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#644995 - 04/23/04 12:46 AM STICKING KEYS
den4854 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Pennsylvania
I recently tuned an old baldwin spinet and about 4 of the keys stick when you hold the sustain pedal down and the unstick when you let off the pedal. Real annoying when you are in the middle of playing. I spent 45 minutes looking into it but could not see anything. Does anyone know what what cause this?

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#644996 - 04/23/04 01:20 AM Re: STICKING KEYS
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23002
Loc: Oakland
It's probably a problem with the spoons. They may be catching on worn damper lever felt, or on the damper lift bar.
Semipro Tech

#644997 - 04/23/04 08:48 AM Re: STICKING KEYS
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3992
It's always a good idea to check for sticky keys with the damper pedal depressed. The damper system tends to push the action back into rest position, so any sticking tends to show up more without the damper system in the mix. In an old Baldwin spinet, you need to check all the friction points and springs. Start with the key, then to the sticker joints, whippens, jacks, then hammers. You may have multiple tight areas. The springs may be weak, which doesn't help. Check each part methodically for friction free movement and bad pinning.

#644998 - 04/23/04 10:06 AM Re: STICKING KEYS
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
I'm with Bob on this one. I think BDB may have misunderstood the question.

I would first check the key bushings, since they are usually sloppily done in spinets, and ease them. And/or rust on key pins. Second suspect would be the hammer butt flange for tightness, then all the other potential trouble spots.


Rick Clark
Rick Clark

Piano tuner-technician

#644999 - 04/23/04 10:22 AM Re: STICKING KEYS
RonTuner Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 1786
Loc: Chicagoland
Sometimes these things are designed to just barely work when everything is just right, so it doesn't take much to make them not work...

Isolate, if possible between the action and the keys to locate any source of sluggishness. Sometimes, if the keys dogleg, you will find worn spots in the key balance bushing that makes it hard for the key to return. It's also common for the hammer flange to be a little slow. A little protek, or Goose juice can be a quick-lube solution. Move just the hammer, then the hammer and everything minus the key, and then just the key to try and find the culprit. All springs in the right slots?

Ron Koval
Piano/instrument technician

my piano videos:

#645000 - 04/24/04 01:05 AM Re: STICKING KEYS
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23002
Loc: Oakland
Sorry, I was getting ahead of myself. Certainly sluggish keys will stick without the damper. Usually they show up as sluggish, so I guess I assumed that had been checked.
Semipro Tech

#645001 - 04/26/04 11:31 PM Re: STICKING KEYS
den4854 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 4
Loc: Pennsylvania
thanks for the input. Its a lot of good advice. I'll let you know how it works.


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