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Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

  • 1.  Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 20:29
      |   view attached
    Greetings all,
    I'm in a bit of a pickle. Likely just the tip of the pickle, as it were.
    I have a Yamaha G2 in the shop for a restring and cleanup. It looks like a pack of cats had inhabited it. The strings were extremely corroded, and there are bubbles of corrosion on the plate. I'm stuck on one of the first tasks: removing the tuning pins. However, they're not just stuck, they are STUCK. The tip on my tuning lever keeps coming off. My power drill with adapter tip can't handle it. As you can see in the photo below, the corrosion reaches a way into the holes (if you can't see it, trust me...).

    I'm wondering at this point if some kind of chemical is warranted: 3-in-one oil? WD-40? Mystery oil additive? Balsamic vinaigrette? If I were into homeopathy, I'd try even MORE cat pee. But I'm not, and anyway I heard the cat pee pipeline was attacked by hackers and they're all out.

    Any ideas about how to get these pins out? I even firmly attached a vise-grips to my drill adapter--pins will barely budge. I'm lucky I got the one out.

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 20:37
    Heat? Some kind of monster zapper to run current through the pin? Clamp a hair straightener on the pin(s)? Heat gun? That's where I'd start.
    If you're going to keep the block, I would avoid anything anything in it like WD40 or any oil product because it would soften the wood.
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




  • 3.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-13-2021 21:21
    Take a pneumatic palm nailer, make a slug to fit in the pin hole from inside the cavity, and blast the pin up and out from the bottom of the block. You just need to break the corrosion bond, and it will move. If you don't have a palm nailer, try banging it in to the block a little, then try backing it out...you need to break the corrosion bond. The palm nailer from under the block is probably your best bet.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-13-2021 21:22
    Given the cat pee, I assume you will be replacing the block...no?

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 23:01
    Thanks guys, I may try banging a couple in first, possibly some heat.
    I wasn't really serious about using any liquids--won't help to get the pins out if I ruin the block.

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 23:02
    I mean if I ruin the block any further...it may well need replacing.

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 23:05

    Seems to me that it probably does need replacing. And if it's marginal to begin with, using heat to free the pins per various suggestions might be its last gasp.






  • 8.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 22:52
    Here's a magnetic induction heater which might be used to heat tuning pins:

    Magnetic Induction Heater Kit:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/324461705465?hash=item4b8b6cb8f9:g:Z20AAOSwvBRgUWkC

    About $200. Used in automotive industry to heat frozen bolts.

    Paul McCloud
    San Diego



    Scott Cole:

    Greetings all,
    I'm in a bit of a pickle. Likely just the tip of the pickle, as it were.
    I have a Yamaha G2 in the shop for a restring and cleanup. It looks like a pack of cats had inhabited it. The strings were extremely corroded, and there are bubbles of corrosion on the plate. I'm stuck on one of the first tasks: removing the tuning pins. However, they're not just stuck, they are STUCK. The tip on my tuning lever keeps coming off. My power drill with adapter tip can't handle it. As you can see in the photo below, the corrosion reaches a way into the holes (if you can't see it, trust me...).

    I'm wondering at this point if some kind of chemical is warranted: 3-in-one oil? WD-40? Mystery oil additive? Balsamic vinaigrette? If I were into homeopathy, I'd try even MORE cat pee. But I'm not, and anyway I heard the cat pee pipeline was attacked by hackers and they're all out.

    Any ideas about how to get these pins out? I even firmly attached a vise-grips to my drill adapter--pins will barely budge. I'm lucky I got the one out.

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033





  • 9.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-13-2021 23:52
    Scott,
    I'm sure the pin block is toast. Jim's suggestion to pound them out from underneath may be your only option. Problem is, you can't get a good swing from inside the action cavity. You're in luck. You can easily remove the key bed on Yamaha pianos. Place the piano on its side and remove the key bed. Now you can get a good swing with a big hammer and drift punch.

    ------------------------------
    Roger Gable
    Gable Piano
    Everett WA
    425-252-5000
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-14-2021 01:19
    Yes, I would guess the block is toast, how many pins are so affected?
    Can't you pull the plate on a Yamaha with the block still attached? If so, perhaps you could separate the plate from the block with the pins still in position. Otherwise, per Roger's suggestion, remove keybed, flip piano and knock them out from the bottom, or at least get them started.
    Any other contaminated parts? Action? Dampers? Hitch pins? Hope you gave an open ended estimate.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-15-2021 05:07
    WELCOME TO A LITERAL PEEANO.





  • 12.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-14-2021 02:59
    Put your tuning pin socket on a 3/4” drive breaker bar. If you need more leverage you can slip a long pipe over the end of the breaker bar. You might want to douse the pins with liquid wrench first. That block is going to stink of cat pee and needs to be replaced.

    Good luck,
    Rob

    Robert B Edwardsen
    Registered Piano Technician
    21 Courtenay Circle
    Pittsford NY 14534
    585-586-1360
    edwardsenpianoservice.com
    eedward2@rochester.rr.com

    Sent from my HAL 9000




  • 13.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-14-2021 08:19
    The block and any wood/felt will have to be replaced because you will not be able to get the stench. Lingering odor is very offensive and will not be tolerated by anyone, not even a cat lover.

    ------------------------------
    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-14-2021 08:42
    Remove the keybed  (phillips screws around it's perimeter).  It's not glued in place.  Turn the piano over on a pile of moving blankets.  Pound the t-pins out from underneath.  BTW, use an appropriately sized phillips bit or you'll bugger up the screw heads.  I've removed dozens of keybeds doing PianoDisc installations.  Bear in mind when you reattach the keybed to the rim you'll need to have the keyslip in place or it won't fit once you tighten the perimeter screws.

    You SHOULD really replace the pin block so if you can pull the plate with the tuning pins still in the block you'll save the tuning pin removal process  BUT I don't think you'll be able to do that.  It depends on whether or not the pin block is screwed to the cabinet/outer rim from underneath the plate.  I'd imagine it is.

    Be sure to deodorize everything before you reassemble this piano or all this work will be wasted.


    ------------------------------
    Larry Fisher
    Owner, Chief Grunt, Head Hosehead
    Vancouver WA
    503-310-6965
    Working the gravy zone for the rest of my days.
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-14-2021 09:58
    I agree with Jim on this one.  Hit them with a hammer to break the bond then try backing them out.  You may need to invest in a more powerful drill though, which you'll find a million uses for when doing this type of work.   
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    -Matt Crudo, RPT 
     





  • 16.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-18-2021 19:01
    Check out some of the products from kanolabs.com  There is a  oil that might break the bond the pin and wood have . Make sure to thoroughly protect the keybed with a plasic tarp covered with newspaper/cardboard or some other sorbent. If the stuff does not work im sure it can be used on other things. You need to break the grip/bond the pins have. The pin block is toast anyway at this point there is bound to be pee pee trapped under the plate . You may even have to carefully use an oscillating tool to tear apart the block from underneath. You may then have enough room to use an impact rachet to drive the pins up and out.

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-19-2021 22:48
    I think everyone has the best advice covered, but I'd like to share an experience I had a few years ago. There was a "tooner" in our area and he did quite a number on a piano. I kinda blows me away how much he did to mess it up, including wrong gauges in replacement strings, including some very thin ones in the bass. He even tried to "ease" a key by reaming out the center pin hole in the bottom of the key so wide that the key was moving front & back around a quarter inch.  I've been working on it gradually, making improvements every visit. One of the things he did was break off the top of a tuning pin & never fixed it. The first time I saw the piano, I was wondering how he did this until I tried to move another pin nearby. It was lock-solid tight! There was no way my tuning lever was going to move that without breaking it. I asked a friend (a very reputable tech) what to do. As tight as it was, he suggested going ahead with a tiny bit of Protek where the pin met the wood. I decided to risk it. It worked! The pin broke free and has been holding just fine ever since! No problems. As far as the broken pin goes, it was broken at wood level, so I hammered it through the whole pin block (I actually have a video of that). I did brace the block up for that. I can't remember if I added some Protek to that but I think I didn't. I replaced the pin & it's been fine. Take from this what you will. ;-)

    ------------------------------
    Maggie Jusiel, RPT
    Athens, WV
    (304)952-8615
    mags@timandmaggie.net
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-19-2021 22:57
    Thanks for all the great advice everyone!
    Since the piano has corrosion on the plate and a pinblock that everyone recommends is toast, I'll be looking for a rebuilder to tackle the work. Pinblocks and plate removals is not in my wheelhouse...

    In the meantime, I did actually come up with a way to move the pins: my cordless drill wasn't powerful enough to turn them, but with the tuning pin adapter, it did make a great, solid handle with plenty of torque to manually turn them. It would take a while, but I think it would work. Of course now it's a moot point as this kitty is going to the pound...

    ------------------------------
    Scott Cole, RPT
    rvpianotuner.com
    Talent, OR
    (541-601-9033
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-20-2021 09:14

    FINALLY A SOLUTION FOR LOOSE PINS. JUST FEED THE CAT A BOWL OF WATER, THEN PUT HIM ON THE PINS. ACCORDING  TO THE "FELINE CORROSION" ARTICLE, CAT PEE SO LOCKS THE PINS IN THE PIN BLOCK, YOU CAN BREAK A TOOL TRYING TO GET A PIN OUT AFTER IT HAS BEEN SATURATED WITH CAT PEE.

    ------------------------------
    Lucille Rains
    Franklin Lakes NJ
    201-337-7228
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-20-2021 11:10
    Lucille,
    I like your cat-rain solution for loose pins, but I see two issues:
    1. What to do about verticals? Do we hold/point the cat near the pin field and hope for the best? If someone can do it and get a photo maybe it will be in the TTT. Perhaps that guy from the Bettendorf chapter can do it. Look for it next April.

    2. Someone needs to experiment on dosage vs tightness. Should we come up with a system like a "one-cat" or "two-cat" treatment corresponding to desired torque readings? In aviation aircraft are categorized according to landing airspeed: CAT A, CAT B, CAT C etc. Maybe we could do something similar?
    Standardize it?

    --
    Scott Cole, Registered Piano Technician and Doctor of Music
    Serving Southern Oregon and Northern California
    (541)601-9033







  • 21.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Posted 05-20-2021 11:46
    It seems as though we're on the Continent now, as we refer to Europe, where it's tradition on the 1st April to make a joke as a Poisson d'Avril. 

    Whether it's a matter of a PissOn or an April Fish the latter seems an excellent diet for such a cat.

    Joking apart, the late Victorian Broadwoods have threaded tuning pins which go through a metal plate and thence into the tuning plank. If a pin is loose one can turn the instrument upside down and pour CA into the hole below the pin in the wrest plank. Or if in desperation one might put CA into the screwthread. 

    Having done that the pin can be dangerously locked tight. However the antidote is acetone which one can apply to the pin which gradually will penetrate the thread and ease turning.

    It might be that a highly evaporative solvent might be used to lubricate the rust bond and evaporate out of the wood having broken the bond.

    Best wishes

    David P

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





  • 22.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Member
    Posted 05-20-2021 12:44
    Answer to #1. Obviously, there are only 2 solutions to treat the upright loose pins with cat pee. 1. You either have to lay the piano
    down flat -the cat will know what to do, OR 2. You have to find a way to collect cat pee yourrself and apply it with an eye dropper 
    In some cases this will be easy to do since they pee all over the house. Maybe you can get the cat to pee in a wash cloth, then
    squeeze it over the loose pins.There's always a way to do somethng with a little creative thinking.





  • 23.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-20-2021 13:02
    Lucille,
    Your suggestions are bordering on feline-ious assault.
    I'm going to have to press the "paws" button on this discussion and catnip this in the bud.




  • 24.  RE: Help! Stuck pins due to feline corrosion

    Posted 05-20-2021 13:38
    Try banging it a bit to loosen.  You might get away with drilling the hole out a little bigger for larger pins.  That could save the cost and labor of a new pin block. If you think it needs a new pin block, just pull the plate off the pins.

    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Gegner
    Tipton IN
    765-860-5900
    ------------------------------