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#1882577 - 04/19/12 05:36 PM Would you use CA glue on this piano?  
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Ryan Hassell Offline
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Farmington, MO
Greetings from Missouri!

I have a local funeral home that has a Steinway made in 1914. The piano has several loose pins. Eventually they want to have the piano professionally restored by Steinway, but asked me to help them "get by" with the piano for a couple more years. It is not really holding it's tuning. I have used CA glue before with great success, however I am a little hesitant to use it on this piano. By using the CA glue, would I ruin the value of this piano? Do you consider CA glue a last ditch effort? Should I tell them that it needs a new pin block and just hold off until they can have it restored? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


Ryan G. Hassell
Hassell's Piano Tuning
Farmington, MO
www.hassellspianotuning.com
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#1882593 - 04/19/12 06:01 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Eric Gloo Offline
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If the piano is not staying in tune and they are asking you to help the piano "get by" for a few more years, then go ahead with the CA glue. If they are going to, eventually, have it professionally restored, it will get a new pin block then...and the current CA glue treatment won't matter.


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
#1882600 - 04/19/12 06:06 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Loren D Offline
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I wonder...has there been a case where the pinblock got glued to the plate from the treatment?


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1882621 - 04/19/12 06:39 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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That Guy Offline
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That's a good question Loren. I use CA glue a lot on pinblocks but it's usually pianos that are on their last leg anyway. I have wondered what the result would be if the piano were to be rebuilt. Would some rebuilder be cussing me out? mad

Ryan - Do you think they're serious about getting it rebuilt? Are they just saying that but won't follow through? Will it be 20 years before they get it rebuilt? If you think that's the case then I'd say go for it for sure.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
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#1882623 - 04/19/12 06:41 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Loren D Offline
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That's what I was thinking, Scott. I wonder if it makes it really difficult to knock the old pinblock loose.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1882635 - 04/19/12 07:05 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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It's an acceptable band-aid for the interim, and won't ruin the piano's value. As mentioned, the pin block will be replaced during a rebuild, anyway.

#1882645 - 04/19/12 07:20 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Bob Offline
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Someone commented recently that CA glue had glued the block to the plate on a grand so it is possible. I don't know if the numbers would work for Steinway to rebuild a vertical piano. It might be a better option just to buy a new upright, and I could think of several brand options for that - Steinway and others.

I've used CA plenty of times, and I'd use it in this case as well.

#1882704 - 04/19/12 09:25 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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RonTuner Offline
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There are many ways of using CA glue. Used a little bit at a time, there isn't any real danger of gluing the pinblock in... However, I have read of techs using multiple bottles of glue, and putting paper in the action cavity to catch the overflow - that sounds like a problem in the making.

I would use a few drops (3-5) per pin the first time and then go back and put a few more drops in the pins that are still a little loose. Let them know this isn't an "instant" fix, but will cure all of the pins with a couple of applications.

Fresh, high quality water-thin glue applied neatly, can hardly be seen.

Ron Koval

#1882733 - 04/19/12 10:43 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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David, OHIO Offline
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If you fix it for them they will never go ahead with the proper repairs needed. I have seen the same scenario over and over again and it takes total component failure to convince owners to proceed with comprehensive repairs. Maybe tap in, or set, the offending tuning pins to give the threads some new wood follicles to hold it and when the coils reach the plate then it's time to proceed with repairs. If it was a lesser piano that gets minimal play then CA it but for a business such as this don't apply long term band aids. You will be called back repeatedly to fix out of tune notes or resort to oversized pins. How is the rest of the components. Hammers worn? Key bushings with too much side play? If it's income your after than go ahead and apply the CA but this is a business that uses this piano as a fundamental component of their business. Can you restring and restore ? Take this project on. My opinion.


David Chadwick RPT
Coshocton, Ohio
1931 Mason Hamlin AA
#1882785 - 04/20/12 02:43 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Loren D]  
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by Loren D
I wonder...has there been a case where the pinblock got glued to the plate from the treatment?


Even if it did, I doubt that it would be such a big deal. You may have to scrape off a few fragments of the old wood here and there.

It would take a whole lot of CA and sloppy application to get a large area of the interface glued. Even in that case, it shouldn't be too much extra work. You can divide and conquer: Cut the old block into pieces. Sawzall some kerfs and use an old beater chisel to get prying access.


-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
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#1882829 - 04/20/12 05:33 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Loren D Offline
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

It would take a whole lot of CA and sloppy application to get a large area of the interface glued.


I've seen some incredibly sloppy applications! There's a console around here that is absolutely hideous. CA running halfway down the plate, then sprayed with accelerator. It's a white-colored mess.


DiGiorgi Piano Service
http://www.digiorgipiano.com
#1882840 - 04/20/12 06:03 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Loren D]  
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Larry Buck Offline
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Lowell MA
Originally Posted by Loren D
I wonder...has there been a case where the pinblock got glued to the plate from the treatment?


A Mason Grand we are in the process of rebuilding had considerable CA glue treatment.

Yes, the block was well glued to the plate. Fortunately CA sheers well considering it is between wood and cast iron. The underside of the webbing cleaned up easily.

I would not be concerned about separating the block after CA.


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

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#1882855 - 04/20/12 06:49 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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If its just a few loose pins here and there, why would you not just go with some oversized pins and be done with it? As an alternative, you can wind out the pins, CA the hole itself and drive the pins back in for a more neater and effective CA job.

CA glue can be removed and loosened with debonder if any gets where you don't want it.
Plates are usually lifted out with some kind of winch/come along and still should separate if some glue gets in behind it. Wire brush wheel would clean up the remanents. Not fun, but nothing tragic.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1882866 - 04/20/12 07:13 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Emmery]  
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Bob Offline
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Originally Posted by Emmery
If its just a few loose pins here and there, why would you not just go with some oversized pins and be done with it?


Because C/A is a heck of a lot quicker and easier. I had three loose pins on a Wurlie mini piano this week. I used C/A on them without tipping the piano. It just wicked in and I used a paper towel to collect the overflow before it ran down the strings or plate. Worked just fine, and took about a minute.

#1882876 - 04/20/12 07:38 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Olek Offline
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I have beenn told lately to use thin brass sheet , for ancient instruments, it allows to change strings without loosing the wood or abrasive inserted in the hole.

Durable and reversible fix (used in 2 parts inserted in the hole)


Professional of the profession.
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I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1882895 - 04/20/12 08:20 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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RonTuner Offline
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I don't like pounding in pins - throws off the angles, just grabs a tiny bit of new wood.

Don't like using any shims - weakens the string as you uncoil and recoil, plus can just provide a bigger problem as you force the wood of the pinblock apart...

Same with oversize pins - if you are dealing with a weakened pinblock structure, tossing something bigger in the hole will just make things worse...

Pulling pins to swab with CA has the same problem of taking more time, weakening the string and causing instability problems.

Be mindful of indoor humidity level, CA doesn't set up if the humidity is low - it may cause you to have to schedule multiple trips, or wait until the humidity is higher. I still would be hesitant to use a spray accelerator around the pins and strings.

Ron Koval

#1882930 - 04/20/12 09:53 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Emmery Offline
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Putting in oversized pins does require one to assess the situation first and if they are located around each other then yes, you may aggravate a cracking block. Angles don't change if done right and I haven't seen a string break from the process and have been doing it for several decades. Sure it takes a bit more time but you retain the same inherant feel on the min when tuning afterwards (albiet, tighter).

I do the CA treatment myself with usually good results but often loose pins encountered around here are most often already driven down deeper by previous techs. At some point you are gunking up the coils with CA on these and leaving a less than ideal position for the wire to come off the pin. If your pulling out the pin to reset it with CA, why not just put in a tighter pin, if your carrying them? Loose pins can also be caused by aggessive tuning, flagpoling ect...not always a cracking block causing it.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1883012 - 04/20/12 12:35 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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That Guy Offline
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Quote
Pulling pins to swab with CA has the same problem of taking more time, weakening the string and causing instability problems.


I have never pulled a pin out to apply CA glue. The whole point of using CA glue is so you don't have to pull the pin out. If you pulled the pin out then, yes, just put in an over-sized pin.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1883016 - 04/20/12 12:42 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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That Guy Offline
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Quote
Because C/A is a heck of a lot quicker and easier. I had three loose pins on a Wurlie mini piano this week. I used C/A on them without tipping the piano. It just wicked in and I used a paper towel to collect the overflow before it ran down the strings or plate. Worked just fine, and took about a minute.


Weird, I just did the same thing on a mini Wurlitzer (72 keys) this week!
You know, using CA glue is so quick, easy and effective that I'm really amazed every time I use it.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1883264 - 04/20/12 07:40 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Bob Offline
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Don't know about your Wurli, Scott, but mine wasn't too bad for build quality. Nice cabinet as well.

#1883286 - 04/20/12 08:39 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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accordeur Offline
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Steinways are particularly well suited to CA treatments, having no bushings.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
#1883308 - 04/20/12 10:04 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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That Guy Offline
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Bob - Yes, mine seemed to be good quality for a mini and the customer had cleaned up the case so it actually looked very nice. The only bad thing was that the keys had a lot of hairline cracks. They were the ones that are rounded instead having a lip. I had planned to go through it 4 times but after applying the CA glue as I went it was solid after the third pass. And no broken strings! (It was 100 cents or more flat)
The customer was amazed when I was done and actually I was too! Very satisfying...


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1883357 - 04/20/12 11:41 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: RonTuner]  
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KZ
Originally Posted by RonTuner
I don't like pounding in pins - throws off the angles, just grabs a tiny bit of new wood.

Don't like using any shims - weakens the string as you uncoil and recoil, plus can just provide a bigger problem as you force the wood of the pinblock apart...


Ron Koval, let me disagree with you.
I always use the method of installation carboard shims .It is effective job 100%, providing hardness between the pin and pinblock. We do not to cause significant damage to the bush and pinblock when we to screwed out the piano .When a pin must be set the bush did not beat it's. A pin need to twist in pinblock
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGk3dS6dKow&feature=channel

#1883746 - 04/21/12 02:22 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Ed Foote Offline
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Tennessee
Greetings,
Tapping in a pin had always been my first choice when the block is sound. Fast, easy, good benefits for the cost.
HOwever, CA has given me better results than anything else I have tried in the last 35 years, (includes, Garfields, auto-antifreeze, and some esoteric elixir than an older tech left me with. None of them preserved the feel of the pin that I need to do a decent tuning, and none of them were permanent.
I don't like the shims on at least two levels. The time required to install, and the upsetting of the wire. I have also not seen them to be durable, in comparison with oversize pins, or CA. I have several totally shot blocks out there that were CA'ed years ago, and they tune like any other piano. Haven't yet found any down-side to it, particularly when a mediocre grand still plays, but the pins won't hold and it is either throw it out, or spend way more than the piano is ever going to be worth. $75 on a treatment that give another 10 years? No-brainer.

I don't understand those that use two bottles on one piano. A small bottle of this stuff has done two complete pianos, the way I use it. There is no need to let it get between plate and block, either. If that is what happens, way too much is being used, and it is being put in the wrong place.
Regards,

#1883753 - 04/21/12 02:36 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ed Foote]  
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
I don't understand those that use two bottles on one piano. A small bottle of this stuff has done two complete pianos, the way I use it. There is no need to let it get between plate and block, either. If that is what happens, way too much is being used, and it is being put in the wrong place


I wonder if people try to apply it like they would apply Garfield's, by trying to get as much in there as possible.


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
#1883775 - 04/21/12 03:01 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Olek Offline
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The fact is that it is necessary to have perfect pitch to pour CA in a grand piano, so this treatment is limited smile


Professional of the profession.
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I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1883816 - 04/21/12 04:19 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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That Guy Offline
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Quote
The fact is that it is necessary to have perfect pitch to pour CA in a grand piano, so this treatment is limited


Sorry, I'm not understanding what you're saying.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1883819 - 04/21/12 04:24 PM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Olek Offline
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France
Not sure I understand it myself !


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1884144 - 04/22/12 07:13 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ed Foote]  
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Maximillyan Offline
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KZ
Originally Posted by Ed Foote

I don't like the shims on at least two levels. The time required to install, and the upsetting of the wire. I have also not seen them to be durable, in comparison with oversize pins

In itself, fixing the string is not perfect, but it must be such as to provide rigidity between the pin and the pinblock. Set shim (3 mm) of the corrugated. Cut a 50 by 20 mm strip out of the compact corrugated cardboard (of 2-3 mm thickness). Insert it in the bush and hole of pinblock so that the cardboard filled half of the circle. Firmly place this cardboard strip so that it reached the end of hole of pinblock . Force the turning pin into the hole while gradually screwing it in. Have this done gradually in 3 or 4 steps, so as to keep the turning pin from heating. Keep screwing the turning pin into its original (“home”) fixing zone in the pinblock. Then, very gently with a small effort put the end of the string into the hole of the turning pin using a screwdriver. Adjusting and fixing the turning pin until it reaches the desired position, hold the coils of the string by a screwdriver so as to avoid their “sprawling”. I advise you, unless you have paired turning pin installed, while tightening both turning pins of the same string to obtain equal pitch level. It's screwed a success for several years without any glue
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOBw...16250&index=9&feature=plpp_video

#1884186 - 04/22/12 08:43 AM Re: Would you use CA glue on this piano? [Re: Ryan Hassell]  
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Ed Foote Offline
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Yes, I have seen the videos and I have dealt with loose pins for many years. I don't do things that way, at all. If I am going to remove a pin, I am going to put another one in that is larger. I want the tuning surface to be steel on hardwood, not paper.

Pinblocks are made of very hard wood, cross plied. To put cardboard in as a shim is to introduce a very soft cellulose material. On one of the videos, it seems that the pin is far harder to turn in that it is later, when it is turned back and forth as the string is tuned. It would be very interesting to have a torque figure for the shimmed pin after the string is tuned to pitch. In fact, it would be a necessity to judge the quality of the repair.

Harpsichords, with their much lighter tension, single piece blocks, and small pins, are traditionally shimmed with parchment, but a piano pin with soft cardboard, no way.
Regards,

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