Removing Rust

Les Smith
Thu, 27 Jun 1996 08:01:32 -0400 (EDT)

Hi, Barb. I'm probably giving away my age here, but for years the
standard way to clean rust off tuning pins and string coils was with a
neat little kit called "Travis Tuning Pin and Coil Cleaner", invented
by John Travis, author of "Let's Tune Up" and "A Guide to Restringing".
The "kit" consists of a special attachment for a power hand drill, short
pieces of heavy rubber tubing which fit into the drill attachment and
a jar of polishing compound. One puts some polishing compound on the
pin and coil to be cleaned and then runs the short pieces of tubing
back and forth over each individual pin and coil while they're spinning
in the drill attachment. It really works, although you go through the
short (3/4") sections of tubing fairly quickly. If so inclined, after
cleaning the pins you can use a tuning pin blueing treatment on them in the
hopes that the rust won't come back. Both American and Schaff used to
carry these kits, as well as well as replacement tubing for them, perhaps
they still do.

Les Smith

On Wed, 26 Jun 1996, Barbara E. Richmond wrote:

> Hi all,
> Last week, as I was working on a little Whitney Spinet (my, oh, my, how my
> life has changed) I read some notes the last piano technician had left in
> the piano (written on the keys--in fact, there were so many, he would've run
> out of room if he had serviced the piano a few more times--maybe they were
> notes for a novel, I don't know.).  Anyway, he wrote that he had removed
> rust from the tuning pins.  I didn't see any traces of rust on the pins or
> on the strings, so my thoughts were, "He really did a great job", or, "There
> wasn't much rust to begin with."  In my previously ideal, over-protected,
> business life in Illinois, I rarely serviced a piano with a rust problem and
> when I did, the strings were a problem too and I would just lube the strings
> at the necessary pressure points, etc.  So, finally, the question is, does
> one normally remove rust from tuning pins?  Would it be more common in the
> case when there is no rust on the strings?
> If so, how is it best accomplished?  Emery cloth, a wire brush?  (I did, by
> the way, install a Dampp-Chaser & humidistat in this piano--for other
> symptoms, though.)
> I guess this is one of those things that I've missed somehow during the
> fifteen years I've been working on pianos or, perhaps I shouldn't believe
> everything I read inside a piano!
> Barbara Richmond, RPT
> Palestine, Texas
> PS  Thanks to all of you who have inquired about my attending the
> convention.  I     won't be there and haven't written back because I haven't
> been feeling too      great--but don't worry, it's for a good reason.  If
> all goes well, a            Richmond baby will arrive sometime around
> February 12!

This PTG archive page provided courtesy of Moy Piano Service, LLC