Pianotech

  • 1.  Stripped Steinway Let-off Button

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 30 days ago
    Dear Colleagues,

    The piano is a 1916 Steinway O seemingly completely rebuilt. I can't tell if the letoff buttons were replaced or just had new felt, they look pretty new. On examination after delivery, from Philadelphia to Washington State, the hammer on F#46 was blocking and the letoff screw was turned up above its neighbors, so I adjusted it. A couple of days later the note was blocking again. I found that the button was loose and I could turn it with my fingers and push it up and down. I pushed it up as far as it would go onto the screw and was able to turn down the letoff screw just barely enough to get the key working. The hole in the wooden button itself must be stripped out. Should I try (when I go back) to salvage the button, assuming it might be original with the piano, and how might I go about that? Or just get a few replacement buttons (in case there are others) and swap it out? Oh, and will a new button be the same size/diameter/length?

    Thanks as always!

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    David Trasoff
    Whatcom Piano Service
    (360) 389-2158
    david@whatcompianoservice.com
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  • 2.  RE: Stripped Steinway Let-off Button

    Member
    Posted 30 days ago
    CA glue will size the hole and make the threading tight enough. No nee to remove the button, just wick the glue in around the screw.  Same for the Let Of rail, if a screw is loose; CA applied at the screw will wick in.  Ir works for tuning pins too...

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    Regards,

    Jon Page
    mailto:jonpage@comcast.net
    http://www.pianocapecod.com
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  • 3.  RE: Stripped Steinway Let-off Button

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 30 days ago
    A drop of thin CA should tighten it enough. Don’t overdo it. I have seen situations where too much CA has been used and the screws wouldn’t move. A different problem is more common with old Steinways If the wippens haven’t been replaced. Make sure that the glue joint connecting the jack parts isn’t failing. This is a typical scenario with old Steinways. The hammer blocks and the letoff button is lowered. Then later it blocks again and the button is lowered again but the problem is that the jack shoulder is moving away from the button as the note is played. That’s another possible job for CA.

    Bob Anderson, RPT
    Tucson,AZ




  • 4.  RE: Stripped Steinway Let-off Button

    Member
    Posted 30 days ago
    I agree with the two part jack issue. Ask me how I know. When you return put a dab of glue on EVERY jack joint where the jack toe is attached to the leg. These glue joints fail with age . They may seem fine at a visit but will fail here there and everywhere. You can use a little thicker CA to keep it under control

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 5.  RE: Stripped Steinway Let-off Button

    Member
    Posted 29 days ago
    The jack joint usually fails due to the stress caused by Let Off and the jack embedding into the rep lever stop felt, the joint is being spread apart. The jack should only be just in front of the knuckle at full dip. At full dip there should be room to nudge the jack towards the stop felt, not binding against it.

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    Regards,

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