One of the things I love about my job is that I never know what each repair will bring.

Recently, I was scheduled to tune a 1971 Yamaha G2 baby grand piano at one of our outstanding local educational institutions (Brigham Young University Dept of Dance).

Of course, the first thing I typically do is open the lid of the piano that I’m about to tune.  When I opened the lid of this particular grand piano, I quickly discovered that the hinge closest to the keyboard was loose (the screw holes had actually stripped out), making it impossible and unsafe to use the lid prop.  It kind of goes without saying, but a broken lid like that could easily cause injury to the fingers, hands or heads of the students and faculty (not to mention their piano tuner).

I couldn’t in good conscience just tune the piano without trying to fix the lid.

Using some personal creativity with the tools and materials I take with me on every job, here’s the solution that I came up with and that worked like a charm.

1. I first carefully propped up the lid against an adjacent wall (no surprise there).

lid pic 1

2. Using the scissors tool on my Victorninox Classic SD Swiss Army Knife that I keep on my keychain, I cut out a very small piece of SANDPAPER (it’s the type of fabric-backed sandpaper used on belt sanders; I always keep a supply of it in my toolbag).

lid pic 2

3. I then applied medium viscosity CA (cyanoacrylate) glue (I like Insta-Cure) on the tiny piece of sandpaper and stuck the sandpaper into the screw hole in the lid.

lid pic 3

4. After putting a dab of glue on the screw, and using a Klein stubby screwdriver I keep with me, I screwed the hinge screw back in place. I did the same procedure with every screw on the hinge to make sure they were all snug as a bug in a rug.

lid pic 4

I was then able to complete the tuning job without causing injury to anyone, including myself, and it only cost an extra $20 or so, which is much less than a trip to the local emergency room.

And so ends another day in the life of a piano tuner (maybe I should put “Musical MacGyver” on my business card…).

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