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#2286929 - 06/07/14 10:20 AM Pedal Polishing
Exclampt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/29/13
Posts: 9
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
Greetings,

I would like to polish the brass pedals on my Steinway O using a buffing wheel, but first I have to remove them.

Is this a simple procedure, or should I have my tech do it?

If this is simple, please outline the steps necessary.

Thank you.

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#2286934 - 06/07/14 10:29 AM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 737
Loc: England
I really advise not taking the pedals apart .... not easy if you have no previous experience ! Far less risky if you simply use a bit of 'elbow grease' on them via a piece of cloth and brass polish (brasso or even T-cut).
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#2286968 - 06/07/14 12:36 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3660
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
+1, Johnkie. That's what I did, got down, pretty much lying down, and worked hard. Didn't seem worth it to pull the pedals out for that job, which shouldn't take more than an hour or two.

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#2286996 - 06/07/14 01:54 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21806
Loc: Oakland
Taking the pedals out of a NY Steinway grand is easy. Just unscrew the plate and pull out the rods, and they slide out. Taking them apart from the plate after they are out can be difficult. You can break the screws that hold the pedal rod in place. Unless you have the proper bushings, I suggest you get help. You should also get help if it is a Hamburg Steinway.

For the benefit of those who have them, if the pedals are nickel finish, do not use a buffing wheel.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2286999 - 06/07/14 01:58 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
Beemer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 207
Loc: Scotland
I used to own a big motorbike which had a chrome plated stainless steel exhaust (muffler in the US). Seems strange but that's what BMW do!

Like you I got the urge to polish but soon realised that nature takes over and very soon returns the part to where you started.

You could of course lacquer the piano pedals but then they would not stay lacquered and gleaming if you used them.

Ian

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#2287014 - 06/07/14 02:58 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2325
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The pedals probably have a clear coat of lacquer on them if they have been untouched since their factory days. The dullness can be beneath the lacquer over many years. This means you must remove the top coat and the tarnish and then re-coat with clear lacquer.

Removing the pedals from the pedal plate is not difficult. What is difficult is putting them back together properly. You will probably need new leather spacing washers and pedal bushing materials. The proper assembly process takes a little getting used to. If you have the older felt bushed pedals you can add a wrap of teflon plumbers tape to the pedal pivot rod to make the friction less and allow the tech to tighten the pedal pivot a little more to eliminate side-play and settling. I prefer this method to the current nylon tube over the pivot rod. It lasts longer and moves freer.

Older Hamburg's did not use the metal mounting plate system. To remove them you must remove the pedal lyre and turn it upside down to reach the proper screws.

A technician who is used to Steinway can bring the needed tools and material to your piano and do the work on sight. Using a brass polish to remove the top coat and tarnish and finishing the polish with fine steel wool will leave a slight satin look to the brass. A duller satin can be achieved with 400/600 grit sandpaper. The tech would just need some work area that would allow a little splash of polish to spatter around and not hurt anything. Say the driveway on a newspaper covered plastic table. The lacquer would need 30-40 minutes to dry enough. The pedal rods probably need the same work.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2287027 - 06/07/14 03:49 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 323
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
If you want a high polish, used the buffing wheel. If you want a polished satin, use 320 grit sandpaper to cut thru the coating and tarnish. Switch to 400 grit to refine the patina, then rub with either 4/0 steel wool or better yet- Gray Scotch Brite.

There's no need to use lacquer, give two thin coats of paste wax (Rain Dance) to protect and it also leaves them easily polishable in the future. The wax coating lasts a long time.
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2287034 - 06/07/14 03:58 PM Re: Pedal Polishing [Re: Exclampt]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Good idea the wax. I have a special lacquer for brass (Renner) which is very hard and flows very well (can be passe with a brush)

The original laquer is not that easy to strip, or buff harly, or with steel wool + solvents)

Buffing wheel is the ideal for the pedalos, plus different pastes .

It can be done with a hand drill eventually (small cotton wheel,100 mm 150 mm diam. not the large diameter ones)

To buff efficiently, the cotton disks are reinforced on their sides with thick carboard disks (or wood, or plastic, carboard is neat as it can be cut if too much near the edges.

WIth and without reinforcing disks is day and night for buffing.





Edited by Olek (06/07/14 04:05 PM)
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