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keyslip screws stuck

  • 1.  keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 4 days ago
    Hi everyone,
    At a tuning today, the customer pointed out that one key (C3) was sticking. I could see right away that the keyslip was very close, and was surprised that more keys weren't jamming when they were pushed down. They were sticking if any pressure was applied during tuning.

    The big problem: the 4 screws would not come out. Unfortunately they are phillips heads, which makes things more difficult.

    I got out my trusty soldering iron and applied a hot tip to a screw for 2 minutes, but after the screw cooled down it was still impossible to budge.

    I solved the immediate problem by sanding down the one key front, but I'm still worried more may develop the problem and I'd really like to get the keyslip off, especially if the piano needs cleaning or regulation.

    This is a large (52" or so) Kawai vertical from 1984. First time I've not been able to remove a keyslip easily. I don't think this one was ever removed.

    Any suggestions? Heating up those screws is the only thing I can think of that might work.

    Thanks!

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


  • 2.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 4 days ago
    Impact driver? As opposed to a drill/driver. They can drive screws like drywall screws with less tendency to slip off. Make sure that whatever you use fits snugly in the screw head. Other than that, a screw extractor like Grab-bit. One end drills a pilot hole, the other (flip it over) used in reverse in your drill/driver, will back it out slowly. What I usually find is that the screw head is buried into the wood below the surface which makes it even harder to remove.
    Good luck (you'll need it!)
    Paul McCloud
    San Diego

    -
    Scott Cole:

    "Hi everyone,
    At a tuning today, the customer pointed out that one key (C3) was sticking. I could see right away that the keyslip was very close, and was surprised that more keys weren't jamming when they were pushed down. They were sticking if any pressure was applied during tuning.

    The big problem: the 4 screws would not come out. Unfortunately they are phillips heads, which makes things more difficult.

    I got out my trusty soldering iron and applied a hot tip to a screw for 2 minutes, but after the screw cooled down it was still impossible to budge.

    I solved the immediate problem by sanding down the one key front, but I'm still worried more may develop the problem and I'd really like to get the keyslip off, especially if the piano needs cleaning or regulation.

    This is a large (52" or so) Kawai vertical from 1984. First time I've not been able to remove a keyslip easily. I don't think this one was ever removed.

    Any suggestions? Heating up those screws is the only thing I can think of that might work.

    Thanks!

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





  • 3.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 4 days ago
    If push comes to shove, you could drill out the screw heads without damaging the keybed. Then the key slip should lift out and screw shanks removed with vice grips.
    Alternatively, perhaps you could loosen the end blocks and fit shims in to alleviate the problem without dealing with the keyslip screws. Thats if the end blocks don't have the same weak screw issue.

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



  • 4.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    Reposition balance hole: cut across a key on the hole side and install piece of veneer with glue, then ream.
    Globally: reposition entire balance rail.
    In both cases leave slip along.

    Alexander Brusilovsky




  • 5.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    A hardened old Marine once told me that to remove stuck screws (particularly, the philips head ones) one can place the screwdriver onto the screw, and hit the handle end of the driver with a hammer or mallet. This will drive the bit into the metal a little more, and create enough resistance to move the screw. Works for me every time, but it is a little discomforting for clients to watch....

    Of course you'll need to replace the screw afterwards, as the procedure is unlikely to leave the screw looking anything like a screw should look. But, it does work.

    ------------------------------
    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (805) 315-8050
    www.professional-piano-services.com
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    Did you try prying up on the key slip with a thin putty knife while turning the screw? If you're concerned about marrng the finish try removing the cheekblocks and pry up from behind the slip. 

    Gary Bruce
    Registered Piano Technician





  • 7.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    There is a Phillips screw extractor available that has hardened cutting edges ground into the tip which cut into the screw and give extra grip for removing stuck screws.  Craftsman has one set:
    https://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-Screw-Out®-Damaged-Screw-Remover/dp/B005B9NENA/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=craftsman+phillips+screw+extractor&qid=1565762311&s=gateway&sr=8-6

    Replace with construction screws!

    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    Hello Scott,

    A few tip to turn reluctant screws.  1) make sure you have the correct size Phillips head.   I know you probably do.  But it's worth mentioning for others.  2) if you clamp a set of vice grips on your handle you gain a lot of torque.  I actually have a set of these that I use with my tuning lever for stubborn cheek blocks.   Is humidity a factor here? I know  here in the north east is been ridiculously humid and everything is stupid tight.

    If these don't work you can try repositioning the keyframe back a hair.  I have had to do this on cheap "European" style uprights where the keyslip doesn't come off.   Loosen the balance rail and front rail screws and "pry" the key frame toward the soundboard.   You may have a little wiggle room there and open up space between the key front and keyslip.  Obviously we are talking a very small amount.

    ------------------------------
    Gregory Cheng
    West Chester PA
    267-994-5742
    Gregorycheng.net
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    Call Don Maninno at Kawai. He will be familiar with the piano design and has probably solved the problem before.
    There is something odd here.
    All four screws are stuck? This is not likely to happen in a wooden rail.
    Are you turning the screws in the right direction? I have made this mistake myself.
    If you lay on the floor below the piano you can apply more pressure to keep the driver in the screw.
    Is it possible the screws are going into a metal rail?
    Kawai produced a piano with an oddly attached key slip. I don't remember the details, but in order to move the slip away from the key fronts I had to drive little wedges between the slip and the front edge of the keybed.
    Hammering a screw isn't going to help much when the piece the screw enters is not heavy enough to provide some inertia against the hammer blow.
    Finally, call Don Maninno at Kawai. He will be familiar with the piano design and has probably solved the problem before.
    Attached is a photo of an anonymous friend who found a way to maintain adequate pressure on a tight screw.


    ------------------------------
    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    My Ryobi impact driver is one of the most used tools both in my shop and around the home. I rarely turn any screws by hand anymore (except in people's pianos in their homes). If I had this problem, this is THE tool I would bring back. The impacting is applied rotationally rather than directly straight on. If it doesn't turn them out it will break them. Then it's an easy fix from there. 😁

    Now, is it it possible that Kawai made the mistake of mixing steel with aluminum? I doubt it, but if they did, those screws could be "welded" in place through electrolysis.  Still, I would bring my impact driver. 3 minutes or less.

    Note:  Does not work well on straight slotted screws...best on Phillips head. Also look to see if there is a square in the middle of the screw head. This is a different screw that works better with a square drive. (It has a name I can't think of right now...used a lot in Canada).

    Pwg

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



  • 11.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    Henderson?.....  martin.
    snowpianos.com

    ------------------------------
    Martin Snow
    South Burlington VT
    617-543-1030
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  • 12.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 3 days ago
    They're Robertson screws and Canadians are mighty proud of them. (since 1908!)

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



  • 13.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 2 days ago
    👍

    Pwg

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



  • 14.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 2 days ago
    Lord, I love that picture, Ed.  I'm sending it to the three female techs we have on the road.  They'll truly appreciate it!!  It's so real in their lives.  :))

    ------------------------------
    Ted Rohde
    Central Illinois
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  • 15.  RE: keyslip screws stuck

    Posted 2 days ago
    I read someplace about a spray that has a supercold liquid that breaks the bond between a screw thread and the material the screw is stuck in . I would suggest purchasing a set of sockets that has screwdriver tips attached to sockets. It will be easy to get the tip into the screw driver and instead of a screwdriver the ratchet lever can be used to create the torque needed to break the bond. Harbor freight, home depot etc carry the sockets I am recommending. To shim the key rail small pieces of veneer g;ued to the front rail can eliminate binding of the key fronts as the keys move up and down,

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------