The Electric Piano Forum

General => The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano => Topic started by: funkminster on March 14, 2019, 01:14:44 PM

Title: Torn out wood around t-nuts
Post by: funkminster on March 14, 2019, 01:14:44 PM
Just a bit of background: I bought a 1973 Rhodes Mark I Stage model in good condition a couple years ago. It didn't come with the legs or brackets, but I thought: how hard/expensive can they be to buy and install? Haha! What followed was a long, accidental journey into vintage instrument restoration.

As it turns out, while everything above the legs is in great shape, and the piano sounds great, it looks like someone dragged the piano across the room too many times and did some damage to the wood in the cabinet that holds the legs in place.

After some time, I've pieced together the legs, the brackets, the bolts, the nuts, and all of the varied pieces of hardware. Only to find that a few of the t-nuts that hold in the bracket bolts in the cabinet were torn out, along with some of the wood around them.

So, now I'm faced with some choices on how to repair this ... so I can just freakin' get some legs on this thing.

I can either try to fix it without taking off the keyboard by working something up through the leg hole (I can get the t-nuts in this way, there's just nothing there for them to grab). Or I can attempt to remove the keyboard, which I think would give me access to the t-nuts?

Once I'm there, I've come up with the following options:

1. Fill the gap in the wood with epoxy and sink the t-nuts into that before it dries.
2. Cut out some dowels and wedge these into the broken wood. Hammer the t-nuts through the dowels in an attempt to "recreate" the original set-up.
3. Going through the leg hole, use something tacky but not permanent (hot glue? clay?) to fill the wood gaps just so the t-nuts will stay in place and I can screw in the bolts. This options means that in the long-run, the nuts won't be gripping anything besides the bolt.

Any suggestions on the best approach here? I'm a bit over my head here, so thanks in advance for any advice!

Title: Re: Torn out wood around t-nuts
Post by: OZDOC on March 14, 2019, 06:10:36 PM
I would remove the keyboard so that the inside wood can be repaired properly.
If the vinyl cloth on the outside is not going to be replaced I'd chisel or rout a recess from the inside and insert a new piece of plywood.
The recess would only go 3/4 of the way through the original timber to preserve the vinyl cladding on the outside.
Ordinary PVA woodglue would be sufficient to hold this in place.
I'd remake all the holes in this new piece of wood.
Title: Re: Torn out wood around t-nuts
Post by: sean on March 15, 2019, 11:53:32 AM

Take the action out of the piano.  It is easier than you think.  1973 Rhodes has cheek blocks connected to the keybed, with screws from underneath, right?

I like the idea of routing out a square and gluing in a large block of wood.  Easy to say, might be a pain to do.  But it is easier than replacing the whole bottom of the piano and re-tolexing.


Title: Re: Torn out wood around t-nuts
Post by: funkminster on March 15, 2019, 02:24:33 PM
Thanks for the advice. Intuitively, taking the piano apart sounds harrowing, but it's good to hear it's not that bad. Found a video from Vintage Vibe that should help.

Will let you all know how it goes!

Title: Re: Torn out wood around t-nuts
Post by: sean on March 15, 2019, 07:49:43 PM

Chapter three of the service manual is called Instructions for Disassembly:

It is posted on the Super Site: