Piano Repair: Ivory Keyset Restoration Part 2

Piano Repair

Picking up where we left off with piano keyset restoration; Below you will find a few more answers to some of the questions you may have. Thus, further more helping you decide if Cooper Piano is right for your piano repair.

Once the keys are returned to the piano, the set of keytops should also be leveled. This work, on a vertical piano at least, is ordinarily done in the home. On a grand piano, the initial leveling might be done in the shop, but usually a more exacting job is done at the piano.

As far as the cost is concerned, I would be glad to give an piano repair estimate before the job is begun. Depending on the current condition of your keytops, the time required to complete the job could range from several hours to a day or more.

As with any restoration job, my concern is not so much how quickly I can get the work done, but rather how effectively I can work to get the job done right, without having to cost you an excessive amount.

What are the basic techniques used to rejuvenate keytops? Is it something the owner could do himself?

Not if you wish to achieve professional results which mimic a factory job in appearance. The methodology used to restore a keyset is painstaking and one that requires a great commitment to quality. In that my reputation is on the line with every job I complete, my goal is to provide the quality of workmanship to you, which will do both your piano and my reputation justice.

My first concern will be to find suitable ivories to fill in for chipped, cracked and missing keytops. Here’s where you can help, by making sure you don’t have any ivories that have popped off stored away in a drawer or cupboard. Having the original ivories to work with makes the job much easier.  When the old ivories are damaged or missing altogether, I will do my best to find replacements that will blend in from my collection of recycled ivory. Exact matching of any replacement ivories with remaining original ivories is usually impossible, in that there are too many variables. However, with proper techniques the new ivories should blend in well with the old, so that differences are not highly noticeable.

Next, any keytop, which has been inexpertly glued to the keystick in the past, must be removedcooper piano and prepared properly. Many times an instrument will have ivories, which are poorly glued, so that discolorations show through the translucent ivory. The only way to fix this problem is to remove the keytop and scrape the old adhesive off completely to start over with  proper gluing.

In situations where keytops are loose to the point where they are popping off unexpectedly, the only real solution is to remove them all, (usually both heads and tails) to reglue with proper methods that will ensure they stay put in the future. This is one potential aspect of the job, which would add a great deal of shop time to the job.

The process used in gluing and clamping is done with a precision that will give results similar to what was achieved at the factory when the piano was brand new.

It is only by treating each individual ivory on your piano with this amount of care that the results can be deemed truly professional. With this type of quality workmanship, you’ll have an instrument, which will bring compliments from every guest who sits down to play. 

Now you have a beautiful piano with a very inviting set of keys. All that is left to do is to transform those polished ivory keys into sweet music.








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *