Author Topic: A Buz Watson Restoration!  (Read 529 times)

Offline Tines&Reeds

  • Vendor
  • Sparkletop
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Tines & Reeds
A Buz Watson Restoration!
« on: May 22, 2021, 01:26:10 PM »
Hey guys & ladies,

I'd like to share this my progress on this restoration with you which is not yet completed. But since this is an overhaul from ground up I thought this could be of interest (or just for fun) for some of you.
This is a Buz Watson Fender Rhodes Mark 1A manufactured in 1972. It will be overhauled completely from the out- and from the inside. It will also get our preamp which we just finished. So, let's start:



The first step is to remove the old key bushings:



and the old pedestal felts:





Let's take a closer look to the case:









Time to remove this felt as well:







And add a new high-quality one from the local piano builders supply here in Germany:





The old damper felts will be removed as well:







and we replaced them with damper felts Made in Germany after our requirements as well:



Next are the keypins that need some cleaning & polishing:



Before adding new key bushing felts we measure the key pins as well as the slots in the hole. We have different types of cauls and different thicknesses of felt to achieve a very good match from the start:



We always do one or two test-keys to check if we measured right before applying the combination of caul & felt to the whole keybed. Since the slots inside the keys were not manufactured with close tolerances reworking the felt after applying it is always necessary.



And the rest:







So, we now allow the glue to dry. Let's take care of the case.

Removing the hardware:





Removing the tolex:



Sanding, sanding, sanding:



Repair the case where necessary:



Paint it black from the inside:



Next step: Cutting the tolex to size and glue it to the case. Now it looks like this:



We have some nice wooden cheek blocks available. At the moment we have cherry or walnut. So what would you prefer?





The customer decided on walnut. A beautiful decision. So we go on and oiled the wood instead of painting it with clear coat. This gives it a natural touch. Another upside is that you can remove any scratches quite easily. Just sand it and apply oil again: Voila! The scratch is gone. It's not that simple with lacquer.



Next is cleaning and polishing of the keys:



And grounding the damper arms:



Let’s move on to the keys. Leveling:





Adding the pedestal modification:





And here is the god-shot:




So… next week we will do the voicing and installation of our preamp FERRO. We will give you some details about it soon! But this Rhodes will be the first one where it will be installed. It’s so exciting! :-)


I’ll keep you posted about it.

Let me know if you have any questions or what you think about it!

Best,
Chris
German Rhodes Tech nearby Hamburg / Bremen

http://www.tinesandreeds.com

Offline drpepper

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 02:53:25 PM »
Looking forward to seeing the preamp go in.
And the cheek blocks look amazing.
D
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline goldphinga

  • Vendor
  • Mark I
  • *****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2021, 10:06:37 AM »
Stunning work Christian! Will you be selling those wood cheeks in your webshop?

Cheers
Dan

Offline Jenzz

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 120
    • View Profile
    • http://www.tasteundtechnik.de
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 12:16:55 PM »
Yesss man! .-)

Jenzz
Rhodes tech in Germany
www.tasteundtechnik.de
www.spontaneousstorytelling.net

VintageVibe 64 ACL + DOD FX25B, EHX SmallStone, Tone City Sweet Cream, Pearl FG-01

Adams Solist 3.1 Vibraphone

Offline Tines&Reeds

  • Vendor
  • Sparkletop
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Tines & Reeds
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 01:33:15 PM »
Stunning work Christian! Will you be selling those wood cheeks in your webshop?

Cheers
Dan

Absolutely. I'm not sure if we offer them already finished / oiled or if that is the task of the customer. Also mounting might not be easy for the customer to do. These are solid. So you have to remove the wooden block where the cheeks are normally screwed in.
German Rhodes Tech nearby Hamburg / Bremen

http://www.tinesandreeds.com

Offline Tines&Reeds

  • Vendor
  • Sparkletop
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Tines & Reeds
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2021, 02:59:14 PM »
And on it goes.

Disassembly of the harp. Cleaning of the pickups, tines and tonebars:



Removing all tone bar screws and grommets and replacing them with new hardware. The rubber part in the treble is not original. This part was utilized in the late Mark II pianos. So someone installed this maybe in the 80s. Apart from that all parts look to be original.



Someone had installed these Mark II rubber part in the treble area. It works great though so we left it:





Removing old harp support brackets and replacing them with our new hardware Made in Germany. They are made from stainless steel.



Voicing. This took quite a while. We decided to not replace the hammertips from mid to bottom. The yellow and a few white hammertips have been changed to new square hammertips for an even tone throughout the keybed.



Adjusting the key bushings (again). After a while the felts may widen. So rework is necessary.



Finally we've installed our preamp FERRO and it's mirror namerail into the very first customer instrument. We are very proud of it! And it just sounds like heaven. We will post some stuff later on.



Mounted to our mirror namerail Made in Germany of course:



« Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 03:01:31 PM by Tines&Reeds »
German Rhodes Tech nearby Hamburg / Bremen

http://www.tinesandreeds.com

Offline drpepper

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 04:51:46 PM »
Looks great - I can't wait to hear this.
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline Tines&Reeds

  • Vendor
  • Sparkletop
  • *****
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
    • Tines & Reeds
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2021, 04:01:55 AM »
Finally! Here it is! :-)

https://youtu.be/m8gTKupUHBU
German Rhodes Tech nearby Hamburg / Bremen

http://www.tinesandreeds.com

Offline Dan Belcher

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
    • View Profile
    • http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djbelc01
Re: A Buz Watson Restoration!
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2021, 10:00:10 AM »
What a gorgeous piano, and it sounds just as good as it looks!
Proud owner,
1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73