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#2072481 - 04/27/13 10:32 PM Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Hey Everyone -

I'm having an old piano moved to my house in a few days. I'm planning on using it to try to learn to tune, regulate, etc. and perhaps to try to practice on for a bit while I'm looking for a piano to buy, if I can get it up and running again.

I was wondering if anyone has tried "Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer" or something like it. I think the pin block on this piano may need a little extra boost.

http://www.pianosupplies.com/pianos/1347.html

I'm also curious if it's better to tap the pins in, or to try some type of chemical first, if the pins are not holding in the block. I've heard that both can work.

Thanks.
_________________________
pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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#2072515 - 04/27/13 11:32 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21910
Loc: Oakland
My advice is not to use anything like that. It makes a gooey, rusty mess and does not help the pin block that much.
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Semipro Tech

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#2072516 - 04/27/13 11:33 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I don't know of any professional tech who use those "Pin Tighteners", (usually some sort of glycerin compound). The thin type of superglue is what most techs find far superior to anything else. You can get the thin superglues at model airplane shops. Don't breathe the fumes or let them waft over your eyes!
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2072654 - 04/28/13 07:01 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
David Boyce Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 293
Loc: Scotland
Definitely agree about CA (superglue) over those old "pin tighteners". Supply houses still sell those old liquids, and I guess someone must buy them now and again. But they're not the way to go.

Superglue, used carefully and with safety in mind, is remarkable.

Hammering the odd pin further into the block is OK too, but I'd try the suoperglue first. And you don't really want to be hammering EVERY pin further in.



Edited by David Boyce (04/28/13 07:01 AM)

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#2072667 - 04/28/13 07:54 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
I disagree on all counts. I've had good success with Pin-Tite and continue to use it on pianos where the economics of the proper repair (restringing and/or repinning) don't make sense, and the customer wishes to get a few more years out of the instrument.

I've had good results with Pin-Tite and have never had it fail. When used correctly and without hurrying, it does not cause pin or string problems, and leaves the pins with a nice clicky feel.

On the other hand, I've had two occasions this past year where I tuned pianos that another tech treated with CA glue. Both of them were a mess. The strings and plate around the pins were white from accelerator and the pins were still loose. Both pianos were not tunable and they looked hideous.

Given that anything short of repinning or replacing the block is a less than ideal repair, I choose to take the approach that is less expensive, much safer (you've read the comments about the fumes from CA, which are not good for the customer or you), is effective, and doesn't have to be done with all the windows open and fans running. I know I wouldn't want to be exposed to the liability of someone having a reaction to the fumes from the CA.

I also wonder about what happens years later when someone is trying to rebuild the piano and finds the pinblock is glued to the plate.

In the end, I feel Pin-Tite actually seeps into the wood, while CA essentially glues the tuning pin to the bushing (if present). If you'd have seen what the two pianos I had to work with looked like after a CA treatment, you'd never even consider it.

My .02!
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DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
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#2072668 - 04/28/13 07:56 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: BDB]
Maximillyan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 1550
Loc: KZ
Originally Posted By: BDB
My advice is not to use anything like that. It makes a gooey, rusty mess and does not help the pin block that much.

Max advises. In no event do not hammering the pins. A shim corrugated cardboard under every pin .Only it's screwing.
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A=440
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#2072681 - 04/28/13 08:18 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
I would not recommend tapping pins further into the block. In my experience this causes more problems and is rarely effective.

My experience with CA and Pin-Tite has been the opposite of Loren's. CA glue has been extremely effective for me, and I have revisited many pianos I've treated several years before - the pins are holding beautifully and the pianos are easy to tune.

The key is to use a fresh bottle of thin CA, not medium viscosity. If the glue is applied between the pin and the bushing (if present) it will wick down into the block and swell up the wood for an effective treatment. Also, I would never use an accelerant as it is simply not needed and would indeed create a huge mess.

If you are careful and methodical, no one will even be able to tell that the CA treatment has been done. I do agree about the nasty fumes though, and I would err on the side of caution. Wear a mask, ventilate the space, inform the client, etc.

I have spoken to a number of rebuilders and none believe that CA is detrimental to any future rebuilding.

The pianos I have tuned that had a Pin-Tite application usually still have loose tuning pins - and lots of ugly staining - but can usually be retreated effectively with CA.
_________________________
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www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

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#2072699 - 04/28/13 09:06 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Ryan Hassell Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 487
Loc: Farmington, MO
I had a Baldwin Grand from 1936 that I treated with Pin-Tite, about three years ago, back before I knew of CA glue. It held great, but this last winter, with very low humidity, several bass pins began to slip. I treated them with CA glue and they are holding great now. I also have an old Steinway from the early teens that I service for a local funeral home. It would not hold a tuning, and they couldn't afford a full restoration. I treated those pins with CA glue and the piano now holds its tuning very well! I use the "Ultra Thin Hot Stuff" glue sold by Schaff. There are a few fumes, but they don't seem to be that potent. I don't like how the cap is made to it though. You have to keep it sitting upright at all times or the cap easily comes off and gets all over everything. I speak from experience. :-) I would recommend CA glue over Pin-Tite any day.
_________________________
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hassells-Piano-Tuning/163155880804
ryanhassell@hotmail.com

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#2072714 - 04/28/13 09:41 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: James Carney]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1224
Loc: Québec, Canada
Originally Posted By: James Carney
I would not recommend tapping pins further into the block. In my experience this causes more problems and is rarely effective.

My experience with CA and Pin-Tite has been the opposite of Loren's. CA glue has been extremely effective for me, and I have revisited many pianos I've treated several years before - the pins are holding beautifully and the pianos are easy to tune.

The key is to use a fresh bottle of thin CA, not medium viscosity. If the glue is applied between the pin and the bushing (if present) it will wick down into the block and swell up the wood for an effective treatment. Also, I would never use an accelerant as it is simply not needed and would indeed create a huge mess.

If you are careful and methodical, no one will even be able to tell that the CA treatment has been done. I do agree about the nasty fumes though, and I would err on the side of caution. Wear a mask, ventilate the space, inform the client, etc.

I have spoken to a number of rebuilders and none believe that CA is detrimental to any future rebuilding.

The pianos I have tuned that had a Pin-Tite application usually still have loose tuning pins - and lots of ugly staining - but can usually be retreated effectively with CA.


+1
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2072830 - 04/28/13 01:39 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
That Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/07/11
Posts: 413
Loc: Lincoln, NE
I've also had great results with CA glue. I don't use an accelerator because of what Loren said - it makes it look nasty and isn't necessary.

I can't remember what forum I read it on, it might be this one, but a couple of rebuilders said the CA glue was not at all a problem when rebuilding. I was really glad to hear that because I figured if the piano was ever rebuilt the rebuilder would be cussing out whoever put the CA glue on.

I have not used Pin-Tite so I can't give an opinion about it.
_________________________
Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com

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#2072871 - 04/28/13 02:57 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
rysowers Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2495
Loc: Olympia, WA
I have not used Pin-Tite (I'm always leery of using products with misspelled words!) but I have had good results with Garfield's. I used it on a block that was quite loose about 15 years ago and recently tuned the piano again and it had seemed to improve with age.

An older tech told me the key to using Garfields (it is glycerin based)is to put the piano on its back and thin it 50/50 with denatured alcohol and warm it up and go over the pins until its all used up. The idea is that the glycerin actually swells the block by attracting moisture. It seems to solidify over time thus improving somewhat with age.

I've also had good luck with CA glue, but it really helps to use a capillary tip and water thin viscosity product that is fresh. Model airplane shops keep fresh CA on hand along with various tips to help apply it. I would certainly NOT use accelerator in this application. You want the glue to travel as far as it can before curing.

I agree that some of the action of the CA is to harden around the plate bushings. One issue is that once the CA seals around the bushing no more can penetrate into the block

Perhaps the best would be to treat the block with a glycerin based restorer followed by a CA treatment a few months later. I haven't tried this but am thinking about it for the next time I come across a loose block.

If you do feel compelled to tap the pin in - just be careful to check the tightness of the pins around it before and after. Sometimes tapping can cause below-surface cracks to open up more. Also do NOT tap the coil down onto the plate - that will make treating the block less effective and more messy!


Edited by rysowers (04/28/13 02:58 PM)
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#2073168 - 04/28/13 10:07 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1974
Loc: Philadelphia area
I've had good results with both CA glue and Pin-Tite. For one or two loose pins, I apply a small amount of thin CA glue. For treating the entire block, Pin-Tite.

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#2073220 - 04/28/13 11:40 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: rysowers]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: rysowers
(I'm always leery of using products with misspelled words!)


I guess Tite Bond is out for you, too...

laugh
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Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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#2073238 - 04/29/13 01:08 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1081
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Loren, I've had good results from Water thin CA and have seen lots of pianos that pin-tite didn't work as well on. BTW, if whoever did that job you saw had to use accelerator they used the wrong glue for the job. The water thin stuff needs no accelerator and is usually pretty well set up withing minutes.

Neatness is another issue entirely and can be an issue with pin-tite as well.

Replacing the pin block later is not an issue either so I consider it a good temporary fix.


Edited by Dale Fox (04/29/13 01:10 AM)
Edit Reason: clarity and additional thought
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Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#2075264 - 05/01/13 08:29 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 792
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
I'm not sure if this has already been stated but a piano that has been 'doped' would not be ideal to practice tuning on so as to develop the proper hammer technique.

As a student of piano tuning you want to practice on a piano with a pinblock that is as close to normal as possible to match the vast majority of pianos you will encounter in the future.
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#2075305 - 05/01/13 10:18 PM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
Don L Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Minnesota
I have had excellent results with super thin CA. The key is you must be very careful in the application. I use a syringe and it really helps in pinpointing and controlling the amount as it wicks in. No one has mentioned but I am assuming you lay the pianos on their back with a tilter before applying.....I do. Have never had a problem yet....

Don

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#2075401 - 05/02/13 12:16 AM Re: Pin-Tite Pin Block Restorer [Re: pianokeys135]
pianokeys135 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 184
Loc: Greater NYC Area
Quote:
a piano that has been 'doped' would not be ideal to practice tuning on.


hmmm. I didn't really think of it that way. I'll have to see how bad the block is I guess. If it's in really bad shape l can just junk it and get another one.

On the other hand, if CA glue can help it hold a tune, maybe I can use it for regulation practice, or as a practice piano for a while, or find some other use for it.

On a side note - I saw a really inspired performance of Beethoven Op. 111 tonight! That piece is really something!
_________________________
pianokeys135
amateur piano player

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