbridge.jpg (82375 bytes)
The Yarn Bridge
Click for a Larger Image

Strand #2 Pass #1

Begin weaving your second piece of yarn by the last bass string. You must alternate the under/over pattern described above so that it does not match the pass directly beside it.  

Strand #2 Pass #2

When you reach the yarn bridge, you should have enough yarn to make it back to the last bass string. Loop the yarn through two slots in the yarn bridge and leave a two slot space in between. When you reach the last bass string, you should have two ends of the same piece yarn. Tie the two strands together around the last bass string.


Begin Strand #3 Pass #1 as if it were Strand #1 Pass #1 and continue yarning the clavinet until there is no more room for any yarn.


Lastly, take a single length of yarn, and tie the whole pattern together by doing an over/under pattern on the yarn at an angle several times. On the bass string end, loop the yarn around the last few bass strings. This is important because the bass strings need as much damping as they can get. On the yarn bridge end, insert the yarn into an empty slot in the yarn holder. Get a hot glue gun and some glue sticks and run a blob of glue over the yarn holder to seal the yarn in their slots. Any craft store should sell the gun and accessories for under $10. When you are finished, check the alignment of strings over the hammer anvils and make sure the yarn is not pulling them off the anvil heads. Also, make sure the yarn is not lying over any of the anvils. 

Back to Clavinet.Com Main