Piano Keytop Repair
In our piano workshop in El Dorado Hills, just east of Sacramento, California, we often have pianos come in that are in need of ivory key top or plastic keytop repairs. Many times these pianos will simply have missing keytops or have broken key-tops that need to be replaced. As well, the ebony keytops often need repair or replacement. This is a common piano repair...so, if you have quite a few ivory or ebony piano keytops missing or broken, don't feel like your problem is unique.
We have seen many different ways to do this repair, but here at AAA Piano, we have a process where we carefully measure the thickness of the keys and the weight of the new keytops compared to the key tops being replaced. We remove some of the material from the keys to ensure proper height placement as well as to create a smooth and even surface to place the new key-tops on. We also use a spray adhesive that is stronger than contact cement or some of the other glues that some piano technicians use, which also creates more of an even space in the middle of the new keytop and the piano key. Between the completely even/smooth surface and the spray adhesive, we've created the strongest bond possible for a keytop replacement repair, which will last for another hundred years!
Solid Ivory Piano Keys?
"Are my piano keys solid ivory?"
There is a common misconception that old pianos have solid ivory keys. This just simply is not true. Years ago, many pianos were manufactured with ivory keytops, not solid ivory keys. There's a huge difference. Most of the material of a piano key is made of wood and the keytops would be just a very thin piece of ivory or plastic material covering a small portion of the top and front of the wooden piano key. No wonder we get this question asked all the time, "Well, the piano has solid ivory keys...it must be worth a lot of money!"
Isn't The Ivory On A Piano Worth A Lot of Money???
It is true that, in most cases, the buying and selling of ivory was been banned years ago and would lead some to think that there would be some second-hand value. But, it is simply illegal to sell ivory in most cases. If you were to post ivory keytops for sell on the internet, your ad would be flagged for removal and you could face some serious consequences...with that being said, there really is not much value for the buyer or the seller. Remember that over the years, there has been an exorbitant amount of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trafficking. Stay away from any illegal activity around ivory. The best thing you could do with your old piano ivory keytops is to give it to your local piano technician. As piano technicians, it is still legal for us to use old pieces of piano ivory keytops to match up the color and size and replace missing piano keytop pieces. But, in most cases, we suggest having your old piano keytops completely replaced with new plastic keytops. Give us a call to get a quote on your piano.
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