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Complete Piano Service

Toothless Man

Replacing Keytops

A smile can leave a lasting first impression. Without a doubt, a
perfect set of ivory is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, the ravages
of time does take its toll on a person's smile and a piano's teeth.
In the begining, the key levers were crowned with genuine ivory. By the
late 40's, vinyl and plastic were intoduced as an economical alternative
to ivory.

In the case of the ivory, the wood beneath it expands and contracts
with changes in humidity, eventually breaking the glue that bonds it.
Another consequence of humidity is the migration of the adhesive to
the surface of the ivory, a process known as osmosis. Upon its arrival,
it acts like a magnet to dust and grime.

For the vinyl and plastic keytops, they were softer than ivory and
quickly eroded beneath the finger nails. The tops could be buffed
to remove the scratches and etched in dirt, but eventually, they
would yellow, become brittle and disintergrate.

Thanks to the miracle of modern science, the keytops of today
are impregnated with various proprietary minerals and are more
durable than its ivory and plastic cousins. However, as the slideshow
reveals, considerable effort is required to restore a keyboard into
a "Beautiful Thing"

1 / 13
Damaged Keyboard
Damaged Keyboard
2 / 13
Chipped Ivory
Chipped & Cracked Ivory
3 / 13
Scraping off grunge
Scraping off 100 years of "Grunge"
4 / 13
Removing finger grime
Using steel wool to remove finger grime
5 / 13
Steaming and peeling off ivory
Steaming and peeling off old ivory
6 / 13
Resurfacing key levers
Resurfacing the key levers
7 / 13
Gluing the key blanks
Gluing the key blanks
8 / 13
Notching the key blanks
Notching key blanks
9 / 13
Trimming the key blanks
Trimming the key blanks
10 / 13
Hand filing the keys
Filing the blanks to fit the key levers
11 / 13
Chamfering the edges
Chamfering the edges
12 / 13
Buffing the keytops
Buffing the keytops
13 / 13
Finished keyboard
Finished product

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                     Servicing the
                    Kansas City • Gladstone • Parkville • Leawood • Overland Park
                    Metropolitan area
                    Tuning • Repairing • Rebuilding

                    Jones Piano House

                         5742 N Lenox Ave
                         Kansas City, MO 64151