Stuck Piano Keys – The Dreaded Plastic Piano Parts Experiment

Pianos age very similarly to humans. If you care and attention for your own body properly with exercise, proper food, and dress yourself for the weather, you can still be spry and active with your 80’s and beyond. Alternatively, if you abuse yourself enough, you can be lifeless from a variety of ailments well before your 40th birthday. houston guitar amp repair

A well built piano that is kept in regulated moisture conditions, played, tuned and maintained regularly, can still function and sound good on it’s 100th birthday. But if you would be to leave the same keyboard out in a storage area without climate control and never gave it fine-tuning or maintenance, it would become an unserviceable load of scrap in simply a few decades.

Given everything, a piano built in 1947 should be in pretty good shape. Therefore you might be amazed and alarmed to be playing it one day only to find that the keys get started neglecting to come back up after you press them down. One after another they fall and don’t go up, until you become frightened to continue playing.

What is happening?

Actually, if this is merely happening now, you are incredibly fortunate. This should have happened in the 1980’s. Of course, many pianos go 40 years without being performed, so it is relatively common for folks to discover this problem quite abruptly now.

What is taking place is most likely that you’re discovering the hard way that your piano system contains one or more types of experimental clear plastic parts that were used between 1947 and about 1953.

It all began as what seemed like a properly good scheme to save time and money. There are numerous small wooden parts in every single keyboard, and carving each one out of wood, even using gang cutters to make batches, is actually costly. Somebody figured out why these new plastic materials created from soy beans could be squirted into molds and when they set, the vinyl had weight, strength, and overall flexibility characteristics very similar to the wood parts, and the plastic would never warp in changing humidity conditions. It was very exciting news to keyboard mechanism manufacturers such as Pratt and Read, in whose mechanisms (called “actions”) were used in spinet and console sized pianos by lots of well known companies, and they started extensively using the plastic parts, believing that these people were not only cheaper, but superior to wood parts.

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