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#638223 - 11/20/02 07:58 PM Rusted Strings
JIMBOB Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 1338
Loc: South Carolina
I posted this on the piano forum and Steve Cohen suggested posting here. I had an appointment today to tune a Brambach Grand piano that was tuned 3-4 years ago. After a close examination
I found many plain strings with major rust on the
strings and bridge pins as well as rust on the
hitch pins. I was reluctant to do the tuning because I think strings will start breaking all over. A4 measured only 3.3 cents sharp on my SAT.
The piano case/ soundboard/keys etc are in good condition with no sound board cracks, good finish etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions about treating the rusted strings or is this a prime candidate for a full restringing job ? No rust on the
tuning pin coils was evident- the rust is on the hitch pins and bridge pins. With some work
and a few $$$$ it could be a gem of a piano.
I do not know how much the owner is willing to
invest but it was grandma's piano. It could use
a serious regulation job as well and some repairs need to be made to backcheck skins and key buttons. Dampers also need adjustment and
new felts would not be a bad idea . Hammers where in pretty good shape
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#638224 - 11/21/02 08:19 AM Re: Rusted Strings
SamLewisPiano.com Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 635
Loc: WHITE BLUFF (Nashville area) T...
JimBob- Well, it's hard to say without looking at it, but I would explain my concerns to the client and let her decide whether or not to take the risk of tuning. Removing rust from plain strings can be done with steel wool, but that would not work well around the hitch pins or bridges. As far as a Brambach, I would advise her that it is only worth all that work for sentimental reasons; these pianos were never very well regarded, and it still won't be anything to shout about if you do all this work. Just give her all the facts, let her decide, and you can proceed with a clear conscience.............Sam
Since 1975; Full-time piano tuner/tech in Nashville;
Lacquer and polyester specialist.


#638225 - 12/31/02 08:09 PM Re: Rusted Strings
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
JIMBOB: I agree with sam.

Also, because there isn't rust on the tuning pin coils, there shouldn't be much risk of strings breaking. One trick I learned a long time ago: whenever I see rust (even a trace) I first turn to the left, until I feel the pin move, and the pitch drop. Then you know that the string has broken free and moved through it's termination points. You have a much smaller chance of breaking it then when you put tension on it. Another option is to use some lubricant on some o the bearing points to help the string travel through easier. But most string breakage happens at the pin. If there isn't rust there, it shouldn't be a problem. Especially if the piano is sharp (?!?). I need to move to wherever you are that has sharp pianos in the winter *laughs*. If you're not moving the pitch much, I think you can tune safely. And of course as Sam said, extensive work on this piano is only worth it if the customer is attached to the instrument.

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#638226 - 12/31/02 09:51 PM Re: Rusted Strings
pianoseed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 884
Loc: here
Use a hypodermic needle and apply a small amount of protec or wd-40(the liquid not the spray) to the friction points. It seems to help. Keep it away from the coils and tuning pins. Hypodermic needles may be bought over the counter in New Mexico. They are excellent for applying lubricants and CA glue. Large animal syringes can be used to apply Gap filling CA glue.

#638227 - 01/01/03 05:18 PM Re: Rusted Strings
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
thehammer has a solution very close to mine. I use the seringe with Protek in it to wet a small paint ( not artist's) brush. Then I apply the liquid to the pressure points. Here in Florida, rusted strings are just a fact of life, so dealing with them is absolutely necessary. One more thing,,,,, make darn sure that your first move with your tuning hammer on the pin is DOWN. Relax that tension on that string and you will be fine......
Maker of the TCHAMMER


#638228 - 01/02/03 01:21 AM Re: Rusted Strings
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 3773
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Thomas has better described what I was talking about earlier, in dropping the pitch before anything when strings are in question.

Thanks Thomas \:\)

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