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Gouged keys.. Repair? Replace?

Soulsaver

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Ive seen this on a couple of accordions... no offence intended but the ones Ive seen closely were owned by women.
Looks like finger nails have eroded the top level of plastic. Is it caused by nails with varnish? Or just longish nails?
More importantly, is there a repair?

 

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nagant27

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I have also seen this. I used to think it was from rings, but I've noticed it also on my dad's excelsior. Long fingernails is my vote!

Not sure about fixing them, maybe need to replace the tops?
 

JIM D.

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I've been correcting gouged for some years now and the process is not difficult. The materials you will need are found at a auto supply store. You will need 3 sheets of waterproof wet sand sandpaper - (1) 400 grit (1) 1000 grit and (1) 2000 grit. and a can of white polishing compound. First remove the key and begin sanding with the 400 grit sandpaper keeping the sandpaper and keytop wet. Keep sanding until the keytop feels smooth. Next sand with the 1000 grit to remove the sanding marks (again keeping wet) Next sand with the 2000 grit (Keeping wet) until there is a light haze on the keytop. You can finish up with the polishing compound to get a gloss finish. If you have the newer type plexiglass keytops replacing the keytop is an option but, If you have the older type cellulose keytops, in most all cases the new keytop will not match the rest of the keyboard as the old ones have yellowed. Cellulose keytops yellow with age and the the yellowing permeates the complete keytop so a sanding solution is the preferred method.
 
J

Jackflash

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Is it possible this is caused by acidity in the skin oils similar to what causes guitar strings to corrode for some people( acid touch) Or is it a mechanical thing? Fingernails don't seem strong enough to cause that kind of damage!
 
C

cmooradian

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I've always been told it's from long fingernails.
I actually have similar gouge marks on my car door under the handle from the woman who owned it before me, believe it or not!
Besides, with cellulose keytops, I can't imagine nail polish would react chemically with the celluloid.
Nail varnish is also made from nitrocellulose, which is what celluloid is made from. Many antique dealers will restore old celluloid toys with nail varnish! That's why you use acetone to remove nail varnish and soften sheets of celluloid.

Being a woman myself aside, I cut my nails regularly to avoid doing this to my boxes.
 

Soulsaver

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I didn't mean the nail varnish itself caused it; I meant did nail varnish harden the nails so they gouged the keys... and maybe it wouldn't happen without nail varnish on.
 
C

cmooradian

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Ah, I see, sorry for the confusion! No offense meant!
I'm not really sure if nail varnish makes a difference in that respect.
I think as long as nails are short enough it shouldn't make a difference? I think that's a good question but maybe one that shouldn't be tested? Haha
 

Soulsaver

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None taken, sorry if I gave that impression- it was a reasonable understanding, I should have been clearer. :tup:
 

Soulsaver

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Are we still on the subject of gouged keys? If so it may do, but the true answer is I don't know. If you are at the stage where you WILL replace the key if this doesn't work you could try it. When I used to use this stuff for car body repairs you couldn't get it thin enough to feather it out.. you were left with an edge. Maybe it's better now? And it will have to match your 'white' or it will look almost as bad.

I think one poster in a different thread used something similar to replace a broken off key end.
 

the boxman

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Will try it. Just don't see the point in stripping a full keyboard to repair one key ( which I haven't got the skill to do) when a filler would provided a satisfactory finish.
But it's OK I'll not ask again
 

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