Showing past work of Duane McGuire, retired piano technician
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A process for dealing with fingernail gouges in key sticks

Category: Shop Procedures
Date: 2021-03-14

Sometimes it's the details that make the difference. When installing new keytops, I aspire to make them equivalent to factory new. In this keyset, I found extreme fingernail gouges. This is process I used to eliminate the gouges with new wood inlays.

This photo shows the gouges created by fingernails. This is damage that is not readily visible, but the performer may be sensitive to it. The sensitivity my be felt perception or subliminal. But for my work, I want it to be absent! (This photo was taken after the old keytop was removed, but before the the old keyfront was removed.)

A careful inlay of sugar pine eliminates the gouges.

Here are the details of the process:

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