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20% Fabric Softener, 80% Isopropyl Alcohol (Read 2532 times)

Offline paul678

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20% Fabric Softener, 80% Isopropyl Alcohol
« on: February 02, 2015, 04:32:33 AM »
That's what I've read is a good solution to soften old, hard hammers.  Needling
is still required afterwards.

Any tips on how to apply the solution?  With a brush?  How much?

I think someone mentioned not putting too much on the striking point....
Part-time Tunelab Tuner and Piano Tech in Training
Semi-pro Classical Pianist

Offline pristinepiano

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Re: 20% Fabric Softener, 80% Isopropyl Alcohol
«Reply #1 on: April 12, 2015, 05:24:27 PM »
I have done this years ago to an old upright as an experiment.  The hammers had already been carded/sanded and the hammers were near the end of their life, very hard and tinny sound was coming from them.  I flipped the action on its end so it stood vertically and applied  drops (with eye dropper) on the upper half of the hammer felt about a 3/8" back from the crown, and then the lower half.  I then flipped the action over and did the same thing from the other side.  Eye dropper is essential to keep the amounts the same.  4 drops total for the treble hammers (2 per side), 8 drops for hammers down to the tenor, and 12 drops for the largest bass hammers.

It did not work too well and I ended up doing some deep side needling to help get what I was after.  In hindsight, I would not do it again in this type of situation, it was a waste of time. It also made some unsightly "puddle marks" on the sides of the felt since a 100+ years of dirt and dust is hard to remove.  Blow off the hammers real good with pressurized air first if you wan't to minimize this on older hammers.     

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: 20% Fabric Softener, 80% Isopropyl Alcohol
«Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 05:28:21 PM »
Even isopropyl alcohol doesn't work by itself so I doubt adding fabric softener will work.