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#307565 - 05/18/08 01:15 PM Need advice-how to Remove Cable Nelson Keyboard?
SEO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Maine
I've been loaned a set of brass ivory clamps so that I can re-attach some ivories that came off the keys. So now the trick is to get the keyboard out of the piano, and it has me stumped.
Piano is an upright 1928 Cable Nelson. The key slip is attached with four screws up through the key bed, but there are no obvious screws for removing the end blocks, and no obvious method of getting the fall board off.
Any advice would be appreciated.
As an aside, thanks to good advice from people on this site as well as elsewhere, I restrained my bargain-hunting fetishes, passed up a Chickering Baby Grand, and ended up buying a Steinert grand. It had been quite thoroughy rebuilt, but then never set up right, and as a result I got a fairly good deal, and after some tweaking by a very talented tech it is working very nicely.
According to him, once it's made it's final move from the first to the third floor of our house, which will involve dangling from a crane, he'll regulate the action and it will be as nice as an O model Steinway for half the cost.

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#307566 - 05/18/08 02:13 PM Re: Need advice-how to Remove Cable Nelson Keyboard?
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Remove the lid or fold it back out of the way. Remove the top door (large front panel). Now you can look inside and devine how the fallboard is removed. You will need to remove the fallboard (some are attached to cheek blocks, many are not). Also remove the thin upstop rail if it is separate from the fallboard. Remove the action. Keys lift out. You may not have to remove the keyslip or the cheek blocks. This is very different from that of a grand piano.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

#307567 - 05/18/08 02:33 PM Re: Need advice-how to Remove Cable Nelson Keyboard?
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
On most uprts. one does not need to take the cheek blocks,keyslip,action stack out or off to pull the keys out.It's not like a grand. Take the front panel and fallboard off and lift the jack of each individual key where the capstand is (on the back of the key) and take each key out. Good thing you didn't figure out how to take the keybed off. \:D
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#307568 - 05/18/08 02:58 PM Re: Need advice-how to Remove Cable Nelson Keyboard?
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1187
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
You won't have to remove the keyslip and cheek blocks. There is no keyboard to remove, just the individual keys themselves.

Just remember to put every screw back in its proper spot. They will not all be the same size.

Close the fallboard first. Many older Cable-Nelsons (and many older uprights) have a device controlled by the fallboard that tilts the bottom of the music desk (large front panel) forward when the fallboard is opened.

Prop the lid open, or remove the hinge pins and remove the lid completely. Look inside the top. You may find 2 small devices, one on the left side and one on the right side, that hold the music desk in place. Figure out how they work, and adjust them so the music desk can be tilted forward at the top. Tilt the music desk forward so the top of music desk has cleared the sides of the piano case. Use both hands to grasp the top of the music desk and lift it up and away from the piano.

If the music desk doesn't have these small devices, you may be able to lift it straight up, and then out and away from the piano.

Now, look at the flat panel on which the bottom of the music books sit. If you can see exposed screws on the far left and far right sides, remove them, and then lift that panel out. If you do NOT see any exposed screws, you'll have to remove the two pieces of the case on which the music desk hinges. These case pieces will be approx. 2-inches wide, 2-inches deep, and over 1-foot long. There will be 2 screws in each. Remove these and you will then expose the screws to the panel mentioned above.

With that panel out, and the fallboard closed, you should be able to look behind the fallboard and see how it is attached to the cheek blocks on the left and right sides. Sometimes there are 2 screws to remove, Sometimes there are 6. Remove the screws and slowly lift the fallboard straight up, being careful not to scratch the sides of the case.

With the fallboard out, the last thing you'll need to remove is the keyrail. This should have one screw on the right and one on the left -- possibly a round slotted screw in the middle. Remove the screws and lift the rail out.

You'll probably find some dust in there. Just vacuum it out using the brush attachment, or a clean fine paint brush with the vacuum. Be careful not to break anything, or to vacuum up any felt punchings under the keys.

Before removing any keys, make sure they are numbered. They are usually stamped near the back end of the key on the top. If you can't read the numbers, use a pencil and number EVERY key from 1 to 88, with 1 being the lowest note. You shouldn't have to remove the action to get each key out. Just be careful not to enlarge the hole in the bottom of the key.

Hope this helps.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#307569 - 05/18/08 07:10 PM Re: Need advice-how to Remove Cable Nelson Keyboard?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
Does this have a folding fallboard, or a sliding one? Folding fallboards are usually held by screws into the cheek blocks. Sliding fallboards are usually held by some mechanism that helps each side slide evenly, and usually require unscrewing a number of screws. The trick is to find the fewest screws that will release everything.
Semipro Tech


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