Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Re-bushing complete (At last!).
19 November 2006
Applying hide glue to felt...
Felt inserted into mortise...
I found a small screwdriver handy for poking in place.
Inserting (glued) felt on other side...
Removing old brass plated capstan screw...
Installing new solid brass capstan screw.
Completed key is set aside to dry.
Bad picture shows new grand style capstan screw (left)
and old square shouldered plated capstan screw (right).
Completed and dried bushings, ready for re-installation.
Like a cluster of worker bees around their Queen,
old capstan screws clinging to a magnet.
After six weeks, I can FINALLY play my piano again!
See how nice and white the keys are?
Because of the thrash in getting parts, a supplier owed me a small amount of $$$$.
So I cashed it in on a new capstan regulation tool that can actually do both types of capstans.
Bottom view is after I added a bit of heat shrink tubing to make the tool less slippery!
Thank Athena, the re-bushing's done. This is actually one of the faster jobs I've done, the work goes quickly once you get a rhythm going. About the only slightly tricky part is holding the first felt end in the mortise while applying glue and inserting the second. I used a jeweler's screwdriver that was lying about handy to hold the first one in place while inserting the second.
I used both ends of the bushing cloth until it got too short to be convenient, then I'd use two pieces until the short one was used up. I had purchased all three thicknesses of cloth (Cheap enough and covers all bases), but as expected, I only used one - the thinnest at .038". I would think that using Spurlock's mortise sizing cauls that this would be the case in all instances - but as this is my first and only re-bushing job, I could be entirely wrong!
The capstan screws were another story. My tuner told me to replace them as the brass plating was worn through, and they were rusty and pitted on the ends. Referring to Reblitz, he says to replace them with solid brass ones.
Ok, fine. The rub was in finding solid brass ones. The square shouldered ones as used on this instrument, and most other uprights, are seemingly only available in brass plated for about $8 bucks a set. So why put in more junk? I found one supplier who listed them in solid brass for about $16/set. No problem! But - they couldn't get them, the manufacturer had discontinued them. What to do?
I ended up buying the "Grand style" in solid brass for something like $45/set. Pricey no doubt because they were for a "grand". Doing a bunch of research and asking techs about this before I did it, these do have the same thread and are about the same length as the square shouldered ones. The heads are slightly larger in diameter, but this would only be a problem on a piano with very narrow keybacks. Plus, techs told me that the "four hole" style head that these have are way easier to deal with come regulation time.
In they went, and I agree with the techs - its a LOT easier to adjust this kind, so I can recommend them as long as they'll fit in a given piano. Of course I had bought a regulation tool for the old kind that is now worthless to me - fortunately it was only $6 or so. Should have bought the kind like the "new" one pictured above on the first round - then it wouldn't have mattered. The old one will probably end up on eBay...
The whole operation want a lot smoother than I expected, there are a few keys that need their new bushings eased slightly as they're sluggish, I need to do at least some lost motion adjustments because of the new capstan screws, and I need to do some slight keybed leveling adjustments on a few keys. I expected these kinds of problems, but they're really not as bad as I though they would be - affecting only a very few keys.
Update: Actually, most of the sluggish keys were sluggish because of tiny tags of glue protruding from the inside end of the felts. Obviously, I used a bit too much glue - but it was easy enough to break the tags off.
So now I'll be fiddling with things for a bit, working the last few bugs out, and then on to replacing the dampers! And I'm so glad I have my piano back - I can play it again! Oh, and the old capstan screws are off to the recycler - their steel will probably find a home in a new Toyota or something!