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Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
#3041042 10/30/20 11:46 AM
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This week I put a piano on it's back and CA-glued all the tuning pins thinking that this procedure would fix the pin-slippage in this old piano I was working on. I have done this before a few times to other pianos so it was not a knew project but what was new was the fact that this piano had pin bushing's also. I expected the glue to dribble under and around the bushings (and to some degree it did I'm sure but not to my satisfaction) settling down along the pin shaft etc. But really the glue could not get to its required place as the bushing prevented this to happen at least in a thorough fashion as I expected. Very disappointing and a little embarrassing I might add.

So, I ask you all, if you have tilted pianos before with the purpose of gluing the pins....what would you have done different? What have been your experiences with pin bushings and gluing?

Have you had any success dealing with these bushings and if yes, do give me your ideas? PM me if you like. tks so much.


Duane Graves


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Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041089 10/30/20 01:55 PM
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Greetings,
A common approach to access the block, when bushings are tight, is to drill a small hole through the bushing on the side away from the pull of the string, on a bias so that it terminates down where the pin and block meet. This hole is the "pipe" by which, ideally, a thin, capillary-seeking. CA will descend into the torque-laden, or not so much laden, interface of steel and quarter-sawn maple. Usually works like crazy.
However, for the sake of my reputation as well as serenity, I have found that this use of CA on questionable pin blocks should be used with the fore-accepted possibilities of spectacular failure nestled among the more likely outcomes of silky-smooth pins at 85 in/lbs or better.

It is a tedious drill. Depending on whether you have an 8" long bit of small enough diameter (better at chip removal), or you choose to chuck up a straight piece of bass core wire, freshly clipped on a slant of your choice, (makes a difference in control), with dull enough cutters to leave a big, ragged, tooth on the end of the wire. You are going through end-grain, so hi-tec isn't demanded. The tedious part is using a sharp punch to make a starting dent in each bushing. Rough guess is good enough, the wire only needs to get started.
If the end seems to get dull as you gopher out 225 holes, just snip off another 1/16" of length to sharpen.

I use some masking tape on my hand to guide the core, which is about 18" long, chucked up in a 1/4" variable drill. Fairly broad curve doesn't make much friction for the short spins each bushing will get, and I do a better job of hitting the dents with some flexibility in the "drill". Touch of Teflon powder on my tape removes the heat.

The above is often able to be avoided, if the string pull had opened up a gap in the bushings on the opposite side of the tension. There is commonly .005-.025" opening, and a liberal squirt of CA down the back of the pin usually does as much as is going to be done. I have resorted to a second dose the next day and it brought most pins up enough to hold a tuning. Things start getting spectacular when the third application begins to seem like a possible course of action.

Regards,

Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041093 10/30/20 02:05 PM
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Well for one thing I inform the owner ahead of time that sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't, and we don't really know until we try.

Did you get SOME improvement?

What viscosity did you use?

Is it possible that this piano has been treated with something before and you did not detect it? Any stains already around the tuning pins?

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041100 10/30/20 02:29 PM
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I'm wondering if the CA you used just wasn't thin enough?

I prefer a slow approach instead of the quick fix, and apply without tipping the piano. I observe how quickly (or not) the glue is getting absorbed and adjust flow rate as I go. I never want to put so much in at one time to make a 2nd or 3rd application impossible to soak in.

I always have the glue handy and can add a drop here or there as needed on the pins that need it the most.

Ron Koval

Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041136 10/30/20 04:24 PM
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I used CA Thin about 2 ounces overall of Bob Smith Glue. Yes, some of the pins worked "okay" but many I had to punch in even after gluing. I wonder about the condition of the pin block(s) as the piano was/is on its last legs really. I suppose the glue will continue to cure overnight but when I left the piano it tuned to pitch and seemed to be staying there. I was just expecting more and the bushings negated glue flow. But, you know everyone of the pins had a cracking sound (glue breaking) as I tuned them although I wish more glue would have gravitated down the pin shaft.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041137 10/30/20 04:27 PM
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Duane,

You actually don't need it deep within. Basically at the top is the business part at this stage of "life". Sounds to me like you did okay. It went from untunable to tunable...that's a good thing.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041165 10/30/20 05:42 PM
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In reality, punching in the pin is the right way to deal with the situation to begin with. That's why it had more of an impact than the glue. It's should be noted for future reference of others that this crazy glue approach is a hit or a miss. You'll never know if it will works or not until you try that irreversible process. It is just something to keep in mind. Luckily the pin driving saved the day.


piano tuner
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041173 10/30/20 06:09 PM
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It should be noted for future reference that I have saved dozens of pianos with CA that would now be in the landfill. Some over 20 years ago that I am still tuning today.

If you have no experience be with a technique you should really give it a try before advising others.

All the best.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041174 10/30/20 06:12 PM
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By the way. It is a hit or miss. Works about 90% of the time. You tell that to the customer. If it is a miss you can still use an oversize pin without any problems. Even pianos that were treated in past with glycerin type tighteners respond well to CA.

Last edited by accordeur; 10/30/20 06:13 PM. Reason: Spelling on a phone.

Jean Poulin

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Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
accordeur #3041181 10/30/20 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by accordeur
If you have no experience be with a technique you should really give it a try before advising others.
I personally have experience with product and the technique, which is why I strongly advise people to avoid this approach. Sadly, I have come across other people's work in the field and had to explain to owners what had been done to their piano without their consent. The pianos weren't very old and the owners weren't very happy.

The problem with freely advocating the use of crazy glue is that technicians don't take the time to understand when and how it should be used. Many of them think this is the only way of dealing with lose pins. It's not.

Buyer beware.


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Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041214 10/30/20 10:10 PM
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Responsible and conscientious techs DO warn their clients ahead of time that it is NOT GUARANTEED to work, though the % is relatively good. Still, it may or may not be 100% successful. As with all things, there is a learning curve. Early on in the CA craze it was thought that it was important (even necessary) to totally soak the pinblock with the stuff. Turned out that was a bad idea. People learned that "less is more". Correction: some people learned.

Personally, my skeptical nature made me quite hesitant to embrace the stuff. It was probably at least ten years before I ever even tried it. When I did, I did so very conservatively until I learned what could and could not (or should and should not) be done with it. I made mistakes to, but none irreversible nor detrimental to any clients piano. We learn from our mistakes better than from our successes.

We can't control what other people do, but we can control what we personally do. Just because you seem to have a high % of what appears (from your comnents) to be unethical and possibly stupid practitioners in your area (wherever that happens to be) does not mean that ALL are like that.

We do our best to give appropriate advice when asked, and also give risk assessments in conjunction with it. It might also be noted that most of us who are professional techs on this forum also freely identify ourselves so readers KNOW who they are dealing with. In some cases our own clients could be reading our posts (and we wouldn't know it...but they know it and they know if we are different online than we are in person).

Again, my .02 for the evening.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041222 10/30/20 11:03 PM
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Crazy glue should not be used on new pianos. It doesn't matter if it works or not. Crazy glue is not how to deal with a pin that is not as tight as it needs to be. A basic understanding of how the piano works is all that is necessary. Drive the pin, if that doesn't work, then upsize the pin. This is not advanced skills we are talking about, it is basic piano technology. I doubt that any piano manufacturer will honor a warranty claim after crazy glue has been dumped into the block like that. We'll see.

It is not an ethical issue. I believe that techs really don't know how to address this issue correctly. I think, they think, they are doing the right thing by just adding a few drops of crazy glue. Heck, there are techs that believe they are doing a good thing by WD40ing the piano strings. You know what? That works too, it stops the rust and the piano tunes like butter! But, that is not what should be done to a piano for reason that are irreversible. I really think techs do not know how to drive a pin, or that this is a normal thing to drive a pin deeper into the pinblock.

The only thing that I can do is to continue to remind people every time it comes up there is an established way to do things based on sound, logical reasoning. There is nothing wrong with reminding people there is an long established method of how to deal with tuning pins. Putting this information out there hurts no one.


piano tuner
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041229 10/30/20 11:40 PM
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Who talked about new pianos here? Who talked about "dumping crazy glue" all over a block here? If a manufacturer has loose pins, I certainly hope it will honor it's warranty!

"It doesn't matter if it works or not." Not in my book. If it works, great!

I call it CA glue. Not crazy glue. One is at the dollar store, the other at hobby and specialty store.

You believe that a thousand techs across the world over 20 years "don't know how to address this issue correctly" ???? You put WD40 and CA in the same "ignorant tech" category? You think you know better than a collective who have been on this forum and others, techs who respect, accept and cherish each others experience etccc.. Come on.

Driving pins in? Geez, so many pianos and pin arrangements do not allow this as a good idea. Either because of angles and termination points, tuning tip touching neighbouring strings, coil against the plate.... and many other reasons.

Sound logical reasoning says that the more tools and experience you have in your kit, the better you can serve your customer.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
accordeur #3041234 10/31/20 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by accordeur
Driving pins in? Geez, so many pianos and pin arrangements do not allow this as a good idea. Either because of angles and termination points, tuning tip touching neighbouring strings, coil against the plate.... and many other reasons.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what I was talking about. Many technicians don't understand how to adjust pin height to get a consistent tuning pin response. They don't know that it is even a thing. For them, crazy glue really is the only option. They don't know that tuners have been driving pins this for centuries while they are tuning. It's not new. That is why it is important to talk about it and not to suppress the information.

If the coil is touching the plate, obviously it is time to upsize the pin, but none of the other excuses cited above are reasons not to drive a pin in order to control torque. Crazy glue is an uncontrollable process. However, small taps to the pin will quickly and easily even out the tuning pin response over the entire life of the pinblock. It is a matter of time and scale.


piano tuner
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041308 10/31/20 09:30 AM
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You assume so much! Small taps to the the pin is not driving the pin! Of course if there is only one pin that is slightly loose I'm not going to run to my car to get CA glue, I WILL slightly tap it in! If that does not work I get the CA. BUT I certainly will not DRIVE the pin in deeper because of all the reasons I wrote.

You make blanket statements and assume we are all newbie technicians. I have been tuning and repairing and rebuilding for 34 years. I have replaced dozens of pinblocks in pianos where it was worth the effort.

I believe you are a troll, or maybe just annoying so I'm out. Just for future reference.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
piano411 #3041317 10/31/20 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by piano411
Originally Posted by accordeur
Driving pins in? Geez, so many pianos and pin arrangements do not allow this as a good idea. Either because of angles and termination points, tuning tip touching neighbouring strings, coil against the plate.... and many other reasons.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what I was talking about. Many technicians don't understand how to adjust pin height to get a consistent tuning pin response. They don't know that it is even a thing. For them, crazy glue really is the only option. They don't know that tuners have been driving pins this for centuries while they are tuning. It's not new. That is why it is important to talk about it and not to suppress the information.

If the coil is touching the plate, obviously it is time to upsize the pin, but none of the other excuses cited above are reasons not to drive a pin in order to control torque. Crazy glue is an uncontrollable process. However, small taps to the pin will quickly and easily even out the tuning pin response over the entire life of the pinblock. It is a matter of time and scale.

So, on a grand you're going to go to your vehicle, pull out your pinblock jack, pull the action, install the jack (so as not to delaminate the pinblock, tap your pin, pull the jack, reinstall the action, and move on, repeating the pattern for every pin you want to drive, right? Otherwise, as every technician on the planet knows, you risk creating internal damage to the pinblock which bring about premature pinblock failure, for which you can then contract for complete pinblock replacement.

Nice!

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041320 10/31/20 10:32 AM
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What you are advocating is potentially devastating to certain instruments. If anyone takes your advice and starts driving pins without taking the proper precautions you can count yourself personally responsible for the destruction of pianos. You would be well advised to modify and fully detail precisely what you are advocating here as it is truly dangerous. If this is your alternative to the use of CA adhesives, your qualifications are seriously in question.

I call on all techs reading this to confirm this.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041325 10/31/20 10:40 AM
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I confirm Peter. I could not of written it better!


Jean Poulin

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www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
P W Grey #3041351 10/31/20 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by P W Grey
If this is your alternative to the use of CA adhesives, your qualifications are seriously in question.
The way that statement is written makes it seem like crazy glue somehow became a standard method of dealing with tuning pins in piano. It’s not. It never has been. Centuries of tradition is not an alternative.

How many piano manufacturers currently recommended crazy glue to fix a lose tuning pin on their pianos? Are any of them willing to put into writing that adjusting the pin height and/or upsize the pin all of a sudden became dangerous? If you can get companies like Steinway, Yamaha and Bosendorfer to put into writing that crazy glue is the proper way to deal with a lose tuning pin in their pianos, I'll stop pushing the traditional, centuries old, time-tested method.

Before any piano owner consents to crazy glue being put into their piano, they should contact the manufacture directly for advice on how they recommend dealing with a lose tuning pin.


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Re: Tuning Pin Bushings Prevent Glue Seepage
Duaner #3041384 10/31/20 01:07 PM
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I have to say that I would only use ca glue on an old piano, where the family didn't have the necessary funds to replace the piano and where I believed I could get them a few extra years for almost no cost.
If it was a piano under 40 years old I'd be looking at alternatives for sure. In fact, if the piano was younger than 50. Here in UK most manufacturers had got to grips with environmental and central heating issues by the 1970s, so anything after that should not need a whole pinset glued. Recently I gained a client who has one of those reconditioned Steinway grands from Poland. One tuning pin was loose. I tried tapping it in just a little with no result. Rather than change the look of the pins and have a different feel to the pin when tuning, I glued it. Success. I'm not overhappy about it but it is a nocharge fix and the client is still happy with his expensive purchase rather than disappointed.
So that's my approach, use little and with considerable consideration.
I must admit that the idea of an amateur tipping a piano and trying to force ca in all over the whole range terrifies me more than if they were spraying WD40 about ! smile
Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
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