Steiff Rebuild – New sharps

September 4, 2018

Quality is a collection of small details.  And for every piano, the first thing the pianist encounters is the keyboard.  For a high-end piano, the look and feel must be superb.  Inviting.

I enjoyed taking the time to ensure that the replacement sharps for this keyboard were second-to-none in fit and finish.

New sharps for piano keys

The new sharps are made of natural ebony and supplied by PianoTek Supply.   I was thrilled with the craftsmanship and uniformity of the product.   Fitting the the new sharps to the old key sticks proceeded as follows:

  • Remove old sharps with steam and leverage.
  • Scrape old keystick as needed  (the old hide glue joint made this effort minimal).
  • Glue new sharps, centered on old keystick.
  • Bolster old keysticks with veneer applied with hot hide glue to allow the nice uniform sharps to be the ruling dimension (the old keysticks are not of uniform dimension).
  • Sand veneer flush with the new keytop (this assures that pianist cannot ever feel a rough edge).
  • Dye keystick sides black.
  • Clean and polish new sharps (I used Howard’s Feed and Wax for a light wax finish)

The picture below shows bolstering the keysticks with veneer, prior to final sanding and finish.

Bolstering keysticks with veneer

 

Installed on keyframe:

piano keys sharps installed on keyframe

 

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