• 1.  What are these things?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-07-2022 21:41
    Greetings all,
    I found these in the tool kit of a retired/deceased technician. I assumed they were Steinway Teflon bushings, but maybe they're not. At first they looked to be threaded, but now I see they're ribbed (I'd heard that S&S bushings were fluted?). There are two sizes; the smaller will not fit a 19 broach, the larger with effort.
    They were kept in a tin marked at some time with "Neupert Quills"--obviously not quills but perhaps he had worked on harpsichords (at least he did in 1975...).
    Any ideas?

    Scott Cole, RPT
    Talent, OR

  • 2.  RE: What are these things?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-08-2022 07:15
    You are correct, they are S&S Teflon bushings. They look to be the smaller size, which they used first, then a larger bushing. I had to use my Teflon kit in January when a Teflon era M was donated to NIU. The damper system, which also has Teflon bushings, was very sluggish. A walk down memory lane to take it apart and check the friction of each bushing. Works fine now, will until the piano gets restrung and damper system is replaced.

    Supposedly it is time for bike riding in preparation for my annual BikeMS ride. In any case, while I dodge rain and wind, here is a link if you wish to donate.Thanks!
    David Graham
    Graham Piano Service, Inc.
    512 S. Main St.
    Sycamore IL 60178

  • 3.  RE: What are these things?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 05-08-2022 12:36
    The ribs were added to make the teflon bushing less susceptible to issues connected to the wood of the shank swelling and shrinking. When it is dry, the wood shrinks cross grain, causing it to compress the bushing (sluggish action). When humid, the hole grows cross grain, causing clicks. The ribs give the wood room to move.

    This was particularly a problem with the earliest instruments, "teflon 1," with smaller holes and bushings. When they discovered the problem, they increased the diameter of the bushings ("teflon 2"), putting them in a larger hole. They didn't communicate any of this, just left it to technicians to figure it out the best they could. 

    (Current cloth bushings are dipped in a teflon solution, and are known as teflon 3. Well, maybe some still use this terminology.)

    I was lucky enough to have a dozen Bs and Ds from 1962 with those earliest bushings, so became rather intimate with their problems until I had replaced all the action parts in them.
    Fred Sturm
    "Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them." Coco Chanel

  • 4.  RE: What are these things?

    Posted 05-08-2022 14:02
    Those are Steinway teflon bushings. I have some and they look just like that. I also got some flange pins with the kit I bought. You should not use a tapered broach with these.  I think there might be an untapered fluted broach but might not be available anymore. If your broach is not tapered it should be OK. I haven't needed to use these in ages, due to replacing most of what was clicking in our pianos already or replacing with felt bushed parts. They might come in handy some day, though.

     Richard Adkins 
     Keyboard Tuning and Maintenance
     Curator of Instruments 
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