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finding the right size replacement white key caps

Started by james, April 30, 2015, 11:23:36 AM

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james

Since Vintage Vibe isn't selling them anymore, I went looking for replacement key caps on my own. I bought a set of white ones that theoretically fit any acoustic piano, but they're off by as much as 1/8" in certain places that you can't easily resize. Does anybody have a reliable source where I can get ones that fit better?
Web Designer/Developer, Webmaster & Co-Creator
The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe

David Aubke

Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

james

The basic problem is that the replacement caps I bought have a 2" L head, as opposed to 1-7/8". I was looking at other options here:

http://www.pianosupply.com/keytops/
Web Designer/Developer, Webmaster & Co-Creator
The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe

David Aubke

I use the 1-15/16" tops from Schaff by way of Vanda King.

The heads have always fit my keys very closely. Almost all of the trimming I do is to the tail and what I've taken to calling the 'shoulder' - the back edges of the head.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

David Aubke

Quote from: james on April 30, 2015, 12:00:09 PMthe replacement caps I bought have a 2" L head, as opposed to 1-7/8".

If "L" stands for length, then I guess you're talking about having to trim the 'shoulder'. I don't know what to suggest to eliminate that part of the job.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

pianotuner steveo

You can't eliminate that part unless you just happen to stumble upon a keytop that fits perfectly. Table mounted belt and disc sanders are usually used to help keytops fit better after they are glued on with contact cement or PVC-e glue.

It's not the length that's the issue, it's the width. And if you purchase tops that have built in fronts, you need to remove the old fronts before gluing on the new tops.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Student Rhodes

I've seen a few web sites in the past for guys that re-cap keys.  It sure seemed for the price they were asking, it was well worth it to let the pro do the job, and not deal with such head aches.  If I find any of them again, I'll pass them along.
Ray


pianotuner steveo

That looks like a great deal, and it seems like he certainly knows what he is doing.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

David Aubke

Quote from: Student Rhodes on April 30, 2015, 11:26:49 PM
Here's a guy whose prices seem very reasonable.

http://www.keytops.net/services-pricing.php

Ray

"This site and my services are intended for the piano service trade, rather than individual piano owners."
I don't know why I feel the need to bring this up whenever this guy is mentioned except that web copy written specifically to turn customers away rubs me the wrong way - elitist.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Student Rhodes

I don't know...  I can sort of understand why someone might not want to deal with many of the kinds of people who comprise the "public", most of whom don't understand the amount of work it takes to do such a specific craft.  The policy also eliminates a lot of the tire kickers and time wasters who want to talk on the phone.  Were I him, I might be the same way -- limit my dealings to professionals, as there's enough of them out there to keep a small shop busy.  That said, were I to need his services, I may be out of luck.   


pianotuner steveo

I didn't notice that. I guess that explains the low price, the tech sends keys to him, then the tech marks them up.
He is not the only guy who does this, but the others may have the same policy as well. Maybe he shouldn't have a website, and only advertise in the PTG Journal ( for piano techs who are members)

I know how to replace keytops, but I don't advertise it because I have no time to do it usually. I am lucky enough to live in an area where you can make a living just tuning pianos ( and doing minor-intermediate repairs ) but, on the other hand, there is literally NO EP work around here anymore.
I used to have regular Rhodes tuning clients and Yamaha CP tuning clients. I tuned one CP 70 last year and haven't had a call for Rhodes or Wurli's in a few years.

It sounds like this guy offers more services than just keytops and doesn't want to get overwhelmed with too much work.

A tip for those who want to try to replace keytops: if the new keytops are wider ( most are) B's, C's, E's and F's are the easiest to fit. I fit the short side to the key, which leaves the long side hanging over the other side. I then zip the long side along my table mounted disc sander. Don't press tol hard or the sander will start to melt the plastic. Of course the glue has to be cured before doing the sanding.

Keytops with fronts make a neater job, but you must remove the old fronts.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...