Reply To: Pinocchio Pianino

Alan Brinton

Now for a look inside. The five brass bolts that are shared with a number of other Italian models/brands are removed and the keyboard then pops out. If it needs a nudge, the best way to do that is by inserting a small screwdriver through bolt holes and gently pushing, rather than trying to pull up on the keyboard.

In this photo, the main gasket doesn’t look bad, but in fact it is crumbling and does not provide a good seal. Same scenario as with the Chordiana and other vintage Italian models, as a result of which, if they have not been worked on, they are not playable though some keys may sound.

Same problem with the gasket for the the mouthpiece receptacle.

The material was so crumbly that there was no question about being able to layer a new gasket over it, so it all had to be scraped off. This doesn’t have to be done perfectly, but there can be no loose material. After slicing off as much as I could, I rubbed the surfaces with an abrasive damp washcloth and allowed to dry.

Here I’m using 1/8″ thick gasket tape, 1/2″ wide though cut into 1/4″ strips. 1/16″ or even 1/32″ thickness might have worked just as well, but 1/8″ is what I had. It was tough getting it compressed down to get the bolts to engage, but there was no problem after I took it apart again a few days later. The gasket tape is sticky on the side covered with plastic that strips off, and it is very easy to apply and easy to reposition if necessary. The tape also has some stretch to it, so that it can be pushed together at the joints, thus requiring no other sealant.

To create a gasket for the air entry hole, I first cut out a pattern out of paper, and then used that to shape two short 1/2″ strips using that as a form.

Here you see the gaskets as they look now after a few days.

The Pianino now has a relatively tight seal and is easy to play. It came to me tuned very sharp, at about A=445. Discussion with Professor Bootay persuaded me to leave it there. It’s not badly out of tune with itself, and I’m trying out different tunes, styles and accompaniment instruments on Band-in-a-Box to see what kinds of effects I can get.

Here now is a sound sample:

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