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Piano Keys » Black Piano Key Top Replacement

Black Piano Key Top Replacement

Blacks are much easier to replace, and they give a really clean look if they are new. Do not try to do the sharps while they are in the piano. The only time I suggest you keep the old sharps is if they are ebony. Ebony is so rare and beautiful that I simply buff them with 0000 steel wool and put them back. Ebony comes from the high altitude forests of Africa such as the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Ruinzori Mountains between Uganda and The Congo. The beauty of ebony is beyond anything I have seen in any other wood. But then, I am prejudiced-- I grew up in those African hills.

Removing the old blacks, or sharps, is harder than removing the ivories. This is because the wooden sharp is glued directly to wood without the layer found between the ivory and the wooden key lever. So, you will again need to slide a very thin blade under the sharp and try to work the blade along under the sharp until it pops off. It will be much easier to catch the wood of the key lever and start down into the grain of the key lever wood. Just be sure you are working with the grain, not against it. If a piece of wood comes out of the key lever, use the Weldwood from the hardware store to fill it. File and sand it level.

If you are using the Key Top Restoration Kit now is the time, after the sharps are removed, to use the Analine Stain Powder in solution to stain the side of the sharp key levers. Sand or clean the surface first. Mix the powder with denatured alcohol, or whatever the instructions indicate, and coat the wood again at the front. This prevents bare wood from showing when a white natural is depressed. It is distracting to the musician, and a bit ugly, if the natural wood shows at the front of the sharp lever.

You should have a set of sharps you ordered from my Online Catalogue. There is no order to the sharps. Just make sure that the front of the sharp does NOT hang over the front of the wood. (See diagram) This time, you can glue them on with either Elmer's glue or the GE Silicone. Also, make sure they are straight on top of the wood. Do not clamp them, but set them carefully level so that they will not ooze to the side as they dry.

If you are using the Key Top Restoration Kit use the PVC-E glue to attach the sharps. Be careful not to get the glue wrapped around the sharp because it will spoil it slightly.

After they are dry, use a black permanent felt pen to touch up the black dye area of the wood of the key lever so that it is all black when a natural key is depressed when playing the piano. When you put all the keys back, if the blacks and whites rub a bit here or there, DO NOT file the sharps. Work the white key down, or tap the key lever center pins right or left very slightly to make clearance.

If you don't feel like you can do this task, we can find you someone who will do them for you.

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