Lubricating oil for melodica mechanisms

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  • #3316
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Hi all,

    After playing my Hohner Piano 26 and 27 hard, I am finding that a couple of black keys are occasionally binding up. They are staying stuck in the down position, causing the note to sound all the time. I can pull the key up, but can feel the resistance, and it just gets stuck again if I press it down. If I play around with the key (tap it, wiggle it, or sometimes chant a incantation and let the melodica sit), it will start working again. I took one apart, and at least this time, could not figure out what is causing the problem.

    I am sure I can figure that out, though ideas are welcome.

    My real question is this. As I slowly press the working keys on these melodicas, some of them are clearly rubbing on adjacent keys, or the pivot point, or the valve shaft (if that is the right name), as I can hear squeaking or scratching as the keys moves. Is there an some sort of instrument oil (trumpet valve), food-grade oil, or other type of light lubricant that I might use to smooth out the key action or perhaps prevent sticking key/valve problems?

    Has anyone tried this? Am I asking for trouble in terms of collecting dirt, gumming up the reeds, poisoning myself?

    If so,

    #3322
    AvatarAdam Tombs
    Participant

    I wonder if silicone lube (the kind that comes in a spray can) might help? It’s pretty innofensive stuff. I can’t imagine it doing any harm….

    #3323
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    Hi Lowboy

    I wonder if the pivot points are worn through use? It’s a crucial area for keeping the key in its correct place. Also, maybe you could try swapping problem keys with others, (like a lower E for a higher E) to see whether its a problem with the keys or with the main body?

    #3332
    AvatarLowboy
    Participant

    Great ideas Troy. I will investigate.

    Regards,

    Lowboy

    #3337
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I brought up a similar issue with the Piano 36 I bought recently, though with white keys. A previous owner has apparently addressed the problem by bending shafts, I would guess using two needlepoint pliers. I have a junker on order from which I’ll try transplanting keys. With mine, I think the keys are too close for lubrication to provide even a temporary fix. But food grade silicone is probably the best bet on that.

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