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CA glue/pinblock poll

  • 1.  CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 19 days ago
    It looks like I may be doing my first CA glue treatment of a pinblock in the near future.  For decades I have successfully used Garfields P.B. restorer to save pianos that would otherwise end up in the landfill.  I know many here dislike its' usage (and I never use it on a "good" piano), but (in my experience) with the application of ample amounts with the proper dilution, and the patience to allow the chemical to accomplish its' work (anywhere from 1 week to a few months),  I have regularly experienced 10-15 years of extended life with its' application.  In one case, I was even able to re-apply it successfully some 12 years after an initial treatment.  This piano, however may not be a candidate as it has already been "doped" at least once and the travel time to the site makes return trips somewhat of a deterrent.  It is an old Chas M. Steiff grand piano.  Repinning, restringing, or new P.B. are out of the question financially for this customer.  Her only hope for a few more years of use for her piano is one of these "stop-gap" methods.  The piano is in need of a complete rebuild, but that's simply never happening.

    So -- after discussions with other techs and reading through posts here I've seen/heard time frames anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours between the application of the CA glue and tuning.  I'd be interested to hear of your experiences and opinions regarding this.   Is it "safe" to tune the piano the same day after application, or can doing so somehow lessen the effectiveness of the treatment?    Has anyone experienced any negative consequences from waiting too long between application and tuning?

    Any tips for application to a previously "doped" block?

    Lastly, I've seen older posts suggesting that if the initial application doesn't produce the desired results, repeating the application may be required to tighten the pins sufficiently.    On the other hand, I've seen posts suggesting that once the initial treatment is applied, additional applications accomplish nothing.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    FWIW, I've had mixed results with CA treatment. I had a baby Steck with some loose pins. One in particular I doused pretty well, and while I was there it would not hold. I took it out to see what happened and saw that it was wet all along the shank. I put the string on it and pulled it up as far as it would hold (same old string, not new). I went back later and pulled it up, and it seemed to hold for at least the time I was there. A few weeks later I got a call-back, went back and pulled it up again. Again I got the call a week later. I thought maybe the string had some settling issues, but no it had slipped. So I pounded it in a bit, and it seemed to hold. Fingers crossed.. so far crickets.. I CA'd the rest of the pins, and now they're too tight. At least I had to break them free before I could tune them.

    Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, it doesn't take but a few minutes to tighten things up. But in light of the above, it wasn't every time.

    As far as using Pin-tite or other "dope", I've seen very few over the years. I have read that using CA works fine with it, but not had experience myself. CA catalyzes with water, so the glycerine attracts water and they work together. That's as far as I can understand. Can't hurt to try it. Long ago I used to use a piece of shim or sandpaper. If it's just one or two, it's doable. A whole piano? Uh, no shims would take far too long.

    Your mileage may vary.

    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




    Timothy Edwards
    It looks like I may be doing my first CA glue treatment of a pinblock in the near future. For decades I have successfully used Garfields P.B. restorer to save pianos that would otherwise end up in the landfill. I know many here dislike its' usage (and I never use it on a "good" piano), but (in my experience) with the application of ample amounts with the proper dilution, and the patience to allow the chemical to accomplish its' work (anywhere from 1 week to a few months), I have regularly experienced 10-15 years of extended life with its' application. In one case, I was even able to re-apply it successfully some 12 years after an initial treatment. This piano, however may not be a candidate as it has already been "doped" at least once and the travel time to the site makes return trips somewhat of a deterrent. It is an old Chas M. Steiff grand piano. Repinning, restringing, or new P.B. are out of the question financially for this customer. Her only hope for a few more years of use for her piano is one of these "stop-gap" methods. The piano is in need of a complete rebuild, but that's simply never happening.

    So -- after discussions with other techs and reading through posts here I've seen/heard time frames anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours between the application of the CA glue and tuning. I'd be interested to hear of your experiences and opinions regarding this. Is it "safe" to tune the piano the same day after application, or can doing so somehow lessen the effectiveness of the treatment? Has anyone experienced any negative consequences from waiting too long between application and tuning?

    Any tips for application to a previously "doped" block?

    Lastly, I've seen older posts suggesting that if the initial application doesn't produce the desired results, repeating the application may be required to tighten the pins sufficiently. On the other hand, I've seen posts suggesting that once the initial treatment is applied, additional applications accomplish nothing.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636





  • 3.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 19 days ago
    hello Timothy,
    i have used CA glue (the red labeled "hot stuff") on entire pin blocks well over 100 times when the customers did not want to spend the moneys to put in a new pin block (and usually new strings).
    Sometimes one application was sufficient, sometimes i would have to do 3 passes. Only very few times, there would be pins that would not hold even after 3 applications.  My guess is that probably less than 25 pins in total (out of some 25,000 pins in total), would still slip, in which case i would put in a thicker tuning pin or drill a hole close to the tuning pin and put in a screw to help keeping the pin in place.
    I prefer not to put in a thicker pin in an already compromised pin block but sometimes that's adding enough years of enjoying the piano for the customer.
    I usually start tuning after 30 minutes or so and during the tuning, should i encounter a pin that's still slipping, i'll just add some more of the CA glue.
    I like that stuff a lot.
    Peter

    ------------------------------
    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago

    Timothy –

     

    You'll want to use precisian applicators and ventilation against the odor, but other than that you'll never go back. Use enough to ensure saturation around the pin. You can tune almost immediately.

     

     






  • 5.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Just FYI, you can buy "fumeless", "odorless", or "frost free" super glue. It's called "Super Gold", is expensive, and is worth every penny in my opinion. No nasty fumes filling the whole house, burning your eyes, lungs, etc. It might take slightly longer to dry, but not much. I won't do a CA job with regular super glue. It's too nasty and I'm afraid of macular degeneration which my dad suffered from because he breathed too many fumes of stuff like this (primarily lacquer, though). I've always bought mine from Central Hobbies in Billings, MT, because they always had the best price, but I've seen it recently in other places and on Amazon.

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



  • 6.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    That's a good idea. I haven't tried the odorless stuff.

    I've always used the stuff from Dryburgh Adhesives, but they don't have any odorless. Have you tried it, and how does it compare with the odorless?

    ------------------------------
    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hot Stuff is a quality glue. They used to make an odor (UFO) free version but discontinued it.
    The Stuff now isn't as strong or I don't notice it as much. Maybe they altered the formula to have one glue instead of two. It seems shelf life would be extended with a glue that the chemical evaporation is suppressed.
    I find the thin stuff that has gelled slightly works perfect for Ivory key tops. Paint the top of the key with some white acrylic primer and then one bead down the center. The key top won't warp like when you use too much liquid that has a long dry time. This means you don't have to remove the key and clamp it.

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hi Maggie,
    Do those application tips that fit on the red label "hot stuff" work on the super gold spouts as well?
    Peter


    ------------------------------
    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    While I prefer to use the CA treatment to the old glycerine nostrums, I have not found it to be foolproof.  I had an old upright with very loose pins last year that I put on its back and gave a good soaking to little avail.  The pins that were borderline firmed up nicely but the ones that had hardly any torque left would still not hold.  The water-thin CA is best used on a pin that still has some grab left in it, otherwise it just soaks right into the pinblock and doesn't serve to fill the gap that has formed around the pin.  In installing pinblock panels in old uprights, I've found that two applications are necessary, the first with water-thin epoxy to seal the wood, the second mixed with filler to fill the gaps.  But in this usage a second application will sill flow on through before it sets.  A gel solution is no better since the penetration is problematic and it would leave a messy collar around the pin so the random mix of very loose and not-so-loose pins creates a problem.  One of the benefits of the CA treatment is the time saving, but if you have start treating the piano pin by pin, you've by and large lost the cost-effectiveness.

    ------------------------------
    Cecil Snyder
    Torrance CA
    310-542-7108
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Member
    Posted 18 days ago
    I have treated dozens of pianos of all sizes and types and never had a problem with it not holding. It does not take a long time to treat each pin and in fact the job will be much cleaner and more targeted. I generally use a West system epoxy syringe to draw up the CA after I pour it into a glass jar or shot glass. A baby food jar is good because you can put the lid on. If you are just pouring the glue out it will get sucked up and make the plate nasty. If you are using the syringe method and see glue coming up through other tuning pins you have a cracked block. Even so I have treated blocks successfully including a McPhail Grand that had cracks in the high treble. My procedure always has been to do the treatment on a Friday and return on Monday. This gives the glue time to cure. Usually you are greated with a crack/snap sound as you break the bond by going flat with your tuning lever. Its possible that previous tuning pin treatment has destroyed the wood fibers and turned the block to mush. I should mention that I typically do at least 2 passes with the CA and many times 3

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



  • 11.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    John & Petrus -

    I have used the odorless stuff for many years now and haven't had a problem. I mentioned to Tim separately (we're in the same chapter) that I did have a piano once that didn't hold as well as I would have liked, but the block was hamburger and I'm remembering how I used regular CA glue, not odorless. I do soak them with as much glue as I can fit. That can range anywhere from 2-8 oz. I think my average is 5 oz.

    I've never used hot stuff so can't offer a comparison. I am quite anal about not using anything other than odorless these days, so the only thing I have to compare to is when I did a few CA treatments years ago with the thin stuff from Stewart-MacDonald. The odorless might have a slightly longer drying time, but I'm not sure. Speaking of which, I have always used pipettes to apply my glue but will be trying whip tips next time after seeing this video: https://www.stewmac.com/video-and-ideas/online-resources/learn-about-repair-tools-and-repair-techniques/whip-tip-tips.html .  I will likely be trying a cut pipette, also. My only problem with pipettes is when they get air bubbles and can "spit" just a little. I've gotten pretty good at working around that, though. If the hot-stuff tips are like this, then yes, they will work on the super gold bottles. I've never cut a tip on one since I've always used pipettes, so this will be a new experiment for me.

    Somewhere on my computer I have a video of an entire pin block treatment with exactly how I do it on an old upright with bushings, including tilting the piano. If I can find it, I'll post it.

    Keith - thanks for the key top tip.

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



  • 12.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Member
    Posted 18 days ago
    I have been using GluBoost lately with success. It comes in Thin and Ultra Thin (which I use for pins). Their Fill N' Finish has many uses and the Black F n' F is great for black touch up. The gel comes in handy too. The best thing is the accelerator, not an offensive odor and it is in an aerosol can with a pin-point spout.  It's the only product I use.

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

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



  • 13.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Maggie, I've used inserts like Whip-Tips before and I prefer the plastic pipettes for most applications. I find I have more control as the pipette bulbs are more sensitive than a CA bottle and fitting those things on the bottle is less secure considering we are hovering over the pin block, plate, and strings. I used to be able to get pipettes that came down to almost the same diameter as the inserts but more recently haven't been able to find them, the ones I have now are a little larger diameter than I prefer, one just has to be a little more careful. Inserts such as the Whip-Tip are excellent for hairline cracks and when you really must apply a tiny amount to a material.
    I haven't done near as many blocks as many here but I have had universal success even with one really beat up old block. I give them as much as they can take (about 5 oz sounds about right). I tune directly after dosing and it has always seemed to work out. One untunable S&S O is going strong after 6 years.

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



  • 14.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Jon,

    Is the "GluBoost" also odorless?  (I'm assuming this is the CA glue and not the filler we're discussing.)

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago

    Hi, Timothy

    You've had a lot of advice and information about the newer types of CA.

    It seems that my approach is now making me firmly in a minority, possibly a minority of one.

    I do not treat the entire pinblock, when often only a dozen or maybe two dozen pins are too loose to tune. (Sometimes it's only three or four.) It has been my experience that pins which didn't need treatment feel better when tuning than ones which have been treated. I'll tolerate pins which are fairly loose, so long as they don't slip. One uses very gentle hammer technique on them. It seems like normal playing doesn't throw many out if they are kind of medium loose to fairly loose, just not so loose that the tuning hammer moves down when one puts it on the tuning pin.

    By doing this, I avoid the fume problems, because I am using so much less CA. Since treating just a few pins can be done very quickly, I don't make a special appointment to do it. It fits right into a normal tuning session.

    My favorite brand is Loctite, water thin, in 5 or 10 gram small bottles. They have a long thin spout and a needle in the cap. The thin spout is perfect for putting a few drops of CA right at the point where the pin dives into the plate bushing?? or pinblock. For an upright, I find I can get it to wick in just fine without tipping. I hold a washcloth under the pin so any extra doesn't drip down and foul the strings.

    Sometimes I can still use the glue long after the bottle has been opened, but if the glue is still liquid but there's a clog in the long thin spout, I carry a hatpin which can get through it. Once the glue looks sluggish in the bottle, I toss it. I always keep two or three fresh unopened bottles still on their cards. I sometimes get over a year of use from a bottle before it seizes up. Of course it's crucial to keep it well capped, since it's the humidity in the air which causes the glue to set up.

    I first see which pins have slipped so much that they no longer sound like part of a scale. Before doing the tuning, I treat them first. I go back after about ten minutes, see if the note is tunable, and add a second dose if it isn't. I find that usually the second treatment works better than just one, because the first treatment has sealed a lot of the cracks so more of the CA stays at the pin the second time. I've sometimes used a third, but very rarely need to.

    Then after a second dose, I return again after ten minutes, gingerly pull it to pitch, and go on with tuning. When I get back to the note in the normal tuning sequence, I'll see if I can adjust it if it really needs adjustment, but if it is a stinker and was hard to get to pitch and is close, I'll fudge a little with the rest of the unison so I don't have to move it again. This is for pianos with basket case pinblocks, of course, the ones which used to be headed to the dump, but I've had good results.

    I see no reason to pour ounces of this stuff into a whole pinblock, when it works so well to treat the really bad pins as I tune the piano and leave the marginal ones alone. I sometimes have tuned a piano with a terrible pinblock (like an old Mason & Hamlin grand I enjoyed, otherwise nice) three or four times. Each time fewer notes needed treatment, and they were usually new ones. You can tell because the CA darkens the plate bushing and it's shiny. I don't tend to get call backs for notes which slipped, though I solicit them. "Call me if this gets bad again."

    For me, the best part of CA for loose pins is that we no longer need to make a big deal of treating the whole piano, as if this is its one and only chance to be fixed. That was the old paradigm, when using the glycerin junk. It was a terrible fuss, tilting, pouring the stuff in, waiting a week, trying to clean up the awful mess, untilting, tuning, and the feeling of the tuning pins was always mushy though they did hold a little bit better.

    I've used CA on one of these glycerin-fouled uprights, and the CA worked just fine. The moisture from the glycerin (which is hygroscopic) sets up the CA fast.

    Just treat the ones which really need it, leave the rest alone. It takes far less time, you don't even have to charge for it since it takes so little time and glue. It's just a part of tuning an old piano with loose pins. If they get loose enough they can't be tuned, treat, otherwise just leave them alone. Then if a few more end up difficult to tune later, you can always treat them during the next tuning, which should take four or five minutes. Why bother the customer with a new fee and an explanation for four or five minutes of work and 1/10 of a $2.69 bottle of glue? Just keep the small bottle (and a spare) in your normal kit. It barely weighs and thing and it hardly takes any space. Don't leave home without it. And a hatpin.

    No driving back, no waiting to tune, no selling a big job, no getting gassed with the stuff, no harsh feeling tight pins which got treated when they didn't need it. And a tiny little bottle costs a lot less, and you don't need fancy applicators, or pouring it out into containers. The container it comes in already has the perfect applicator built in. Why not use it? (Though the new variants do sound interesting ... but only if there were a job which NEEDED ounces and ounces at once.)

    This stuff:

    https://smile.amazon.com/Loctite-Liquid-10-Gram-Longneck-234796/dp/B0002YXG78/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Loctite+CA+glue&qid=1619411330&sr=8-5

    ??








  • 16.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 18 days ago
    I agree with Susan on the amount of glue. If I use more than 2 ounces of the hot stuff thin,, I'm concerned,,
    One oz sometimes will do them all, almost never more than 2 ozs.
    As far as treating them all or just the worst,, I find the tonal quality of the piano improves. The loose pin must eat up some of the energy in the wire.
    So I do them all
    Maybe it's the brand. Satellite glue when I researched them was one of the oldest makers of CA glue. They moved up near Vacaville which is close to Dow Chemical and the oil refineries.


    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    With bushed plates, do you recommend drilling a small hole through the bushing so the glue can be applied directly on the pinblock? I have an old upright to treat next week that is a family heirloom and a player (that's my niche, players).
    David D.

    ------------------------------
    David Dewey
    Oroville CA
    530-589-3676
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

     

    The only times I've had trouble was when I couldn't get good penetration of tight fitting bushings that seemed to have some sort of finish on them. Otherwise with the typical dried out old bushings allow the CA to penetrate easily through the bushing and on into the block.






  • 19.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Susan,

    Do you pull the action on grands when applying the CA?   This would seem to add a good bit of time if you must pull the action, treat, replace action, tune, encounter another pin that is too loose and repeat the process.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi Timothy.
    I personally always remove the action as the thin Ca glue might seep through if there's a serious issue in the pin block.
    Peter

    ------------------------------
    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    No, Timothy. In the early days I used to put a shop towel or a piece of cardboard between the bottom of the pinblock and the action, but with the small amount I'm using it never gets through the pinblock. There was never anything on the towel or cardboard.

    In a poor pinblock, there will be multiple cracks and delaminations between layers for the glue to wick into. CA simply adores following tight cracks! It can run a foot in seconds. My theory is that it is far too busy doing this to think about getting around the tuning pin and falling onto the piano action.

    Another reason not to pour in ounces and ounces. I consider this desire to flood the pinblock to be a holdover from the bad old days when we had to flood everything with glycerin and alcohol. But CA is a whole new world, and can be used far differently. "Enough" put the right places can be very little. And given its toxicity and expense and possible damage soaking the coils or dripping out of a flooded pinblock, the less the better as long as it is doing its job of preventing slipping.

    I haven't noticed any difference in tone quality between treated and untreated though medium-loose pins, but I'll keep an ear open for it.






  • 22.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 17 days ago
    The Loctite CA bottle is my favorite as it is small and never leaks in my tool box. The one I got doesn't mention viscosity anywhere on the label, and it seems thicker than the "water thin" type, so I use the one-ounce "Bob Smith Industries" glue in my kit to treat individual loose pins (also has a good bottle), and I buy 2oz bottles on eBay for treating entire blocks:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/171359230063?hash=item27e5ce586f:g:uM8AAOSw-jhUL0QD



    ------------------------------
    Philip Jamison
    Philip Jamison Pianos
    WEST CHESTER PA
    610-696-8449
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hot Stuff sells a bag of new tops for their bottles relatively inexpensive. If the glue goes in a tool bag I make sure it has a new top.
    Save the tip that was cut if it's was still good or cut a new tip. Having a clean tip on the applicator is such a plus.
    Everybody has had glue leakage problems. Don't you love it?

    ------------------------------
    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Never had a glue leakage problem with the little Loctite. I don't even bother to put it into a ziploc bag.






  • 25.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    I've been using Tech-Bond SI Green (thinnest viscocity) or Blue (next thicker) for several years now.
    See https://tbbonding.com/product/si-structural-adhesives/
    These are the CA glues that Jim Coleman Jr was/is selling. Nearly odorless, works very well. I carry the glue, debonder, and activator in a baggie in my lunch box to keep it cool, and store them in the fridge when not working. Use one of Schaff's pipettes with the very narrow tip. Following Susan's advice from an earlier thread....Apply only to the loose pins. Get on with the tuning. Never had any leak down onto action.

    Back in the day I applied way too much to an old Chickering grand. Had the action out, and had taped the bottom side of the pinblock. Glue just kept going in, never saw it stop "absorbing". Full bottle. Thought WTH?? Looked under the pinblock, saw so much had just leaked through. SOOO glad I taped the bottom of that one!

    ------------------------------
    [Dwight][Denzer][RPT]
    [Dwight's Piano Works]
    [Springfield][IL]
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Wow, Dwight! You treat only the ones which need it!

    That makes you a very rare and special person, in my book ... <grin> Glad I'm not the sole, single, lonely pianotech approaching it this way.






  • 27.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    Susan,

    I meant to give this reply to one of your earlier posts about applying CA only as needed, rather than using multiple ounces to treat an entire block.

    I am certainly not doubting your experience. There must be some difference in pianos in your climate compared to the ones I see here. In the South, it is rare to see an old piano with only a few slightly loose pins that are treatable individually. I do see that, but this more often in the "newer" pianos that are 50-60 years old.

    For the 80+ year-old uprights and grands, it's more common that a CA treatment will take at least 2 ounces. Sometimes even that works marginally.

    ------------------------------
    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 16 days ago
    My experience is similar, yet different, from John's. Most of the pianos I work on are less than 40 years old, average less than 30 and I live in an environment where the Rh never goes below 40%, so I rarely encounter loose tuning pins and when I do it on instruments considerably older.
    I'll add that in my experience using Ca on blocks is that the result is fairly uniform; I haven't seen where the treatment makes a pin too tight or jumpy. That consistency facilitates the tuning. We are basically sizing the hole.
    Btw, I was wrong earlier when I said it takes about 5 oz. for a treatment, I think it's generally closer to 3 oz.

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



  • 29.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 16 days ago
    Wow!  Thanks to everyone for this great discussion.  Lots of great information has spawned my curiosity.  If you're curious regarding my curiosity, check out the "Pinblock/CA glue poll spinoff I just posted.   Perhaps we can discover something new with it.   I'd be interested to know if certain approaches or glues work better in certain conditions.
    Thanks again!

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Steven & Susan - Just thought I'd share my most recent experience. It was an ancient Stieff upright. Playable, but some of the pins were far too loose to hold. It was only around 15 pins total that wouldn't hold at all, though. There were another 20-25 that were on the loose side, but holding. I was completely out of my thin CA glue, but the lady of the house had a couple 2-packs of the super glue that comes in metal squeeze tubes. I normally wouldn't use that because I'd have a mess, but I had those whip tips handy. They fit tight on the tube tips, and the tips went right INTO the gaps of the pin bushings. It was beautiful. No drips; no mess. I used 3 tubes for a total of .21 oz. I marked the ones I treated with white chalk and the other loose ones with pink chalk. I can return later and evaluate. In the meantime, the pins that didn't hold, held, and the owner was thrilled. Since I had my stuff out, I tried the whip tip on a bottle I had of thicker stuff just to see if I might like it. Susan is right: the bottle is too stiff. I'll stick with my pipettes for my bottled glue, but this is a nice trick to have in my back pocket. Woohoo!

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



  • 31.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing, Maggie.

    This success, with possible follow up later to see if the results last long enough to be worth trying again, doesn't have to be the last word.

    I think it would be possible for you to now have two options in your bag of techniques: do it this way, slips right into a tuning, minimal use of materials, less toxicity, exceedingly happy customer ...

    and keep the second option, treating the whole block after planning to do so, in case the results from "Minimal" do not hold well enough for the customer to put up with it till the next tuning. If so, go with "Thorough," and no great loss. If you had started with "Thorough" you'd have had to set up a different appointment and scheduled more time anyway.

    Second stage, assuming this is a regular customer instead of someone desperate from tuning pin slippage who just wanted the one tuning to get relief: the next time you see the piano (whenever that is) see how much slippage has taken place, and note the chalk color. Was it the bad previously treated pins, or the dubious untreated ones? Then treat minimally again, especially if most or all of the offenders are new.??

    It might be good to tell the customer about the "Thorough" option, and leave the choice up to him or her if the piano gets a lot worse before you see it again. People put up with things better if they know they have another option and the control of its timing.






  • 32.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Susan,

    It looks like this (minimal method) will end up being my approach on this little grand piano, as my customer has expressed a preference for this approach when presented with it as an option.  Just trying to decide which glue viscosity/bottle/applicator/odor combination will provide the most effective and efficient application and results. So many different glues and applicators to choose from.  I must confess (this being a new process for me) having some concern for the potential for leakage onto the action, and whether a little cardboard placed between the block and action will contain any such leak.

    Had it not been for this discussion, I would have probably proceeded to pull the action and treat the entire block; but I felt the customer deserved some input into the decision.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago

    That's really great, Timothy.

    I think you'll find that if you use a moderate amount on only the bad pins you won't have any coming out the bottom of the pinblock, but certainly sliding some cardboard in is easy and takes little time. Cheap security blanket.

    I still recommend my Loctite with the little spout, which is water thin. Loctite makes many other versions without the very pleasing long thin spout (with the little needle in the cap) so I'll go fish up the right one on Amazon. In stores (like BiMart) I often find it in the 5 gram bottles, which I prefer, but the 10 gram aren't bad, either. Getting several and keeping the spares on their cards so I know they are new has been fine for me. I just got three more, feeling ready at last to get out of the house and do a little bit of tuning. It has very long shelf life unopened.

    Good luck! I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. If the weather is decent, I'd still open a window using even a little of this stuff. It's possible some of those other CA glues with less odor are also less toxic. I'll stick with what I know because it would take me awhile and a lot of experience to figure out if the odor free varieties still treat the bad pins well, and to adjust to the use of a pipette or other applicator. The Loctite little spout is so great I don't want to give it up. Amazon should be able to get this to you in a few days, and at $2.86 a bottle, it won't hold you back financially.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Loctite-Liquid-10-Gram-Longneck-234796/dp/B0002YXG78/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=loctite+CA+glue&qid=1619709133&sr=8-8






  • 34.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 13 days ago
    Tim,
    If you pull the action, then really have an opportunity to observe if any glue drips down (put some newspaper on the keybed for protection?)

    You can still do the minimalist approach....

    As far as applicators, I have recently discovered 1 or 2 oz nalgene squirt bottles. The protips sold by Satellite City (Hotstuff CA) and others fit perfectly on the tip. The idea of pipettes or syringes makes me too nervous- it’s too easy to push too fast with a syringe, or get an air bubble with a pipette that can lead to an eruption (in my experience.)

    Consider the difference between minimalist and wholesale- maybe just a few pins are loose, from over exercising, or slightly oval drilling- that’s a good case for here and there application. If you suspect a split in the pinblock laminations (usually rows of pins loose,) then a wholesale approach might make the repair simpler.

    Joe Wiencek
    NYC




  • 35.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    Susan - This customer owns a bread and breakfast and the piano came with the building. Few play it, and she seems to want to tune it every 5-8 years. I will return of my own accord in August to check on it, hence the chalk of different colors so I will know what I did and observed before. Either way, this will be a glue as we go job if they hold. The piano just isn't worth much to her (or anyone else) but she still can't send it to the dump. She is holding out someone else may eventually want it for something. It's perfect for experimentation!

    On a related note, I rarely get pianos like this. Most of them have around 150-200 pins loose, so it's appropriate to do the whole thing.

    Note to Tim: I'm thinking your job will be easier if they have loose pin bushings to help direct the glue and hold it in place. Without them, you might need to soak in a wee bit more. If the pin bushings are tight, you might need to soak in a bit more slowly. What are others' thoughts on this?

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



  • 36.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 14 days ago
    Susan and Maggie,

    Picked up a couple 10g bottles of the Loctite liquid at Lowe's.   Also have a 2oz bottle of the "super gold" with their "whip tips" and some debonder and accelerant.  ALL the pins on this piano are VERY loose, but most still holding (how long may be debatable).    Plan to install a DC humidifer upon returning, treat uncooperative pins and tune.  Maybe a dozen or so pins not holding.

    Question:  Do you think I have sufficient glue on hand?   From what I'm reading here, I'm guessing I probably do; but it's over an hour drive to the customer and she's close to NOTHING so I want to be sure I go properly equipped.

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 14 days ago
    Oh, shoot! I ALMOST posted something then forgot. Tim: The Lowe's in our areas typically only have medium viscosity Loctite super glue. It's so think you can't always soak it up in a pipette, but it also depends on how old it is. If it's not old, you can suck it up into a pipette with some difficulty. Darn!  You should be able to tell by tilting the bottle: if it moves around literally like water, you're fine. If there is any hesitation, I personally recommend not using it because of my terrible experience with it in the past, but use your best judgement. My Lowe's might not be the same as yours, so hopefully they had the thin stuff. The ones in Bluefield or Princeton never have it. Beckley didn't used to have it, but I haven't shopped there in a long time.

    Susan et al: What's your experience with this?

    I recently discovered the whip tips are difficult to use with those bottles for the reasons someone suggested: the bottles are too stiff. Do you have any pipettes? I'm not working near you tomorrow or I'd bring you some. The whip tips are still useable, just not as easy.

    I've already said I never leave home for a job without 8 oz even though I rarely use that much, but that's for a whole pin block. If you're treating under a few dozen pins, you should be fine. Wishing you luck!

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



  • 38.  RE: CA glue/pinblock poll

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hi Maggie,

    Our Lowe's had the same stuff Susan linked to.  Liquid viscosity.  I do have a few pipettes.  Do you draw it up directly out of the bottle, or do you pour some out into another container before using the pipette? (on the "super gold")

    ------------------------------
    Timothy Edwards
    Beckley WV
    740-517-7636
    ------------------------------