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Topic Options
#620212 - 11/08/04 04:37 PM HOT KEYTOPS
Pianomansaint Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 19
Loc: nyc
Has anyone ever used hot hide glue to install keytops? Any pros/cons? And what do you do when you have a set of keys which have a few heads about an 8th of an inch smaller than the others? Should I trim the plastic to fit the wood? or should I laminate the wood?

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#620213 - 11/08/04 04:48 PM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23196
Loc: Oakland
I use a glue that works with plastic. It might be possible to do it with hide glue, but I haven't managed to get it to adhere to the plastic well enough. Acetone based glues are awful to work with, but they do the job.

Unless they absolutely won't fit, I use molded one-piece tops and fronts, so they line up properly without a lot of fuss. If they are too wide, I trim them with a strip sander, files, and cabinet scrapers. Sometimes I will build up the side of the key with filler if wear has worn into the side of the key a lot, but I preserve the shape of the key.
Semipro Tech

#620214 - 11/08/04 04:54 PM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
contact cement. The spray can kind is great if you only do this occasionally. As far as the head problem, sounds like you should order a set of "long" heads, but I'm not really sure what is wrong from your description.
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#620215 - 11/08/04 06:34 PM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
Pianomansaint Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 19
Loc: nyc
My question was has anyone used hide glue? I have used other glues but was wondering if anuone ever used hide glue. And the WIDTH of the head is the issue not the length. I dont know if this was a problem with the piano itself but it is not wear.

#620216 - 11/09/04 05:35 AM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2431
Loc: Lowell MA
Trim the plastic.

Bill Spurlock in Vacaville CA has published in the PTG journal some great ways of trimming the plastic.

Only add wood to the sides if you feel the key is too narrow to begin with.

Hide glue is very sticky. Mechanical bond only.
Plastic is very smooth and there is not much there for a mechanical bond.

Ivory is usually grooved on the underside to facillitate the mechanical bond. Hide glue with a whitener works great on ivory.

For Plastic I work with and like..
PVC-E glue. Water based and water clean up works great. It cross links and etches to the plastic as it cures and will hold very well.

NO Smell!!!

Available from Schaff Piano Supply.

NOTE....!!! Be sure to clean up any of this glue from the top of the key as it will leave a permanent mark. Usually clean with a wet then dry loth.
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688

#620217 - 11/09/04 03:03 PM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
Pianomansaint Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 19
Loc: nyc
ok thanks

#620218 - 11/09/04 04:39 PM Re: HOT KEYTOPS
Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/02
Posts: 3646
Loc: Madison, WI USA
Victor Benvenuto in Miami always strings 'em cheap.
Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA


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