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Grand underside black #2215738
01/16/14 03:11 PM
01/16/14 03:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Phoenix, AZ
C
Chloe J. Scott Offline OP
Full Member
Chloe J. Scott  Offline OP
Full Member
C

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Phoenix, AZ
What do you guys do to get the underside black? I've got a 20's vintage small American grand and I need to touch-up the underside before I stand it back up on it's legs next week. I don't think it's paint because there isn't a surface film, and all of the oil-based stains I've used leave a film as well. What product do you use, and can I get it without a business license?

In addition, I'm doing the underlevers also and there is what looks like a graphite-based lubricant in all of the joints. I use graphite powder with Pinewood Derby cars with my Cub Scouts but this seems to be a paste type of lubricant. Where can I get that or something like it that would work?

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Grand underside black [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2215742
01/16/14 03:21 PM
01/16/14 03:21 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 176
Surrey, UK
A
Adypiano Offline
Full Member
Adypiano  Offline
Full Member
A

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 176
Surrey, UK
I use black french polish. Easily available on eBay/Amazon.

Your graphite powder should be fine, but perhaps a little messy! You could look for Winslip which is a graphite liquid you paint on then burnish. Alternatively, take the levers apart and use an 8B pencil on them. Works pretty well, and a lot cheaper than the specialist dry lube.


Started work at the Blüthner piano re-building workshop in Perivale, UK, in 1989. Self employed since 2000. Learning something new about pianos every day... smile

http://www.hamiltonpianos.com/
Re: Grand underside black [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2215778
01/16/14 04:50 PM
01/16/14 04:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,559
Sandy Eggo, California
O
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member
OperaTenor  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,559
Sandy Eggo, California
I've used flat black lacquer in the past for the underside with no problems.

You can also wet powdered graphite with a little isopropyl alcohol and brush it on.

And I second the suggestion about using a pencil.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
Re: Grand underside black [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2215866
01/16/14 07:49 PM
01/16/14 07:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,671
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
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BDB  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,671
Oakland
Black shoe dye comes in a handy applicator bottle, and is good for things like that.


Semipro Tech
Re: Grand underside black [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2216121
01/17/14 10:28 AM
01/17/14 10:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada

There are also the new spray cans of stain available from Mohawk and most likely other suppliers. Flat black speed dry enamel would be fine too, or plastic enamel.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Grand underside black [Re: Chloe J. Scott] #2217932
01/21/14 12:50 AM
01/21/14 12:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Phoenix, AZ
C
Chloe J. Scott Offline OP
Full Member
Chloe J. Scott  Offline OP
Full Member
C

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks to all of you guys for sharing your ideas and techniques on this. Sorry I didn't respond sooner but I was busy working the project. I'm planning on standing it up on legs soon so I've got to get them all working properly.

I'd previously disassembled everything and removed the rust and other corrosion from the steel parts. I then sprayed the una-corda lever and steel screw heads with a black enamel paint so they'll be inconspicuous. I gave the bottom a modest sanding with 220 on a hand block to even things out and remove surface contaminants, then a good staining with an ebony stain, followed with a thorough wiping to remove residue. That did the trick pretty well without leaving a surface film. I also did the same with the lever parts.

The hardest thing to figure out was how to replace the felts and leather. Since I don't have a good way to get real wool felt I had to reuse the old felt. I basically figured out previously with a few other parts that if I pull them off and soak the felt in hot distilled water for a while it refluffs it up and dissolves the hide glue, then a thorough rinsing and drying. All of the faded or light colored felt was dyed with RIT, it basically revitalized them all and turned them black. I've always been afraid of using hide glue because it sounds complicated, but it turned out easier than using liquid glue. I bought a can of Behlen's from a wood shop and followed the directions for mixing it. Since I couldn't afford a glue pot I bought a single-burner hot plate from Target for $15 and a worn out quart pot from a second hand store. I used a clip-on candy thermometer to show the temperature and once I got the setting dialed in it was just a matter of going for it in real time. Think I'll use hide glue for everything from now on.

The leather was from a bag of remnants I got cheap from Hobby Lobby. Cutting the circular parts was pretty easy too: I used a few pieces of steel and/or brass tubing that I cut and filed down to a chizzeled edge so that I could use a small sledge hammer to punch it out. The size turned out just perfect for the leather buttons at the end of the levers where the pedal rod caps hit. I've used this technique before to cut other circular pieces of leather for the pedal-to-rod joints. The leather was punched with a half-in brass tubing filed to cut well, while the center holes were done with a filed 1/8 in piece of tubing in my drill press. I don't know how many of you use that type of technique or not but I've used it to cut out felt or rubber or anything else I need. Now I've got a good collection of tools for a variety of circular sizes.

I still have to apply the graphite but I think that I'll use powdered stuff with some alcohol as OT suggested. I've still got bunches of it from doing Pinewood Derby cars. Once I get it on it's legs and the pedals installed I'll have to regulate it but that shouldn't be hard.

Thanks again for your help. I hope to post a picture or two once I get that part figured out.

James


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