Author Topic: Found a 1970 Fender Rhodes Mk I Stage 73 Missing its Keys. Is it savable?  (Read 208 times)

Offline TCHarley

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post to the forum so if I am posting in the wrong place or breaking any forum rules please know that it was unintentional and I will correct my error.

My fiance was quick on the draw of a Facebook market place ad for a rhodes in a state of disassembly and disrepair. The date stamp on it reads April 24 1970. It is missing a bunch of parts, damper arms, sustain pedal, parts of the legs, most of the case hardware but most importantly the keys. I was hoping to salvage this thing as a fun restoration project (I restored a 1977 MK I Stage 88 and found it incredibly rewarding) but I am starting to think that without the original keys that were made alongside the rest of the action that this might not be possible. Will keys from another Rhodes from the same era stand any chance of working or should I just keep it/sell it off for parts? Does anyone know where I can get some keys if that would work? I know vintage vibe has them but that would be a pretty expensive route to take. If anyone has a set of keys up for purchase I would be interested to hear what they might want for it.

Thanks!

Offline conke

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looks like it will be tough to source keys.. but they only want $50 for parts including a complete harp?? i would jump on that
Hohner Pianet T
1977 Rhodes Mk I
1966 Wurlitzer 146

Offline TCHarley

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looks like it will be tough to source keys.. but they only want $50 for parts including a complete harp?? i would jump on that
Yeah it looks like it will be tough if not impossible to find a set that will actually work. I already jumped on it, it is currently in my basement. Working on cleaning the corrosion off of the tone bars. Couldn't resist for $50, and luckily we were the first to respond to the ad.

Offline sean

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TC,

I have exactly what you need. 

I have the remains of a c.1973 Rhodes action:  73 Pratt-Read full-skirt keys on a keybed, wooden action rail with half-wood hammers, bridle straps, individual damper arms, and tooth-root damper felts. 

It is missing the harp, missing case, missing balance rail felts and front rail felts, missing the name rail, and strangely missing the wooden support for the action rail (the strip of wood that goes between the keybed and the action rail).  I think I have the cheek blocks too. 

The action is now clean, but still needs some work.  The balance and front rail pins were rusted, and have been sanded down.  They are not as smooth as ideal.  About 22 of the keys stick (they don't return on their own volition), and need to have their sides sanded down until they no longer touch their neighbors.  (Two keys at the bottom, two keys in the middle, and then nearly every single key in the top two octaves.)  This means that the action was exposed to water, and the keys are warped (or maybe just swollen?).  However, every single key looks perfectly straight when removed from the action.  I think they all work when I remove the neighboring keys, but I should test that to verify.   Every key pedestal seems to mate with the key above just perfectly, so I don't think this action is too far gone.


Where on planet earth are you?  Toronto?  I am in USA, near Washington DC.  Send me a PM with your email and phone number.

Sean

Offline sean

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... only about 460 miles away.  Nine or ten hours of driving each way, plus $70 of gas each way.  Hmmm....  Ouch.

Offline TCHarley

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... only about 460 miles away.  Nine or ten hours of driving each way, plus $70 of gas each way.  Hmmm....  Ouch.

What a coincidence! I will send you a PM. Thanks Sean.

Offline DAtkinson

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What a coincidence... I responded to that same ad only 10min after it was posted, but I was too late as I guess your fiancee was crazy quick on the trigger!!! I'm just starting another restoration and wanted another aspirational project to go with it.

Hopefully you work something out with Sean to complete the piano - he is generously helping me out in another thread.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 05:57:53 PM by DAtkinson »

Offline TCHarley

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What a coincidence... I responded to that same ad only 10min after it was posted, but I was too late as I guess your fiancee was crazy quick on the trigger!!! I'm just starting another restoration and wanted another aspirational project to go with it.

Hopefully you work something out with Sean to complete the piano - he is generously helping me out in another thread.

Sorry man! She was quick on the trigger for sure. Sean is helping me out, which I am super grateful for. Seems like a great guy. Good luck on your project!