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#909301 - 06/05/03 08:28 AM Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Cindysphinx Offline
Cindysphinx  Offline


Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Hi, all,

Wouldn't you know it? I have a recital this weekend, and I have a stuck key on my piano. I don't want to call a tech -- this piano is about to be retired and I don't want to put a penny into it.

Basically, you press the "C" key, and it stays down and the note continues to sound. I opened the top and pulled off the front panel for a look. Basically, if I move the hammer with my finger, it returns just fine. But if I use the key, it doesn't. It looks like the hammer might be too close to the next lower hammer (perhaps brushing against it), which is also a bit sticky.

It has been raining a lot lately in my area, but temps have been cool so I haven't used the air conditioning. Could that be the problem? I have a dehumidifier I could plug in if that might help.

Any quick fixes out there?

Cindy -- who has enough troubles at recitals without having her practice time diminished

#909302 - 06/05/03 08:37 AM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,044
Manitou Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Manitou  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,044
Colorado
A sticking key (can) be due to various things, but If you think the hammers are rubbing then:

(since the piano is nearly dead) take a nail file (emery board) and file down the side of the hammers that are touching. This shouldn't take much.
If you're feeling more industrious, take off the front panel and get a long screwdriver. Might need a flashlight too. You will need to determine if it is a flat or Hex screw (old pianos used only flathead screws).
Now, gently get the scredriver past the jack (which can be moved around some, and is in-front of screw) and while holding the hammer head in place, tighten the flange screw located at the bottom (lower-end) of the hammer shank. To do this you should be facing your piano straight-on, the flange screw will facing straight back at you.

Manitou


Manitou - Pianist - Technician
#909303 - 06/05/03 05:21 PM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,773
KlavierBauer Offline
3000 Post Club Member
KlavierBauer  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,773
Boulder, Colorado
To add to Manitou's post (he was as per usual right)

If you can make the key stick without the weight of the hammer on it, then you know you don't have a problem with hammers. In this case, you most likely are experiencing a tight key bushing. This very normal, and happens on ALL quality of levels of pianos quite frequently. This is indeed caused by humidity changes, so it may be the problem.

To fix it though, it is best to have a tech do it, as it involves removing the key and easing the key bushing.
A nice tech should do this repair cheap, as it takes about 5 minutes to check all the keys in the piano.

KlavierBauer

#909304 - 06/05/03 06:11 PM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,426
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member
byebye  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,426
Cindy,

To free a stuck key I grip the sides of the key between the thumb and forefinger and wiggle it side to side while moving it up and down. You may need to depress the adjacent keys with the other hand to get access. If it is a black key grip it as low as possible so you don't dislodge the the sharp from the keystick. This will often loosen it enough to get by.

There are many terrible things which can go wrong with this procedure but none of them have happened yet!

#909305 - 06/05/03 06:43 PM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 806
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member
TomtheTuner  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 806
Melbourne, Florida USA
It may be as simple as the keyslip rubbing against the front of the key, That's the long, narrow board tht goes accross in front of the keys. On a Steinway, it simply lifts up and you can adjsut it by turning out the screws on the cheekblocks on either side...


Maker of the TCHAMMER
www.thomasccobble.com

BUSY IS BETTER THAN BORED
#909306 - 06/06/03 06:24 AM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key?  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Cindysphinx Offline
Cindysphinx  Offline


Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Thanks, everyone! I went with Mark's solution and wiggled the key. There was a noise like the sound of something falling inside the piano, and now it works perfectly. Go figure.

Cindy

#2587818 - 11/16/16 04:30 PM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key? [Re: Cindysphinx]  
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5
johnmacdonald Offline
Junior Member
johnmacdonald  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 5
Hungary
Hey everyone,

I wonder if you could provide some help here.

Ive got a S&S K-52 and one of the black notes (C# octave above middle C) is sticking when played.
Interestingly, it gets stuck _only_ when the sustain pedal is depressed and not when played detached. Without pedal, it returns quite normally and has action as quick at the other notes.
This piano is fitted, oddly for an upright, with a middle sostenuto pedal, not a practice or damping pedal.
This leads me to believe that the sticking of the key is to do with the sostenuto/sustain mechanism, as opposed to something more simple like felt getting in the way somewhere somehow.

Has anyone similar experience with this issue? And what can be done to resolve this issue?
In around 3 months I'll be getting the piano tuned and the action and key dip regulated but anyway, I would love to fix it myself to know how to do it in the future and also because its driving me demented!

Many thanks for any help or advice in the meantime.

Last edited by johnmacdonald; 11/16/16 04:30 PM.
#2588222 - 11/18/16 06:31 AM Re: Quick Fix for a Stuck Key? [Re: johnmacdonald]  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,568
dogperson Offline
2000 Post Club Member
dogperson  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 2,568
Florida
Originally Posted by johnmacdonald
Hey everyone,

I wonder if you could provide some help here.

Ive got a S&S K-52 and one of the black notes (C# octave above middle C) is sticking when played.
Interestingly, it gets stuck _only_ when the sustain pedal is depressed and not when played detached. Without pedal, it returns quite normally and has action as quick at the other notes.
This piano is fitted, oddly for an upright, with a middle sostenuto pedal, not a practice or damping pedal.
This leads me to believe that the sticking of the key is to do with the sostenuto/sustain mechanism, as opposed to something more simple like felt getting in the way somewhere somehow.

Has anyone similar experience with this issue? And what can be done to resolve this issue?
In around 3 months I'll be getting the piano tuned and the action and key dip regulated but anyway, I would love to fix it myself to know how to do it in the future and also because its driving me demented!

Many thanks for any help or advice in the meantime.


Hi John
You might want to move this post to the 'Piano Technicians' forum-- you will get advice there.


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