Zorba, Male Belly Dancer

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The Pie-Anna!

Fallboard Hinge Replacement

17 August 2006

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Crusty looking "once upon a time brass plated" steel hinge has got to go!

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Doesn't look much better with the fallboard closed!

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Fallboard section with old hinge removed. Part # 162 clearly
stamped in the wood which hasn't seen the light of day in 88 years!

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Thank Goddess for battery powered drills! I used to make fun of them
but love them now! This one was another restoration project of mine.
Given to me with a shot (internal) battery pack, I brought it back from the dead.

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
New solid brass screws to hold on the new solid brass hinge.

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Job finished, MUCH better!

1918 Hobart M. Cable Piano
Kind of hard to see in this photo, but looks far better topside too.

Ok, so I'm obsessive. Why spend a bunch of time replacing something that is seldom seen or used? Because the original hinge had long since lost its brass plating and it was just driving me nuts!

I was able to get a new solid brass hinge and screws from McMaster-Carr delivered to me for about the same amount of money a piano supply house wanted for the exact same hinge, without screws, and before delivery. That was the good news. The bad news is that the new hinge was slightly wider than the original (which affected nothing), but worse the screw holes were on different centers so I had to re-drill all but two of the screw holes! At least this way, the screws are nicely anchored in new holes.

A trick: If you look closely at the pictures, you'll see that the fallboard halves are milled down to accomodate the hinge, with a "fence" that the edge of the hinge rests against. In drilling the new pilot holes, I drilled them very slightly off center towards the edge of the hinge. This way, the bevel on the bottom of the screw head pushes the hinge against the wooden fence resulting in a nice tight, straight installation.

I probably should have put a rag over the keys while I was doing this - a small amount of dirt from behind the old hinge, plus wood shavings from the drilling fell in-between the keys. Sigh! But as I'll be removing the keys soon to rebush, I'll clean up the mess then.

I have everything I need to do the rebushing job EXCEPT my glue pot which just refuses to show up. I have the cauls, the felt, the glue, and the electric do-dah that removes the old bushings. As "high dance season" is fast approaching, I may not be able to do the rebushing until October at this rate. Where's my glue pot?

Not that it would mean anything to anyone, but just on the off chance it might help someone else, here are the dimensions of the old and new hinges:

Parameter Old Steel Hinge New Solid Brass
Width 1.023" 1.073"
Hole Center 2.315" 2.000"
Thickness 0.046" 0.040"
Screws 1/2" #4 3/4" #4



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