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difficulty removing old felt

  • 1.  difficulty removing old felt

    Posted 18 days ago
    I am having some difficulties removing old damper felts.  I soaked them with wall paper remover (diluted 1 part wp remover and 1 part water), repeat and waited for 30 minutes. Usually the felts will easily slide off without leaving any residue.
    This particular set of felts won't come off, even after having them soaked a few times.
    I took out the old iron, put a damp cloth over the felts and heated it for approx 30 seconds.  The felts came off a little better but leaving a very tacky residue.
    Any ideas what kind of glue was used to attach the felts (it's a 25 yr old piano that was exposed to high humidity for an extended period of time and the damper felts are simply desintigrating)?  Is it pre-glued damper felt?
    More importantly, any suggestions as how to remove the felts without leaving any residue?
    Thank you,
    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 2.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Sharp chisel

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    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
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  • 3.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago

    Try using a heat gun.  I've run into this same type of glue with Baldwin's key bushing adhesives. My go-to solutions won't loosen the adhesive, but a good dose of the heat gun does the trick.  If this is the same glue that I'm thinking of, the adhesive color will start to turn to milk colored look under heat. Then the felt will come right off.

     

    Tom Servinsky 

    Registered Piano Technician

    Concert Artist Piano Technician

    Director/Conductor- Academy Orchestra

    Managing Conductor-Treasure Coast Youth Symphony

    Clarinetist-Atlantic Classical Orchestra

    tompiano@tomservinsky.com

    Website: tomservinsky.com

    772 221 1011 office

    772 260 7110 cell

     






  • 4.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    Petrus

    If you have a band saw you can cut the felt off. It’s very tricky because it’s all done by hand. You can’t use a guide. But if you’re careful you can scrape the felt and the glue it the same time.

    Wim

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 5.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago
    I've had good luck, after peeling/scraping off as much felt as possible, with a dremel tool and their finishing abrasive buff. On verticals, you don't have to remove the dampers from the action to do this.
    Amazon has some after market versions that are much cheaper than the dremel variety. I've found them very useful for removing excess glue, corrosion, etc.Very handy.


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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 6.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Posted 17 days ago
    thank you all for your suggestions.
    12 seconds with the heat gun did the trick!
    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 7.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Posted 18 days ago
    Thank you all for your suggestions.
    No easy way, just patience and hand skills.
    It'll keep me busy for a bit.
    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 8.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Posted 17 days ago
    Sometimes getting all the glue off is not all that important. It soaks into the wood and you don't want to remove the wood. I lay a file on the bench and rough the glue down and then take a blade from a utility knife and use it as a scraper to make sure it's scraped off evenly.
    Then use a glue like tightbond trim and molding glue. It sticks to anything (almost) and fills gaps.
    I glue the felts on using the action in place to hold the felt in place

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    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    209-770-4312
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  • 9.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Member
    Posted 17 days ago
    unless you use a jig to hold the damper head securely with no fingers near the blade you are asking for big trouble . two reasons for this are flex in the blade and danger of kickback. many cuts on bandsaws are done without blade guards and freehand . You can do straight cuts on a bandsaw by using a miter gauge and a jig to hold the damperheads and felt parallel to the blade. A faster way to get the felts off is to suspend them over a trough made with a piece of gutter and wetting the felt  using diluted or full strength wall paper remover.  i think there is a journal article on this . you never know what glue was used and some of it is a nightmare especially on old keybushings there may be a product out on the internet that will dissolve any glue  search under luthier supplies or museum and conservation supplies

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
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  • 10.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago
    I wouldn't advise a band saw either. Really a sharp (is there any other type?) chisel works fine. Put the damper in a bench vise, cut off the felt with a chisel and while it's in the vise clean and polish the wire. The whole set takes less than an hour

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    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
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  • 11.  RE: difficulty removing old felt

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 17 days ago

    Bingo!

     

    Tom Servinsky 

    Registered Piano Technician

    Concert Artist Piano Technician

    Director/Conductor- Academy Orchestra

    Managing Conductor-Treasure Coast Youth Symphony

    Clarinetist-Atlantic Classical Orchestra

    tompiano@tomservinsky.com

    Website: tomservinsky.com

    772 221 1011 office

    772 260 7110 cell