Author Topic: Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?  (Read 1814 times)

Offline javabirds

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Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?
« on: March 21, 2012, 01:13:41 PM »
Hello, all.  I recently picked up a '74 MK1 stage and a '77 Mk1 suitcase for $600.  I am working on the stage first and have it nearly complete.  The suitcase is a little worse off, but I plan on bringing it back as well.  I have watched every VV video on youtube and have read tons of posts here and other places to pick up tips and advice regarding rhodes restoration. 

I picked up a full set of NOS rhodes replacement key caps for the suitcase and was wondering...  I have 2 quarts of neoprene based tolex glue for the cases.  Why can't I use this for the key cap job?  I haven't been able to turn up any concrete examples of anyone doing this, but since the service manual suggests contact cement (Duco) if you don't have piano key cement (PVC-E), I was thinking that the neoprene based, water-borne adhesive for tolex would also be a good substitute.  Seems like it would be easier to use than PVC-E, more durable than Duco and easy to clean up or correct mistakes.  Of course I would like to take a poll before I commit. 

Any thoughts?

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 06:19:45 PM »
Do not use anything water based. The keytops will eventually fall off.

Contact cement is the best glue to use, and spills can be wiped clean with MINERAL SPIRITS, not acetone.

I have over 30 years of experience, nothing I have tried works better.




1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline javabirds

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Re: Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 05:37:19 PM »
Thanks, steveo!  I tried the tolex glue on the first 3 keys just for fun before I read your reply.  It is obviously not the right adhesive for that job.  So I put that job on hold until the PVC-e arrives.  I also picked up some mineral spirits like you recommended.  Thanks.  When I use the PVC-e, how long do I have to wait before I can file the edges down? 

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 05:51:54 PM »
I have never used pvc-e glue

I use weldwood contact cement

I dont know if they are similar

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Neoprene based tolex glue for key caps?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 07:37:54 PM »
Steveo has infinitely more experience in these matters than I do, but last summer (after buying about 20 Wurli keycaps from Steveo) I did fine using Weldwood's neoprene-based, non-flammable contact cement.  I like the low-odor and the ability to clean up with just water.  (And I already had some around that I had used on some Tolex.)

No clamping was necessary.  It was also forgiving, letting me move the cap if I initially placed it off center.  It's been the better part of a year, and no failure yet.  Of course, some day, I may reach the "eventually" point that Steveo mentioned, and he'll be proven right.  But, so far, so good...

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music" (Coming November, 2019)

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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )