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#1928793 - 07/18/12 11:00 PM Polishing metal capstans in the field
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Hello all,

I have a quick question here.

When I am at the workbench, polishing metal capstans is a simple matter. I just use a buffing wheel and some white rouge. It's a quick and easy way to bring them up to a mirror finish.

When I need to polish capstans at a customer's home, it seems impossible to get the same results... especially so quickly and easily.

The way I was taught back in the late 70's was to use 4/0 steel wool. It does an OK job. It has always (for me anyhow) eliminated any squeaks caused by burrs and/or pits on the capstan rubbing against the felt on the bottom of the whippen. And, the capstans do look better. But, the steel wool inevitably leaves fine scratches and leaves a less attractive look than what I can achieve with a buffing wheel.

I thought of using something like Brasso, but I am afraid of contaminating the felt with any residue. Plus, there is the risk of a disastrous spill.

I'm curious if anyone out there has any alternative approaches to polishing the capstans at the customer's home that give good results.

Thanks,
-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (07/18/12 11:05 PM)
Edit Reason: Added the word 'meta' in the second paragraph
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1928796 - 07/18/12 11:06 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3340
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
You can get buffing wheels that you can fit to a cordless drill. If your drill is fast enough, it should work ok. You can also get them for a Dremel tool.

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#1928798 - 07/18/12 11:12 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: ando]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: ando
You can get buffing wheels that you can fit to a cordless drill. If your drill is fast enough, it should work ok. You can also get them for a Dremel tool.


Wow... That was fast! Thanks, Ando smile

When you do this, do you find it necessary to cover the strings, sides, etc. to protect them from the rouge flying coming off the wheel. Or, have you found that this is not a problem? Or, do you use some other compound?

I only ask because I have found that when buffing at the bench using a wheel, I need to cover the rest of the key to protect if from the rouge coming off the wheel.

Thanks,
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1928805 - 07/18/12 11:25 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3297
In the shop or the field:

Flitz metal polish, applied by hand with rag, followed by two coats of McLube 444. I use the same procedure for key pins.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1928813 - 07/18/12 11:45 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: beethoven986]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
In the shop or the field:

Flitz metal polish, applied by hand with rag, followed by two coats of McLube 444. I use the same procedure for key pins.

Thank you, beethoven986 smile

I Googled Flitz metal polish and did a little quick reading. It seems like very good stuff. I like that it can be used to use it to hand-polish brass. (http://www.flitzpolish.com/category_s/18.htm So, I could steel wool and then Flitz by hand in a very controlled fashion in the customer's home.

Usually, I don't use a clear coat on the capstan; I just try to make it as clean and dry as possible. I usually use either Teflon powder or talc on the felt. But because of your post, I am re-examining this and considering coating like you do with McLube.

Thanks for the great tip smile
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1928822 - 07/18/12 11:58 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3340
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Originally Posted By: ando
You can get buffing wheels that you can fit to a cordless drill. If your drill is fast enough, it should work ok. You can also get them for a Dremel tool.


Wow... That was fast! Thanks, Ando smile

When you do this, do you find it necessary to cover the strings, sides, etc. to protect them from the rouge flying coming off the wheel. Or, have you found that this is not a problem? Or, do you use some other compound?

I only ask because I have found that when buffing at the bench using a wheel, I need to cover the rest of the key to protect if from the rouge coming off the wheel.

Thanks,
-Joe


I'm not a piano tech actually, but have experience with many hands on projects. You don't necessarily get fling off with a spinning disc - especially a small diameter one with a dense liquid based polishing compound. Just use a small amount and it should polish anything up with minimal mess. Probably just need to practice on a few bits and pieces before using it in the field.

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#1928839 - 07/19/12 01:22 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3297
Honestly, I wouldn't even bother with steel wool (Let's be honest, it's much more fun to just light it on fire, so why waste it on polishing, right?). Flitz and a rag will remove anything nasty from the capstan, and the McLube will take care of the rest. I only use Teflon on the knuckles (after spraying them with TFL-50). Realistically, the capstan is much lower on the food chain than the knuckle or shank/flange centers, or the key pins, so don't spend too much time on them.

Since we're on the topic of polishing stuff, if you hate polishing key pins, Coleman tools has a nifty polisher that fits into a power drill... I bought one recently and can't wait to try it out!
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1928905 - 07/19/12 06:42 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 664
Loc: England
Joe:

I've only ever used the likes of Brasso on capstans when I'm doing a service. Only ever resorting to using a buff wheel of some kind when I find someone previously has used fine sandpaper or wirewool.

I want the surfaces to be like mirrors ( oh the thought of seeing 88 images of me frown )

A nice piece of clean white cloth impregnated with brasso, and a steady hand, result in a great job. If you're worried about getting any on the woodwork, just mask it off.

I too, let it dry completely, wipe off, and apply a coat of Protek .... I'm pretty sure it's the same as Mclube 444.

The finish is infinately better than leaving a scratched surface by using wirewool.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#1928920 - 07/19/12 07:32 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
I've used a woollen mini buffing weel on my Dremel tool to polish the damper spoons on my upright (while the dampers were out of the action anyway). The wheel left the spoons with a near-mirror finish, and because of the high speed wheel doing most of the work, there was hardly need for polishing compound. The wheel did, however, make some fine, white dust. A quick once-over with the vacuum took care of that. IMHO, if you have a Dremel, I'd recommend this over hand-polishing because it's so easy and runs no risk of staining any parts with polish.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1929019 - 07/19/12 11:28 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: beethoven986]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Honestly, I wouldn't even bother with steel wool (Let's be honest, it's much more fun to just light it on fire, so why waste it on polishing, right?). Flitz and a rag will remove anything nasty from the capstan, and the McLube will take care of the rest. I only use Teflon on the knuckles (after spraying them with TFL-50). Realistically, the capstan is much lower on the food chain than the knuckle or shank/flange centers, or the key pins, so don't spend too much time on them.

Since we're on the topic of polishing stuff, if you hate polishing key pins, Coleman tools has a nifty polisher that fits into a power drill... I bought one recently and can't wait to try it out!


Is there any who hasn't tried lighting steel wool on fire? LOL!

I realize that the capstans are far less important than the knuckles when it comes to friction. But, I have found the capstans to be the source of squeaks occasionally. When the pitting or burrs are buffed out or polished out so there is an absolutely smooth surface, the squeak disappears.

Also, I often see a lot of felt crumbs where the capstans are pitted or have burrs. (Also, when the spoons are pitted on a vertical.) The additional friction seems to cause the felt to wear faster.

Thank you for the tip about Flitz polish. I will look into this. We have a number of auto parts stores nearby, so I will see if I can find it locally.

And yep, I DO hate polishing pins. Thanks for the tip re the Coleman polisher.

Thanks,
-Joe smile
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929031 - 07/19/12 11:46 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: Johnkie]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
Joe:

I've only ever used the likes of Brasso on capstans when I'm doing a service. Only ever resorting to using a buff wheel of some kind when I find someone previously has used fine sandpaper or wirewool.

I want the surfaces to be like mirrors ( oh the thought of seeing 88 images of me frown )

A nice piece of clean white cloth impregnated with brasso, and a steady hand, result in a great job. If you're worried about getting any on the woodwork, just mask it off.

I too, let it dry completely, wipe off, and apply a coat of Protek .... I'm pretty sure it's the same as Mclube 444.

The finish is infinately better than leaving a scratched surface by using wirewool.


Hi Johnkie! smile

I've thought about using Brasso, too.

Since you do so much concert work, I get the feeling that you are used to working on a much higher grade of piano than I do most of the time. I will see even new pianos with very noticeable pits on the contact surface of the capstans and burrs around the edges (not to mention any specific brands)

When you do encounter cases in the field where the quality control on the capstans was lacking, how do you deal with it? Would you use then consider 4/0 steel wool followed by Brasso? Or maybe use a buffing wheel on your drill? Or maybe some other solution?

Thanks,
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929046 - 07/19/12 12:27 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 664
Loc: England
Joe:

I suppose I'm pretty blessed by being able to work on really good quality instruments that very rarely have pits or burrs on the capstans. It is normally more a case of "going that extra little bit" to reduce friction after being in service for some time.

Of course I also deal with Horrors, as most professional tuner will, and you are quite right to consider taking much larger steps to ensure a smooth mirror like surface.

Under those circumstances Joe, Yes I would resort to either VERY fine Aluminium Oxide paper to remove any pits or burrs. #4/0 steel wool seems a tad too coarse, and would make achieving a mirror finish a boatload of work. Perhaps in your part of the world, gauges work differently, but over here our fine steel wool is #00, and much less likely to leave deep surface scratches.

In summary then ... If on the road .... first smooth with VERY fine paper or wire-wool, finishing off with Brasso (or similar product) ... but if you carry a dremmal in your car, you might find that easier if used with care.

Best wishes - John
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#1929048 - 07/19/12 12:33 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: Johnkie]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
Joe:

I suppose I'm pretty blessed by being able to work on really good quality instruments that very rarely have pits or burrs on the capstans. It is normally more a case of "going that extra little bit" to reduce friction after being in service for some time.

Of course I also deal with Horrors, as most professional tuner will, and you are quite right to consider taking much larger steps to ensure a smooth mirror like surface.

Under those circumstances Joe, Yes I would resort to either VERY fine Aluminium Oxide paper to remove any pits or burrs. #4/0 steel wool seems a tad too coarse, and would make achieving a mirror finish a boatload of work. Perhaps in your part of the world, gauges work differently, but over here our fine steel wool is #00, and much less likely to leave deep surface scratches.

In summary then ... If on the road .... first smooth with VERY fine paper or wire-wool, finishing off with Brasso (or similar product) ... but if you carry a dremmal in your car, you might find that easier if used with care.

Best wishes - John


Thanks, Johnkie smile
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929454 - 07/20/12 04:33 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
While on the topic of capstan surfaces, have any of you seen such bad scars/marrs before? (Taken on my own Ibach upright of local production - there are about 5 such capstans throughout the piano.) I suspect the capstans are turned into the keysticks by machine, and in these cases, the machine was not aligned properly by the operator?




Even the undamaged capstans have a burr around the edge.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1929483 - 07/20/12 05:24 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6376
Loc: France
cotton disks can be impregnated with some artificial tallow, this avoid the dust of the polishing paste.

I use more polishing pastes than liquids, with cottons.

on the brass to clean the residues of liquids it is common to use some white powder (the name escapes me, sort of plaster)

most liquid products for brass leave some residue that react and make stains if not well annihilated, that is why I mostly use pastes;
Renner sells a "Bronze Angelack) that sound like synthetic lacquer, very transparent and flowing nicely. makes the final protecting coat without tarnishing under it (which is the case if unadapted lacquer is employed) cand be used with a brush.

Often brass parts are protected with a lacquer, even some capstans (Yamaha, unless it is a surface treatment that looks like lacquer) I never tried the above product on capstans.

your marred capstans surface could be repaired with some solder (kind for electricity), just to avoid scratching the cloth too much.


I never use steel wool on polished surfaces (damper wire, key pins, etc) too difficult to polish afterthat (but there are nice qualities of "Mirka" similar to scoth Brite but way thinner - 1000-30000

a piece of hammer felt is good for hand rubbing

The tool sold to clean tuning pin can help to cut the burrs of the edges.
Reestablishing a good shape and surface on the cloth side usually lower the friction a lot, and then the edges does not touch the cloth.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1929498 - 07/20/12 07:06 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Thanks, Isaac. Interesting, I hadn't thought of soldering as an option. I was considering metal-powder-filled epoxy (also called "liquid steel"). For soldering, I would probably have to remove the capstan from the keystick, in order to protect the wood from charring.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1929533 - 07/20/12 08:33 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Quote:
While on the topic of capstan surfaces, have any of you seen such bad scars/marrs before? (Taken on my own Ibach upright of local production - there are about 5 such capstans throughout the piano.) I suspect the capstans are turned into the keysticks by machine, and in these cases, the machine was not aligned properly by the operator?
[Emphasis added]


I hadn't thought of that. Maybe the lesser pitting on the contact surface I keep seeing is also due to the machine inserting the capstans, rather than the capstans themselves having been incorrectly manufactured.

But, the burrs around the edges are probably not caused by the insertion process. It would seem that this IS a manufacturing defect of the capstan. Or, maybe the burrs are supposed to be polished out at the piano factory before installing in the keystick?
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929536 - 07/20/12 08:42 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Mark R.

There may be an easier way to correct the gouges on your capstans. Is the piano still under warranty? If so, it might just be best to complain to the manufacturer and ask for new capstans to be shipped to you. This would certainly seem to qualify as a manufacturing defect.

If it's not still under warranty, buying new replacement parts might just be the easiest, fastest, cheapest (when you consider the time involved), and most permanent repair.

-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929541 - 07/20/12 08:55 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6376
Loc: France
capstans are inserted with a kind of drill press but they are hold by the perimeter. (I did it with an electrical screwdriver also, being attentive they are straight enough) the defects you have are more due to the lathe in my opinion

the edge burrs are not too difficult to cut by hand.

.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#1929547 - 07/20/12 09:09 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 664
Loc: England
Mark :

Thanks for the photos .... B****y Heck ... That second one is horrendous !!

The manufacturer should be shot for allowing this sort of quality control.

I'd demand replacements and a set of heel felts.

Shocking .... simply shocking.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#1929552 - 07/20/12 09:14 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


Joe, I just completed a capstan polish in the field using a variable speed hand drill, a small buff wheel, and the Brasso that Johnkie mentioned.

The variable speed allows the polishing without spraying the brasso all over the action, keyboard and everywhere else.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1929558 - 07/20/12 09:27 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 664
Loc: England
So Dan ........ how did they end up ....... like 88 mirrors with 88 Dans ?

Best wishes - John
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#1929568 - 07/20/12 09:50 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos


Joe, I just completed a capstan polish in the field using a variable speed hand drill, a small buff wheel, and the Brasso that Johnkie mentioned.

The variable speed allows the polishing without spraying the brasso all over the action, keyboard and everywhere else.


Thanks, Dan.

I'll try this first at the bench. to get the hang of it.

Thanks,
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1929571 - 07/20/12 09:56 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: Johnkie]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
So Dan ........ how did they end up ....... like 88 mirrors with 88 Dans?
Best wishes - John


Pretty much the case Johnkie, although I would have to state that we could all do without another 87 Dan’s…one is more than enough to tolerate I believe…actually, seeing as there is the original version already that would be minus 88...my math is no good...no wonder I can't do this job....
Cheers,
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1929572 - 07/20/12 09:58 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper

Thanks, Dan.

I'll try this first at the bench. to get the hang of it.

Thanks,
-Joe


Joe,
squeeze some out of the container and leave it on the bench for a while so some of the water comes out and it gets a bit thick. That way it doesn't spray too much off the wheel...
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1929575 - 07/20/12 09:59 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1866
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
All:

My piano is 42 years old. wink And even if it had a 50 year warranty, there'd be no hope in running back to the manufacturer either, as this was the only South African piano manufacturer and closed shop more than 20 years ago... To think that Ibach was their flagship brand - I wonder what the cheaper products looked like.

I did, however notice this: the heel felts sitting on top of the marred capstans are not really worse for wear compared to the others. The indentations and the amount of felt dust are more or less the same. I seem to remember someone here (Del?) mentioning that there's very little lateral movement between the capstan and the felt/cloth in the first place, i.e. very little friction.

Joe:

I don't mind spending time on my instruments. To the contrary, I enjoy it and it's therapeutic.

John:

The bridge pin placement is just as bad... Almost unbelievable that Ibach actually granted this factory a licence to manufacture them locally. But it sounds nice nevertheless, and the Renner action drives nicely too.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#1929588 - 07/20/12 10:27 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Tuner X Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 35
To remove burrs try a NOGA NG1700. I have used this tool for years! The best!
All the best!

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#1929627 - 07/20/12 11:09 AM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1056
Loc: PA
Hi Mark,

There's nothing wrong with filling the gouges as a learning experience. In fact, this could even be an appropriate repair for certain museum-quality pianos where you want to keep as much original as possible.

But, I do think it's worth a quick look at the Schaff catalog to see how much the replacement parts wholesale for. In fact, since I think you mentioned that other capstans also have burrs around the perimeter, perhaps a new set of capstans might be a good investment to maintain consistency from note to note.

Whatever you decide... Best Wishes smile

-Joe
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#1929673 - 07/20/12 12:21 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6376
Loc: France
changing capstans one may have the luck to get the same thread and thickness, which is not always the case - a few keys could be doweled and drilled again, but it is not as easy as it looks to get the same position and square bore.

Indeed the friction is not that high on the surface, (if the action is at the correct height and the keys too) but the burrs on the edge if the contact the cloth are adding much. ALl depends of the shape of the whippen heell then.

It is easy to put a little felt marker or carbon paper ink on the top of a few capstans to locate where the friction is, if you cannot look at the movement from the side..
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#1929700 - 07/20/12 01:08 PM Re: Polishing metal capstans in the field [Re: Mark R.]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5067
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
I did, however notice this: the heel felts sitting on top of the marred capstans are not really worse for wear compared to the others. The indentations and the amount of felt dust are more or less the same. I seem to remember someone here (Del?) mentioning that there's very little lateral movement between the capstan and the felt/cloth in the first place, i.e. very little friction.

Finally we get to the reality of the situation. Yes, those capstans pictured above look terrible and the company installing them should be—but probably wasn’t—embarrassed. But the bottom line is that it hardly matters in the real world.

Unless the key-to-action interface is really screwed up there is virtually no sliding motion between the capstan and the capstan block (wippen heel). If there is any detectable sliding motion it is an indication that the geometry is badly off and needs to be corrected. And when this is the case you will find the capstans already nicely polished.

ddf
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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