Pianotech

Topic: 4.0 tuning pin

1.  4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Coke spilled into replaced pin block on Steinway B, contaminating two pin holes causing pins to become extremely loose. Removed both 2.0 X 2 1/2" pins and pushed 10.mm brass brush through holes 3 times each to attempt to ream. Finally, replaced with a 3.0 and then 4.0 X 2 3/8" pins before they would finally barely hold pitch.
     Question, what next to tighten pins; replace with longer 2 1/2" X 4.0 pins? Garfield pin block restorer?
     Don't really want to try CA. I have had failure with it before.

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Thomas Black
Decatur AL
256-350-9315
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2.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
DON'T use Garfield's.  Not sure why you used 2 3/8 when originals were 2 1/2.  But, that's history.  If the 4/0 isn't holding well enough you could take them out, put something under the block to catch drippings and swab the holes using a Qtip with super thin CA.  Let it dry.  Do it again.  Replace with 4/0 x 2 1/2.  

Gary Bruce
Registered Piano Technician
CLICK HERE to schedule your next piano tuning.





3.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Well, had that size in stock and dumb mistake if 1/8" is causing this problem. Not really sure why Coke would cause this. Thanks

Sent from my iPhone




4.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Well, you've eliminated my first choice (CA), so I'd try inserting a shim of sandpaper, grit side out, and pound in the pin. There is also a kind of very hard cardboard that will also work as a shim. I don't know what it's called. It's a reddish-orange color. Or fill with epoxy and redrill, or glue in a plug of pinblock material and redrill (stuff I've never done).
Paul McCloud
San Diego



Thomas Black
Coke spilled into replaced pin block on Steinway B, contaminating two pin holes causing pins to become extremely loose. Removed both 2.0 X 2 1/2" pins and pushed 10.mm brass brush through holes 3 times each to attempt to ream. Finally, replaced with a 3.0 and then 4.0 X 2 3/8" pins before they would finally barely hold pitch.
Question, what next to tighten pins; replace with longer 2 1/2" X 4.0 pins? Garfield pin block restorer?
Don't really want to try CA. I have had failure with it before.

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Thomas Black
Decatur AL
256-350-9315





5.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Hmmm.... It's interesting to me when someone says that CA glue didn't work when it's worked so well for me for many years. How were you applying it? How much did you apply? Many recommend thin viscosity when I think a thicker viscosity is more effective.

I usually tune the piano while applying it therefore they don't usually need to be cracked loose the next time I tune it. For me, applying CA usually goes hand in hand with a pitch raise. Anyway, in my experience, it couldn't hurt to at least try the CA solution. What is there to lose?

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"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
www.thattuningguy.com
Tunic OnlyPure & TuneLab user
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6.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Swab out the holes with 5 minute epoxy. Once it is thoroughly set, test the pin torque by twisting the #3 pin in (not hammering it in.) If it's still too loose, swab some more epoxy into the holes and try again.

Well, it's what I'd do.

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Susan Kline
Philomath, Oregon
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7.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Thanks Susan. Are we talking Home Depot or particular brand. Do you think 2 3/8 vs 2 1/2 would make a difference.

Sent from my iPhone




8.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Hi, Thomas

For CA I prefer the Loctite brand, the small bottle with the long slender spout, but for 5 minute epoxy I don't prefer a particular brand. I think that the two squeeze tubes (like toothpaste tubes) are a little bit more convenient than the "double syringe" style, but I've used both. Best to get a small amount instead of big cans full of the two parts, so it doesn't go bad before you use it.

By the way, a couple of years ago I fixed a nearly fatally abused broken key from a Steinway M, which I had to take right down to shards and rebuild with proper geometry. I practically bathed in five minute epoxy for several days. The key turned out fine! But I got sensitized to five minute epoxy, which never used to bother me. First it felt like a sunburn, then very rough skin, finally my whole face was very red and swollen. It took several days to get over it. I've used epoxy a lot less often since. It might be a good idea to open a window, put on a fan, and use those light rubber gloves. I never thought I needed to ... attaching some photos of the adventure, if I can find them in my files. Someone else had mended the broken key very poorly, so that the tail was 1/3" lower than the front, and the balance rail hole was broken out.

The extra eighth of an inch might matter a little bit, but I think that the epoxy, used to make the hole smaller, would do the heavy lifting. I doubt I'd buy a whole set of the 2.5" pins just to get those two, unless you decide you'd like to have them in stock for another job. As someone else pointed out, an alternative method might be to block the bottom of the tuning pin hole, fill with epoxy, and then drill, but I think I'd try just swabbing the holes first.

There are also some little brass tubes from the supply houses which can be used as shims, but I think I'd stay away from them. I've had too much experience (in pre-CA days) of using an oversized pin or shimming a hole, having the offending pin tight as anything, but all the tuning pins in the immediate region much looser because the big pin spread cracks.

The thing about the water thin CA is that it follows cracks, so it theoretically will glue cracks and delaminations back together. Sometimes the first application doesn't "work", but I think it possibly might be because the CA has followed so many cracks so far that little is left at the tuning pin hole. Then a second application might work better, since the escape routes have been sealed.

At some point, it would be nice if some people who rebuild and replace pinblocks would treat old loose holes with CA in various ways, and then cut the old block apart once they have removed it, to see what really DOES happen to the glue once we apply it. The theory of gluing cracks, etc., is very pleasing, but until some people do some experiments which allow direct observations it remains just a theory.

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Susan Kline
Philomath, Oregon
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9.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
I think Les Pianos Andre Bolduc in Quebec would have a lot of observations for you to study the effects of a cut up CA treated pinblock.

Joe Wiencek, NYC




10.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Thanks, Joe.

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Susan Kline
Philomath, Oregon
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11.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 4 days ago
  |   view attached
"At some point, it would be nice if some people who rebuild and replace
pinblocks would treat old loose holes with CA in various ways, and then
cut the old block apart once they have removed it, to see what really
DOES happen to the glue once we apply it. The theory of gluing cracks,
etc., is very pleasing, but until some people do some experiments which
allow direct observations it remains just a theory."

Susan,

I've done just that to bridge pins... pinblock experiment is on my list.
May as well share my overall results now. I'm falling asleep so I can't
pull up pictures now.

For a while I have suspected that thin CA glue doesn't pour down a
straight path as I try to secure a slightly loose bridge pin that is
causing false beats. I took an old bridge I salvaged for experiments and
applied CA glue to bridge pins with visual cracks, then I removed the
bridge pins and cut them in half with my 3/8" band saw. I was amazed at
what I saw... so much so that I repeated the experiment with CA tinted
with red die to make sure I understood what was going on. Right when I
got some good samples, my tire broke and my sample production ceased.
St. Louis was upon me so I stopped applying and cutting.

Without enough pictures to support my statement, here's what I found
that happens when I applied CA glue to a bridge pin removed from a piano
that had visible cracks beside it.

1. Bridge pin that moved easily when I pushed it with my fingernail: CA
glue wicked all the way down to the bottom of the hole.
2. Bridge pin that barely moved when I pushed it with my fingernail: CA
glue wicked down half way or so, maybe 5mm.
3. Bridge pin that didn't move at all when I push it with my fingernail:
CA glue wicked down a few millimeters.
4. Bridge pin didn't move at all when I pushed it with my fingernail:
This time I used CA glue tinted red, and my cutaway samples showed red
far, far away from the bridge pin hole. It looked like it immediately
wicked along small cracks deep into the bridge. I didn't see any red
along the bridge pin hole, but there was plenty in other places.
5. Summary:
a. It appears that that thin CA will immediately use capillary action to
trace micro cracks in the wood.
b. If the bridge pin is severly loose, it chases it down the bridge pin
hole as far as it can go.
c. If the bridge pin doesn't seem to be loose at all, thin CA glue
applied to the base of the bridge pin tends to wick throughout micro
cracks in the bridge.

Sorry I don't have pictures of red CA. I looked for them in the middle
of this post to no avail.

I would like to the see results of others' experiments of cut away pin
blocks as well.

John Parham




12.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
At this point I would remove the two pins, drill the block out to the diameter of the plate hole and glue in a plug of pinblock material using the west system epoxy with a high density filler. Then drill for a new 2/0 by whatever pin and replace. A hand held drill with two pass drilling would be recomended. You should have enough room to drill the new hole inside the diameter of the plug but if for some reason you don't center exactly and drift outside, then the epoxy with the high density filler will support that small area of the pin that it comes in contact with just fine.

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David Love RPT
www.davidlovepianos.com
davidlovepianos@comcast.net
415 407 8320
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13.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
Thanks to all who responded. I can CA, epoxy, or plug the holes.

Sent from my iPhone




14.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
One consideration in how to proceed is if the pin is touching the hole in the string frame. If it is touching, your best option is to plug and redrill.

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Regards,

Jon Page
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15.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
I can't recall the name of the style of 'up-cutting' bit, but we once solved this without having to drill out the plate hole.  stem of bit projects up, through pin hole, then drill is attached and pulled up during cut, just before hitting plate. Glued plug extends beyond perimeter of plate hole.

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David Skolnik
Hastings-on-Hudson NY
914-231-7565
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16.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 6 days ago
I'm very interested in hearing more from David on the "up-cutting" bit.  I'm considering modifying the back end of a spade bit to accomplish this, but if there is such a thing on the market, I would be very interested to learn more about it.

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Floyd Gadd
Regina SK
306-502-9103
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17.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 4 days ago
I think the tool I was referring to was something along the lines of a reverse spotfacer/counterbore.  The shank would have been 1/4" and the cutter the size of the plug... 9/16"?.  This item has no fluting for chip removal, so it must be removed frequently to allow waste to escape. Cutter (HSS) has a 1/32" corner radius which would leave a little wood remaining in the hole which could be removed with a 9/16" Forstner bit or Black & Decker bullet bit.  At the time, I think we solved the problem by shaping a 1/32" relief around the top of the plug.

That's what I remember.  I thought it was ingenious, at the time.

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David Skolnik
Hastings-on-Hudson NY
914-231-7565
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18.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Ah, I see you've already gone with 4.0 pins. I think I'd have tried to make the holes smaller before going that big. It might still be possible to get back to the 3.0's.

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Susan Kline
Philomath, Oregon
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19.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 8 days ago
Thomas,

If you really would like to get back to 2/0 pins so as to be consistent with everything else, then your best bet is the "fill and drill" method using epoxy. If you do this the pins will be indistinguishable from the others.

The down side is that it will take a little time and effort. As long as you have not yet contaminated (sealed) the wood with C/A glue, use high quality, reasonably slow setting epoxy, (System Three T-88 is good stuff) remove the pins, block up the holes and use wax paper or plastic barrier, mix epoxy thoroughly, fill the holes to the top but not over, wait a little as it seeks into the end grain of the wood, apply more, repeat as needed till it won't take any more. Leave it to cure. Come back and drill it by hand with a 17/64" bit and drive in a 2/0 pin. This is a permanent fix.

If your looking firvthe best solution, this is it IMO.

Pwg

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Peter Grey
Stratham NH
603-686-2395
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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20.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
I'm curious. I have plugged blocks with pinblock material. But before CA glue we would also shim with veneer in a pinch. Those veneer repairs have lasted well (20 years).

Sandpaper shims have been mentioned but not wood veneer - I'm wondering why.

Nancy Salmon
LaVale, MD

Virus-free. www.avg.com





21.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
Nancy,

That is interesting. I think it is because most of us would think it's a quick "band-aid" approach...however the fact that your experience proves otherwise is very good evidence that it is a viable repair (which BTW could easily be renewed if necessary) but 20 or more years is no band-aid in my book. Thanks for mentioning that.

Pwg

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Peter Grey
Stratham NH
603-686-2395
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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22.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
Nancy-
My one attempt using veneer did not work well. It felt slippery, very different from its neighbors.
What is the secret to a good veneer repair?

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Ed Sutton
ed440@me.com
(980) 254-7413
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23.  RE: 4.0 tuning pin

Posted 7 days ago
I don't know any secrets. I used walnut veneer, grain vertical (perpendicular to pin threads), no glue (perhaps a dot to hold it in place).
Amount of veneer was dependent upon how loose it was. Careful not to cause eliptical pin holes. These were not damaged blocks, just loose with age. I have plugged damaged holes.
N. Salmon


Virus-free. www.avg.com





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