Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
30 January 2009
(action in jig) Old white felt...
(action laid down) Was severely impacted from 91 years of playing.
Moisten with hypo-bottle.
Apply the electric de-bushing tool.
Work tool under felt.
Add a bit more water and work tool on around.
Presto! Old felt removed!
Hide glue makes felt removal easy, clean, and neat.
Note off center capstan impact on this sticker.
A bit of wet paper placed under the sticker flange shifts it over!
Old (left) vs. new felt.
Hot hide glued into mortices on the rear side of the stickers.
I had originally thought to glue the bottoms and fronts at the same time.
However, you can see this would have resulted in a curved felt.
So I glued to the bottom and clamped first.
A number of them in this second phase of gluing.
Note nice sharp radius at the corners!
Then the third phase was to glue and clamp to the front-side of the sticker.
View of backside of stickers with the action back in the jig.
Piano Smith had suggested that I replace these felts - for good reason as can be seen. The ease of replacement once again underscores the superiority of hot hide glue for these kind of applications - the old faithful glue pot was pressed into service once again.
My action jig is a wonderful thing - but unlike some commercial units, it cannot be used when working on the bottoms of the stickers - so I laid the action down on a shipping blanket to do this job.
I had had a bit of a time finding someone who could sell me the proper felt - not everyone who sells to tyros like me lists this felt. You can get 3/8" squares that are glued to the bottoms (only) of the stickers - from just about everywhere. But that isn't what this instrument was originally equipped with - the stickers are even mortised on the back side (where the felts are visible) such that "wrap around" felts are flush with the wood. This also makes the felt installation much more stable - so I wanted to duplicate the original.
The other option widely available was to buy strips of the appropriate felt in 1" wide strips. No thanx - I don't want to be cutting these darn things out by hand! As it was, the 3/8" width was about 1/32" too wide, so I had to do some trimming with a hobby knife after installation which wasn't easy (and didn't turn out as well as I would have liked). But Vanda King had the felt strips listed, so despite their $30 minimum order, I purchased the felt from them - along with "something else" which you can see on the next page!