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Pintite Followed by CA?

  • 1.  Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-18-2019 15:29
    Has anyone any experience doping a loose pin block with CA after it has apparently been previously doped with Pintite? Was it successful?

    Thanks,

    Joe Wiencek


  • 2.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-18-2019 16:01
    What's to lose? My experience is anything that helps is okay. How can it make it worse?

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    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes
    www.lacrossepianotuning.com
    ljmesserly@gmail.com
    928-899-7292
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-18-2019 16:21
    I'm not sure if it was PinTite or some other treatment, probably glycerin-based, but yes, the CA worked fine, maybe even a little bit better, because the moisture attracted by the treatment sets up the CA faster.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 4.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-18-2019 17:35
    Thin CA over PinTite worked for me on grands but on a typical 50 year old spinet it only worked for about 10 years. I agree with Susan and Larry, it sets up faster and I didn't need to apply the Zip Kicker. Give it a try, the worst thing that could happen is not to get any more appointment calls or emails from your client.

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    Robert Highfield
    Lancaster PA
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  • 5.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 07:10
    Robert H. wrote: "Thin CA over PinTite worked for me on grands ... SNIP ... it sets up faster and I didn't need to apply the Zip Kicker."

    Is that to suggest that Zip Kicker (accelerant) would EVER be used when applying CA to tuning pins? I've never used the accelerant in this type of application, and I'm quite sure the only thing its use would ever do would be to make a large mess and potentially retard the capacity of the CA to wick its way down into the pin block/tuning pin annulus.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 09:52
    I have used the CA accelerator rarely, and not immediately. I apply it from a syringe, one drop right at the pin, and I’ve only done it on uprights, where I had to tilt the piano back up. I have had CA treatment leak a bit on the plate when uprighting the piano too soon. Thus the accelerator.

    Joe Wiencek




  • 7.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 19:21
    If it leaks onto the plate when you get a tilted upright vertical again, you're using too much, IMO. You don't want to flood the pinblock. You just want to wick some CA in around the pins which won't hold. If a small amount doesn't work after a half hour or so, a sescond small amount will often do the trick.

    I tried tilting an upright (a real basket case) to apply CA, and I also tried taking off the coil and turning out the pin so I could swab the hole. I found that both of these labors were unnecessary. The pins which I removed where I coated the hole and turned them back in were more jumpy and noisy than the others. I discovered on a second visit (to catch the strays still not holding) that I didn't need to tilt the piano at all. I just applied a small amount at the top of the tuning pin where it met the plate or plate bushing, holding a small shop towel underneath to catch any drips. It was far taster and easier and the results seem just as good or better. It also means that I don't have to schedule a visit to bring a tilter. If any pin is too loose to tune, I can reach for a small bottle of CA which always lives in my kit, and the shop towel, and deal with it at once.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 8.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 19:13
    I tried the kicker only once when I first started using CA, despised it immediately, and never used it again.

    For the pinblock, it's unnecessary. The CA will follow all the hairline cracks which is where it's needed, and the kicker wouldn't even reach it. Immediately around the surface of the tuning pin/pinblock or /plate bushing interface is exactly where you don't want the CA to get stuck. It would seal off the deeper regions where the CA is needed, and it could make a mess. Besides, I feel strongly that customers should not be exposed to toxic fumes. The CA fumes are bad enough, which is why I limit myself to the minimum needed to do the task, and I don't treat pins which are still able to be tuned. So why add even more fumes, from the kicker? Having an open window if the weather is reasonable is a good idea, too.

    For CA used in other applications, you can just breathe on it and the moisture in your breath will set it up quite quickly, or let it contact a small amount of white glue or yellow glue. The moisture and protein in them will set it up within seconds, and those seconds are valuable to do things like getting a piece of ivory exactly lined up with the keystick.

    The smell of the kicker was immediately against it - I hate fumes, and it didn't help a bit that I didn't know what was in it. Besides, it is totally unnecessary, since any dampness will give all the set up speed needed.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 9.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 09:48
    Thanks all for your feedback. It is encouraging. In this case, my first time seeing the piano, there are many, many things needing attention, none of which would be necessary without being able to hold the pitch.

    Joe Wiencek




  • 10.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 10:01
    As mentioned by someone else, the ability of the CA to soak into the pores of the wood is vital. Really the idea is to get CA to replace the lost cellulose of the wood, and it's necessary for it to be as water thin as possible, fresh, kept in a fridge, and one can apply time after time whilst it's still not set to fill up the hole. Then a day later to fill it up more.

    In the UK we can get small bottles of CA with pipette tubes with a 1/2mm hole so that one can do an extremely neat job. Fill also any cracks in the tuning plank you can see, especially ones that go through tuning holes. And fill again. With a thin tip applicator one really can apply it without making a mess.

    Accelerator isn't a good idea, as mentioned by someone else also.

    CA can be undone, and it can be drilled, so no harm is done in using it in my opinion.

    Best wishes

    David P

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    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    +44 1342 850594





  • 11.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 10:32
    And please, please, please remember that CA is not a "restoration" technique...it is a BAND-AID...albeit a reasonably long lasting one.

    If it lasted 10 years I consider that an outstanding success. I always warn clients that it may or may not work. If it does, and they get a few more years out it, that's a success, but don't expect miracles.

    For some reason it seems to me that we can lose sight of the fact that this is NOT intended as a permanent repair. Just often, an amazingly good one.

    My .02

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 19:28
    Peter, we really haven't used it long enough to get an accurate opinion about how long it will last, and also in which cases it might last better or worse than in others.

    I do know that many old uprights in landfills would not have been there if we'd had it thirty or forty years ago, and that finding loose tuning pins is no longer a matter of dread. And I love the fact that no one needs to drive the tuning pins deeper to get that last fraction of an inch of new wood, till the coil touches the plate.

    If CA can keep an elderly upright tunable until the action, soundboard, and bridges are so awful that it has reached the end of its useful llife (barring a total rebuild) can that be considered a permanent repair?

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 13.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 18:16
    I have never used accelerant after applying CA to tuning pins except in one case on one very loose pin on a upright where the CA began to drip down after a minute and I couldn't get a cloth in there to wipe if off. That application of the spray worked and I chipped off the run off and the pin was even more stable and I could tune it up correctly in minutes, and it was better than some of the other pins in the 1930's vintage upright. I've always thought that some of the best inventions of mankind wasn't just the light bulb or the telephone but CA glue and the dry wall bucket. :-)

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    Robert Highfield
    Lancaster PA
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  • 14.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 14:30
    Yes and without success, but I'd still try it again. And (sorry to change the subject) as long as we're discussing CA, I too have questions.

    I've used CA to tighten tuning pins on old pianos maybe  a dozen times, almost always with good results.  My methods have changed over the years, on the basis of different advice I've received, casually from other techs and at national conventions from well-known instructors.  Still, there's some fog for me about this repair, and so hopefully some of you can enlighten me.

     

    Firstly, there's the matter of how much glue to apply.  Two well-known instructors advised soaking the area between the tuning pin and the plate until the block won't take any more glue.  The justification: that once the glue sets up, it somehow seals the block from receiving additional glue that may be needed – a use-it-or-lose-it approach. Others have advised using as little glue as possible.  The problem for me with the second approach is that, until the glue hardens, it's sometimes hard to know when enough is enough. So, on my last two glue treatments I soaked one day and returned on another day to tune.  The problem now is fearing I'll break a tuning pin; on these last two pianos the pins were so tight that I had to put my body weight into my lever to get them free.  After a loud "crack" the pins broke free and were satisfactorily tight and maneuverable.  These last two pianos held their tunings very well thereafter and the customers are happy. But I'm inclined to think doing the whole procedure in one day, still soaking the block,  is the better practice.  Anybody ever broken or bent a tuning pin this way? Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.    



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    Harry Miller
    RPT
    Lawrence KS
    785-832-2443
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  • 15.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 14:58
    Harry M. asked about how much CA is appropriate to use.

    Not sure I know any more than you. I have heard of both approaches also - use the minimum and slosh it in. The minimalists have indeed convinced me that you don't need to flood the area. The first few times I really laid it in there. I use a good bit less now, but more than just a couple drops. If the pins are real loose, I try to keep adding it until it doesn't seem to seep in very well anymore.

    I have had some pretty dog-gone tight pins the next day - much like what you describe where they are super tight for the initial movement and with a loud CRACK!. I've not ever broken a tuning pin. My guess is that it is something to not worry about (just a guess though). 'Course, it didn't seem like that plate was going to crack when it did either........  :-(

    ------------------------------
    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 16:14
    Harry,

    I'm a minimalist. I apply a "stream" for about one second and observe how fast it disappears. Then probably one more stream for a second. Then I wait till it cures and try it. If it holds I'm happy. If I "think" another shot would be better I'll do it. If its a whole block, by the time pin at the other end it's time to check the beginning.

    In my experimental days I FROZE a tuning pin. I really thought the thing was going to break. Finally it broke free. Phew!  It has never happened since.

    I do just enough to be happy.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 17:39
    Harry - You're questions are good ones and, I think, very pertinent to the discussion. Regarding how much too use, it's hard to say. I tend to use as much as I feel I can get in there. On a grand I'll make a little moat around the pin and usually that's good. On an upright (I apply it in the upright position) I apply it at the 12 o'clock position and again, get in as much as I can, but if there's too much at one time it will drip. If that happens just wipe it up and it's fine.
    I always tune while I'm applying the glue and don't let it sit over night. As you've found out, it sometimes freezes the pins in place. So, if you apply some, tune some, apply some, tune some, usually by the time you're done the tuning is holding pretty solid. Many times on these pianos we're doing a pitch raise anyway so I just add it to what I'm doing. And many times I don't need to treat the whole piano. Maybe just the bass section and a few select sections. It's not an all or nothing thing.

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    "That Tuning Guy"
    Scott Kerns
    www.thattuningguy.com
    Tunic OnlyPure, TuneLab & Smart Piano Tuner user
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 20:19
    How to avoid more than needed: apply just a little bit. Tune or treat other pins for ten minutes. Come back and test the first one. If it's still too loose, add a little more. Twice is usually enough, but if you come back 1/2 hour later, and it still is pretty loose, nothing to keep you from adding a little bit more.

    After they've set up they will give a little snapping noise (no bodybuilding needed to get them to do it) and then you can see how firm they are.

    There's no need to make any tuning pins tighter than is comfortable, and certainly no need to wait overnight -- why would you want to?

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 19.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 22:00
    Thanks all for your replies.

    Sent from my iPad




  • 20.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-19-2019 20:12
    Hi, Harry

    I'm of the "less is more" frame of mind.

    1. fumes

    2. you end up with something which is no longer a wood pinblock. It's a CA pinblock with wood fibers inside it. So, the feeling of the tuning pins is not at all pleasing or cooperative. They're tight, all right!

    3. cost of the material, and the time to apply that much of it. Possibly protection from the fumes, ventilation equipment, and so forth.

    4. oh horror! I treated 22 tuning pins, and FOUR of them are still too loose! (Or, a variation: I treated all the loose tuning pins, but when I visit the piano next year, WHAT IF SOME OF THEM ARE LOOSE AGAIN??) Adopt a calm demeanor, and have faith. If you haven't soaked the block, and some pins are still somewhat loose (or if some new ones which were loose but tunable are now too loose to hold) -- you just add a second treatment, as minimal as the first!

    This is still purely an imaginary exercise, since I haven't cut apart a treated pinblock to inspect just where everything ended up, but my experiences match this theory:  a pinblock with tuning pins too loose to hold pitch has many cracks and delaminations in it, hence the experience of flooding a grand plate and seeing the CA coming up around other tuning pins, which could only come from cracks and delaminations connecting tuning pins. CA's prime virtue for this problem is that it loves (LOVES, ADORES!!) following tight cracks and seams. It wicks into them several inches per second. It is never happier than when it can find a tight crack and go exploring in it. Hence the information I read from a woodworker that it is possible to glue two pieces of closely fitting wood together with CA by clamping them FIRST and then adding the water thin CA! This is a remarkable glue, and it also sets up better when the parts are a little bit wet. What other glue can you say that of? Also that it sets better when you use less of it. Other glues, if you want a stronger seam you add more. Not CA.

    So, picture a seriously compromised pinblock with many cracks and delaminations. You put a modest amount of CA into the crack between the tuning pin and the plate bushing. There is often a gap there, as the tuning pin has been pulled down. The CA enters, finds fight cracks, and it's off to the races. So much leaves the immediate area that there sin't enough to line the tuning pin hole to make it tight. It's all several inches away. So, full of faith, you keep adding it to the other loose pins. It wicks away, and eventually it meets some CA from another pin. The cracks and delaminations gradually are secured so they no longer can flex. The tuning pins have some substance now supporting them. And you haven't turned the pinblock into something resembling bakelite. That first pin, which didn't firm up enough -- you just add a little bit more, it tries to rush along cracks, but the first application has sealed them fairly close to the tuning pin, so enough of the second application remains near the pin to increase the torque.

    Well, it's what has happened to me. Treating many pins in a troubled area is effective. Not treating pins which are just a little loose seems to have no lasting drawbacks, since you can reach for the little bottle and give them a little bit if they need it later, even years later. You've spent a lot less time, and you haven't gassed your customer with fumes, and the feeling of the tuning pins isn't jumpy and noisy. For most notes, it still feels like metal and wood, the way we like for it to.

    My take on it: I always assumed that the reason people wanted to pour ounces and ounces of CA into a pinblock (and they felt the need to tilt an upright) is because this is how we used the old glycerin and alcohol pinblock treatment. But maybe there's something else -- people just seem very frightened of not having a permanent repair. But if a dab more as needed works better than trying to be sure none of those pins will EVER dare to be loose again -- why not settle for that?

    As for a small amount of CA preventing any more from reaching deep where it is needed, since so many tuning pins have sagged, leaving a crescent moon shaped hole at the top, if the pin is still loose the CA can always enter there, to go find its beloved tight cracks.



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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
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  • 21.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-20-2019 10:21
    One other detail as to what is actually happening in addition to Susan's fine dissertation...

    As the CA cures, it adheres to both the wood surrounding the tuning pin AND the tuning pin itself, effectively reducing the size of the hole and at the same time increasing the size of the pin. Each successive application repeats this process until the pin is "one" with the block. When the pin is turned now, the pin coating and block coating break free, but not cleanly but rather randomly, and then interfacing with each other to basically double the effect of the size differences.  Essentially you have CA against CA...no more wood against metal except way down deep.

    So, a super loose pin with big gaps and cracks in the block will obviously require much more substance than a marginally loose pin before the above starts to take effect.  Most of the wear and destruction seems to be toward the top of the pin, so this seems to be where the greatest need is.

    Yes, I am aware that some people turn grands upside down and juice from the bottom and they say it works great. Of course it does for obvious reasons. Anyone who wants to do that is free to do so. Not me though.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-20-2019 14:29
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjPDefnPQNU  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaj5meU_SSI are an 1819 Broadwood which has been saved with CA. Many of the pins had holes 4mm larger at the top than the pins.

    I chose the filling to the top technique. After first application many of the pins were still slipping. After filling to the top it had soaked in and there was a void for more and did the same over a couple of days. Then after tuning I noted strings that had slipped and filled more. And again with at least 4 iterations. And now there are only a couple of strings that slip and I'll try again.

    Before, the instrument wasn't holding tune a semitone down.

    On the 1802 instrument https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJonwRwgaeo I treated certain strings as applicable and it successfully tunes even with a radically different temperament https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV0bkcSr_Kg . There is a temperature differential however between the iron and the brass strings, so very sensitive to changes.

    Best wishes

    David P 

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    David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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    +44 1342 850594





  • 23.  RE: Pintite Followed by CA?

    Posted 04-20-2019 21:58
    Pianos this old are way outside my experience, but it's good to konw that this can still work.

    I'm wondering if anyone has made a replica of the Broadwood, to see how the sound iswith the original scaling, and without the wood of the soundboard being so old.

    I got to tune a replica, well, kind of a replica because it combined some features of a Graf and others of an early Boesendorfer, when David Hyun-su Kim brought it to Corvallis. It was a revelation, especially the bass, which was very easy to tune and had extreme clarity. I understood Beethoven's writing better from that, all the close position chords which are so muddy on modern instruments. The treble wanted to keep going flat, but I realized that it wasn't instability; it happened because the waste lengths were so much longer than the speaking lengths. After going over it several times, it was fine, and the long waste lengths probably actually improved tuning stability.

    He also had some very interesting ideas about dynamic markings, and his website has CD tracks from extremely early recordings, such as Brahms played by students of Clara Schumann.

    http://davidkimpiano.com/index.html

    Thanks for reminding me to look for this, David. I'm glad that you got the two pianos playable.

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    Susan Kline
    Philomath, Oregon
    ------------------------------