The Electric Piano Forum

Repairs, Maintenance & Upgrades => Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs => Topic started by: A-L on January 24, 2012, 10:32:25 PM

Title: key restoration
Post by: A-L on January 24, 2012, 10:32:25 PM
i've searched this forum and others and cannot find an answer to this specific problem.

     I recently purchased a 73 key Rhodes mark 1 and begin restoration. The action is beautiful but the Tolex, Harp Cover and Keys need attention. The keys are a bit yellow (most likely from sun damage, oils, etc) so i decided to swap keys off my Fender Rhodes mark 1 88 over. I found out that the keys are not interchangeable.

     After considering overhauling the rail board or re-capping the keys i decided against it. I tried many simple solutions to take the yellow off but nothing has worked- white wine vinegar, baking soda, etc. I have yet to try Magic Eraser or Bartenders friend but I doubt they'll work either. Im concerd that the yellow tint is deep below the surface.
     Q: has anybody had success buffing keys, lightly sanding keys, etc? or is there a process out there to bring them back to a nice white again?


my 73 keys on the Left and my 88 keys on the Right

Title: Re: key restoration
Post by: Abraham on January 25, 2012, 09:19:44 AM

take a look at this post: (

not a rhodes but it may help
Title: Re: key restoration
Post by: AFeastOfFriends on January 25, 2012, 03:10:01 PM
I used the steel wool and the extra-fine sandpaper method and what I found works best for keys are scrubbing them a whole lot with 0000 steel wool and then using Novus 2. It takes a long time to do though. At least 30 minutes per key just for the first round. But it keeps the integrity of the keys and gives them a much nicer white look.

I've been thinking about buying a bottle of Novus 3 as well to make the deeper scratches (they're too fine to be felt by a fingernail but enough to be seen) easier to buff out than a whole lot of Novus 2 and scrubbing.
Title: Re: key restoration
Post by: A-L on January 27, 2012, 11:16:28 PM
Beautiful! I am going to try using 0000 steel wool in combination with Novus2. It seems time consuming, has any one tried a thicker grade of steel wool successfully? Although I don't want to compromise my keys. I will post results. Thanks!
Title: Re: key restoration
Post by: AFeastOfFriends on January 28, 2012, 07:56:22 AM
The reason I used 0000 was that it was fine enough to whiten the keys but not leave scratches too deep to be taken out easily or mis-shape the keys. I think that was the other person's reasons too.
Title: Re: key restoration
Post by: Ladley365 on February 07, 2012, 09:45:34 PM
Here are some results... Ive been using 0 grade steel wool then finishing with 0000 steel wood on the top of the keys. On the bottom lip I've been sanding the grime with very fine sand paper than using 0000. I then finish the process by applying Novus 2 and buffing it off.
It does take about 30 minutes each key to do it right. Overall I am satisfied with this process but it does not necessarily restore the keys to a show room level shine. I would say this process restores the keys to about 80% and would recommend it on major discoloration. Thanks for the help everyone.