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#614424 - 05/19/07 02:34 PM Fallboard
Angelica Sundberg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 2
Hello,

I would like to know how you spray on coats of black lacquer when refinishing fallboards. Do you cover the letters and then remove the color afterwards by sanding? Do you know how thick the Bechstein fallboard letters are? Is it possible to sand through the letters?

Best,

Angelica

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#614425 - 05/19/07 05:26 PM Re: Fallboard
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
If you are talking about old style Bechsteins, they were usually french polished. In the case of a black finish, the wood around the brass letters would be stained black and that area would be polished with clear shellack, as opposed to the reat of the piano, where black french polish was used. At least that is my understandng of the process.

If you are refinishing by shooting lacquer, perhaps you could so the same?? Either that or shoot a few black coats and very carefully polish the black off the letters with extra fine steel wool. Finish with clear coats. It is possible to sand through the brass letters, but by then you would have deep depressions in the surrouding wood, which will sand away a lot quicker.
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#614426 - 05/19/07 06:22 PM Re: Fallboard
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24653
Loc: Oakland
I think when pianos with inlaid brass logos are made, the brass is proud of the wood, and the finish is sanded down, exposing the brass, and then everything is coated in a clear finish. When I refinished one, I carefully masked the brass while spraying the rest black, and then removed the tape and coated with clear. It was not easy.
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#614427 - 05/19/07 08:20 PM Re: Fallboard
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This may be the case with modern pianos, with the thick coats of polyester finish. However, in older Bechsteins and hundeds of other European brands, the brass was actually inlaid flush with the wood. Angelica doesn't really give us enough information, but the impression I have is that she is not refinishing a modern Bechstein that originally had polyester on it. [If so, it would be interesting to hear how she stripped the piano!] If the brass on her piano was proud of the wood as you suggest, she would not be asking the questions she asks (i.e. how thick is the brass, is it possible to sand through it...)

The piano you are talking about, it sounds like you oversprayed what was there, as opposed to re-finishing?
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Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

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#614428 - 05/20/07 02:27 AM Re: Fallboard
Angelica Sundberg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/21/06
Posts: 2
It is a 1929 Bechstein that was origianally french polished. Since I am not going to try my hand at french polishing (too difficult), I am shooting black coats. The inlaid letters are indeed slightly proud of the wood (stands out a little), and I was thinking of covering the whole fallboard with black lacquer, and then afterwards, rub the letters clean with steal wool. But I want to be sure that the steel wool won't go through the letters. I tried to mask the letters but it seems to be impossible to get it completely exact.

Thank you,
Angelica

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#614429 - 05/20/07 03:21 AM Re: Fallboard
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24653
Loc: Oakland
I doubt it would be possible to sand through the brass without sanding through the veneer. The brass was undoubtedly at least as thick as the veneer to begin with. (1/28" was standard for veneer.)

Today the wood may be laser etched, but earlier, the veneer needed to be punched or sawed.
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