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#2024318 - 01/30/13 10:38 PM An Experiment - Suggestions request
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
A while ago, we discussed cleaning the soundboard on another thread : http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1976350

These are two quotes from the thread:
Quote:
Thanks, Jeff. Also a good idea smile

I know that the standard approach to soundboard care has been to do the absolute minimum possible. Vacuum, used compressed air, avoid contact. There seems to also be the view that furniture oils do nothing... they're just making false promises. But, I've been wondering...

Over the years, I have seen so many split soundboards. These boards were being treated in the standard way. Not oils ,waxes.. nothing... just exposed to the air decade after decade. If the soundboard and backposts were regular furniture, they would be described as neglected.

Yet other instruments like guitars, violins, viols and so on (take relative to the piano) an extraordinary beating. They are not only subjected to extremes, but moved around and even handled on a regular basis. Yet, they often seem to do well.. at least the quality ones.

Yet, here we have piano soundboards splitting, ribs coming loose. Some of this is no doubt due to quality in manufacturing of some instruments. But, I don't think it can all be attributed to this, because very high quality instruments also develop these problems over time.

Of course, it's not a good idea to risk contaminating the strings, felts, and maybe even the pinblock with oil. But I'm beginning to wonder if there might not be something quite substantial to this idea of "feeding the wood" after all.

I wonder if it might not be a good idea to clean the surface of the soundboard not facing the strings once or twice a year with a high-quality furniture oil... one without silicone and other cooties lurking in their formulas.

Quote:
Yes, that makes sense. The panels cannot follow the other panels as the panels expand and contract across the grain.

I wonder...
There are some pianos that I service, where the institutions cannot or will not install a D-C system. The humidity varies widely from winter to summer around here, so the pitch varies widely as well. I wonder if I treated several soundboards with Milsek several times, tuned, and then monitored them (with permission and explanations and maybe a free tuning), if the pitch would tend to fluctuate less.

If treatment with a high-quality furniture oil can help prevent overdrying in the winter, then it would seem logical that this could help prevent these wild fluctuations and eventual splitting of the soundboard. But, there are a lot of 'ifs' here smile

Edit: Also, perhaps the oil can help prevent the board from taking on too much moisture in the summer?


I have permission to try this on a school piano... A Kimball console that I think dates from the mid-80s (I'll know more later.)

I'll be starting this Friday, in two days.

My plan is this:

This Friday: Measure all the A's with my Verituner. Treat the back with Milseks.

One week later: quickly retreat the back with Milseks. Record any variations in the A's with my VT. Then tune (Rep. Victorian Temperament)

Return in one month: Record any variations in the A's. Re-treat. Re-tune.

Come back after the spring weather moves in: Measure the A's Re-treat. Re-tune.

This piano is difficult to keep in tune. It's in the cafeteria where food is being cooked during the day. Sometimes, they open the windows in the winter. .The building is not air-conditioned in the summer.

The piano is moved all the time.

I believe that I have a record in the piano of general pitch fluctuations from winter to spring and back again... if it is still there.

Anyhow, does anyone here have any suggestions as to another strategy or testing procedure that might work better?

Comments?

This is just a preliminary test to see if treating the board may have merit in some situations. If it does show some promise, then more exacting testing can be done later.

I'll keep this thread updated.

Thanks,
-Joe


Edited by daniokeeper (01/30/13 10:39 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024326 - 01/30/13 10:57 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
A while ago, we discussed cleaning the soundboard on another thread : http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1976350

These are two quotes from the thread:
Quote:
Thanks, Jeff. Also a good idea smile

I know that the standard approach to soundboard care has been to do the absolute minimum possible. Vacuum, used compressed air, avoid contact. There seems to also be the view that furniture oils do nothing... they're just making false promises. But, I've been wondering...

Over the years, I have seen so many split soundboards. These boards were being treated in the standard way. Not oils ,waxes.. nothing... just exposed to the air decade after decade. If the soundboard and backposts were regular furniture, they would be described as neglected.

Yet other instruments like guitars, violins, viols and so on (take relative to the piano) an extraordinary beating. They are not only subjected to extremes, but moved around and even handled on a regular basis. Yet, they often seem to do well.. at least the quality ones.

Yet, here we have piano soundboards splitting, ribs coming loose. Some of this is no doubt due to quality in manufacturing of some instruments. But, I don't think it can all be attributed to this, because very high quality instruments also develop these problems over time.

Of course, it's not a good idea to risk contaminating the strings, felts, and maybe even the pinblock with oil. But I'm beginning to wonder if there might not be something quite substantial to this idea of "feeding the wood" after all.

I wonder if it might not be a good idea to clean the surface of the soundboard not facing the strings once or twice a year with a high-quality furniture oil... one without silicone and other cooties lurking in their formulas.

Quote:
Yes, that makes sense. The panels cannot follow the other panels as the panels expand and contract across the grain.

I wonder...
There are some pianos that I service, where the institutions cannot or will not install a D-C system. The humidity varies widely from winter to summer around here, so the pitch varies widely as well. I wonder if I treated several soundboards with Milsek several times, tuned, and then monitored them (with permission and explanations and maybe a free tuning), if the pitch would tend to fluctuate less.

If treatment with a high-quality furniture oil can help prevent overdrying in the winter, then it would seem logical that this could help prevent these wild fluctuations and eventual splitting of the soundboard. But, there are a lot of 'ifs' here smile

Edit: Also, perhaps the oil can help prevent the board from taking on too much moisture in the summer?


I have permission to try this on a school piano... A Kimball console that I think dates from the mid-80s (I'll know more later.)

I'll be starting this Friday, in two days.

My plan is this:

This Friday: Measure all the A's with my Verituner. Treat the back with Milseks.

One week later: quickly retreat the back with Milseks. Record any variations in the A's with my VT. Then tune (Rep. Victorian Temperament)

Return in one month: Record any variations in the A's. Re-treat. Re-tune.

Come back after the spring weather moves in: Measure the A's Re-treat. Re-tune.

This piano is difficult to keep in tune. It's in the cafeteria where food is being cooked during the day. Sometimes, they open the windows in the winter. .The building is not air-conditioned in the summer.

The piano is moved all the time.

I believe that I have a record in the piano of general pitch fluctuations from winter to spring and back again... if it is still there.

Anyhow, does anyone here have any suggestions as to another strategy or testing procedure that might work better?

Comments?

This is just a preliminary test to see if treating the board may have merit in some situations. If it does show some promise, then more exacting testing can be done later.

I'll keep this thread updated.

Keeping in mind the whole time that piano soundboards have two sides exposed to the environment and that a Kimball from this era may well have a laminated soundboard panel.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2024329 - 01/30/13 11:01 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2187
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Dont' you need a "control" piano that the only thing you do differently is eliminate the treatment you are testing?

I don't see what you will learn without it?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2024339 - 01/30/13 11:19 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
...This piano is difficult to keep in tune. It's in the cafeteria where food is being cooked during the day.... .
With the location of this piano, it probably has enough oil on the back of it already. I don't think oil on the soundboard is good for much besides leaving a gummy residue which attracts dust..
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2024354 - 01/30/13 11:48 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Quote:
Keeping in mind the whole time that piano soundboards have two sides exposed to the environment and that a Kimball from this era may well have a laminated soundboard panel.

Ddf

Del,
I believe that is does have a laminated board. I'll check to see if the grain is horizontal. Even with the laminated board, the pitch fluctuates wildly.


Quote:
Dont' you need a "control" piano that the only thing you do differently is eliminate the treatment you are testing?

I don't see what you will learn without it?

Ed McMorrow RPT,
You are absolutely correct. A control piano of the same make and model would be ideal. But, I don’t have one. Btw, the Educated Piano was a really valuable book. Some of the best money I ever spent smile

What I do have is a past record of the behavior of this piano over about a 10 year period. There is a known pattern. What I can see is if using Milseks will alter this pattern... for good or ill.

Quote:
With the location of this piano, it probably has enough oil on the back of it already. I don't think oil on the soundboard is good for much besides leaving a gummy residue which attracts dust..

Jurgen,
I hadn't thought of that. That is a very good point. The back may be covered with grease. I will check. Milseks is an excellent cleaner, though.

Wax finishes will attract dust. The great advantage to using an oil furniture polish is that it doesn't leave a sticky residue behind. Another advantage (although a highly debated one) is that an oil polish can feed the wood. I'm wondering if the oil can penetrate the wood and maybe displace some of the moisture. Maybe this can leave a soundboard that is less sensitive to environmental changes.

Just a a side comment, I described this experiment to a musician that I know. She pointed out that the idea may not be a s outlandish as it first seems... She pointed out that bore oil is used on clarinets and bassoons. She claim that this is to give the instruments greater pitch stability as they are being played..

These are wonderful comments and criticisms.

Thank you and please feel free to keep them coming smile


Edited by daniokeeper (01/30/13 11:59 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024371 - 01/31/13 12:33 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1764
Loc: London, England
I'm all for experimentation.

A company I worked for had a rebuild department that, for a time took the "obvious" solution of coating both sides of the grand soundboards with a finish 1-2mm deep. They used to 'float' the solution onto the soundboard. As outside tuners, we could get an empirical idea of how well it worked. The pianos were all tuned four times a year so there was never much to do to the pianos anyway so under those circumstances there was no discernible difference. Under extreme conditions, the finish crazed. These were showplace pianos in showplace homes and venues so that was undesirable and the project was abandoned. I saw one of these pianos from that era a few days ago. The finish was crazed...it was in a showroom i visited and was losing pitch just like some of the other pianos there.

I have always been surprised at how two or three pianos of the same make, model and age in the same room can react to conditions so differently. Ask any CAUT. I would have to bear this in mind when using a control piano.

Wasn't treating only one side of the soundboard the classic theoretical argument against the DC system?

While you are nott asking for a solution to the presenting problem, since digitalis are encroaching on schools anyway, this would be an ideal location for one. With the cooking ingredients in the atmosphere, electronic engineers might disagree.

I find it embarrassing to be so negative and even more embarrassing to be part of a baying mob on this because, on the face of it, it sounds like such a good idea.

But it is an experiment, ....who knows?, it might just be the resultant build up of dust that helps keep the piano in tune.


Edited by rxd (01/31/13 09:24 AM)
Edit Reason: Incomptence
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2024385 - 01/31/13 01:01 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
rxd Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1764
Loc: London, England
Oiling of woodwind instruments is primarily to help prevent the wood from splitting. So there's a point. It also protects the wood from the moisture and other destructive elements in the players breath,
While it will stabilise the instrument somewhat, it is the air inside the instrument that determines the pitch that we hear.

Theoretically, (there's that word again) brass instruments should go flat as they expand with a raise in temperature but in practice they don't. They go sharp because the effect of the air inside the instrument is dominant (in pitch determination) over the instrument itself. Same with all wind instruments.


Edited by rxd (01/31/13 09:30 AM)
Edit Reason: Sheer incompetence

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#2024390 - 01/31/13 01:32 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Hello rxd,

You must be psychic. Several years ago, the district did dispose of a number of pianos and replace them with digitals. I think that they now only keep in use one "real" piano per school I would like to see the next generation of children in the district grow up exposed to real pianos.

The district will not spring for D-C systems.

The pianos are located in the most convenient locations, including the one in the cafeteria. I don 't want to start suggesting that they move the pianos around... I don't want to give the decision makers the impression that even the few pianos that have left are too demanding in their requirements to useful for the district.

I am doing this at my own expense as a thank you for allowing me to try this experiment. Maybe the results will be promising, maybe not. Either way, hopefully at least a little information will be generated that may be of use. If successful, maybe this can lead to myself or others developing some different approach to sounbdboard care in some circumstances. Maybe not smile I'll report back.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024394 - 01/31/13 01:45 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Mark R. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2040
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Joe,

Disclaimers: I'm not a professional piano technician and this experience stems from a violin, not a piano.

I have a violin made by the German factory August Clemens Glier in 1919. I took this to Namibia for one year when doing my post-matric there, in 1989. During the extremely dry Namibian winter, some of the hide glue joints split.

I had it repaired, and subsequently started to "feed" the wood, as advised by the violin builder. I think I used furniture oil, and occasionally, almond oil.

Some years later, the violin needed some other repairs, and the subsequent violin builder said that when he wanted to re-assemble it, he had to replace several of the posts / struts, because the old ones had been infiltrated by the oil.

So, while I wouldn't go as far as saying that oil will lead to glue joint failure in itself, I am cautioning that it may lead to glue-up problems if repairs have to be done.

Since, I've stopped "feeding" the wood, but try to use (and replenish) my "Dampit" during the winter.
_________________________
Autodidact interested in piano technology.

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

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#2024399 - 01/31/13 02:04 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: Mark R.]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Mark,

That makes sense. It is something I will particularly in mind when dealing with non-laminated, traditional-type soundboards. I don't think the oil will cause a problem in this case because the board is probably laminated and I think strong, synthetic glues are probably use for the lamination process, as well as for attaching the ribs and bridges.

Your caution is noted smile

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

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#2024401 - 01/31/13 02:10 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21656
Loc: Oakland
You could probably get a good idea of how well oil works as a moisture barrier by trying it on a small piece of wood, changing the humidity, and measuring the changes in dimension, rather than risking causing a problem in a piano. You could do comparative studies of different barriers by using several pieces of wood with different coatings.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2024478 - 01/31/13 07:36 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4945
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Joe:

I think you realize that oiling wood does not seal it completely against moisture. I do believe it will slow down the rate that the moisture content changes. But if the board is finished with lacquer, or whatever, I don't see how the oil would get into the wood.

It is certainly worth a try. Can't think of a better piano to experiment on. wink
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#2024533 - 01/31/13 09:48 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

No finish on wood can prevent moisture retention or loss entirely.

From my time in the school system I found that piano in cafeteria locations were subject to excessive humidity exchange more than temp changes.

Not only the preparation of food but the fact that the room fills with people eating food and then empties out several times a day.

As the instrument has no financial value Joe have some fun with experiments.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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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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#2024618 - 01/31/13 12:07 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
What you’re going to find out—if, indeed, there are any measurable results at all—is that wood neither wants nor likes to be “fed” with oil although it will probably take some years to find this out. If you have ever encountered a piece of wood that has had oil spilled on it you’ll understand why. The wood ends up punkie, dead and dull.

I smile sadly when I see those advertisements or commercials some bright, young thing—usually in her late teens or early twenties—polishing a room full of exquisite furniture while the blurb goes on about “feeding” or “protecting” the wood. If the finish is still intact, of course, the oil, polish, silicon or wax will never contact the wood at all and no harm is done. So I guess the idea then becomes one of protecting the finish that protects the wood. It doesn’t sound quite as romantic, though, talking about polishing your furniture to “feed” and protect its nitrocellulose lacquer finish.

If the finish film has been broken—i.e., the finish has cracked or checked—and some of the stuff actually does get down to the wood it immediately begins saturating the wood fibers adjacent to the cracks in the finish’s film and goes to work on breaking down the bond between the wood and the finish. Usually this makes the problem worse, not better.

Fortunately the soundboard panel in this piano is probably laminated. The surface veneer is quite thin and it is probably bonded to the core using a resorcinol resin adhesive that is pretty much impervious to any kind of outside chemical attack so any damage to the soundboard panel that results from rubbing it down repeatedly with an oil-based material will be confined to the outer lamination. In terms of the piano’s acoustics it probably won’t be possible to tell the difference.

(Edit: Finishing oils such linseed oil (made from flax seeds) and tung oil (pressed from the nuts of the tung tree) are a somewhat different issue. Both of these oils dry fairly hard when exposed to oxygen. But neither of them, by themselves are a particularly durable wood finish. They are often blended with natural (not waterborne) varnish along with enough turpentine or mineral spirits to make the solution easier to wipe on and off.

These oils and oil/varnish blends will form a somewhat protective film over a wood surface and they will penetrate slightly into the wood’s surface. But neither of them forms a vapor-resistant barrier so it would be unrealistic to expect them to help stabilize the tuning of a piano subjected to a changing environment.)


ddf


Edited by Del (01/31/13 03:04 PM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2024709 - 01/31/13 03:06 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Thanks again for all the comments. smile

I guess that I have 2 ideas:

1) Following the traditional approach-doing nothing- does not seem to protect the soundboard. I see boards locally splitting, ribs delaminating, etc. I think that passively letting nature take its course may not necessarily be the best course of action... at least in some cases.

2) I don't really want to use the oil as a barrier. I want to see if the oil can displace some of the wood's own moisture content with something a little more stable. If we can raise the wood's content of natural oils, maybe it will change dimensions less with variations in humidity. For instance, I "think" that woods with a naturally high oil content, like rosewood, are more dimensionally stable.

Jeff, you really don't seem at all impressed by those old Kimballs wink smile
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024718 - 01/31/13 03:21 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
I guess that I have 2 ideas:

1)Following the traditional approach-doing nothing- does not seem to protect the soundboard. I see boards locally splitting, ribs delaminating, etc. I think that passively letting nature take its course may not necessarily be the best course of action... at least in some cases.

Well, I can certainly understand the desire to do something that might help. But understanding the causes of all that splitting, rib delaminating, etc. is the best way to start. The reasons for this deterioration are fairly well known nowadays and quite a bit has been written on this subject in the Piano Technician's Journal.

The best solution, of course, is to first build the piano in a way that does not encourage this kind of deterioration. And then in doing what is possible to stabilize the localized environment around the soundboard. Dampp-Chase systems, properly installed and maintained, really do work. So far, other than building more stable pianos in the first place, this has proven to be the most successful approach.




Quote:
2) I don't really want to use the oil as a barrier. I want to see if the oil can displace some of the wood's own moisture content with something a little more stable. If we can raise the wood's content of natural oils, maybe it will change dimensions less with variations in humidity. For instance, I "think" that woods with a naturally high oil content, like rosewood, are more dimensionally stable.

Jeff, you really don't seem at all impressed by those old Kimballs wink smile

I think I understand what you have in mind. Knowing what I know about wood finishes, however, I'm skeptical about your basic premise.

And I'm not alone; the following is quoted from an article written by Bob Flexner, a professional furniture maker and author of several books and numerous articles on wood finishing:

"Myth: Furniture polish replaces natural oils in the wood.

"Fact: Common furniture woods [spruce is among these -- ddf] never contained natural oils, and no wood “needs” oil. Even the few exotics, such as teak and rosewood, that do contain natural oil don’t need it replenished—especially not with the petroleum-based solvents contained in furniture polishes."


Still, I await the results of your experiment with interest....

ddf


Edited by Del (01/31/13 03:25 PM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2024818 - 01/31/13 06:00 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Thanks, Del smile

This is an old beater piano that has severe pitch stabilization problems because of its highly variable environment. A D-C system is out of the question. But, a way needs to be found to stabilize the pitch.

I'll just attempt this and report back on what I find. If things improve, then maybe this can be at least some sort of clue as to a better approach to soundboard care. If it fails, that's OK, too. Then, we know not to go any further down this particular road. The way I see it, either way, everyone wins. Even the district wins. They get some free care for their piano. So the money allocated for this, this year, can go elsewhere.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024852 - 01/31/13 07:06 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
A while back, I emailed the folks at Milseks re using their product on the piano soundboard. The following is their response, published here with their permission:

Quote:
Hi Joe! Loved your question. We have every confidence that our Product - Milsek Furniture Polish & Cleaner (the attributes of the original with Lemon Oil are the same as the Musical Instrument Cleaner) will do wonders for cleaning and nourishing the Piano. Our church also has the back of our piano exposed to the congregation and our staff uses Milsek for the entire piano (also our organ and the pipes). In the tough to reach spots, we use a soft bristle paint brush or tooth brush. It really gives the whole piece a nice shine and brings out the natural luster. It also nourishes to wood to prevent drying and cracking.

We have many clients such as a cookoo clock manufacturer and bag pipe manufacturer, guitar companies, a harp company, who love the product for their delicate masterpieces.

I asked our Pianist about the sound board. He said it is safe to use there as well - however, recommend using a very soft cotton cloth to wipe it on, give it a good cleaning, and buff slightly. The rest will be absorbed which he feels keeps the wood from drying out. He also owns a baby grand piano and he uses it on that as well.


I read through the blog post. As a side note - We didn't like the "use Ammonia" or Windex recommendation. We feel that would dry out the piece immensly and cause damage. Just our opinion. If there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.


Edited by daniokeeper (01/31/13 07:07 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2024977 - 02/01/13 12:17 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
A while back, I emailed the folks at Milseks re using their product on the piano soundboard. The following is their response, published here with their permission:

Quote:
Hi Joe! Loved your question. We have every confidence that our Product - Milsek Furniture Polish & Cleaner (the attributes of the original with Lemon Oil are the same as the Musical Instrument Cleaner) will do wonders for cleaning and nourishing the Piano. Our church also has the back of our piano exposed to the congregation and our staff uses Milsek for the entire piano (also our organ and the pipes). In the tough to reach spots, we use a soft bristle paint brush or tooth brush. It really gives the whole piece a nice shine and brings out the natural luster. It also nourishes to wood to prevent drying and cracking.

We have many clients such as a cookoo clock manufacturer and bag pipe manufacturer, guitar companies, a harp company, who love the product for their delicate masterpieces.

I asked our Pianist about the sound board. He said it is safe to use there as well - however, recommend using a very soft cotton cloth to wipe it on, give it a good cleaning, and buff slightly. The rest will be absorbed which he feels keeps the wood from drying out. He also owns a baby grand piano and he uses it on that as well.


I read through the blog post. As a side note - We didn't like the "use Ammonia" or Windex recommendation. We feel that would dry out the piece immensly and cause damage. Just our opinion. If there is anything else I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

And for another perspective go to:
http://www.thefinishingstore.com/bob-flexners-feature-article-march/

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2024989 - 02/01/13 01:17 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Hi Del,

I just read the article. It seems very convincing.

The problem is, there are other convincing views on the net as well.

It seems to me that if the finish really seals the wood that effectively, then it should not be reacting to changes in humidity. But, we know that a soundboard does react to changes in humidity. Thus, there must be some degree of permeability in the finish.

After Googling a bit more, I am beginning to wonder if pure Milseks would be the best route, or maybe Milseks with some other component, like maybe olive oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil, using the Milseks as a carrier, might be the better approach.

I have until tomorrow (today) at 4 PM to decide.

Thank you for your perspective. It is respected and appreciated smile

Edit: I wonder if bore oil might also be a possibility.

Edit: I think I am going to stick with just pure Milseks. It was the original concept. If there is any indication of improved pitch stabilization, then other refinements can be tried later.


Edited by daniokeeper (02/01/13 01:32 AM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2025015 - 02/01/13 02:16 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
It seems to me that if the finish really seals the wood that effectively, then it should not be reacting to changes in humidity. But, we know that a soundboard does react to changes in humidity. Thus, there must be some degree of permeability in the finish.

Sadly, no wood finish is vapor resistant. Not one of them. Heavy coats of polyester and epoxy do pretty well but to be effective they have to be applied so thick that you no longer have a working soundboard when you’re through. But of the conventional wood finishes none of them are vapor resistant. Not lacquer, not polyurethane, not varnish, not shellac, none of them. And certainly not finishing oils or the oils found in furniture polishes.

Some finish materials do better than others at least for a while but over the years they all allow water vapor to pass through. They can protect wood from a lot of things—water, soft drinks, many types of alcoholic drinks, dirt, oil, a lot of thingd—but not water vapor.

ddf


Edited by Del (02/01/13 02:17 AM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2025070 - 02/01/13 04:58 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7871
Loc: France
Nothing on the Net can be taken too seriously,

unless those are edited by a group of autorised people coming to an agreement (for instance on medical matters we can have an idea of the level we are at a certain time)


Each writer have its personal agenda, most often, something to sell, sometime it is only himself or nan image of himself.

Using the NEt as a source of inspiration, is full of traps
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It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2025077 - 02/01/13 05:30 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3552
I think you should treat BOTH sides.

Treating only one side will make the two sides get humid in a different way, which will cause tensions in the wood and bending.
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#2025253 - 02/01/13 11:47 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Olek
Nothing on the Net can be taken too seriously,

unless those are edited by a group of autorised people coming to an agreement (for instance on medical matters we can have an idea of the level we are at a certain time)


Each writer have its personal agenda, most often, something to sell, sometime it is only himself or nan image of himself.

Using the NEt as a source of inspiration, is full of traps

My comments about the vapor permeability of wood finishes (and the oils in furniture polishes) are based on my own testing while I was R&D Director at Baldwin. They are consistent with the test results of the major wood finish materials manufacturers.

The author I quoted, Bob Flexner, is a well-known (in the U.S.) custom furniture maker and refinishing expert. He has authored several well-respected and successful books on refinishing. His articles on the subject have been published in most of the major U.S. woodworking magazines including Fine Woodworking. I'm not sure you can get much more credibility than that.

ddf


Edited by Del (02/01/13 11:50 AM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2025269 - 02/01/13 12:01 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7871
Loc: France
Del you nor your author where not in cause, and indeed more credibility when sources are given.

But on the Net you often find fancy things, still at the experimental or inaginary state, presented ad a "new truth".

I would not take risks based on something stated, I first cross check, for that the Net is very good.

Of course no way to avoid vapor to go inside wood, unless you vacuum impregnate it .
Also some oils harden, but for how long ? They seem to be mixed with resins and powders today, for floors, wooden furniture, etc. I have a kit with dpecial sponges and 3 different oils, for floors , outside, or common.

But they are used in place of a lacquer...


Edited by Olek (02/01/13 12:02 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2025348 - 02/01/13 02:30 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: wouter79]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: wouter79
I think you should treat BOTH sides.

Treating only one side will make the two sides get humid in a different way, which will cause tensions in the wood and bending.


It does make sense to treat both sides. Ideally, that is what I would do.

But, I am afraid of contaminating the strings and bridges. Hopefully, "IF" any oil penetrates in to the wood, it will sort of distribute itself evenly throughout the wood. I also want to do something that is easily done by the client. If this works, then maybe some sort of schedule can be set for the custodians...Use Milseks on the back of the piano on the 1st of every month, for example.

But I do agree, treating both sides would be better. smile
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2025365 - 02/01/13 03:01 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2434
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Del is correct about no wood finish being very effective against water vapour. Some may be slightly resistant but even when we studied building science as an energy advisor, the materials used as vapour barriers are all listed in rating by their "perms"....no material even in buildings is zero perms....thus they all allow a small bit of vapour through them. If a 6 mil thick poly plastic vapour barrier is rated at .05 perms, you can be assured there is no thin wood finish that will even come close to this.
_________________________
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George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#2025522 - 02/01/13 06:54 PM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
Here's some information about the piano:

Kimball "Artist Console" piano
Model# 4243
Serial# D86336

Here is the tuning history from October 2005:
15 Oct 2005 Raised 40 cents to A440
26 Apr 2006 Lowered 25 cents to A440
18 Oct 2006 Changed 0 cents to A440
2 Nov 2007 Raised 15 cents to A440
8 Oct 2008 Changed 0 cents to A440
26 Jan 2010 Raised 30 cents to A440
26 Oct 2010 Lowered 17 cents to A440
28 Sep 2011 Lowered 10 cents to A440
19 Apr 2012 Raised 20 cents to A440

Today, I treated the back of the soundboard and the entire back with Milseks. I used approximately 6 fl. oz. I could have applied more, but I didn't want to do things too quickly, considering that this is the first time that back has ever been treated.

I will apply more Milseks next Friday and then tune to A440. I will be using the Representative Victorian Temperament. The A's have a 0 offset, so this particular choice of temperament should not matter much.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2029606 - 02/09/13 12:54 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1088
Loc: PA
I went back today to tune the piano.

I applied more Milseks. The entire board and back took about one more ounce.

I also slightly snugged up the plate screws and checked to make sure the soundboard button screws/bridge screws were not loose.

The tuning is the Moore - Representative Victorian Temperament

This is how many cents the A's were off before tuning today:

A0 +3.1

A1 -9.4

A2 -6.4

A3 -13

A4 -12

A5 -9.7

A6 -8.4

A7 -4.6

Edit: I will return in about 4 weeks to measure and re-tune the piano. Then, I will come back probably at the middle or end of May to measure and re-tune the piano... After the warm weather comes in and the humidity rises.


Edited by daniokeeper (02/09/13 12:58 AM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#2029679 - 02/09/13 06:33 AM Re: An Experiment - Suggestions request [Re: daniokeeper]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7871
Loc: France
Well Dan why not floating the pitch, I question the tuning the users are left with on those high humidity rise.
When I tuned for schools the pitch was 444 445 after summer, if I lowered it to 440 I find it a 438 Hz in winter, and anything under 440 is not accepteable.

So before looking at your cts display you may want to think about the condition of the tuning in regard to humidity of the day .

Indeed after some time you may well finish with less variations than on the beginning, but for instance lower the pitch 30 cts ?


The great idea of any lazy tuner (I believe we are all wink is to allow the work to be as simple and fast as possible.

Some places where I tuned pianos had a 28% HR in winter with very high temperature, dspite that I dont recall having so large pitch changes, indeed we are in a moderate climate in summer , with 65 % HR +- occasionally 70 on rainy days.

A piano have its own stability, the role of the tuner is to find it
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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