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#2202865 - 12/25/13 06:40 PM Can a key be straightened?
bjrpkr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 2
Hi, I'm a rank newby regarding working on pianos. I've played one for 50 years but haven't really messed with one yet. Well I just got a 1919 Osborn Grand and I'm going through it carefully. A lot of felts will need to be replaced so I'd appreciate some guidance as to where to buy.
My question is can a key be straightened? Number 11 key is slightly twisted where it sticks. Can I jig it, heat or wet it and then let it set?
thanks to all you experts on this subject.

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#2202941 - 12/25/13 10:48 PM Re: Can a key be straightened? [Re: bjrpkr]
Dave B Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 2237
Loc: Philadelphia area
I have reversed warped keys by using a low-temp heat gun while maintaining a slight twisting pressure on the key as it is held in a bench clamp.

#2203651 - 12/27/13 04:20 PM Re: Can a key be straightened? [Re: bjrpkr]
SuperTuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 110
Loc: Manhattan, Montana
I've actually had success with a microwave! I can't remember where this tip came from, this forum perhaps, or PTGJ. Remove the capstan, wrap a couple of wet paper towels around the keystick (avoiding the keytop and key bushings), and run it through the microwave. Start at about a minute, and adjust from there. While it's hot and damp, bend it back to a straight form, and hold it there as it cools and dries. Crazy, but effective!
Elizabeth Heppler, R.P.T.

#2203660 - 12/27/13 05:00 PM Re: Can a key be straightened? [Re: bjrpkr]
David Boyce Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 550
Loc: Scotland
That's very interesting Elizabeth! I can see that microwave radiation might be very effective, because it will heat up the water in the cells of the wood, as well as producing steam from the wet paper towels. The only thing is, you need a microwave oven wide enough to get the key in!

#2203884 - 12/28/13 07:49 AM Re: Can a key be straightened? [Re: bjrpkr]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 397
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
I'd be concerned with w/m might do to the glue on the bushings, key top of scarf joint (if any). Two twists that I've repaired relied on cutting and installing a dutchman of a spline.

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA


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