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#2224753 - 02/02/14 05:10 PM Key removal on a player
SPS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
I have been searching but haven't come across an answer so apologies if this has been covered here before.

I have stayed away from working on player pianos but recently had a customer that was having trouble finding a technician to tune. It is a 1921 Cable player piano and the player mechanism works perfectly since it was redone several years ago. However, many of the keys are sticking and I have determined it is the keys themselves (not in the action). Usually a simple thing, lifting each key out and easing the bushings. However there is something in the way....of course. crazy

Is there something simple I am missing or do I actually have to remove part of the player mechanism to get the keys off the keybed? I really don't want to go there if I can avoid it since I don't know much about the goings on in a player piano. I would hate to screw something up for a simple regulation.

Thanks in advance for any advice on this.

-Scott (Twin Cities chapter of PTG)
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Scott

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#2224754 - 02/02/14 05:13 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24153
Loc: Oakland
If it is an upright, yes, you do need to remove the player mechanism. If it is a grand, it depends on whether the reel is above the keyboard (yes) or below (no, although it may depend on other things).
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Semipro Tech

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#2224784 - 02/02/14 06:03 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: BDB]
SPS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: BDB
If it is an upright, yes, you do need to remove the player mechanism. If it is a grand, it depends on whether the reel is above the keyboard (yes) or below (no, although it may depend on other things).


Thanks for the help! Is this something I even want to attempt to do? I am thinking it might be best to get her a referral to someone who has worked on these before. I don't want to do a simple key regulation and end up causing more problems.
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Scott

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#2224805 - 02/02/14 06:46 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 397
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
If it's binding at the front rail, you can use the pin as an easing tool by removing the key slip, holding the key down and moving the key slightly side-to-side.
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Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2224813 - 02/02/14 07:02 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24153
Loc: Oakland
I cannot say whether you might want to do it or not. Player stacks are heavy, which might be a problem. There are a lot of things that have to be unclipped and unscrewed, and they are not always obvious. At the very least, you should look at some books on the subject and decide whether you are up to it.
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Semipro Tech

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#2224859 - 02/02/14 08:54 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2538
Loc: Maine
If you haven't removed several dozen of these things, I'd be awfully careful. Besides being heavy and well connected in multiple places as BDB stated, they have all sorts of things that can get dinged and broken. The bellows are fragile. The tubing is a nightmare to the uninitiated. Often the attachment screws are well hidden (mute testimony to a degree of perverse ingenuity of by-gone designers). They are trouble.

Beware!
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David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#2224903 - 02/02/14 10:38 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Roy Rodgers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 356
Loc: Ranger, Texas
If it's been several years since it was rebuilt, the rubber tubing may be brittle and could break when disturbed.
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Tuning and repairing pianos since 1981 in Ranger, Tx. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roys-Piano-Service/173273022711505

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#2224916 - 02/02/14 11:14 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Before you disassemble anything on the player, make sure the client demonstrates its working condition. That way, after re-assembly there is not question of "It worked perfectly before your took it apart" or not.
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2225166 - 02/03/14 11:39 AM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

On this one I am wondering if the keys stick when played manually or when the unit plays them.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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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#2225249 - 02/03/14 02:36 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
SPS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

On this one I am wondering if the keys stick when played manually or when the unit plays them.


They stick when played manually. The wippen and hammer move freely. The keys stay down when pressed, several in the lower bass and several in the upper treble.
_________________________
Scott

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#2225272 - 02/03/14 03:40 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Chris Leslie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1169
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Sometime debris lodged unseen between keys can cause them to jam. Try sliding a card or something similar between the keys.
Also, the particular keys my be exposed enough at the balance rail for a little CPL treatment on the pins.


Edited by Chris Leslie (02/03/14 03:42 PM)
_________________________
Chris Leslie ARPT
Piano technician
http://www.chrisleslie.com.au

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#2225273 - 02/03/14 03:42 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: SPS]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

The key slip on an upright player is in sections because of the controls. Behind the controls there is a thin strip of wood that is fastened to the key frame instead of the usual key slip.

Make sure the key end is not pinching on this prior to taking the unit apart.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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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#2225362 - 02/03/14 07:26 PM Re: Key removal on a player [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
SPS Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks to everyone for your tips and advice. I am taking notes and will go take a closer look. However if I still need to dig deeper I am not sure I want to remove any of the player parts. I am pretty handy and clever but my sonic screwdriver is out of commission so I had better be careful on this job.
_________________________
Scott

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