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#612705 - 03/23/08 02:18 PM Lubricants for Pianos
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Since I am such a big fan of CLP, LOL, it has been suggested that I start a thread about Protek products and other lubes used for pianos. My comments are strictly from my own personal perspective and experience.

As has been obviously stated I believe in an use CLP. I use it mostly for action centers, and I apply a drop to bearing points when I do major raise pitch raises.

One thing I do want to clarify. In another post Steven addressed situations where it left a sticky substance. That brought to memory the old Steinway upright that had the worst verdigris I have ever seen. The customers did not want to pursue, rebuilding the action. But in this particular piano, I do remember applying a very liberal coating of CLP to the centers. It did dissolve the green coat of verdigris, but there was indeed a sticky substance left behind. After reading Steven's comments I remembered this situation.

But in many instances I have encountered, CLP does work to free the slowness of action parts. I cannot disagree that it's effects may or may not be short term. In extreme instances of corrosion or verdigris, I dont waste the product, I just repin. I havent used the water/alcohol treatment in several years.

Jerry was wondering about the other Protek products. I know they make a Protek Prolube, that is advertised for keybeds and frames, keypins, and grand damper wires. I have never used this.

Also Schaff and Pianotek has a Protek multi-purpose lube which is advertised as being good for the trap works. I have used this with varying results.

That is all I can find that is produced by Protek, but I am interested in trying the Super Lube and McLube products that Pianotak has in their catalog. Does anyone have experience or information on these "state of the art" lubricants.

My experience has been basically with the CLP, the Protek Prolube paste, and dry/paste graphite, I also use the One Puff dry lube that Schaff sells, but am less than impressed with it. I use teflon powder for knuckles. That is the extent of my experience with lubes.

Much has been written about action centers in other threads, but if you desire to write more about those, I am eager to read. But I would appreciate your thoughts on any new lubes.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#612706 - 03/23/08 02:40 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
MAcLube is second to none for keyboard pins.

Clp can also leave your pcenter blocked after a few weeks it depend of the initial state of the centers, as you say.
In europe the center pins are always surface treated, they are not brass, but another metal, don't know the english term.
If that treatment get corroded results with CLP are more hazardous, but that is simple logic.

I'll post later.

Most other lubes I make myself, with vaselin , artificall tallow, teflon powder.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#612707 - 03/23/08 03:18 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks Ron!!

I am very interested in the differences of Protek CLP or, Protek MPL products. Where to use, what to use where and why on this part and not on this part, if that makes sense. On center pins for example and not on something else, sort of thing.

In Pianotek Supply's ordering manual, (I just looked) they claim this:

"Protek tm center pin cleaner/lubricant (CLP) made from high-tech polymers. Removes VERDIGRIS and protects against future build-up by coating the center pin and sealing the cloth from moisture. Will not travel, dry out, nor attract dust."

This appears to back up Ron's claims on the vertigris. That peaks my interest even more.

For years, I've used a variety of mixtures. I've used mineral oil and naptha that works well. I also purchased a product directly from Wurlitzer that is a Dimethyl Silicone fluid recommended by them to be used on flange bushings mixed 8:1 with Naptha. That also has worked very well for me.

But, I am not so familiar with the Protek stuff like CLP etc.

I've used McLube 125L and love it. Especially on key beds and on front and Balance rail pins but, I don't like it for whippens. For me, they tend to squeak afterwards.

I've found that products that tend to be greasy when put on, attracts dirt, makes things eventually gummy and many times worse than something used that is clear, or clean, like CLP type fluids for example or, like McLube and dries.

I too, dislike Shaff's One Puff and prefer teflon for knuckles and the like.

I like powered soap stone but, don't know if that's available any longer. I mix that with alcohol, rub it in and when it dries, only soap stone is left.

So, please add your input to Ron's so we can all learn something more about these products or what else is available out there!

Thanks,
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#612708 - 03/23/08 05:35 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Artisan Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 338
Jerry, they found out that that Dimethyl silicone fluid travels like mad.
I run into a lot of rusty pianos and also will use it on the strings friction points. I will also paint it on the strings where they traverse the felt between the agraffes/capo and tuning pins. It doesn't stain the felt and eliminates excessive drag.
_________________________
Steven
RPT

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#612709 - 03/23/08 07:02 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
UprightTooner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 839
Loc: North-East US
Great topic. I've never used CPL for anything but plan on getting some and trying it on centers. I've only used mineral spirits for string bearings and do not plan on using CPL on them. I understand that CPL leaves a lubricant behind after it evaporates and mineral spirits does not. I want the strings to render while I'm tuning, and hopefully not after.

Jerry, did you mis-type when you said have used mineral oil? Did you mean mineral spirits?
_________________________
Part-time tuner

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#612710 - 03/23/08 07:18 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Nope, I meant Mineral oil. Mineral Spirits is a great hand cleaner that my uncle used to use after working on cars all day long as a mechanic.

I also use Mineral Spirits for cleaing my cars antenna which goes up and down.

Steven, I had no idea that the silicone traveled like that. I had not read that one. Thanks for that information! I know it sure worked good though on easing up the Wurlitzer bushings!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#612711 - 03/23/08 11:57 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
bill32 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 17
Loc: el paso, texas
The Bosendorfer Piano Company suggest Balistol. It is a gun oil or so it's called. It is not a petroleum base but a vegetable base. Can be found in some gun shops.


Bill Postell
tuneit@swbell.net
_________________________
Piano Tech
El Paso, Texas
tuneit@swbell.net

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#612712 - 03/24/08 05:09 AM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
Yes Ballistol but as clean and acid free this oil can be, it will attract dirt and I have seen older german instruments which where treated with some , changing the centeres on them was a pain, the cloth was gummy, it need to be changed.

Those are old fashioned methods, Renner advertize us not to use any oily product on the cloth, it will make the cloth too soft and it get difficult to glue a nue one because the wood is oily.
if it is to tight, on need to untighten it, that is all, lubricant can add something but only afterwards. My point cautionous anyway.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#612713 - 03/24/08 05:18 AM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Reminds me of a joke - someone put sand in the captain's vasoline, 'Arr, it be a rough passage tonight!' he exclaimed.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#612714 - 03/24/08 05:22 AM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
Nope, I meant Mineral oil. Mineral Spirits is a great hand cleaner that my uncle used to use after working on cars all day long as a mechanic.

I also use Mineral Spirits for cleaing my cars antenna which goes up and down.

Steven, I had no idea that the silicone traveled like that. I had not read that one. Thanks for that information! I know it sure worked good though on easing up the Wurlitzer bushings! [/b]
There are many kind of sillicone, this is a generic name for a tension release agent (not a lubricant, by the way) You have some in most polishes, laquer (to help the product to flow) lubricants.
Indeed it is kind of "forbidden" near a piano particularely the tuining pins. It is said to travel with time.

The baddest use is probably when someone use a spray to clean the polyester andon't spray the cloth but the piano, then the moist goes on bass strings, tuning pins, etc, some of those sprays are very heavily charged in sillicon (they are bad for the finish anyway)
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#612715 - 03/24/08 11:53 AM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Great posting Ron thanks.....
_________________________
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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#612716 - 03/24/08 02:28 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Not a tech here...but what happens when tech A comes to the house, lubes cp's and such with product "A". Then 1-2 tunings later...another tech - or the same that has changed his products - lubes with another product. Which chemicals can mix with others and be FRIENDLY?
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#612717 - 03/24/08 02:38 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Artisan Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 338
Monster-- KABOOM!
No, actually I've not heard of such a problem.
By the way, ProTek CLP is not silicone based. I've heard that silicone can also cause fish eyes on the finish. Like oil slicks.
_________________________
Steven
RPT

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#612718 - 03/24/08 02:46 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Actually I've always wondered what CLP's "high tech polymers (that's what the advertisements say)actually are. What are they made from?

I know a tech who has thought about taking a sample to a chemist and having it thoroughly analyzed...so he can make his own. That tech aint me, folks. I have the highest respect and regard for copyrights and patents...Beside's I'm broke most of the time...LOL
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#612719 - 03/24/08 06:04 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Just so you know, I only used Dimethyl Silicone fluid on the flange bushings... I never use that sort of stuff anywhere near tuning pins.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#612720 - 03/24/08 08:08 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ron,
This is a great thread. I am learning that success can be found with a variety of products, simply because of the variety of situations. You know, you can get trapped into a sense of comfort , using the same procedure for years and forgetting that new and different products do come out. These new ideas can be of great help for someone who might be out of date somewhat on the new lubricants. Know anyone like that??
_________________________
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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#612721 - 03/24/08 08:09 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ron,
This is a great thread. I am learning that success can be found with a variety of products, simply because of the variety of situations. You know, you can get trapped into a sense of comfort , using the same procedure for years and forgetting that new and different products do come out. These new ideas can be of great help for someone who might be out of date somewhat on the new lubricants. Know anyone like that??
_________________________
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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#612722 - 03/24/08 08:10 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ron,
This is a great thread. I am learning that success can be found with a variety of products, simply because of the variety of situations. You know, you can get trapped into a sense of comfort , using the same procedure for years and forgetting that new and different products do come out. These new ideas can be of great help for someone who might be out of date somewhat on the new lubricants. Know anyone like that??
_________________________
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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#612723 - 03/24/08 08:12 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
sorry double there...... flood problems on the site.....
_________________________
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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#612724 - 03/24/08 08:33 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I'd say more like a triple post! \:D

Advice folks. Many times, it takes quite a long time for what you wrote to actually post. That's when you think you need to hit that button again. Well, don't. Just set back and wait... It'll go through..
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#612725 - 03/24/08 08:37 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Yes Jerry you are correct. I got a flood notice when I tried to post and it said to wait. Patient guy that I am ,you can all see the results of that patience….. my apologies for crowding…..
_________________________
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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#612726 - 03/24/08 09:12 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
My Gosh Dan..you sure had a lot to say to me...hehehehe. Like I'm hard of hearing...hehehe

No Prob Dan, I had a burp with the Forum awhile ago to...
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#612727 - 03/25/08 10:27 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Kamin, thanks for the information. I find it very interesting.

You others too. Especially Dan's 3 posts. Sorry Dan, I just can't resist!!!

I have seen far to often, (It is WD-40, I know the tech that does this sometimes. no, not me, you be quiet already!) when people have sprayed this on the bridges as a lubrication prior to a very major pitch raise and at the same time,they sprayed right through the bass wires to get at the tenor bridges. They are simply not thinking of any repercussions later on with dead wires.

McLube is one of my all time favorites for many things. I'm wondering....

Do you techs have any particular favorites that you like to use on say, on a grand, the little rubber pedal grommet in the backside of the pedal for curing squeaking there? Or, the sustaining pedal up above where it sometimes squeaks in the damper tray?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#612728 - 03/26/08 05:50 AM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
Kamin, thanks for the information. I find it very interesting.

McLube is one of my all time favorites for many things. I'm wondering....

Do you techs have any particular favorites that you like to use on say, on a grand, the little rubber pedal grommet in the backside of the pedal for curing squeaking there? Or, the sustaining pedal up above where it sometimes squeaks in the damper tray? [/b]
I uses mostly powered teflon in the rubber grommets, if not avieable, some parrafin. I noticed any use of vaseline or , worse grease, is only temporary fix, then the squeak come back stronger.

For the leather/pedaltrap, springs, I use the old recipe VJ Lube, with vaseline mixed with talcum , I have a 1 Kg powder teflon that have been given to me by DupontNemours, the fabricant, so I use that mixed in vaseline with some talcum as well.

I don't recall the exact mesures for VjLube, but it was at this occasion I baught some lanoline in the drugstore, because a drop was asked.

To lubricate the center pins the old method is to have them passed in your hair , I believe lanoline can be used diluted to do the same thing.

This method is unfair for the one who lost their hair !
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#612729 - 03/26/08 12:50 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
This is a great thread. I learn a lot by reading the threads on the technician’s forum.

Since I acquired my Tokai G-180 grand over a year ago I have taken the action out, dissembled it, removed the action frame and keys, cleaned and vacuumed out the years of dust under the keys, polished the key pins, applied Protek CLP to all the key bushing felts, flange centers and even the damper wire bushings. I recently applied the powdered Teflon to the hammer shank knuckles and re-lubed the flange center pins again with Proteck CLP. My action is silky smooth yet slightly firm the way I like it (not too light, not too heavy).

Don’t mean to change the subject, but I also recently tried out my new hammer voicing tool to try and take a little of the harsh brightness off of the tone after years of not being voiced (I assume). I used one needle in the center of the tool and made 3 stitches on each shoulder at about 11:00 o’clock and 1:00 o’clock at about 30 degrees. The hammer felt was a little tough but I got the needle in at least about 3mm in each hammer (also broke 3 needles). I really could not tell too much of a difference in the tone although there might have been a slight improvement when playing fff. Of course, I know the voicing process I used was very conservative and light. I’m contemplating a very light treatment with rubbing alcohol or either the vice-grip method when I get up the courage \:\) .

Of course, I could just call a local tech to do the voicing but then they would have all the fun \:\) .

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#612730 - 03/26/08 02:52 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6342
Loc: France
I guess and hope you mean 3 mm , not 3 cm !

I am afraid that nobody can really help you on that one, may be not just to do harm things to your hammers.

Better ask a professional, and explain him you are interested to understand what is it about, but even then, it may be very difficult to understand voicing if you are not an experienced tuner.
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#612731 - 03/26/08 06:06 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Kamin,

Yes, I did mean 3mm and not cm; please pardon my mistake. Also, although I do not consider myself a piano technician I would not say that I am totally inexperienced; just moderately inexperienced \:D . But the only way I know to get experience is to give it a try.

However, I am pleased with the positive improvements I have made in my acoustic pianos in the last couple of years, including tuning and regulating.

I’m not going to call myself a “do-it-yourselfer” because many of the real techs here don’t like that term. So, I’ll call myself an enthusiastic piano tech apprentice/student on my own pianos.

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#612732 - 03/26/08 08:02 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4182
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Jerry this WD-40 is a problem with some people. This product is sold as a rust inhibitor, not as a lubricant. Yes, it does have some lubricating qualities to it but this is because it is a petroleum product.

Ron you will be happy to learn that I just sent an order for new lubes directly as a result of this thread. I am trying out the Mc Lube whatever it is and will let you know my opinion when I have results to share….. thanks….
_________________________
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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#612733 - 03/26/08 08:13 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
I have McLube on my list too. In fact I like the selection of lubes offered by Pianotek. I have an order read to fire off early next week. I'm almost out of CLP, cant let that happen.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#612734 - 03/26/08 08:31 PM Re: Lubricants for Pianos
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
McLube 444. I can't live without it. Awesome stuff.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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