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Keyboard Help

Jigster

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I have an old Sonola R465 and aim to try carry out some keyboard work.
The white keys sit about 2 mm proud of the frame, although are level opposite the axle exit. Was it possibly manufactured this way?
The white keys really clatter when played -
The pallet facing (white felts / leather) are worn and some out of shape- the felt / leather facing on white keys is about 7mm and I guess probably nearer 8mm when new (probably 60+ years ago)- seems a lot? Thickest I've seen is about 6mm for replacement. The end of the pallet travels about 9mm. The black keys aren't so bad and look in better condition (less travel and thinner pallet facing).
I've included some pics and measurement.

All suggestions/advice very welcome and much appreciated. First time posting.
 

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debra

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Let's attack the possible bad news first...
When the white keys stick out on one side and not on the other it is an indication that likely there was some "trauma" that caused the keyboard part (under the keyboard) of the box to be deformed. I have seen this (but more like 8 mm off than 2mm) after a fall. You need to first check whether there is perhaps a crack in the case (where the keyboard part meets the body of the accordion). Work on pallets and perhaps the arms (levers) comes after you ensure that the keyboard and its support are fine.
 

Jigster

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Thanks for quick reply. Sorry perhaps I havent explained properly - the treble keys are even across a the full range ( see pic). It just feel the keyboard action should be much shallower and the level the keys are at should be level with the edge of the keyboard frame.
 

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debra

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Except for a few uneven keys the keyboard appears to be level, but it sticks out above the "base" more on the left than on the right. This indicates that that base may be damaged on the lefthand side. The first thing to do is to find out what causes the lefthand side of the base to be lower than the righthand side.
 

Jigster

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I've examined the base and it appears to sound - no warping or cracks. However, inspection of pallets I notice on the end with lower keys some pallet facings have been replaced with thicker felt/leather - which has subsequently lowered the level of these keys. Many thanks for help 👍
 

debra

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Odd that someone would try to lower the level of keys by replacing the felt/leather by a thicker version. The height of the keys, and thus the amount of travel they have, i normally adjusted using a tool called "torciferri". That is also what you should use to lower the key height. Don't lower the keys too much because is the pallets do not open far enough you will weaken the sound, and if it's more extreme then the frequency of the notes will also drop and so the tuning will be off.
 

Dingo40

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"Don't lower the keys too much because is the pallets do not open far enough you will weaken the sound, and if it's more extreme then the frequency of the notes will also drop and so the tuning will be off. "
More traps for the uninitiated!😐
 

Jigster

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I'll just replace the pallet facings and make necessary minor adjustments to key height - sounds the safer option 👍 Over the past few years I've renovated some old boxes as a hobby (including removing keys to replace felt), however haven't adjusted to shallower action before. I'll get hold of a torciferri and familiarise myself with technique before making any minor adjustments.
 

Jigster

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I'm starting to work on replacing pallet facings - which hopefully will help with noise when playing. However, curiousity still has me wondering why the action of the white keys are almost 10mm (keytravel - from tip of keys to felt) and lie 2mm above the lip of the base.
I've checked the keyboard base and it is solid. So, apart from keboard base damage (as Debra suggested checking), other causes could be aluminium key levers have bent uniformly (unlikely) or the pallet felts have compressed several mms over the decades (they are nearly 7mm just now, so surely this is unlikely). So, from my limited knowledge in this area I can only deduce that the white key action/travel is so great to accommodate sufficient clearance at the pallets (which are 84mm long divided into 2 faces) to allow all 5 voices to sound on master. My aim is just to understand the limitations of getting the keyboard returned to the state when manufactured (which is quite possibly as it is) - not necessarily lower the action. All further thoughts welcome and appreciated..
 

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I have a Sonola SS15. A couple years ago I replaced the felt under the keys. It had compressed so much over time that it was causing a clattering sound when I played. My first effort was too thick and resulted in poor sound from the valves not opening sufficiently. After careful trimming with a razor blade my second effort was much better and eliminated the clattering. I was surprised how just a mm or two in thickness made so much difference. In retrospect, instead of replacing the whole thing I could probably just have glued a thin layer on top of the old felt.
 

Jigster

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I have a Sonola SS15. A couple years ago I replaced the felt under the keys. It had compressed so much over time that it was causing a clattering sound when I played. My first effort was too thick and resulted in poor sound from the valves not opening sufficiently. After careful trimming with a razor blade my second effort was much better and eliminated the clattering. I was surprised how just a mm or two in thickness made so much difference. In retrospect, instead of replacing the whole thing I could probably just have glued a thin layer on top of the old felt.
This sounds very similar to my problem. I'm just about to take pallets off and replace felts/leather. What was the final felt/leather thickness that you ended up with. I'm going to end up with about 8mm..I don't know what the original thickness was before it compacted with time. Thanks🎶👍
 

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