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Topic Options
#615344 - 02/07/09 06:23 PM What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
Ok, Ok...

I know this is a professional, not a triple X forum, but I thought it would be an interesting way to get some quick viewership. Apparently I was right. Not that I got your attention, I've got a question. I have been reading various posts involving different types of lubricants used in the piano, ranging from talc, graphite, CLP, bio-oil, etc. I have seen my tuner use WD40 and silicone spray. I am certainly in no position to judge or even know what's right or wrong, but, as a layman, what's the common or more accepted choice among you professionals, for lubricating action parts, and other areas of the piano.

Thank you, and sorry if this post fell short of your expectations.

Piano & Music Accessories
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#615345 - 02/07/09 07:48 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
WD-40 is not sold as a lubricant. Oh sure, it has some lubricating qualities because it is a petroleum product but it is primarily sold as a rust inhibitor.

Graphite is a good one, so is the Teflon powder, I haven’t tried CLP yet but I hear it is not too bad.

I guess it really depends upon what part needs the lubrication. Like right now my brain is the part that needs lubrication and it is getting it right now,....... with one of my favorites…..

Dan Silverwood
Dan Silverwood
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

#615346 - 02/07/09 08:13 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 163
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Personally, I prefer a good red wine. . .
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

#615347 - 02/07/09 08:20 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1893
Loc: Old Hangtown California
I would never use WD 40 on any part of a piano.
Most of the time if the tech takes the time to get friction points correct there is no need for lubricants.
With few exceptions - one being the hammer shank knuckle/jack interface and I like the dry Teflon powder.
Lubes like Protek are temporary - they last about long enough for a performance. Others that are more permanent will collect dirt.
PTG Member

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#615348 - 02/07/09 08:47 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
I cringe when I hear about, and see WD40 being sprayed on an action. This is one of the worst things one can put on a piano action.

I carry teflon powder. stick graphite, McLube 444, and McLube 1708 for trapwork. Protek CLP is my choice for action centers. Sometimes it works well, other times I repin. Depends on how the part feels after application.

I know many people feel that CLP is a "get you out the door" product, and it does need to be used with good judgement. But I have found in some instances it is more than just a temporary fix. I service 4 pianos and when I began about 4 or 5 years ago, the action was almost frozen. Rather than the expense of repinning all these flanges, I dosed every action center liberally with CLP. They freed up, and are still working freely, these years later. so CLP is not just a temp fix on these. In other instances when the bushing feels overly tight, I rebush/repin.
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

#615349 - 02/07/09 08:57 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
My tuner used WD40 on a rag and ran it over all my strings and bridge. Said it would clean and help oxidation. Then he sprayed my action with silicone spray. The guy does a great job tuning and the piano really sings when he is finished. If this is not a typical or accepted method of service to the strings and action then I will politely ask him not to do that anymore.

#615350 - 02/07/09 09:48 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 4342
Loc: Florida

#615351 - 02/07/09 09:54 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
Hey Bob,

I expected more but thanks for the reply.

#615352 - 02/07/09 10:31 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1190
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
I agree with Bob. OMG! Neither should be within two blocks of a piano or an action. Silicone is an absolute no anywhere near tuning pins, bass strings or finishes. It migrates over time. WD will cause permanent damage over time to action centers.

Very poor and uninformed choices for any tech to use on any piano.
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician

#615353 - 02/07/09 10:41 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2726
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I showed this product to my piano tech...he gave it a try and liked it a lot.... TSI-301. They have another product, TSI-321, but am not familiar with it.


I have been using TSI-301 for over 15 years, albeit not on pianos...it's far superior to any lubricant I have ever tried.

#615354 - 02/07/09 10:56 PM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I ain't sayin! But, I'll give you a hint.
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan

We love to play BF2.

#615355 - 02/08/09 01:26 AM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
WD 40 should be kept far away from pianos. I've not seen evidence of silicone spray in a piano, but I've heard it can do pretty bad things.

I've taken to using Protek MPL 1. It's a grease-type lubricant that works well on damper springs, repetition springs, pedal rod cups, and just about any other metal or wood application.

I've used Vodka more than once to size action centers, but it doesn't really count as a lubricant--unless I drink it!

Hey Jerry, where do you get all of those gremlins, anyway?
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA

#615356 - 02/08/09 04:12 AM Re: What's Your Favorite Lubricant?
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
Thank you all for taking time to respond to my question. I enjoy my piano and plan on passing it on to my grand children, if my son would only cooperate.

I seriously appreciate your comments.


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