Les Smith lessmith@buffnet.net
Thu, 06 Jun 1996 14:34:15 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 6 Jun 1996, Frederick G Scoles wrote:

> On Thu, 6 Jun 1996 Musing61@aol.com wrote:
> > In a message dated 96-06-05 14:48:14 EDT, you write:
> >
> > >As for Liquid Wrench to prevent string breakage, I have tried it and it
> > >seems to work, but lately I have tried Protek CPL (from most piano supply
> > >companies) with good results
> >
> > Where are you putting this stuff?...at the coils?...any corroded point?
> >
> > J. Barry
> Two points only;  Under the pressure bar and between the string and the
> V-bar (which is directly beneath the pressure bar.  On bass strings only
> one point, the top V-bar or top angled pin.  Fred Scoles

Not always. In the case of older painos, with badly corroded strings that
are far below pitch and haven't been tuned in decades it might also be
necessary to use a SMALL amount of lubricant at each bridge pin. A couple
of years ago I was called in to tune a piano that had been bought new in
1952 and had NEVER been tuned. Not only was the piano down a perfect 5th
in pitch ( that's 700 cents, folks!), but the strings were very badly cor-
roded as well. I used a rust penetrant on the bearing points AND at the
pins and, eventually, after several intense (translation: expensive) tuning
sessions was able to bring the piano up to and stabilize it at concert pitch
without breaking any strings. I doubt that that would have been possible
without the use of a lubricant, given the amount of corrosion on the strings.
Incidentally, after the final tuning session, as I was getting ready to
leave, the lady told me. "Wow, Les, it sounds great! The NEXT time I have it
tuned, I'll make sure that I call you again".  I remember thinking to myself
as I walked out the door, "Lady, in another 40 years I'll probably be dead!"

Personally, I don't use liquid wrench anymore. The active ingredient in
LW is kerosene and even though it does the job, it leaves a lingering bad
smell in the piano. Even the "unscented" variety of LW leaves behind an
unpleasant odor. I prefer using WD-40, or CRC 5-56 to which I've added
a little Protek. When I use it, I apply SMALL amounts at the bearing points
( and, occasionally, at the bridge pins) with either a hypo-oiler or a small
artists brush. Incidentally, if you've never used a lubricant before, NEVER
try to spray it on the pressure bar. Instead, spray it into a plastic cup
and then apply it with a small artists brush. I saw a piano a few years back
in which a previous tech HAD used a spray can on the pressure bar. While it
did take care of the rusted string problem it also did a great job of curing
the tight tuning pin problem as well!

Les Smith

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