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Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

  • 1.  Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    The neoprene on my Spurlock key clamps was crumbling. I thought I'd try replacing it with felt to see if it will work acceptably. I had all the materials, and it took about 30-35 minutes to scrape/sand off the old, and then glue on the felt. I used PVC-E glue, but have a sneaking feeling it might not survive being in a car on a hot summer day. I'm going to use it tomorrow, and if it doesn't work well, then I'll see if I can find some neoprene.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
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  • 2.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago

    I made myself Spurlock-style key clamps, from his plans in articles. He started out using backrail cloth on them, and it has worked fine for me. I put it on with Elmer's.

    I don't know if my car gets up to Mississippi heat standards, but they have lasted in a hot car just fine.

    The first set had two thumbscrews, with the machine screws able to swing out of slots at the ends of the clamps, but then I saw that his newer type had another one in the middle. With just two screws, one at each end, the clamps tended to bow in the middle, so they worked better after I added a third.

    I used 2x2" cedar banister blanks bought at a woodworking store. I added some nylon cords so they could both be picked up to carry at once. They've served me well for many years.






  • 3.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    I, too, used back rail cloth for my keyset clamp, Susan. After over 40 years it is still working fine.

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson, AZ

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    Robert Anderson
    Tucson AZ
    520-326-4048
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  • 4.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Neoprene sheets are readily available on eBay. I just recovered a set of Spurlock key clamps.

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    David Stocker, RPT
    PNWRVP
    Olympia WA
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  • 5.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi,

    Only FWIW, I've had these clamps with both back rail cloth and neoprene;
    and greatly prefer the neoprene as it seems able with my inability to
    treat tools very well.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    On 4/25/2021 9:50 PM, David Stocker via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.
    >
    > Neoprene sheets are readily available on eBay. I just recovered a set of Spurlock key clamps.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > David Stocker, RPT
    > PNWRVP
    > Olympia WA
    > ------------------------------
    >


  • 6.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Posted 18 days ago
    I have a set of Spurlock key clamps and love them - I use them often. But I wish to share one word of caution. Like it appears with those pictured, the nylon strap is held to the clamp with a sheet metal screw with no washer. That is how mine originally were. The screw head on mine worked their way through the nylon and the strap disconnected from the clamp. Unfortunately, that happened as I was walking across a marble floor with a set of Yamaha C3 keys in the clamps. A couple of the keytops got chipped from the fall. If I remember correctly - and I think I do (this was some years ago) - I contacted Bill Spurlock and he said that he had heard of this happening a couple other times and he recommended installing a washer under the screw head to prevent a repeat of this. Anyone owning/using these clamps may wish to consider adding the washer if washers are not present. I think the new Spurlock clamps have a washer under the screw head to prevent this from happening.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 7.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago

    Terry, you make me glad that I made my own, from wood, and the nylon ropes I installed simply had knots on the ends, nested in holes through the wood.







  • 8.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    I made two sets out of 2X2's a good 20 years ago.  Each set holds half a set of keys.  I used back rail felt as a cushion, held on with PVC-E,  and 3 long machine bolts with wing nuts passing through holes drilled in the bars.  They've held well over the years.  When I do a set of keytops I bring these two clamps loaded with the customer's keys with the newly installed keytops wrapped in newspaper.  It makes for carrying the finished work a snap.  I've never had any of the keys fall out.

    I used a router to carve my company's "initials" APOT into the two clamps, across the junction so when empty and clamped together you can read the letters.

    I followed Spurlock's dimensions from long ago like Susan did.  They've been worth the effort every time I use them.  I don't leave them in the car when I'm not using them. only on delivery/installation day.

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    Larry Fisher
    Owner, Chief Grunt, Head Hosehead
    Vancouver WA
    503-310-6965
    Working the gravy zone for the rest of my days.
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  • 9.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Great minds thinking alike, Lar.

    Aside from adding the third machine bolt and thumb screw in the middle, and the carrying cords, I also took a small soldering iron and put my last name with a little mountain outline (being from Colorado) on the top. Around my immediate area, anyone who has anything to do with pianos will know my last name. And I made marks across the ends of both halves, different for the two sets, so I don't try to swap them by putting the wrong top with the other base. They are not interchangeable because the middle bolt is not in quite the same place.

    They seems just as good as when I made them, despite a lot of use. It seems they may outlast me. Hopefully they and my other tools and supplies can find some younger piano techs when I no longer am likely to use them, which is not yet, thank heavens and Pfizer.






  • 10.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    I have a set of original key clamps for Spurlock.  I replaced the neoprene(or whatever it was) with some backrail cloth using PVA glue a couple years ago without any problems.  I second Susan though, My car probably doesn't get up to MS heat standards.. ;).
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    -Matt Crudo, RPT 
     





  • 11.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    I have two sets. Neither has a bolt in the middle. I think that's a good idea to improve.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 12.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago

    I'll try to take some photos of mine.







  • 13.  RE: Spurlock key clamp "renovation"

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    Update on the renovated Spurlock clamps. They work just fine with the back rail cloth. PVC-E worked well.

    Since I don't normally keep them in my car all the time, it should be a fairly long-term solution.

    Thanks for the feedback and good ideas.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
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