This must have tool helps relieve symptoms of sluggish and sticky keys!
This tool is must have as it works hand in hand with our key bushing tool. An awl works the opposite side of the balance rail bushing, underneath the key, the small balance rail key pin hole. This hole shrinks up and becomes swollen around the pin and causes friction or sticky keys. This symptom is a main offender and can be done away with the help of an awl. Always ease slowly and in small increments as not to over ream.
This tool will help relieve symptoms of sluggish keys or sticky keys. Keep this tool along with a key bushing tool in your bag of tricks for any future key issues. Trust us there will come a time!!
How do I know which tool I need, an awl or a key bushing tool?
The answer is you should have both. If you examine a slow or sluggish key and try to find out why it is being affected you will look at a couple different cause and effects.
1.Lift the hammer so there is no weight on the key, next push the key down in front by the pedestal and see how it returns. It should return freely. If it does not return freely, look at the front rail bushing and ease if necessary.
2. Now let the hammer down and lift the opposite key end up a half-inch and see how it drops, again it should drop freely. If not examine the Key pin hole or either bushings.
3. There are a total of three points you will look at- two key bushings, one on each side of key, one is under the key at the front called the front rail bushing and the other is on top of the key at it’s center, called the balance rail bushing. This red felt is what helps keeps the key in alignment with a good feel. In conjunction with the key pins a properly working bushing allows the pins to enter and leave the bushing without friction but snug enough to keep side-to-side movement to a minimum. The third is the key pinhole, which is under the center red key bushing facing down on the balance rail.
So far what I have described are points that cause friction and drag from moisture and thus sticky keys. Having the right tool is the difference between correcting an issue quickly and correctly or frustration and mutilation of your piano keys.