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Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

  • 1.  Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hello fellow technicians,

    I am writing to inquire about how to go about fixing the solder joint that holds the monkey on the sostenuto bracket on Steinway pianos.

    I recently joined the UT piano technician's team and there are quite a few Steinway pianos that we maintain.  But this is the first time I come across this issue.

    What is the best way of going about fixing this?  What has worked for you in the past without having to replace the actual bracket?

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this issue.

    Thank you!

    Ollin

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    Ollin Chavez | Piano Technician - Butler School of Music

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  • 2.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 13 days ago
    It's just a solder joint. Heat the sostenuto rod with a soldering iron or torch (a mini-torch is really handy). This will make sure all the metal is hot enough to join with the solder. Hold the (electrical) solder on the bracket until it melts. It will flow into the joint. Let cool.

    If the bracket is broken, just make another out of the same size brass rod, often available at hardware or hobby stores.

    Doug Wood, RPT
    206-935-5797






  • 3.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 13 days ago
    Ollin,

    Please let us know if this works for you.

    Thanks,

    Alan

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    Alan Eder, RPT
    Herb Alpert School of Music
    California Institute of the Arts
    Valencia, CA
    661.904.6483
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  • 4.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 13 days ago
    Mr. Wood's advice is per usual spot on. I'd only add that it will help to get the solder to flow into the joint if you add a little solder flux to the joint prior to heating.

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    Karl Roeder
    Pompano Beach FL
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  • 5.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Oh, yes. I didn't mention that electronics solder is usually "rosin-core" or "flux-core". The flux is in the solder tube. And, yes, flux is very important.

    BTW, plumbing solder will work, but it uses an acid flux that will continue to corrode the metal. So if you use plumbers solder, do use the flux, and do clean it off. I use it on action brackets because I can get larger diameter solder in the plumbing section.

    Poke around the internet (e.g. YouTube) for information on soldering. I'm definitely no expert. But I have done this repair successfully.

    Doug

    Doug Wood, RPT
    206-935-5797






  • 6.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Using silver solder will be much stronger than electrical solder. Melting temperature will be higher. Here's a forum page that will address soldering brass parts. It especially talks about corrosion issues with flux.

    https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=36966.0

    Hope this helps somebody.

    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




  • 7.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    I'd recommend matching the original solder  -- whatever it is.  Mixing silver solder and lead-tin (or the more current lead-free) solder should be avoided.

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    John Rhodes
    Vancouver WA
    360-721-0728
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  • 8.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi, all,

    I know less than nothing about soldering in general. But I used to work with an excellent instrument technician who did, and he did this same repair for me 25 years ago with silver solder. It’s still going strong, so there’s one anecdote. He said the same thing about silver solder when he chose to use it. He didn’t mention what he thought was in there before.




  • 9.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi, Kathy, All,

    My memory of Jim doing this repair is that he was careful to use a silver solder with a lower melting point than he used on many/most other repairs. Since your memory of this is much newer than my own, if you have his contact information, it would be good to check with him.

    Another person who used to do this kind of repair (a long time ago now) was Charles (?....Isaac will know) Short who was a long time member of the Pomona chapter who did (and taught) a number of things to various folks over the years.

    Hope that this is of some help.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

      Original Message




  • 10.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi, Horace,

    Yes, Jim is still nearby and I could check, but I seriously doubt he would recall the particulars, it was so long ago.

    Cecil Short, you’re thinking of, in Pomona. Long since passed, I’m afraid, but known here as one of the earliest proponents of felt string covers to protect grand piano strings from our pollution (much worse then, thank heavens) and salt air. When people noticed the lack of corrosion under the covers, an industry was born. Sorry, that’s off topic.

    Kathy




  • 11.  RE: Fixing the solder joint on the sostenuto bracket

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi, Kathy,

    On 6/10/2018 1:27 PM, Kathy Smith via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    >
    > Yes, Jim is still nearby and I could check, but I seriously doubt he would recall the particulars, it was so long ago.

    Understood...still, he might surprise you.

    > Cecil Short, you???re thinking of, in Pomona. Long since passed, I???m afraid, but known here as one of the earliest proponents of felt string covers to protect grand piano strings from our pollution (much worse then, thank heavens) and salt air. When people noticed the lack of corrosion under the covers, an industry was born. Sorry, that???s off topic.

    I'm not sure that anything would really be off-topic in re: many of the
    folks from the Pomona Chapter in those days. Cecil was only one of many.

    It was from him that I learned not only how to make non-accelerated
    actions accelerated; but, more important professionally, was what I
    learned from him about how to quickly and properly diagnose problems
    with them. That time has paid substantial dividends for several decades
    now. In any event, his constant striving to improve his own knowledge
    and skill set continues to be a real example to the rest of us.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    >
    > Kathy
    >
    >