In my last post, I listed the various tasks to finish key restoration. During the week, I was able to get the remaining tools to install bushings. These include a brush to apply hide glue, a small painting knife to apply hide glue to ivories, and a “hot pot”. Celeste sent me home with a small supply of pre-mixed hide glue, bushing felt and a set of “cauls” for applying the bushings. I’ll say more about the tools and the bushing process in my next post.
That left the remaining cleanup of the keys. Not all of the tasks have to be complete before installing bushings, but I thought it wise to finish the old felt removal and Scotch-brite and sanding of the wood surfaces to remove dirt and imperfections. I also needed to repair and clean up the “sharps” mortices before bushing replacement. This leaves a few tasks that can be done after the bushings are installed. Another audio book, and I went to work. The list has been updated to reflect progress, and the video is a condensed version of the roughly four hours of work.
Next stop: New Bushings!
- Remove old bushings (complete)
- Remove dirt with Scotch-brite (complete)
- Remove damper lifter felt (complete)
- Treat the wood with a solution of Oxalic Acid. This lightens the wood and removes dark spots and streaks.
For the “sharps,” ebony keytops
- Check for cracking around the bushing mortice and repair with cyanoacrylate glue as necessary (complete)
- Remove wood on either side of the mortice to facilitate new bushings (complete)
- repair damaged wood between ebony keytops and keys by slightly enlarging raw wood exposures and filling with Mohawk Epoxy Wood Putty
- Re-touch black over repaired wood with Pica Black Marker or black paint for larger repairs
- Sand ebonies with 220 and then 400 grit sandpaper to remove damaged lacquer finish
- Treat ebonies with 2 applications of Waterlox (similar to Danish Oil)
- Finish with Conservator’s Wax
For the “naturals” keytops:
- Sand bottom of key under ivory keytop to remove punching discoloration (complete)
- Check and repair any loose natural ivories using a thin hide glue with whiting
Next: New Bushings!