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Topic Options
#633341 - 02/02/09 08:54 PM Problem with slick catcher material
Fred Hamaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Rochester New York
I've got a client with a Baldwin console, and a few of the hammers have started to bobble. While checking the backcheck angle and position, I noticed that Baldwin used what looks like a hard pressed paper product rather than buckskin for the catcher material. The material is (or has become) very slick, and to my mind, this is causing the bobbling. Is there a recommended fix, short of removing the paper and applying buckskin?
_________________________
Fred Hamaker, RPT
Tuning, Performance Prep
Assessments, Rebuilding and Regulation
www.RochesterPianoService.com

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#633342 - 02/02/09 09:11 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21912
Loc: Oakland
Probably not, although you could try a wire brush or sandpaper to roughen it.

If the material is solid, you could just glue buckskin on top, and reset the backchecks. That would be faster than removing it.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#633343 - 02/02/09 11:28 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Many older Baldwins used corfam. Turned into being hard as a rock, caused tons of bobbling hammers, on their various attempts, they used black corfam too. It let off black crap all over the place and was just a total disaster.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#633344 - 02/03/09 12:08 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1677
Loc: Chicagoland
What Jerry said... Baldwin used to send out a kit with ecsaine? escaine? - a synthetic buckskin. I think you are looking at replacement to get it working right.

Ron Koval
_________________________
Piano/instrument technician
www.ronkoval.com
@ronkoval

my piano videos:
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#633345 - 02/03/09 12:48 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1081
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
The butt "leather" will be the same material as the catcher. Hence the harsh feel and extra noise to go along with the bobbling.
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#633346 - 02/03/09 12:55 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Sam Casey Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1135
Loc: SW Missouri
Usually the corform Baldwins had the stuff on the butts too. Then they made actions with leather hard as a concrete and had the same problem without the black dust.

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#633347 - 02/03/09 06:04 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
I changed a set on a Baldwin studio piano about 15 years ago. Baldwin (pre-Gibson) provided under warranty at the time, a kit with the escaine and glue. I had to replace the catcher skins and the butt skin. The old butt and catcher skins were hard as a rock and causing regulating problems.
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#633348 - 02/03/09 09:50 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Found this article on the PTG Rob Kiddell on Balwin butt and catcher material replacement.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#633349 - 02/03/09 10:18 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Fred Hamaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Rochester New York
Wayne - did you glue the escaine over the top of the corfam successfully, or did you start by removing the corfam first? If the latter, what was your method of removal?
_________________________
Fred Hamaker, RPT
Tuning, Performance Prep
Assessments, Rebuilding and Regulation
www.RochesterPianoService.com

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#633350 - 02/03/09 11:23 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21912
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
Found this article on the PTG Rob Kiddell on Balwin butt and catcher material replacement.
I notice that he mentions cutting himself with a knife while doing this. I have a Kevlar meat-cutter's glove that I use with knives. It is cheaper than the emergency room.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#633351 - 02/03/09 11:57 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
 Quote:
Found this article on the PTG Rob Kiddell on Balwin butt and catcher material replacement.
I notice that he mentions cutting himself with a knife while doing this. I have a Kevlar meat-cutter's glove that I use with knives. It is cheaper than the emergency room. [/b]
Sharp tools and fingers just always find each other...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#633352 - 02/03/09 02:36 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fred Hamaker:
Wayne - did you glue the escaine over the top of the corfam successfully, or did you start by removing the corfam first? If the latter, what was your method of removal? [/b]
I removed the corfam . I think I used wallpaper paste remover. I brush the remover on with a small brush, did a whole section and made another pass with the remover and then used a sharp chisel to remove the corfam
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#633353 - 02/03/09 08:05 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
If you use wallpaper remove, which I also use even to remove damper felts, SOAK THE CRAP OUT OF IT. Repeat it, it doesn't take long to douse it a good one or two or 3 times. Don't let it drip all over though. Let it set over night and do it again the next day. It peels right off.

I use Metylan Wallpaper remover. 6 oz bottle. I don't mix it according to directions. I mix it STRONGER and then use a rubber ball syringe to squirt it slowly on catching the run off with a long towel or rag or something placed underneath it.

I love using it when I have to replace regular worn out butt heel leathers, or damper felts, the stuff just peels right off like nothing. But, only if you let it set long enough. Then, dry it, lightly sand off and, I do mean lightly, any remaining left overs, doesn't take much, and glue on the new and you're done.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#633354 - 02/04/09 08:39 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Jerry, what glue do you use? Aliphalic resin glue?
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#633355 - 02/04/09 09:10 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2362
Loc: Lowell MA
I stopped using wallpaper remover 25 years ago.

Problem was, stained the wood. For things like key bushings, I have a custom made steamer. Works very quickly, no stain, does not affect surrounding glue joints.

After many "Baldwins", the easiest and fastest way is to set up a block on your bench to stabilize the butt catcher, along with a chisel stop, use a nice SHARP chisel.

You will be done in a fraction of the time.

The only "impediment" will be the learning curve on handling the chisel in that manner.
_________________________
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
Isaac Newton

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances

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#633356 - 02/04/09 06:39 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Boy, you would certainly have to stabilize them very well too Larry. I can see a lot of beginners breaking off a lot of butt heel shanks that way. ;\) Seasoned tuners too. \:\)

I've never used wallpaper remover on anything but, catchers, butts or dampers. I take that back, I have used it on the backs of the damper levers to remove and replace the felt there too.

I guess I made it sound like I "poured it on" but, I don't. I just let it slowly seep in making sure it isn't running.

You're right, steaming is best for key bushings.

Yep, I use good old fashioned Titebond.

http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/tit/tit5003.htm

Even though it may be another topic for debate, I use Weldwood contact cement for the catchers.

I measure the length and width of one of the catchers after removal, take a long strip of replacement leather, mark it, cut it to the right width and then, contact cement maybe 15 catchers or so along with a length of the new leather. Once the leather dries to "tacky" I start cutting them where I have it marked and place them in place.

Only one problem with it. You must be precise when installing it. It won't come off again. It has worked great for me. Stays put. Never had one come off yet in over 30 years of doing it this way. \:\)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

Top
#633357 - 02/04/09 10:47 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2362
Loc: Lowell MA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
Boy, you would certainly have to stabilize them very well too Larry. I can see a lot of beginners breaking off a lot of butt heel shanks that way. ;\) Seasoned tuners too. \:\) [/b]
True Jerry, concerned about fingers as well ....

I've been nipped a couple of times myself ...
Fortunately, nothing serious.
_________________________
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
Isaac Newton

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances

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#633358 - 02/08/09 11:06 AM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
Fred Hamaker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Rochester New York
Here's the closeout note from my perspective. First off, thanks for all the comments here. I had a few conversations with some of you offline and now feel I have an appropriate direction. Given that this "problem" is currently restricted to just 2 catchers, and that there is no excessive noise coming from the hammer butts, I am inclined to consider treating just these 2, while observing the rest. I put quotes around "problem", because the customer has not raised it as a concern - conceivably, their style of play won't even display the condition. If the condition remains contained to just a few notes, I'll first try BDB's suggestion of roughening the surface (or maybe scoring with a scalpel). The other methods proposed here are good alternatives when warranted.
_________________________
Fred Hamaker, RPT
Tuning, Performance Prep
Assessments, Rebuilding and Regulation
www.RochesterPianoService.com

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#633359 - 02/08/09 12:13 PM Re: Problem with slick catcher material
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21912
Loc: Oakland
To glue soft materials these days, I use Elmer's School Glue Gel. It holds very well, it retains some flexibility after it dries, and washes absolutely clean with water, so things are not tough on the next guy.

To remove those materials, I use water with a drop of dishwashing detergent in it. The wetting agent in the detergent helps the water get down to the glue itself.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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