Monthly Archives: July 2015


To identify where the problem is, consider if it is the key or the action that is malfunctioning. If the key stays down after it has been depressed, then it is almost certainly the key that is causing the problem. Also however, with the use of the action diagram to identify the wippen, lift it and see if the hammer moves forward to hit the string. If it doesn’t, then the problem is in the action and a technician will have to be called. If the hammer does go forward but doesn’t return to its resting position, the flange probably needs a centre pin replaced and once again this is strictly a job for a technician. The workings of a piano action are complex and without the proper knowledge and special tools, it is one part of the piano where repairs should not be attempted. If the problem is a sticking key, then first check that it is clear of the key slip – the finished piece of wood that runs along the front of the keys. Next, check that nothing has wedged between the key and its neighbour. See “The Keys”. It is common to find bird seed, mice droppings or other foreign matter jamming the keys. There may be a wooden rail running along the top of the keys just behind the key covers with a screw at each end. Remove this rail. If there are no screws, the rail may be held in place by pins. If it does not pull straight out, try pulling up one end and then the other. It should then come out. Removal of the sticking key may reveal an object such as a pin or a coin, which is causing the problem. If the key still sticks, the red cloth bushing on the centre top or front bottom may be binding on the centre or front rail pins. These can be enlarged slightly with the aid of some long nose pliers. Caution – a special key easing tool is really required for this and any excessive prodding with pliers into the bushing may prove to make matters worse. Do not touch the hole underneath the centre bushing.