Restoring 1972 Fender Rhodes Mk1 Stage, need help with key replacement

Started by square_wave, January 17, 2021, 04:23:42 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hi All,

I am the recent owner of a fairly dirty and beat up 1972 Fender Rhodes Mk1 Stage piano and am embarking on a journey of restoration. I was very happy to discover this forum. This is my first post!

I have lots and lots of questions but I'll stick to the most immediate one I have:

I also bought some remnants of a 1973 piano (case bottom, keybed, hammers, harp frame, and about 50 or so good keys), mainly to harvest keys from. It has the same type of keys as my 1972 (angled pedestal).

When I tried fitting some keys from the 73 into the 72 as a test, I noticed that on the keys the holes for the balance rail pins don't seem to be centered, on either piano. And how off-center they are seems to depend on which key. So not all the keys are "compatible," because sometimes they are too far off to one side and rub against the adjacent key.

My question is: is there some adjustment I'm supposed to make to the balance rail pins in this case?

Thank you in advance!


Do not modify the balance rail pins in any way.

If you are lucky, you may be able to find a key from a higher octave that will work.

If that is absolutely impossible, you could modify the key by sawing a notch in the bottom of the key to remove the existing hole.  Fill that with nice dry basswood or other white wood.  Drill a new hole after the glue dries.

See the attached drawing.



Thanks so much, this is what I needed to know!

P.S. my name is also Sean.  :)