Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Re-bushing halfway done, miscellaneous updates.
13 November 2006
When I replaced the fallboard hinge, I didn't replace these single hinges...
So in go new ones now.
Looks much better!
In a totally unrelated development...
I scored a PAM - Piano Action Model - on eBay.
It needs work (see text).
Another eBay find, Schaff compound "Smiling Pliers"
$75 tool delivered in all but new condition for $15!
I made my own glue pot per instructions on Bill Spurlock's Site.
Inside view with glue ready to go!
Doing one key at a time: Held with clamp for bushing the key button.
Flip it over to do the front bushing.
Haul out the "Ivory Brite" to clean the ivories after their bleaching adventures.
Exactly half the keys (44) have been rebushed - most of them have been re-installed.
I have no idea why it didn't occur to me to replace the small hinges at the bottom of the fallboard at the same time I was replacing the large "piano hinge". Unlike the large hinge, these were actually already solid brass, but my testing magnet stuck to them as the internal hinge PINS were steel. Since I already had new ones, I went ahead and replaced them anyway (new hinges have brass pins) - but if I'd known, I would have just polished up the old ones. But I did keep the old ones, and I did use solid brass screws for the new installation.
The PAM "Piano Action Model" is one of those totally useless things that piano nuts like me want badly but don't want to pay the couple or three hundred dollars one costs. This one was $65 delivered. It was made by a Canadian piano guy who worked at the Heintzmann factory at one time - so I suspect it is made from Heintzmann parts. Regardless, it was made by sawing note #88 off the end of a console action, complete with front and balance (center) rails.
Kind of the way I was thinking of making one myself - assuming I could even get my hands on an old action to saw up. But this one is both better and worse - better, because all the parts on this Schwander-style action were new, so there's no wear showing on anything; worse - whoever built it neglected to copy over the back (rest) rail. As a result, the key comes off of the front pin, and the whole affair is grossly out of regulation (and impossible to regulate well). It also is missing the damper felt.
The good news is that this is all very easy to fix - and I'll have a cool toy when I'm done.
The "Smiling Pliers" were a great score - I'll be needing them come regulation time. Speaking of which - as I'm replacing the captstan screws with new ones as I rebush, the action is picking up a lot of lost motion, pushing regulation up in the priority list...
Spurlock's glue pot idea works like a champ. The only caveat is that the particular model of "Hot Pot Express" he illustrates with (and I used), is no longer made. Rival has a newer version that I'm sure would work fine, but it looks a bit different.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to use hide glue, reading all the pros and cons. I'm glad I did - reading about it on the Internet is a bit scary, but in reality if you follow the instructions it is VERY forgiving and easy to work with. While it isn't the sexiest smelling stuff in the world, it doesn't have a strong odor, and more importantly, it does NOT give the user a splitting headache in about 3 minutes like a lot of poisonous modern glues do! I'll be using it more in the future now that I have the glue and a pot.
I'll be photo documenting a typical key rebush in the next segment...