Friday, December 18, 2009

Bushed from de-bushing.

If you've been following along here or on my FaceBook page, you know I'm restoring a piano. Right now, just about every task is repeated 88 times, but there are some things, like repairing 2 broken keys, that aren't...and those are nice diversions.

Currently I am "de-bushing" all the keys. Under the front of each key is a hole that sits on a pin when installed in the keyboard "tray". The hole is oblong and the pin is round. The oblong hole allows for a pivoting motion when the key is played. Inside the oblong hole, glued to the "long" sides is some thin red felt, and it is called a "bushing". I suppose the felt keeps the key press silent (no wood on metal rubbing. Anyway, a lot of that bushing felt was deteriorated, so I am removing it.

I can do about 10 keys in a half hour. I clamped a heat gun to my work table and set it on low heat. Then I wave a bushed hole over the heat, about 5 inches away to keep from scorching the wood. This softens the glue. It takes about 15-20 seconds for the glue to soften just right. Then I use a dental tool to pull the felt out. When it cools a little I scrape off most of the glue residue. That's a couple of minutes.

So far 70 keys have been debushed. Replacement bushing felt will be ordered soon. A roll of it that is enough for all 88 keys is something like 4 bucks. Aluminum wedges, used to insert the new bushing material and hold it in place till the glue dries, cost about 10 bucks. The rest is just time. Not difficult at all and it should make for a quality restoration.


At 11:02 PM, December 31, 2009, Blogger John Beauregard said...

Debushed! I thought that was what happened on 20 Jan 2009.

At 8:57 AM, January 10, 2010, Blogger cheryl said...

LOL !!!

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