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Spinet question

  • 1.  Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 12:49
      |   view attached
    Can anyone give me a good reason why I shouldn't cut a notch in the tail of these keys so that the key can be removed without having to unscrew the leather nut and dowel?  Don't bother with the "just throw it away" comments.  I'm fixing this one. 

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician


  • 2.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 12:58
    I don't see why not. Been done before. Only make sure the wire doesn't bind in the slot. Easier said than done. I'm curious to know if the hole is bigger on the underside of the key, otherwise it will bind as the key moves. It appears the hole isn't much larger than the wire.
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




  • 3.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 13:01
      |   view attached
    Hole is larger underneath. 

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician





  • 4.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 13:05
    Then, I'd go for it. Lots of spinets have slots. As long as the wire isn't going anywhere trying to escape the hole via the slot. You would think there must be a reason there was no slot in the first place, as it would be more difficult to assemble. The ones with a slot usually have a countersunk area for the adjusting dowel and felt to sit in so they won't slide out as the key is pressed.
    Paul




  • 5.  RE: Spinet question

    Member
    Posted 03-27-2020 14:10
    I would think the wire would migrate back off the key with a slot cut into the key. Since the end of the key appears to be thin and no room to make an ident, remove the felt surrounding the hole and install a hitch pin punching on the wire to buffer the wooden nut. The remaining felt should restrict the wire migration.

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@pianocapecod.com
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 6.  RE: Spinet question

    Member
    Posted 03-27-2020 14:32

     I would not cut a slot because it is a lot of work to get it exactly aligned to the holes, you will likely tear apart/shred the felt under the dowels and you will also weaken the key with the wire potentially working its way out of the slot. I would paint the exposed screw thread with red paint made by Testor for models and let it dry. Then back out each dowel and remove the key. As an alternative you can leave some keys in each section so you can use them as guides when snugging down the nuts on repaired keys. A nut driver with a little sandpaper cut and glued into it could speed up removal and replacement or you could use a socket chucked into a battery powered drill.
    I take it you are rebushing the keys ?

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 7.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 15:32
    Gary, there are a few red flags on this one. The back of the key is already cut away, the slot would further weaken the tail of the key. Spinets that do have slots also have a countersink that the button rides in without getting out of position, there doesn't seem to be enough material there for that.
    I would think about how to resolve those two issues before I proceeded. Perhaps filling in that cutaway would be the first step. You also might have to find/make some smaller diameter buttons.
    No good deed goes unpunished.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 8.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-27-2020 16:05
    Can't think of one reason to not, except that I would do it. 🤣 😂 😁 😜

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    Maggie Jusiel
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
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  • 9.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 09:54
    Hi Gary,  Personally I'd pursue all other avenues before compromising a minimal design found on the back of those keys.

    If  your purpose is to make removal and reinstallation easier try not to make more work for yourself in the process.  If your idea doesn't work, you own the problem.  The factory may have considered this idea and found it to be the wrong thing to do.  After all, it would save production costs by putting the slot in there  ....  but they didn't do it that way.

    I made a leather nut tool out of a worn out hex receiver for quick change bits.  I filled it with Epoxy and put two sharpened pieces of piano wire in the glue as it set.  The two prongs jabbed the nut enough to facilitate faster removal using a power tool.

    Removing and adjusting those danged wooden dowels are hard on a person's fingers especially after doing a complete set.  As I understand it, the piano is in your shop so breaking up the work into 15 minute segments (giving my fingers and hands a chance to rest) is probably what I would do.

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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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  • 10.  RE: Spinet question

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-28-2020 10:35
    I have decided not to cut a slot in the back of the keys.  Thanks for your observations and comments.  I have marked each drop wire below the key with a permanent marker to give me a stopping point when it comes time to put them back together.  I will be replacing key bushings and keytops while I have them out.  This is a personal project so it'll take a while but this is a good time to work on it since tunings have slowed down considerably.
    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician
    (405) 413-TUNE