Zorba's "Secret" Piano Page
Time to replace the felt around the pedals. Like the fallboard felt, the original purple felt was filthy and compacted. Naturally, this turned into a bigger project than planned!
31 July 2005
The old purple pedal felt already removed, new red felt just glued in...
I had to remove all the trapwork to make this happen...
I took both pedals outside and spray painted the cast iron portions with some goldish
paint I had lying around. Although this piano was built in 1918, these pedals bear a
casting date of December 1911. This would make them contemporaries of the Titanic!
I imagine piano production was low or non-existant during the war (WW1), so lots of bits like
these pedals were unsold and warehoused until piano companies ramped their production back up.
Sustain pedal (right) had a wooden insert with a totally worn out felt padding. This is
for the spring to ride on so it will be quiet. The soft pedal (left) was missing both
the wood and the felt. Here is a new wooden insert I fabricated for it. (Yes, the pedals
are resting on a foundation form - I expect the concrete guys to show up early next week!)
The old felt removed from the nameboard (yesterday) was faded, dirty, and stinky. However
once run through the washing machine on delicate (along with my Belly Dance practice stuff),
it proved to be very sound. So why not use it as new felt on the bottom of the pedals?
This photo shows some more of the recycled nameboard felt that cushions the pedal
return springs under the reinstalled pedals. The original felt was totally gone.
The pedals with their new felt from the front.
"Someone" had been into the instrument and re-bushed one of the two bearing blocks for the soft pedal trapwork. The sustain pedal mechanism had never been touched. Whoever did it had lost the above mentioned wood/felt assembly in the underside of the soft pedal, so they bent the return spring so it would ride on the metal - creating a squeak. I didn't figure out this final detail until I had re-assembled it - so you guessed it! I get to disassemble again and bend the spring back so it looks like the one under the sustain pedal and rides on the felt I went to so much trouble to install! Sigh...
Update: It was easier than I thought - leave the trapwork alone and just remove the spring to work on it. All's well now!
I also removed no less than 4 wood blocks in the bottom of the piano that originally had player parts bolted to them. Much cleaner in the bottom now - I was able to finally get to "everything" and muck it clean with some damp paper towels.
Some bonehead had also mounted the pump pedal door upside down so it wouldn't open but about a third of the way. I fixed this also - for whatever good that does.