Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fender Rhodes Bass Key replacement

    We had a Rhodes Bass with really bad action.  On most keyboards this is an easy fix for us.  But this one had some missing aluminum parts that we needed to remanufacture.

    I made a mold for forming the blank strips of brass by taking two of the stock parts that had fallen out of the piano action. These parts were then glued to a rod. The rod and old parts were placed on a Tuna Can. The tuna can had little snips cut out of the sides to allow the rod to fall into the snipped groove. I used a filler product called "FixAll" as a mold compound. Filling the Tuna Can just to the top, and then laying the original parts into the mold compound made the shape of the parts I needed to copy.


     I took the original parts out of the piano action. These are glued to the Key pedestal, and makes the hammer speed up when it hits the bump. If some keys have the part, while others are missing the piano action will behave very differently from key to key. In order to copy the missing parts, I needed to make a mold to replicate the missing pieces. I did this by taking two other parts that had fallen out, bet were still inside the piano. These were glued to a rod.



     Once the new parts had been formed from the brass strips cut from a sheet, and pressed into the mold. I glued them back on the keys. This was dome with some clamps and other misc. wood blocks I had laying around. I needed to clamp both ends of the brass strip firmly onto the key, without flattening out the bump we made with the mold.  

 Another cool thing about Rhodes this old is the tines are square as opposed to the flat ones used in later models.