Good job on those keys, Spaceduck
BTW, white wine vinegar was part of the solution I used to clean the name rail
You asked about the keys, name rail, & harp cover...KEY CAPS
The key caps are all brand new. Luckily for me, the black keys were all in perfect shape. Only the white keys needed replaced, as you see here:
When I bought this Rhodes from my brother, he had already put the new caps on the first few keys. I did the rest over the next couple weeks. I was amazed how easily most of the caps came off. Only a few caps were tough to remove, and I used a heat gun to remove them. The most tedious, time-consuming part was filing the keys with a bastard file. As you can see from the picture, the caps were yellow, cracked, and written on with a marker. NAME RAIL:
For the name rail, I used a homemade cleaning solution that consisted of white wine vinegar
, baking soda, and cream of tarter. I found this solution after lots of searches online. It seemed to work very well, at least for getting the fingerprints and dirt off. But not for the scratches and discoloration. There were a few scratches on the left hand side:BEFORE CLEANINGAFTER CLEANING
After cleaning the name rail, the result wasn't as good as I hoped. I decided to paint it. I knew this was the only way to make it look like new.
Now, you asked about how well the paint sticks. I used Duplicolor adhesion promotor and painted a few light coats, and the paint stuck just perfectly. You can pick it up at any auto parts store.
I painted on many light coats of the aluminum paint. The brand I bought was Rustoleum. I don't remember the exact name of the color right now, but it was an aluminum color, and very closely resembled the existing color on the namerail. It just came out looking brand new :lol:
After finished the name rail, I put on the new faceplate, knobs, and red felt. I have no complaints with the results of the name rail assembly!HARP COVER
The harp cover was the most stressful part so far, mainly because I really wanted it to turn out nice. It took me an entire weekend, starting on Friday night. This harp cover is literally given a second chance of life.
After reading this link http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=3714
I decided to do it up in wrinkle paint. I found some VHT wrinkle paint at Auto Zone. I applied the paint (and adhesion promotor), exactly like the thread said. The paint would've turned out perfectly (like it did in the pictures), except one thing... with wrinkle paint, you have to apply heat either with a heat gun or a hair dryer. I chose to use my newly-acquired heat gun.
Things were perfect until I held the heat gun too long in one spot, causing the new wrinkles to become burnt and scorched. Most people probably wouldn't notice, but as I was going to sleep that night, it drove me crazy, and I didn't know what to do. Wrinkle paint is very permanent.
The next day, I decided to sand it down and start over. The problem was that wrinkle paint can take about 3 days to dry. Consequently, after sanding I ended up with moist, spongy paint that didn't spread evenly, and looked a thousand times worse than it did before, even with the scorch mark.
So I bought a new can of wrinkle paint. It was a cheap, off brand (Auto Zone was sold out). The result wasn't very good. The cheap paint didn't wrinkle very well, and there were also these strange, shiny spots on top that stood out when the light was on. I decided to combat the shiny spots by buying yet again, another (my third) can of spray paint. I bought a regular, non-wrinkle glossy black spray paint.
The result ended up being something I could live with. I put 2 coats of polycrylic on it the next day, sanding between coats. Sanding it removed about 90% of the "wrinkle" effect. In the end, it looked old again. It literally had many, many coats of paint, 2 coats of polycrylic, and about 3 coats of the original fixative.
After lots of contemplation, I decided to sand it down and start from scratch. I went to Home Depot and bought a hand sander, new white primer, and Rustoleum Najavo White Gloss spray paint. I used the 60 grit first with the hand sander. The result was a scratched top that barely seemed to do much. After using the 220, then 320 sandpaper, I noticed some areas where I seemed to be sanding way lower, all the way down to the plastic. Of course, I wanted to get down to the plastic, and the more I sanded, the more I realized how much all the paint and clear coats I had to get through. I went back to Home Depot and bought a plastic-safe paint remover (it's actually graffiti remover). I started with the graffiti remover and magically, I was able to scrape it off! I literally had to use a metal scraper to get down to the plastic. Amazingly, it had about 1/4 inch of paint, fixative, and polycrylic on top of the plastic.
After about 5 hours of scraping all the paint, etc off, the harp cover was basically down to the plastic. I bought some bondo to cover the scratches and one spot at the bottom of the harp cover where it had a ding. The bondo worked perfect, and I sanded the bondo, washed the entire harp cover with soap and water about 5 times (throughout the whole process), and was ready to paint it!
I used a white primer made by Rustoleum. I used the whole can, sanding once during the priming process. The result was a near-perfect lookin harp cover. Once finished, I sprayed many thin coats of the Rustoleum Navajo White Gloss. I'm finally satisfied with the harp cover. The final step was two thin layers of protective clear coat (I used polycrylic).
It took a while, but I'm glad to be done with it! I think the final result was worth all the work that went into it.