I just brought home keys from a 1952 Knabe console to replace the keytops. A dozen or so ivory heads in the middle of the keyboard have come loose, and the customer saved them. A gentle tug on the ivories that are still attached did not pull them free. The exposed white cloth is in good shape and firmly in place – just frayed a bit in some places. The tails are all attached still. Replacing the key tops with plastic was the plan, but the customer wants to keep the ivories if possible. Some of the ivories are a bit discolored but none are chipped or cracked.
I was thinking of carefully applying thin CA glue to the edges of the intact ivory heads. For the detached heads, I would like to try removing the white cloth (I assume this would be better than trying to keep it but not sure) and re-apply cloth or use a coating of some sort. The customer understands that the color won't be uniform if I go this route.
Does anyone have experience with this to share?