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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Uh ... no. Not at all.
Originally Posted by N W
Looks like a resounding (though silent) victory for wd40 then? Perhaps we should all start using it cautiously?
As my dad used to say ... just because somebody jumps off a roof doesn't mean you should.

WD40 has its uses. But remember ... WD stands for water displacement. Has your piano been flooded lately?

Most of the sticking issues I meet are because moisture has condensed on a steel pin and swollen the surrounding felt.
So moisture displacement is the ideal remedy.....

Last edited by N W; 03/07/21 11:42 AM.

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All I can say is I will never use it and I will never recommend nor condone its use on a piano. There may be places, like trap work, where judicious use could be temporarily effective without creating unrepairable damage. But the temptation becomes great to use it where it has no business being.

So, No ... just No


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Interesting reply Bill....but I'd love to know why? Why, for instance, you condone and use whatever make of liquid you do use? And why imply wd "creating unrepairable damage" when there's absolutely no reports of wd doing any such thing?
I'm truly mystified why you would post such a condemnation...especially as I asked earlier for any reasons why we don't accept it as a useful tool and the only single reply seemed to me to endorse the fact that it worked really well.

Whatever is going on?

Nick


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Well, there have been horror stories of its MISuse, and perhaps that has coloured perception of it. There was a story, either in here or on a PTG forum, of a helpful husband liberally spraying WD40 all over the interior of his wife's Steinway grand. And in my area thewre was the guy who used to spray it all over the tuning pins. But as for using it in a judicious way, to see what happens, no-one seems to have anything to report!

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You're right David. I'm old enough to remember the old boys who, when I was young, used lighter fluid (petrol type, not gas, to free off centres. Then along came very expensive stuff in very small bottles which we used because we assumed there was something better in it. And, to be honest, we thought we were more clever than the old boys.
So now we use overpriced, minutely packaged "stuff" and pour scorn on a good product merely because the one is hard toapply and the other comes in a spray which makes it easy for someone who doesn't know what they are doing to misuse. I can't see the wisdom in that, isn't it like shooting the messenger?
It's not good being older, one sees through the new developments, the pintight that was marketed as superior in tiny bottles which turned out to be just one of the ingredients of old pintight, i.e.glycol. it did a fair bit of damage before it was withdrawn.
I went to a lecture by Abel hammers where he told us alot of good old piano wisdom was lost in the 70s and 80s that they were just returning to using. That was around twelve years ago.

The prejudice* against wd40 just mystifies me. My own reason for not using it is simply worrying what clients would think if I pulled out such a well known name. Far better for me to apply a mysterious, available only to highly skilled magicians like me, small bottled miracle.
smile
Nick

* I use the word prejudice as it is the correct term for the dismissal of something with absolutely no discernable reason.


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What would you use it for then Nick? Tight centres?

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I read in an old text on piano technology that there was a time when actions that were sluggish were doused with gasoline to free them up. Gasoline is too dangerous to use, but I had some orange oil thinner and tried that on a piano that was unplayable, dunking the parts in them. It did not damage the parts, including the felt and leather, and washed away a lot of gunk, and the piano played well after that. So now I use it more liberally. There is always the Protek available as well.


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Originally Posted by David Boyce
What would you use it for then Nick? Tight centres?

I guess so. I have a colleague who attaches the straw thing to a can of wd and drops it onto the offending part. I've seen him do it and he's careful. He uses it in a diagnostic way too. He will systematically treat each centrepin on, say, one note, in order to discover where the friction is. Hammer, then whippen, and so on. Because the straw gives him accurate access, he can see immediate results. He tells me that it's often an entirely permanent fix so he robs himself of recentring jobs!

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Originally Posted by BDB
I read in an old text on piano technology that there was a time when actions that were sluggish were doused with gasoline to free them up. Gasoline is too dangerous to use, but I had some orange oil thinner and tried that on a piano that was unplayable, dunking the parts in them. It did not damage the parts, including the felt and leather, and washed away a lot of gunk, and the piano played well after that. So now I use it more liberally. There is always the Protek available as well.
Anyone know what protek contains?
Yet we all recommend it....imagine if it turned out to be wd40 in there!
smile
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No, it's not WD40 at all! It is some kind of fluoropolymer, but it's impossible to find out exact information on the formula. I suspect it will be some kind of industrial lubricant re-branded and sold as Protek CLP for pianos. It doesn't small like WD40.

I would love to try Fomblin but you can only get it in larger quantities in the UK and it is very expensive.

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I have diluted it (protek) with alcohol sometimes. The alcohol shrinks the felt a little I think which helps free off the flange. Good for slow jacks.
Isn't it odd that we can't find out the recipe or even who the company is?
Nick


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There was some discussion of this previously. It's some fellow working out of his garage somewhere, I think. Good on him for discovering that this fluoropolymer liquid works well on pianos, whatver it is.

It probably operates just of the right side of the law, in terms of Safety Data Sheets.

If you Google Protek Products Inc, you can find the company registration details.

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Today I applied WD40 to front rail and balance rail pins. The difference it made was huge! The keys feel much smoother now. I also applied it to the pedals which were squeaking, that also is solved now. If no long term problems will be observed, I am at this stage very happy with its results.

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That's interesting, Walkman. How did you apply it?

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it was in a spray bottle (like the hairsprays are) and came with extra attachable nozzle, which made it very easy to get everywhere without spraying on anything else. I removed the keys and sprayed all the pins, to some key I even sprayed inside the key holes.
I have nothibg bad to report yet. It plays much smoother. Now I am thinking, maybe I should do some other parts which play a role in how the action feels, but I am a bit afraid yet.

I will definitely try it in the area between the jack and hammer butt. Some of the notes on my upright do hit the strings twice if the keys are not pressed to its deepest. My tech could do nothing about it and told me to play with deep fingers smile

What I noticed is that if the key is not pressed very thoroughly the jack does not fully come out from the butt and the hammer that has returned from the string bounces on the jack with inertia and hits the string again. The sound is very quiet but of course it plays a negative part in overall aural perception

Last edited by Walkman; 03/21/21 02:49 AM.
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All the WD40 discussions make me uneasy, even though I haven’t come across any pianos with it yet. (Knock on wood) Is there are way to reverse/ remove it from the felt, bushing cloth, or wood aside from replacing the parts?

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Ok so I've been questioning the wholesale condemnation of WD40 but I think I should hastily state that I do not see how WD can help a badly adjusted jack. I would advise very careful thought before thinking WD can cure something like that Walkman. Normally I would examine the lost motion and the setoff of the notes troubling you before reaching for the spray.
Just my opinion of course.
Nick


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I tested it on one hammer and it did not help )

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Quote
Some of the notes on my upright do hit the strings twice if the keys are not pressed to its deepest. My tech could do nothing about it and told me to play with deep fingers smile

What I noticed is that if the key is not pressed very thoroughly the jack does not fully come out from the butt and the hammer that has returned from the string bounces on the jack with inertia and hits the string again. The sound is very quiet but of course it plays a negative part in overall aural perception.

I think you might cure the hammer bobbling by trying this: 1) Slightly increase the set-off distance, by adjusting the set-off screw, so that the jack is stopped earlier (hammer sets off further from the strings). 2) Slightly bend the bridle tape wire towards you, so that there is slightly less slack on the bridle tapes.

Last edited by David Boyce; 03/21/21 10:16 AM.
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I feel I have to make this post. I dont post a lot but have been lurking for years. I notice that there are many ones on here who are working on there own pianos. Please DO NOT use WD40 on your piano. I mean no disrespect. However, do not let a few piano technicians on this forum who use this make you think its a good idea. Long term WD40 is bad for wood and should not be used on a piano action or key bed. Most piano technicians will tell you this. Do not allow a vocal minority to cause you to do something that could cause issues to your piano in the future. Even if WD40 did work, we have so many other safer lubricants that work. No need to take the risk. Now maybe a tech might use it on a piano that is pretty much junk as a last hail marry. So if you are working on a piano that you dont care about at all and have tried everything else then go for it. However I still dont reccomend it. When it comes to WD40 on pianos NO NO NO!

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