Author Topic: Midway through a refurbish + restoration of a Fender Rhodes MK II. Few Questions  (Read 2968 times)

Offline Abelabelabel

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So I purchased a beat up 73 Key MK II about three weeks ago and have been refurbishing it for on and off and am about 13 days in.
When I received it the entire board was about 1/2 step flat, and the tines and tonebars were pretty badly oxidized. and some looked like this:  http://instagram.com/p/Y9ppwwtiu5/  I spent a few hours on two or three, but ultimately decided to get the whole lot sandblasted with glass beads, since I didn't want to spend 100 hrs polishing rusty tines and tonebars, and can't afford to replace the entire harp.

pics of my refurb updates are here:  http://instagram.com/abelabelabelabel

Here are my questions!

1.  The tonebars and tines look super cool and gunmetal, but now that the plating has also been removed, I'm worried about further oxidation.  Any suggestions on this?  Should I spray them with a clear coat?  I'm worried about the tines, because I want to make sure I can adjust the springs for when I finally get around to tuning. Pics here: http://instagram.com/p/ZnFPI0Niua/

2.  I'm having a difficult time removing several of the hammertips from the mids.  I have the all plastic hammers, and I have a thin layer of rubber (?) that is difficult to remove from several of the hammers in that zone.  I tried using an exacto blade, but am worried that I'm going to start shaving plastic off.  I tried using a small grinding stone bit on my drill, which worked okay, but I'm worried about the same thing.  The rubber is very bonded to the plastic. . . and I'd really like to remove it without also replacing or damaging the hammers if possible.   Any tips?  Pics here:  http://instagram.com/p/ZuambTNihz/  and here: http://instagram.com/p/Zua3gKtiiC/ and here: http://instagram.com/p/ZuaPymtihd/

3. On my high treble some of my dampers are actually hitting the bottom part of my pickups.  Is that supposed to happen?  What can I do to adjust it?  Shorten the bridal straps?  I haven't reinstalled any of my tonebars/tines so I'm not sure if that will solve the problem by pressing the damper down enough to not make contact with the bottom of the pickups. . . I guess we'll see.

That's it so far.  Thanks in advance for any advice/tips!

Offline David Aubke

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1. Better protect the tone bars in some way. I have them zinc plated for around $65 / set-of-73. I've heard of people using clear lacquer to protect them and that seems like it might work. I don't know a good solution for the tines. The tines themselves should not be plated but the blocks come from the factory with zinc. When the zinc corrodes, I don't know what Plan B is. I just clean them up and hope for the best.

2. http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=7621.msg39102#msg39102

3. "...you can also clip the front corner of the damper felt that faces the pickup, with a pair of wire cutters.  There isn't a lot of surface area needed to stop the top register tines from resonating, so if it's more of a triangle face than a square face so you can get up and around the pickup, that's ok. "
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Offline Abelabelabel

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1. Sounds good.  I'm approaching the price-point on the tones/tinebars where replacing the tonebars outright from Vintage Vibe might be a better option than getting them recoated.  I'll probably put a coat or two of rustoleum spray on the tonebars, and the "bases" of the tines. . . and just keep an eye on them once I finish the refurbish.  Good to know the tines themselves aren't coated.

2. Cool, I just might go ahead and remove these one by one (as pictured) so I can get in there with more precision.  I've got a dremel, and box cutters,   I just don't want to damage the hammers.  Using the boxcutters before, I was starting to chip the plastic off in some spots.

3. I'll know what's up with the dampers more when I reinstall all the tonebars/tines. I have a feeling they push down enough to keep the actual damper metal from striking the bottom of the pickups, but we'll see.

Offline voltergeist

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As far as damaging the hammers removing the last bit of hammer tip, you've got to be careful and patient, but technique helps.  I tend to use a backward scraping motion for the last bit of glue/rubber residue, rather than a forward cutting motion as I would use to remove the bulk of the material. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline juniornoodle

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Hi all,

How clean do these plastic hammers need to be before gluing on new hammer tips? I'm using a box cutter and a hand file and it's working fairly well but there's no way I'm going to remove some of the black in certain areas.

I'm on a mobile device now but can put up a photo later if it's helpful.

Thanks!

Offline Ben Bove

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It's great to get it down as much as you can, as if you have layers of stuff on the hammer tops, it will make the hammer tip sit higher and possibly mess with how close the tip is to the tine at resting position (potential double-striking and other issues). 

Getting it down as much as you can, it be level as well.  Keeps the tip secure from popping off.
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Offline juniornoodle

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Thank you! I ended up spending a ton of time getting all the junk off the hammers, but I'm excited to play and hear these new tips!