Opening up a Piano 36

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    Ru Lemer

    Hi there!

    I’m brand new to the forum, although I’ve been reading and enjoying it for months. I was wondering if someone could help me out with my Piano 36 – I have a bit of maintenance experience with rhodes, clavinets and upright pianos but have never worked on a reed instrument before

    I’ve just bought one in fairly poor condition for very cheap, and I want to really get down and dirty with it to see how much life can be brought back. I’ve taken the plunge in opening it up (taking off the metal back cover, I know I’m now going to have problems with the seal when I put it back on), but I can’t see where to go from there.

    What I’d like to do is tighten up the keys (there’s a lot of side to side movement), try and even out the action (maybe by replacing some of the felts or springs) and tune it. & is there a way I can wash it without damaging the felts that cover the sound holes?

    Looking forward to hearing back and learning more about the instrument. Thanks for your time!

    ~ Ru

    Alan Brinton

    Interesting project, Ru. Except for the learning experience, though, there’s some question as to how much time and effort it’s worth investing in a poor condition Piano 36 (as compared with a Hohner Professional 36 or Soloist). If you get stuck or would prefer an inexpensive Piano 36 that’s in working condition, you could get one here. I have several, as well as a more valuable Professional 36 in need of refurbish that could be an alternative project.


    reasembling hohner piano 36


    If you have any info how to reasemble keys, that will be great. in link above I was try to open my piano 36, but with no sucess. It’s easy to take down case but how to get to the keys.
    At some point I give up, mostly because I was scared to not damage melodica.

    Ru Lemer

    I nearly got the keys out – tried to unhook the springs from the body of the melodica and then pull the key/spring/damper out diagonally, but it wouldn’t quite make it because the spring got in the way. I’ll try that method again soon. Surely there must be a way to get into the action of the keys? Or is it an unserviceable instrument? Prodz I’ll let you know if I get anywhere

    Thanks for the tips Alan, I’m really up for putting time into this instrument to try and pull it out of the abyss. I noticed in another of your posts you said not to wash the Piano 36 in hot water, why is this?

    And am I right in saying the Professional 36 is pretty much the same instrument but made of metal? Is it easier to refurbish?

    Alan Brinton

    The Professional 36 is a very different instrument, not at all comparable to the Piano 36. The Professional is also much rarer, typically much more expensive, and much more likely than a Piano 36 to need to be repaired or refurbished.

    Most melodicas can be submerged in water (cold or warm, I would recommend, not hot). I personally would try it on a Piano 36 if it had a really bad smell or was sticky, but I haven’t done it and am less confident about it than with most other melodicas, so I’m careful not to recommend it on a Piano 36 (and definitely not on a Professional 36). But you’re probably in experimental mode on this Piano 36, so it might be worth a shot. Let us know how this goes.

    Ru Lemer

    I’m going in, fellas! Wish me luck, will post all findings once I’ve properly explored this instrument over the next month or so


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