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#629018 - 03/26/02 01:23 PM What's the story with silicone?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Over the weekend we visited some friends who have a very nice, rebuilt, Steinway L (satin finish). I noticed that it was shinier than I had remembered and asked what they had done to it. They showed me a product they use, I forget the name now, that they spray on a slightly damp sponge and apply it to the piano. They say, not sure I believe it, that it helps keep off dust and gets rid of fingerprints.

Anyway, I looked at the ingredients and noticed it had silicone in it. I mentioned this to them and they said that their tech said it was ok to use it provided they did not spray it directly on the piano or onto the sponge in the vicinity of the piano.

Is this true?

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#629019 - 03/27/02 05:18 AM Re: What's the story with silicone?
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
Personally I would not use silicone anywhere near a piano inside or out.
Silicone has a natural tendency to flatten out to one molecule thickness and travels very easy.
Silicone is not a liquid, but rather a collection of micro-fine particles. They work somewhat like tiny ball bearings which
is where the lubrication properties come from. These microfine particles are very
susceptible to migration. They can easily become airborne. Even a light breeze is enough to set the molecules in motion. The risk of contaminating the Pin Block, rendering the piano impossible to tune,is high and just not worth it.

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#629020 - 03/27/02 08:30 PM Re: What's the story with silicone?
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
Hey Derick- good to talk to you again. At the risk of starting a firestorm, here goes. The advice your friends was given was right. We routinely use Pledge (silicone based product) to rub out our finishes and have done so for more years than I can remember. Never a problem, and I know this because when we finish and deliver a piano, I almost always am the one to tune it for years afterward. Just remember- never spray it directly, spray it on the cloth and all will be well.............Sam
_________________________
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.

www.SamLewisPiano.com

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#629021 - 03/27/02 09:19 PM Re: What's the story with silicone?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Thanks Sam and Brian! Perhaps we should have a poll on this topic. ;\) I have to say the piano had a very interesting look to it, almost a shimmer. I really liked it but didn't want to destroy my piano.

I think Brian might be saying the same thing you are Sam. Correct me if I am wrong Brian, but I think you indicated that the "spray" action was dangerous and when silicon particles could migrate to the piano. Assuming the silicon was sprayed onto a rag in a separate room, do you still think it's a problem?

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#629022 - 03/28/02 02:59 AM Re: What's the story with silicone?
BrianT Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 17
Loc: South Africa
To the best of my knowledge silicone does not remain static, so I would rather err on the side of caution and not use it, even if sprayed in another room.

This is respectfully said as I accept that Sam has been in the trade a long time and has never experienced a problem

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#629023 - 04/02/02 01:32 AM Re: What's the story with silicone?
giez Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Refinishers HATE silicone! It is almost impossible to refinish after silicone has been used for any length of time. So, if you ever get a scratch that you want to get touched up, either forget it or plan on strippng the whole thing down and sanding to get past the silicone.
_________________________
If you are near Sacramento, CA, with a piano problem, email Tom Giezentanner at: giez@gvn.net
Complete restoration and rebuilding for pianos and pump organs.

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#629024 - 04/02/02 07:02 PM Re: What's the story with silicone?
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
All that has to be done to deal with silicone contamination is to thoroughly wash the piece with acetone after it has been stripped, and add a small amount of "fish eye remover" (which is actually silicone) to the spray gun. Touching up silicone treated pieces is also simple: just clean the affected area with naptha, and spray away. In 27 years of refinishing and touching up, we have never seen a silicone problem that couldnt be dealt with rather simply.........Sam
_________________________
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.

www.SamLewisPiano.com

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