"Don't try this at home."

Posted by: RestorerPhil

"Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 07:43 PM

I have a box of zinc oxide which I bought years ago from a supply house as "glue whiting." Of course,that is what I normally use it for. To give an example, there may be a loose ivory head where the cloth binder (ivory wafer) is still on the key, perhaps with a nick or two or a splintered spot. To glue it back without creating any dark spots, I would mix a bit the whiting into a brush load of hide glue. Apply the glue, clamp with a warm ivory clamp - just as you would clamp an ivory if you were actually using a new ivory wafer.

Well today I had the bright idea to do a quick repair by mixing the whiting with CA. I carefully prepared the surface, the ivory, and was planning to use a small scrap of action cloth as a "brush" of sorts. When the CA hit that Zinc Oxide, it literally smoked! The catalytic cure was so fast that I had to literally toss the action cloth out of the room. Needless to say I spent the next ten minutes getting the hardened lump off the key, removing the remnants of the old cloth binder layer, and using a traditional ivory wafer to do the repair.

This is one experiment that you should not try - it's not so hot, but is IS HOT!

You would think I would have run out of things not to try by now!
whome smokin
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 08:12 PM

Chemistry by trial and error is so much fun! grin
Posted by: BDB

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 08:14 PM

This will make interesting small talk at the College of Chemistry's Dean's Dinner, coming up in a couple of weeks!
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 08:17 PM

Was the piano a Kaboomi? Possibly a Firerich?
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 09:27 PM

CA glue smokes when it contacts cloth/wool. Btw, have you ever tried to light steel wool on fire?? Now THAT'S fun!!! smile
Posted by: RestorerPhil

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/07/13 09:48 PM

Come to think of it...

The real smoke WAS coming from the action cloth scrap.

HMMMMMmmmmmm... tiki

Perhaps the quick cure was from the heat of the reaction with the wool cloth, rather than a reaction to the zinc oxide itself. Either way, that was one hard lump of pigment to get off!
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil

Perhaps the quick cure was from the heat of the reaction with the wool cloth, rather than a reaction to the zinc oxide itself. Either way, that was one hard lump of pigment to get off!


That would be my guess. It's happened to me before with trying to fashion a shoelace end on bushing cloth... I don't think anything dangerous will happen, but it is rather scary if you're not expecting it. And yes, it does get hot!
Posted by: accordeur

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 12:15 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F11lfW6WsQ

Nice background music!
Posted by: kpembrook

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 01:33 AM

Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
. . . I would mix a bit the whiting into a brush load of hide glue. Apply the glue, clamp with a warm ivory clamp - just as you would clamp an ivory if you were actually using a new ivory wafer.

Well today I had the bright idea to do a quick repair by mixing the whiting with CA.


For a "cooler" approach to whiting the surface under the ivories, use "TypeWite" correction fluid. It goes on nicely with its own applicator and does not interfere with the CA.

I like the experiment, though. I've actually had in mind to do a Journal article on "Blowtorch Piano Technology".
Posted by: Olek

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 02:57 AM

Why would you want to use CA under the ivory in first place .? It does not stay in time, and is a disater or future repair. Someone talk of mixing ca whith titanium oxyde to repair plastic keys so it something else that fumes
Posted by: Gregor

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 05:47 AM

Once I tried zinc oxide with white wood glue but it does not work. The whitening effect is not so great and the glue won´t work as well as before. Titanium oxide seems to be better (I heard. Never tried it by myself). Using the right glue might be better. You can get it from Laukhuff:

http://www.laukhuff.de/orgelbau.laukhuff...-materials.html
Posted by: Olek

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 08:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Gregor
Once I tried zinc oxide with white wood glue but it does not work. The whitening effect is not so great and the glue won´t work as well as before. Titanium oxide seems to be better (I heard. Never tried it by myself). Using the right glue might be better. You can get it from Laukhuff:

http://www.laukhuff.de/orgelbau.laukhuff...-materials.html


as I understood it Titanium white and Zing oxyde are the same product..

indeed it is not whitening much some material, but works very well in hide glue.

I heard of mix with CA, but I wonder how much I will be deceived when I will try that new tip wink
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 09:07 AM

While both are white pigments, titanium oxide and zinc oxide are not the same compound.
Posted by: Olek

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 09:22 AM

Ah thanks, I did not knew that . I use some in hide glue for ivories (and cannot understand why some are still messing with CA for that job, ivories are porous, thin, and need to be protected so they can be glued correctly later.

WHite PVA glue can be used, eventually, I have seen it thickened with a "charge" of white mineral powder so it is whitened more (if not it will be greiyish to yellowish)

I also suggest that the wood below the ivory need to expand and contract, and I am far from sure that any CA based gluing can allow that (that may be a reason why I have seen CA glueing of ivory fail after some time)

We rarely see wafers on the best pianos (ivories are thick then) anyway it was not the case before WWII.

I understand that the wafer may provide a supple joint between ivory and wood, so we dont see the ivory cracks that can be noticed sometime (rarely in my experienc)

They can be made with what we call "cheese cloth" and the white skin and bone glue... The "cloth" for medical use is probably OK as well.
Posted by: Mwm

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 09:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark R.
While both are white pigments, titanium oxide and zinc oxide are not the same compound.


Imagine if the SR 71 or some of the Antonov cargo planes were made of zinc instead of titanium.
Posted by: Olek

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 04:55 PM

I had a little nice Boeing in zing and it was a nice plane wink
Posted by: Scott Hamlin

Re: "Don't try this at home." - 03/08/13 07:44 PM

Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil


Perhaps the quick cure was from the heat of the reaction with the wool cloth, rather than a reaction to the zinc oxide itself. Either way, that was one hard lump of pigment to get off!


I think you're correct..