Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt

Posted by: Playhouse

Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/04/12 01:44 AM

I recently had an old (1911) Steinway Upright rebuilt... One detail that I'd like to correct is that there's a gap between the key tops and the fall board felt that is about an 1/8th to a 1/4" wide. I've checked the fall board to see that it's seated properly...and the felt on the bottom of the fall board is a standard red 1/4" self-adhesive...is the felt maybe too thin? Do the keys adjust up higher? Anyone know how I can close this gap?

Thanks?
Posted by: Olek

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/04/12 04:22 AM

The felt was often a folded 5 cm wide strip (2 ') glued twice so it makes a supple and auto adjustable nameboard felt. That is how I do yet, Renner sell us strips ready for that use made of first grade felt in different colors.

But I like the quality in that sort of details...

PS possibly your keyboard is too low, incorrectly shimmed, the gap must not be so wide but on a Steinway anything possible.
Posted by: CC2 and Chopin lover

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/04/12 08:48 AM

Your keys may be sitting too low in the balance rail, which is where key leveling is performed. If there were too few punchings placed under the key at the balance rail pin, they will sit lower and produce this excessive gap. However, this is NOT something I would recommend a non tech try to assess or rectify on their own. It also may NOT be the source of your particular problem.....it is just one possibility.
Posted by: Olek

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/04/12 04:13 PM

due to the leveling of the keyboard with a light arcing in the middle, the gap is more noticed, but the numbers you give are too large.
The key-frame is positioned with shims to level it at large, then only the job is finshed with paper punchings.

It may be a good idea to shim all along if the front rail have to be raised and also for the balance rail, just because if not the action is more noisy (at the front it may flex a little also if the carboards are only under the screws).
Posted by: BDB

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/04/12 04:56 PM

Steinway leaves a bigger gap. I use spring rail felt.
Posted by: Playhouse

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/05/12 02:02 AM

Thanks so much for your replies! I like very much the idea of folded and twice glued felt. Wondering if the folded crease when properly done points out towards the keys or back under the fallboard towards the action. Also does anyone know what color fallboard felt was originally used on a Steinway upright of mine's age?
Posted by: Olek

Re: Close the Gap Between Key Tops and Fall Board Felt - 12/05/12 03:07 AM

Hello yes folded adapt better if the gap is uneven but only a small portion tion of 2 - 3 4mm is showing. I I iron the strip so it is easier to glue. If the idea is to allow the gap closing don't iron strong or iron not. I I have no idea on the look with a strip that will be thicker on the sides, and may be the look will be underlining the gap size difference..

I often leave that job to the customer : scrap, draw a pencil line , cut the strip if really too large. Draw a line of of glue on the wood not too much near the edge, put the first half of the felt in place, wait a few seconds and press lightly twice on the felt with a finger along the strip, add another line of glue, and fold, verify, and move the strip of not following straight enough. verify the extremity is the good dimension and cut excess if necessary...

Use white glue (fast or for cloth).. I may have pics of customers doing the job. (with a little help)