Center Pin Lubricant

Posted by: Jacki

Center Pin Lubricant - 09/25/09 06:47 PM


Does anyone have an opinion on which lubricant is better and for what reason?

Protek CLP Piano Action Parts Lubricant or

Garfield Center pin Lubricant

Posted by: RPD

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/25/09 07:00 PM

I've used both...for different purposes. But, the one I use most of the time is Protek CLP, for general purposes.

Posted by: Jacki

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/25/09 08:43 PM

Thanks for the feedback.
I have someone who is going to clean and lub my piano but he wants me to purchase the lubricate (he's retired on fixing pianos so he does not want to purchase 30.00 worth of product - which is the best mininum that I seen on different websites) He recommended the Garfield Center Pin Lubricate, since that is what he was used to working with. I was able to find the Protek CLP on Ebay without a mininum purchase.

So I guess that my question is does the Protek CLP work as good as the Garfield? Since he is old school he is not up to date with the updated products. He did say that he would give it a try (not closed minded) but I would like to know I am giving him the best product for what he wants to do.
Once again thanks for everyones feedback and input.
Posted by: Randy Karasik

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/26/09 08:48 AM

Personally, I don't have good results using lubricant for sticky center pins. It seems to work okay at first, but then goes back to where it was earlier.

A previous post somewhere in this forum suggested mixing rubbing alcohol with Protek. The water in the rubbing alcohol expands the bushings at first, then when they dry out they become less tight.

I don't know about that. Repinning the flanges is what really works, but that is expensive.

I'm tempted to try pure methanol mixed with Protek sometime. No water in that mixture and the methanol would evaporate very quickly, yielding results very soon.

Anybody in the Denver area want to contribute a piano for that experiment?
Posted by: Dave Stahl

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/26/09 09:42 AM


I've never used Garfield's, but I will say that CLP works well for some things. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes not. Usually repinning is the only sure fix.

If the parts are contaminated with verdigris, as in many older Steinways, repinning is a short term fix. Even rebushing the piece is no guarantee that the contamination won't return. The only sure way to get rid of the sluggishness permanently is to replace the parts. On Steinways where the parts need replacing but the customer is short on $$$, I'll use 50/50 alcohol water solution (usually vodka...), then apply heat with a heat gun. After the centers are liberated, I apply CLP. This makes the piano playable, but I don't know how it does for parts longevity, and I only use it in situations where it's the only economically viable way to get a piano functioning.

Lubricants are good for some things, but as a blanket fix for a sluggish action ($30.00 worth implies that this is what's going to happen with your piano), don't expect miracles
Posted by: Les Koltvedt

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/26/09 10:00 AM

We had an action from an older lady that wanted their piano playable for her husband ...he use to play well-so I was told- but he's dealing with Alzheimer now. The action was really bad, hammers would stick well past the pivot point, wippens were very sluggish. I applied Garfield centerpin lube, then heat gun, I repeated this process more than a few times, 4 or 5 maybe. Almost felt like I was flushing out the pins. Then let set over night. The next morning I worked the action and was not really pleased with the results, it did improve the problem, the action was playable, (which was all the owner really wanted) but it did not make the problem go away. You can say it worked ... but like Dave said... replacement is the only sure thing.

Posted by: Scooters

Re: Center Pin Lubricant - 09/26/09 11:56 AM

Hi Jacki,

Is it just a few notes that need lubing? If it's the whole piano, there must be some other reason for the problem. Hi humidity could have caused the wood to swell causing the pins to get tighter. Do you need a de-humidifier? (Dampp-chaser system)

Lubing the center can make the action too "quick" and this is not good. I don't recommend lubing action centers. For just a few tight centers or too loose centers one should just repin.

Cleaning the action is a good idea. Get the dust out. Removing the action and taking it outdoors and blowing the dust out can help.

So, is it just a few notes or the whole piano? And what's it doing? I have to many questions on this one.