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How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
#2971498 04/25/20 03:39 PM
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I am wondering if there's an easy way to clean or polish the name plate (if that's what it's called) on my fallboard. It's not super bad, but it could look better.

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Is this just a polishing/cleaning issue or would I need to do something else to improve it? Also, it should go without saying that I wouldn't want to damage the finish there or get anything on the keys themselves. So would it be sufficient to cover the keys with something, or would polishing the name plate best be done by first removing the fallboard?

TIA!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971516 04/25/20 04:22 PM
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Hi, Dr. ShiroKuro.

Brass will always tarnish to an extent, unless it is encapsulated in something like varnish or lacquer. Some piano shops will coat the brass pedals with a varnish or lacquer to preserve the appearance.

On my Yamaha C7 fallboard name brand lettering, I used some 0000 steel wool and very lightly buffed the brass lettering inlay. Yes, that will also scratch the finish around the brass lettering just a tad, but some polish will take those fine scratches out. It worked great, and the lettering looked like new.

If I were you, with the ebony polish finish, I would take a cotton q-tip with a little polish, or toothpaste, if you don't have any polish, and lightly polish the brass letters. That is a bit time consuming, but safer than the 0000 steel wool. You could also use some brasso or other metal polish, if you have it. Just go slow and lightly. It will make the brass letter inlay look much better.

I'm sure others will have some suggestions as well.

Good luck, and happy name-plate polishing! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971523 04/25/20 04:45 PM
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Brasso


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
Yamaha Stagea Electone ELS-02X
Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971540 04/25/20 05:17 PM
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So the brass letters are exposed? There's no poly over them?

If that's the case, I would buy Meguiars Ultimate Compound in the black squeeze bottle. It's an automotive product. You can find it on Amazon or sometimes walmart.

This is what you would use to polish the poly finish, so it will just make the poly look better too. It will cut very little if polishing by hand.

If you aren't experienced, I would recommend using a very mild finishing abrasive like this, instead of starting with harder abrasives and working to finer.

It will be slower but safer.

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971563 04/25/20 06:14 PM
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I personally would not dare to do anything like that myself. The chance of messing up is just too great. I would leave it to a professional.

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971565 04/25/20 06:24 PM
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Same here, I would ask my technician.


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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971568 04/25/20 06:27 PM
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Hmm thanks for all the comments everyone. I have never polished any brass before. And I certainly don’t want to do any damage. I’ll think about it a bit and also ask Mr. SK what he thinks.

I would love to have my tuner do it, but who knows when the next time he’ll be able to come here frown


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971571 04/25/20 06:33 PM
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Just be aware that if the letters are finished with a clear top coat, any tarnishing is coming from leakage through finish. Trying to polish them probably requires rubbing of some sort, which you are not going to be able to do without removing the top coat, which will affect the rest of the fallboard. You may end up making things worse.


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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971577 04/25/20 07:00 PM
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Flitz. Very lightly will do the job.


David C. Brown RPT
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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971592 04/25/20 08:23 PM
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Well, I'm usually the contrarian around here... so I'll just point out that I think the tarnished letters look pretty cool. I'd leave them alone if it were me. thumb



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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971595 04/25/20 08:32 PM
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Flitz and Brasso can leave scratches in the polyester. If you are super gentle they work, but aren't the best choice.

At any auto parts supply you can by very fine polishing liquid. Don't get the "quick scratch remover" or coarse stuff, choose the finest level of polishing compound they have.

Use a soft cloth, and simply rub vigorously with the compound for a minute or so. The letters will brighten beautifully, with no problem in the surrounding polyester finish.

Wipe up with a damp soft cloth, then a dry cloth. If you follow this with some automotive wax (use a straight carnauba type wax, not a cleaner wax!) the letters will stay bight longer.

This procedure works for the pedals, too.


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
BDB #2971600 04/25/20 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Just be aware that if the letters are finished with a clear top coat, any tarnishing is coming from leakage through finish. Trying to polish them probably requires rubbing of some sort, which you are not going to be able to do without removing the top coat, which will affect the rest of the fallboard. You may end up making things worse.

The brass letters on ShiroKuro's C2 look the same like on my G7, i.e. just brass with no clear top coat.

I was wondering why Yamaha did not put any top coat on them bc they would get oxidized being exposed to air... I guess it may be just old design (my G7 is late 60's, what year is ShiroKuro's C2?)

I used some Q-tips and some vinegar to slightly rub over the brass... though not super shiny but good enough for me...

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
tunerman #2971602 04/25/20 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tunerman
Flitz. Very lightly will do the job.

^This ^


Rich Galassini
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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971604 04/25/20 09:23 PM
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My piano was made in 2000.

So re Flitz, will this do:
Flitz at Amazon


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
David-G #2971609 04/25/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
I personally would not dare to do anything like that myself. The chance of messing up is just too great. I would leave it to a professional.

Oh come on, it's a 1 minute job!


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
Yamaha Stagea Electone ELS-02X
Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971610 04/25/20 09:53 PM
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I swear by Q tips and brasso. Did this on my piano and it works great! The letters came out all shiny. Dab a bit of brasso on the qtip and rub away. If the brasso spill over the polyester just wipe it off, it didn't scratch the finish on mine. It's literally a 5 minute job.

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971613 04/25/20 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
My piano was made in 2000.

So re Flitz, will this do:
Flitz at Amazon


I am not knowledgeable at this... why the brass letters on my piano and yours got oxidized and/or do not have any protecting clear coat? Maybe the clear coat on my G7 was old and faded, also that my G7's is satin finish (but your piano looks glossy poly there)...

My parents' 90s U1 and my friend's 00s GC1 are glossy poly also and I think the brass are embedded in the wood and the clear coat on top is the same clear coat, continuous for the whole piano - they never have to polish the brass letters ever.

It is weird that Yamaha would leave the brass exposed like that bc the exposed brass would get oxidized and not look nice then...

Hope someone can tell us here... I am really curious...

Last edited by DreamPiano80; 04/25/20 10:12 PM.
Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971644 04/26/20 01:20 AM
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The YAMAHA name on the fallboard looks fine.I would
not rub hard.
My KAWAI name on the the grand(I used to own ) even after 50 years looked good ,just gentle polishing with Cory piano polish sprayed on a soft cloth ,gently wipe.
No one is going to look at it with a magnifying glass,
so don't worry about it.
Enjoy playing it instead !

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971706 04/26/20 07:56 AM
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The old fashioned way of cleaning copper or brass is with lemon juice (or vinegar) and salt for some abrasion. i find that almost as effective as brasso and much more pleasant to use.

For this job I'd be tempted to first just try rubbing gently with some lemon juice on a qtip, no salt, as that will not have any abrasive in it to scratch the poly surface. You can always go on to the more aggressive methods afterwards if you feel it needs more.

As I haven't actually done this on piano lettering myself I'd test a bit of lemon juice on an inconspicuous bit of the poly finish first, but it seems unlikely that it would affect poly and may be your safest approach.

Re: How to clean brass nameplate of fallboard?
ShiroKuro #2971710 04/26/20 08:12 AM
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Vinegar or lemon juice with salt is the old standby cleaner for coffee pots. It’s non toxic and when used without salt fairly gentle. I’d start with a bit of either lemon juice or vinegar on the end of a Q-tip and be gentle. If that didn’t work I’d use the Flitz. Very tiny amounts only on the lettering. Start with the most gentle stuff until it’s clean. Best Wishes!


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
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