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#2195423 - 12/10/13 05:06 AM Key Bushings
musicNow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/13
Posts: 141
Loc: San Francisco, Bay Area
Has anyone every used these key bushings from Schaff? Do they work well or is better to use felt? They come in two sizes, 521 small and 521A, large. I assume they will work in most old American uprights with .146" pins?

Thanks - Rick

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Learning to play the piano and tweaking my 1907 Ivers Pond upright.

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#2195442 - 12/10/13 07:18 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1293
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
Somebody must be using them, as they have been sold for at least the last 30 years that I know about. They are not the same as felt.
Regards,

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#2195460 - 12/10/13 08:09 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2284
Loc: Maine
I think they are designed to handle the glisses that Jerry Lee Lewis players pound out on small spinets.
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#2195569 - 12/10/13 01:40 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
musicNow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/13
Posts: 141
Loc: San Francisco, Bay Area
So go with felt?

- R
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Learning to play the piano and tweaking my 1907 Ivers Pond upright.

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#2195755 - 12/10/13 07:52 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
SMHaley Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 1026
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: musicNow
So go with felt?

- R


Yes!
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Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2195818 - 12/10/13 10:35 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2641
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
40 years ago I tried to see if these key bushing inserts were workable. The result was slight knocking noise, squeaks, (that could be alleviated with spray teflon), and uneven fit that required sizing the bushing. They also are too long for many mortises and too short for some. I came to the conclusion that firm woven felt installed with the proper sized cauls was the way to go.
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#2196375 - 12/12/13 01:18 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: SMHaley]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: SMHaley
Originally Posted By: musicNow
So go with felt?
- R

Yes!

NO! Never go with felt.
Always use a high quality bushing cloth.
And always say cloth (and not felt) when you mean cloth, just like you would always say backcheck (and not catcher) when you mean backcheck.
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Piano Forte Supply
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#2196405 - 12/12/13 04:05 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: Supply]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2117
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Supply
And always say cloth (and not felt) when you mean cloth, just like you would always say backcheck (and not catcher) when you mean backcheck.


Precise terminology is always desirable, but in all fairness, it can be confusing sometimes, for someone starting out.

For example, Schaff lists the material that is glued to backchecks under "woven cloth" but calls it "backcheck felt". When I received it, it was, in fact, a very sturdy cloth, not a pressed felt (as I had expected it to be).
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2196496 - 12/12/13 11:16 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22176
Loc: Oakland
Backcheck felt is pure felt, just very thick and hard. There are no woven threads in it.

What is referred to as "cloth" has a woven base, which goes through the felting process, where the cloth is immersed in a slurry of wool fibers which tangle themselves together. In the case of the cloth, they tangle around the woven base. The cloth base gives it strength and stability. It is really felted cloth.

Key bushings need a very strong, dense felted cloth for durability. It does not pay to skimp. Some manufacturers use leather.
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#2196541 - 12/12/13 12:40 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2117
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Well, BDB, that's what I thought, too. But what Schaff sold me as "backcheck felt" definitely has woven threads in it. Otherwise I would certainly not have written above what I did.

The best picture I have is this one. Looking closely, one can see the zig-zag thread.



But if any doubts remain, I can gladly shoot a macro picture and post it here.

[Edit: and yes, I agree about not skimping on the key bushings; I wasn't trying to detract from the actual topic. My previous piano also had leather key bushings originally. I was only trying to point out that the terminology (and what you actually get for it) isn't always clear-cut.]


Edited by Mark R. (12/12/13 12:44 PM)
Edit Reason: given in post.
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Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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#2196583 - 12/12/13 02:53 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I think the terminology is absolutely clear cut. On occasion, terms are used incorrectly, even in print, and even by suppliers.
What supplier XYZ sells as cloth or felt does not define the meaning of those terms.

Cloth is cloth and felt is felt. They are distinct and different.

This of course does not stop people from using material incorrectly or for lesser substitutes of the correct materials.
You will never see felt used in key bushings of good keys, and you will never see cloth used on backchecks on high quality actions.
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2196588 - 12/12/13 03:09 PM Re: Key Bushings [Re: Supply]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22176
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Supply
Cloth is cloth and felt is felt. They are distinct and different.


Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Some people will refer to sheet material as cloth, no matter what the distinction, and as I said, what we in the piano industry refer to as cloth is also felted, as well as being cloth.
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Semipro Tech

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#2196829 - 12/13/13 03:00 AM Re: Key Bushings [Re: musicNow]
Mark R. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 2117
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Interesting, Jurgen... This would mean that Schaff is not in a position to supply the correct backcheck covering material for high quality actions. I honestly wonder why they only offer a (felted) cloth, seeing that they do make densely pressed felts. I scoured the whole felt section of their catalogue but couldn't find anything for backchecks.

I didn't mind using the cloth in my own case, just as I didn't mind using their cheaper leather instead of their high-quality buckskin for the catchers, as I was just getting a 90 year old, unbranded Zimmermann action back into an evenly playable state. Still, your response leaves me wondering what other parts that they sell are either "incorrect" or "lesser substitutes". But that would take this thread too far off-topic, and worse, could amount to a Schaff-bashing exercise, which is the last thing I'd want.

To the OP: sorry for the diversion.
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Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.

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