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#2221654 - 01/27/14 08:25 PM Proper glue for hammer felt
AWilley Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/14
Posts: 3
I had a client today who had the felt almost literally popping off his hammers. Since this was an older goodwill piano where the cost of new hammers would be more than the cost of the piano itself, I figured attempting to re-glue and clamp the felts would be the most cost-beneficial option. Anyway, my question is, what kind of glue is the best for this kind of work? I remember reading somewhere that wood glue is fine, but I wasn't convinced in its ability to bind strongly to felt. Hide glue sounded better, but seemed too crackly for me, and I wouldn't want the felts to pop off again when it gets humid. My money is on PVC-E glue, since it is able to bind to a lot of different materials, but then the creep has me slightly worried. Any ideas?

Edited by AWilley (01/27/14 08:25 PM)

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#2221657 - 01/27/14 08:29 PM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Ryan Hassell Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 539
Loc: Farmington, MO
I don't know what the "best" is, I'm sure others will have their own opinions, but I had the same situation on an older Cable spinet. I used Gorilla glue and it worked great.
Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO

#2221691 - 01/27/14 10:08 PM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 3098
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I have used Tite-Bond. PVC-E "creeps" me out.

A picture framer friend of mine had an employee with minimal woodworking skills. One day when he was out of the shop this employee just dumped Gorilla glue and Tite-Bond together to do a series of frame glue ups. He was shocked when he returned to see some fifty frames glued up in this manner. He proceeded to test the strength at the end of the day. They held perfectly-and the foamy Gorilla glue filled any slight gaps really well.
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com

#2221698 - 01/27/14 10:50 PM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2481
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Very small amount of gorilla glue will do the trick if your not doing a drill through and wire. Since it foams, I don't put it farther in than 1/4" from the back or it will stiffen up the felt too much with its absorbtion. Tite-Bond or carpenters glue will work well also, especially if you put a re-enforcing wire tie through it. I would take a look at neighbouring hammers in this case since there are probably a few that are borderline ready to go...thats what I've seen in a few Polish made Casilia's that I've seen around here.
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

#2221712 - 01/27/14 11:57 PM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 397
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
TiteBond on the felt and thick Super Glue on the molding. Clamp them together and the moisture in the TB activates the SG. It makes for a strong bond but leave it clamped for a few minutes. I've gone so far as to drill holes and insert twisted wire loops for reinforcement.

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

#2221733 - 01/28/14 02:32 AM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5410
Loc: Olympia, Washington
You all can make it complicated if you want but straight TiteBond works about as well as anything. Just leave it clamped long enough for the adhesive to cure thoroughly.

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

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

#2221783 - 01/28/14 08:07 AM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chicagoland
Saw a post once - use thin zip ties to clamp, snip off the excess and leave in place...

Piano/instrument technician

my piano videos:

#2221855 - 01/28/14 11:42 AM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Cinnamonbear Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 4157
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hi, AWilley,

Here is a thread that shows a rather cumbersome method that I used to solve the same problem you are working on. We, too, were working on a shoestring budget. I used "Titebond Liquid Hide Wood Glue"--reasons are given in the thread:


Lots of people chimed in with their thoughts about glue and various methods for accomplishing this fix, including RestorerPhil's instructions for a thread-wrap method, and James Carney's instructions for a zip-tie method.

In November '13, Chuck Behm described his thread-wrap method. The pictures he posted of his work are stunningly beautiful! I wish I had known about his thread-wrap method before I tried the plumber's gasket and clamps. grin


I am happy to report, though, that at Christmastime, I tuned and played the piano on which I had used the hide-glue and clamps, and all of the felts that I had glued were very nicely in place. There was one felt that had popped anew, but I was able to fix that with the cold-hide glue and a small needle-nosed vise-grips with the hammer still in the piano. I left it clamped overnight and removed the vise-grips when I came to play the next day.

Good luck!
--Andy Strong

Edited by Cinnamonbear (01/28/14 02:12 PM)
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

#2222429 - 01/29/14 10:13 AM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 397
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
The advantage of using the two glue method is reduced clamp time. Depending on the spring rate of the felt, clamp time most often is 5 minutes or less.

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

#2224138 - 02/01/14 11:39 AM Re: Proper glue for hammer felt [Re: AWilley]
AWilley Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/14
Posts: 3
Wow, thank you all for sharing those great ideas and experiences.


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