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#3054968 12/10/20 12:19 AM
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I tuned a ~1938 Chickering upright with a lovely case but some pretty nasty cracks in the bass bridge. I tired to cure some bass string buzzes occuring because the pins terminating the speaking length were loose and had moved considerably. I gently tapped them back into the bridgeand tried crazy glue to cure the buzz but that did not help. I was thinking how I could help this woman with a fix that wouldn't be ridiculous for the value of the piano and wondered if anyone has had luck repairing with epoxy? I thought perhaps to try and lay the piano on its back, loosen bass strings, pull the pins and epoxy-fill the long cracks in the bridge that run along the speaking length pins for a length of seven or eight strings, redrill for the pins, install new pins, tighten strings back up. Anyone try anything like this?

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What is crazy glue?

I wonder if jkess114 is related to Piano411 or A454.7 or Rick Parks......

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You always have to ask yourself and the customer whether they would be better served by repairing a problem, or replacing the piano. With old pianos available for the asking, even repairs with epoxy, if they are possible at all, may be more costly.


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OE1FEU recently had a piano builder try crazy glue on the pins, then tried epoxy, which also didn't work, then ended up recapped the bridge. That wasn't for a buzz though, it was for an objectionable sound that was driving him crazy for some reason. That seems to be the normal progression once things have gone south: crazy glue, epoxy, then replace the wood.

Did you check the winding on the strings? I don't think I have ever heard a buzz coming from the pins themselves before. In order for that to happen, they would have to be very loose indeed. I'd look elsewhere.

Did you use the thick crazy glue, or the thin stuff? If the first round didn't hold, you may want to try the thicker gap filling stuff. Sometime buzzing is really hard to locate.

A video would be helpful. Just saying.

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BTW, I wouldn't epoxy then drill, I would epoxy and place the pin, then clean the area. Trying to hand drill would be a nightmare and a lot of prep work. For that much time and effort, it would be easier to just recap the bridge. But, my guess the sound is coming from elsewhere.

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
What is crazy glue?
Thank you for putting forth the question. I think it is important for more people to understand that there is a misuse of this product in the field of piano technology. Crazy glue has its uses, but it should be limited to very specific situations. This is often not talked about enough. It is a palliative care measure. Because it is so cheap and easy to use, piano technicians, unfortunately, have a tendency to overuse it in other situations that would have been better addressed with traditional means of piano maintenance. The traditional means of adjusting the tuning pin torque is to adjust pin height, pin length, and pin thickness.

When piano technicians opt for a cheap fix, without regards to the future use and maintenance of the piano, this is what you get: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...te-repainting-questions.html#Post3054985

Museums do not use this product for their collections, no piano manufactures recommend this product for use in their pianos, people that have gone through accredited professional degrees in piano technology are taught not to use the product as a pin tightener, and those that have to certify their competency as master piano builders do not saturate the pin block with crazy glue as part of their certification.

It can be used to fix bridge pins when the wood is already essentially destroyed. Sometimes it works, sometime it doesn’t. When the wood is already destroyed, it can be used as palliative care to prolong the life.

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Here I am responding to the troll again, can't seem to help myself.

That thread shows what you get when you flood the plate with CA. A sure sign of incompetence.

Proper use of CA is a cheap and easy fix, better than driving pins in. That is why most competent technicians will use it BEFORE going to oversized pins. It does not in any way keep a competent tech from going to an oversize pin if it does not work. You can even ream and repin an entire pin block that has been treated with CA.

Pianos destined for the dump don't go to museums. Piano manufacturers want to sell new pianos.
Competent technicians, regardless of their accreditation don't saturate pin blocks.

Good night.


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Originally Posted by accordeur
Proper use of CA is a cheap and easy fix, better than driving pins in. That is why most competent technicians will use it BEFORE going to oversized pins.
I think perhaps you missed the point that educated technicians that go through accredited training and certification process are taught not to use crazy glue as a general pin tightener. We are trained and tested for competency in working and adjusting tuning pins and working with pinblocks. This is what happens when a person has to prove their competency, instead of just stating it. Adjusting pin height is what you are call driving in pins, this is normal, and that has been taught and used with great success for centuries. Oversized pins is a term that means the pin is to tight for the hole. When a pin is the correct size for the hole, it is not oversized. Some people try to use the term oversized if someone replaces 2/0 pins for 1/0. That's not what that term means. This is where I think formal education would help.

When people without a formal training reject the centuries old tradition of how to work with tuning pins, in favor of applying crazy glue as a general pin tightener, that is when I think it is important to restate that there is, in fact, a proper way to deal with tuning pins. Crazy glue should not be the go-to, fix-all, problem solver. As a palliative approach, surly it can be used. But, to continue to deny the traditional method of adjusting pin height and fitting pins is not doing the public any good.

When technicians imply that it is OK to use crazy glue as a general pin tightener, this is what you end up with:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...te-repainting-questions.html#Post3054985

I have seen that countless times. My heart sinks every time I see it. Can crazy glue be used properly? Sure. But, I see it misused more often than used in the proper situation.

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Centuries? Come on. The piano as we know it is barely 150 years old.

You talk about accreditation and you won’t even identify youself. You use « we » like you are royalty and talk like all other techs are inapt.

You go on and on with the scientific method....

A diarrhea of words, a constipation of ideas.

I’m out once again. I must stop biting


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Originally Posted by accordeur
Centuries? Come on. The piano as we know it is barely 150 years old.
Our understanding of how to work with tuning pins and pinblocks comes from the days of the harpsichord. Piano tuning pins are, of course, set much tighter, but the way in which we work with them is the same. The pin height is adjusted by hammering in the pin--driving the pin as you call it--to adjust torque. When that is not enough, we go to the next length/size pin. This is where the term piano hammer comes from. The pin was hammered in during tuning to ensure consistent torque.

Originally Posted by accordeur
You use « we » like you are royalty and talk like all other techs are inapt.
I use we in reference to those of us that have had to prove our competency through accredited education and governmental certification. Using crazy glue as a general pin tightener was disallowed. If other technicians that have not gone through those processes, deny what is actually taught and used for centuries, and then push for crazy glue instead, then, no, that is not what I would describe as apt. This is why formal professional degrees and certifications are important.

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I would suggest to the forum that this person does not deserve your time until he can learn to at least be respectful enough to refer to the glue as CA, rather than Crazy Glue. The implication is clear - he is derisive to all techs who use the technique. Presumably he'd be the type who would ask people to invest exorbitant amounts of money in an expensive repair on a piano that can't justify that expense. Either that, or he'd be telling them to junk the piano. The reality is CA pinblock treatment is buying decades of useful music making on pianos that would otherwise be destined for landfill. Nobody has claimed CA is the only choice, or the first choice, so having him represent you this way is beyond disrespectful - its downright insulting.

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411 "I use we in reference to those of us that have had to prove our competency through accredited education and governmental certification. Using crazy glue as a general pin tightener was disallowed. If other technicians that have not gone through those processes, deny what is actually taught and used for centuries, and then push for crazy glue instead, then, no, that is not what I would describe as apt. This is why formal professional degrees and certifications are important."

2 questions 411..
1) exactly what is your accredited education and governmmental certification? Details please.

2) what is taught for centuries has to change. Otherwise we wouldn't have the modern piano would we, if those chaps had just carried on doing what they were taught and, even worse, not being "allowed" to use a new technology. Surely it is the innovative people who drive science forward not the blinkered, hamstrung, set in their ways old duffers who refuse proper advances in technology.

Presumably when you visit your dentist you insist on laughing gas as a relaxant; I imagine you refuse fuiji 9 filler and go for a lead amalgam which can happily leach into you and poison you?

Or maybe a seious operation? Fun without an anaesthetic and sterilised instruments.

Maybe it's time to be a little more open minded 411......

Personally I like to have as many tools as possible in my toolbox so that I can offer a set of educated and constructive alternatives to my clients.

Nick

Last edited by N W; 12/11/20 08:57 AM.

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Originally Posted by David Boyce
What is crazy glue?

I wonder if jkess114 is related to Piano411 or A454.7 or Rick Parks......

Not related to anyone. I mis-wrote. All of my CA products are Bob Smith Industries (different viscocity CA glues that I use, accelerator, debonder). I misused the term not thinking very deeply about the glue.

Originally Posted by BDB
You always have to ask yourself and the customer whether they would be better served by repairing a problem, or replacing the piano. With old pianos available for the asking, even repairs with epoxy, if they are possible at all, may be more costly.

This piano has a LOT of sentimental value to her. Its from 1938, was her mothers and the piano she learned on. She claims it has made fifteen moves with her and she's had it refinished twice, the second time because she didn't like it in black. After our discussion, she will live with the bridge condition as it is but I wondered if there was a middle ground between it staying like that and the cost to replace the bridge. The piano is very nice looking but of low value so a repair that didn't cost thousands would be of use here, enter an epoxy repair, with clamps and redrilled pinholes and perhaps that is the solution. Some of the bass strings are a little dead but that could be a viable path forward from a cost perspective to getting the piano in lovely sounding condition. The pin block is in excellent shape and hammer wear isn't all that bad.


To answer some of the other commentary, the bridge is cracked enough the pins are migrating though the crack laterally. Driving in the pins (gingerly) some of them were able to find their hole and somewhat get back into shape, many did not and for a few strings the buzzing is annoying. My use of glue in this case was an attempt to calm the buzzing down by giving the wood fibers a little more resilience to hold the pin. I didn't have high hopes for the glue but as bad as the bridge is I could think of nothing else to try and knew it couldn't it hurt. And if you are wondering, it didn't make a lick of a difference.

I left and the piano was in excellent tune, there were a couple of notes in the bass that had an annoying buzz but on the whole, its fine for her uses at the moment. I outlined all of the issues and gave her ideas of what each thing will cost and if she continues to play (back into it because of the pandemic) we can discuss making improvements over time.

As ever, I am very thankful for your thoughts and ideas.

J

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A bass bridge is smaller than the treble bridge, so if there is a problem with it, and the customer insists, I would consider just replacing it.


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Originally Posted by ando
Nobody has claimed CA is the only choice, or the first choice, so having him represent you this way is beyond disrespectful - its downright insulting.
Unfortunately, what you say isn't true. If it were, I wouldn't make such a big deal about it every time it comes up. In this thread alone, two people have implied that crazy glue should be used BEFORE the traditional and time tested method of working properly with tuning pins.

Originally Posted by accordeur
Proper use of CA is a cheap and easy fix, better than driving pins in. That is why most competent technicians will use it BEFORE going to oversized pins.
Originally Posted by N W
what is taught for centuries has to change. Otherwise we wouldn't have the modern piano would we, if those chaps had just carried on doing what they were taught and, even worse, not being "allowed" to use a new technology. Surely it is the innovative people who drive science forward not the blinkered, hamstrung, set in their ways old duffers who refuse proper advances in technology.
As you can see above, knowing how to properly work with tuning pins is not a priority for the above posters. They don't care. Because the crazy glue works, doesn't mean that it should be used as much as it currently is. It is a similar situation to the guy that wants to spray his plate. CA apparently disallows nitrocellulose lacquer these days for heath concerns. Spraying that stuff without the proper setup is dangerous. Just because he might be able to do it in his state, doesn't mean he should, when there are other ways to to do it that aren't as dangerous. Everything in piano work is a balancing act. Just because a factory can apply polyester, doesn't mean it is the right thing for us to do.

Originally Posted by ando
Presumably he'd be the type who would ask people to invest exorbitant amounts of money in an expensive repair on a piano that can't justify that expense. Either that, or he'd be telling them to junk the piano.
No. I have no problem restating that crazy glue should be used as palliative care measure. In OPs situation, that is what it is. The wood is cracked, it needs to be replaced, and a thick crazy glue might have been a stop gap. It didn't do anything. OK, so, what's next. He could do epoxy, but if the thick crazy glue didn't work, then the epoxy is another gamble. He could gamble, but how many hours is that repair? Maybe 4, maybe 6? Just replace the bridge cap. It can be done right there in the lady's house in 1 (maybe 2) days work. It doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars.

Here is a legend, sadly not with us anymore, replacing a cap in a person's home. I believe this was in the middle of nowhere.This was one day's work, and the tuning was stable the same day when he finished.
https://youtu.be/3fB8RJ_CNG4
I'm not saying I would have done it the same way, using the same techniques, but, he got the job done, and it was good work. This is an example of using a traditional approach to piano work. Traditional doesn't mean the exclusion of scientific advancements and products. He uses epoxy in his repair. The way he used it, and the way OP is considering using epoxy is different.

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Funny since I just had an experience with a cracked bass bridge yesterday on an upright. After doing a bunch of other work on the piano, ease all keys, pedals out of whack, action needed lube, some keytop regluing. I didn't check out the buzzing sound on 2 bass notes until finishing that work while then wanting to pitch raise it from 30 cents flat.
Checking out the buzz revealed a 10 inch crack in the bass bridge and just a mess. Since I only do minor repair stuff and don't own a dolly to flip on its back. I showed the owner the bridge. Gave her options and a couple peoples name who rebuild. This is the 3rd cracked bridge I've seen, may need to invest in a dolly to flip an upright.
It would need to be clamped with thick CA glue which I have, but not flipped I wouldn't try that.
I've worked with marine epoxy on a bass pinblock and drilled the holes and it worked well, but epoxy would probably shift out of position perhaps while upright unless really thick and work fast. I would use epoxy over CA for this.
Anyway, the piano had other issues. One being tapped out to plate bass strings. Told her they could be shimmed, replaced with bigger pins or CA treatment if the torque was too low.
I didn't tune as I thought the bridge crack may get bigger with the pitch raise. Told her I'd tune it if she wanted to take a chance after she speaks to rebuilders if the price was too high. It's for a beginner 6 yr old starting lessons.

Question, this piano was only about 35 years old. Is there a main culprit cracking bridges in your experience?
Hard move, bad wood, bad engineering, too dry?

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Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Question, this piano was only about 35 years old. Is there a main culprit cracking bridges in your experience?
Hard move, bad wood, bad engineering, too dry?

What brand is the piano?


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Pianos like that are intended to fall apart by then.

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Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Question, this piano was only about 35 years old. Is there a main culprit cracking bridges in your experience?
Hard move, bad wood, bad engineering, too dry?

What brand is the piano?
Originally Posted by Eric Gloo
Originally Posted by joggerjazz
Question, this piano was only about 35 years old. Is there a main culprit cracking bridges in your experience?
Hard move, bad wood, bad engineering, too dry?

What brand is the piano?

It was a Brentwood upright. Nice looking brown polyester finish, but customer was complaining of sticky keys. Inspection revealed sloppy key bushing work on the blacks. Not trim and hanging onto neighbors. Trimmed them up. That and lots of the bass tuning pins/coil meeting the plate made me think this is from a bad Chinese manufacturing period. First Brentwood I've encountered and thought they were made in England. Did Pearl River make them for them?
From what I could tell, the bass bridge wasn't capped but a solid piece of wood. I may be wrong though.

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