Here’s my documented journey of repairing 14 chipped ivory keytops on a Chickering baby grand from 1936. Below you’ll see before and after pics of the action. The owner is also getting a new mahogany bench with square legs and getting it finished to match the piano – we hope that, when all’s said and done, these two improvements will greatly enhance the overall experience with the piano!
Prepping the action – cleaning it all out and bead blasting to get it looking good:
Cleaning out and bead blasting keys, key frame and action including the hammers.
The work we did includes:
- removing the action stack & blowing out all dust
- bead blasting the hammers and key frame to remove stains and dirt
- polishing ebony sharps (black keys, real ebony wood!)
- polishing the brass capstans
- cleaning, sanding and filing sides of keys to clean them up
- repairing the 14 chipped ivories
- buffing out and cleaning all keytops
Below you’ll find some documented pics of our work. Pretty fun to see some of the process!
Keytops before cleaning and repairs; notice some pretty nasty chipped keys:
Capstans before and after polishing:
And then here are the final results of the ivory repair. Before = chipped, after = see for yourself:
Carl and I did the work together and it turned out really nice (and it’s always fun working with Carl!)
Here’s a pic of the bench before dropping it off at Premier Refinishing:
And of course the lone elk…hope he gets something to eat and finds a companion!