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Malfunctioning piano keys


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#1 hummingbird

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 23:41

One of my piano keys has become sticky (the lowest F#).  It stays down after I've pressed it and only comes back up very slowly.

 

One of the other keys now "sings" when I press it sharply (the B, 2ve below middle C).  I've tried moving things off the top of the piano to see if it was any of those causing a problem but it isn't.

 

The piano was only serviced at the beginning of October.  I suppose I'll have to get the piano tuner back, but can anyone throw any light on why these problems might have arisen after only 3-4 months?  It's a Kawai, 6 years old.


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#2 chris13

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 11:20

Sorry hummingbird but I don't know enough about upright actions to be able to venture a cause of your sticking key. However I don't think it will be much to worry about apart from the inconvenience. 

 

I wonder if the other issue is caused by the clips holding the piano front panel. Suggest lifting the lid and making sure the clips are in their proper position.

 

Edit. The attached video may be of interest.

 


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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 13:56

Back in my Uni days I was in a concert and started to play Beethoven Piano/Violin Sonata no 6 in A.  A baby grand recently acquired by my Hall of Residence. As soon as I started several keys stayed down !  Further investigation discovered that a waiter who had been setting out refreshments on a side table , had jogged his elbow and some brown sugar had dropped inside.  A quick clean out  with a vacuum , and we were able  eventually perform.


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#4 jch48

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 17:37

Dampness can cause wood to swell and the action to become sticky. Installing a moisture-responsive dehumidifier can make things loose and rattly. our church piano has this devil and deep blue sea problem.

 

My home piano has a problem in that it is difficult to regulate the dampers where the strings change direction, itself close to where the strings move from 1 string to pairs. My tuner said it's not unusual for pianos to have that difficulty as the space is very tight for every bit of the action that needs to be in place.


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#5 LoneM

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 17:42

The sticky low F# may be caused by a change in the local climate - there is a slot in the underneath of the key, just where your finger hits it, that fits over the guide pin at the front of the key rail.  The wood of the key can swell which makes the slot narrower, so that it binds on the pin. Alternatively something may have slipped down between the keys.  It should be very quick and easy to fix.  Also, if the front panel is not seated properly, this could cause some sticking (as Chris13 suggests), though I'd expect more keys to be affected.

 

The 'singing' B might be resonating with something in the room, but may be caused by a damper that has moved a little out of alignment, perhaps as a result of atmospheric changes. If the screw attaching the damper body to the action rail loosens a little the damper body can rotate.  Again, it should be a straightforward fix.

 

 


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#6 hummingbird

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 22:12

Thanks for all these replies, which do throw some light on what may be happening. 

 

Chris, I watched the video - very interesting, in a scary sort of way!  I don't think I'll be fiddling around with piano parts any time soon biggrin.png


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