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#1996725 - 12/09/12 04:34 AM Rusty strings  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 113
newinstru? Offline
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newinstru?  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 113
SoCal
Thank you very much in advance for answering a couple of questions ( or pointing me to a post I haven't found yet):

How rusty is too rusty?

What is the overall effect of rusty strings on the sound or functionality ( or whatever) on the piano.


Last edited by newinstru?; 12/10/12 01:45 AM.
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#1996786 - 12/09/12 08:42 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
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Mark Cerisano Offline
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Mark Cerisano  Offline
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
In my opinion, an instrument with very rusty strings has other problems that prevent me from clearly hearing any insufficiencies in tone produced by the rust. The major problem with rusty strings is breakage. If the strings are breaking, then they are too rusty.


Mark Cerisano, RPT, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng), Dip.Ed.(Music)
www.howtotunepianos.com
#1996801 - 12/09/12 09:29 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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rXd Online happy
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rXd  Online Happy
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When I worked in a rust- prone district, I always bit the bullet and tuned, pitch raising if necessary. I was always pleasantly surprised. It seemed to me at the time that an even coating of rust or oxidation presented no problem. Rusting had to be quite advanced visibly before it became a problem. Isolated pits of rust, however, create weak spots in the string and consequential possibility of breakage.

I sometimes wonder if, when moisture in the atmosphere settles on the strings, does capillary action draw the moisture towards the termination points creating a rust spot where the string is weakened anyway by bending and metal fatigue. Perhaps our scientists can confirm or refute the possibility of this. Also, it seems, again, purely empirically, that the rusting process slows down past a certain point? Any opinions?.


Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


#1996837 - 12/09/12 10:54 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
Unlike the surface patina that forms on copper, rust provides no protection to the ongoing process of rusting/corrosion. The only "rust" that prevents further rusting is bluing, which if oiled, will provide some protection. (*Note, never oil anything related to the tuning pins/strings/termination points). When I encounter rusted strings I make sure the termination points get a treatment of CLP. Strings are always let down in tension a touch before going sharp. On pianos that are exposed to high humidity/rusting conditions I treat the strings with Eezox, it is about the only thing I know of that will completely stop the process and prevent future rusting. It is non/petroleum dry film based product that does not rely on adhesion alone to protect. It will not allow moisture/water under it because it is heavier than water and is the only product (for this protection) I'm aware of with this quality.

Last edited by Emmery; 12/09/12 11:02 AM.

Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
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#1996869 - 12/09/12 12:08 PM Re: Rusty strings [Re: Emmery]  
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Maximillyan Offline
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Maximillyan  Offline
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KZ
Originally Posted by Emmery
Unlike the surface patina that forms on copper, rust provides no protection to the ongoing process of rusting/corrosion.

I agree with you,Emmery .I believe that we should not be afraid of rust on site of strings. String has broken, when it goes from its own elastic deformation in ductile. Rusty strings sound betray charm from the past

#1996881 - 12/09/12 12:31 PM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
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That Guy Offline
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That Guy  Offline
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Lincoln, NE
I also use CLP on the termination points. I'm glad to hear someone else does too Emmery. I'd like to hear more about the Eezox stuff. Where do you get it and how do you apply it?


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1996924 - 12/09/12 01:55 PM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
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Niagara Region, On. Canada
Eezox is a sporting goods/gun care product. It does contain a minute amount of trichlorethylene and one should be familiar with its safe use. I wouldn't use a lot of it in a small enclosed space and generally ventilate a bit if using it but its listed as quite safe in normal working conditions.

Typically I clean rusty strings using automotive chrome polish/rust remover on rags. This works better than steel wool and leaves no tiny bits of steel dust. Then I apply a tiny mist of Eezox with spray on a rag and wipe the string down with one pass in each direction to ensure its fully but extremely lightly coated. The use of this product requires a very light coating of it, when the carrier dries within an hour, the part should be dry to the touch...if not you are using too much.


Link to product>>>
http://www.eezox.com/gun-care.html
Safety Data>>>
http://www.eezox.info/msds.html



Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1996939 - 12/09/12 02:38 PM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
Joined: Mar 2005
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Grandpianoman Offline
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Grandpianoman  Offline
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Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
There is a product called TSI-321 for use with plastic http://www.tsi301.com/tsi321moreinfo.htm and TSI-301 for use with metal. http://www.tsi301.com/main.htm

A retired music box technician/repairman first told me about these products some 30 years ago, and I have been using them ever since with great results. Given the properties of both these products, they may be helpful for the piano technician.

Last edited by Grandpianoman; 12/09/12 11:13 PM.
#1997177 - 12/10/12 01:47 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
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newinstru? Offline
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newinstru?  Offline
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Posts: 113
SoCal
Thank you!

#1997197 - 12/10/12 02:48 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Feb 2011
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Withindale Offline
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Withindale  Offline
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Suffolk, England
Originally Posted by Emmery
Typically I clean rusty strings using automotive chrome polish/rust remover on rags. This works better than steel wool and leaves no tiny bits of steel dust. Then I apply a tiny mist of Eezox with spray on a rag and wipe the string down with one pass in each direction to ensure its fully but extremely lightly coated.


That sounds like a good procedure. Do you have any tips for the backs of the strings?


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#1997245 - 12/10/12 07:07 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: Emmery]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Originally Posted by Emmery
Eezox is a sporting goods/gun care product. It does contain a minute amount of trichlorethylene and one should be familiar with its safe use. I will use uldn't use a lot of it in a small enclosed space and generally ventilate a bit if using it but its listed as quite safe in normal working conditions.

Typically I clean rusty strings using automotive chrome polish/rust remover on rags. This works better than steel wool and leaves no tiny bits of steel dust. Then I apply a tiny mist of Eezox with spray on a rag and wipe the string down with one pass in each direction to ensure its fully but extremely lightly coated. The use of this product requires a very light coating of it, when the carrier dries within an hour, the part should be dry to the touch...if not you are using too much.


I had similar product (high grade lubricant) tested, and nice to you if is stop rust, and but I am surprized, cleaning rusted strings is not possible only half of the string surface is cleaned and forget the section under bass strings.
I
Above some point it is better to leave rust, as the tone is worse when just a portion of the wire have been cleaned.. If for thé aspect indeed anything will do, I use 3M scotch Brite or an ink eraser.. Sure oils or WD 40 are attracting dust, and that damp the tone.

The marketing of your product is not very convincing, but if the product works....

Old wire and steel is often less sensible to corrosion than the steel of today. I it is easily seen on old tools.


Link to product>>>
http://www.eezox.com/gun-care.html
Safety Data>>>
http://www.eezox.info/msds.html

Last edited by Kamin; 12/10/12 11:04 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1997270 - 12/10/12 09:12 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
Joined: Apr 2008
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Emmery Offline
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Emmery  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,481
Niagara Region, On. Canada
Issac, I will only clean the rusted strings and treat them if the piano is in a place where it is afforded no other protection to the ongoing process of rusting. For example, I take care of a 1920's Steinway grand which sits in a house/cottage that is 100 feet from a large lake. Nobody occupies the home from fall to late spring and in the summer the piano sits 5 feet from a door that is generally left open. I see different kind of rust (appearancee) also. The Steinway's strings were kind of black with a touch of rust color. Another piano in which the owner was misting plants right above it had a brighter orang rust forming on the strings, rather splotchy as tiny droplets of the water only hit sporadically on the surface. If there is a change in tone, it is quite subtle. Like I said before, this is to stop the process of further rusting/deterioration and aesthetic in purpose.

I will feed a rag under the strings and yank the end up with a string hook. Looped around like this it can be pulled up and down to get the back side of the string. I haven't noticed anything bad happen to the tone yet and I will leave the overstrung lower portion of the tenor alone. I do not want to just clean part of the string as that may cause some problems with tone as you mention. I do treat the termination points of these strings so they are less likely to break or get caught up on tuning.


Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region
#1997312 - 12/10/12 11:04 AM Re: Rusty strings [Re: newinstru?]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Olek  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
Sure , those are some extremes situations, I have seen a grand Steinway mod A, 6 years old, instaled in the middle of an almost tropical plant at the 6thy floor of a building in Paris.

The pianos strings where in a very bad condition, alittle like if it was 30 years old.

No way to explain the owner that his investement was in peril...


Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!

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