Friday, January 18, 2013

Up for Air

Ivory keys stained by mouse urine - yuck
Regluing all the loose ivories using special clamps
 Yeah, it has been busy around here.  Mostly work, work, work.  Which is a good thing.  R and I have been to Maine to service a player piano.  Then I went to Wakefield the following week to repair another player piano.  I've had a lot of ivory key repair work in the shop.  I love the finickiness of regluing, bleaching, and other key repairs but three of them at the same time takes up a lot of bench space!  I put some pictures here and you can see more on my FB page.  Just look for Debra Legg Piano Service on FB.
Same set of ivories - much prettier after bleaching!
Anyway, I'm finally down to one set of keys still working their way through the process, so I'm a bit more relaxed.  Today, R and I went to the Cape Ann Museum.  Every January they have free admission for Cape Ann residents.  We spent about 90 minutes taking in a whole bunch of neat stuff.  I wanted R to see the Ralph Coburn exhibit, so we started with that.  Then we worked our way down from the third floor checking out all the rest of the neat stuff there.

So yes, I'm still alive and have resurfaced!  And.....

the staircase is still clear!


Bernard said...

Hi Deb.
Better not ask really - but how does any-one know that a mouse is the culprit? Could it not be from nicotine stained fingers? Just askin'. :)
With all this key work, do you just ship the keys back to your workshop or does it mean shifting the whole piano?
I read a sad piece in todays Sunday papers -
Sad :(

deb said...

Well, you DID ask! The client informed me that the entire area under and on top of the keys (while they were in the piano) was filled with mouse nest and that the smell was horrendous. I had to thoroughly scrub all the wood of the keys - sanding in some places - to remove a layer of goo. In spots, where it had puddled, the acidic urine had eaten divots in some of the ivory!
Just last week I went to service a player piano that the customer's complaint was that several keys were sticking. The culprit was mouse droppings wedged between the keys.
The keys are removed from the piano by a piano technician and shipped in a box to my shop. Some local techs will deliver a set while still on the key frame - no piano.
Will check out your link.