Shift Lever Repair - Part III of III

After fashioning a superior duplicate for the original worn out shift lever (I suppose we can call it shiftless - since it wasn't working:) the next step was to fit it precisely to the piano, install, and ensure proper functioning. I knew the overall dimensions were close - but I still had to create a circular depression that would mate with the pedal rod below and ensure it didn't slip out or make noise.  I also expected that I'd have to sand down the business end of the lever to make sure it would fit perfectly into the notch on the underside of the key frame when it rotated to the right.

Both tasks would be facilitated by the use of a Dremel tool I'd bought 6 months before, expecting to need it to pass the Technical Exam for Piano Technician Guild certification, but ended up never using.  My former disappointment at an apparently wasted $40 dissolved as I realized how indispensable the tool was for this job.


Here's a close up of the two levers side by side, showing were I needed to fashion a circular well for the top of the pedal dowel.


First I used a hard, round attachment to bore out a circular well.


Next I cut a circular piece of the thinnest buckskin I procured in a past post to fit into the well and cushion the top of the brass pedal rod...


...and glued it in with some of my trusty Tite-Bond.


I also used the same method to affix some protective leather to the underside of the key frame where the lever was hitting the wood and wearing it away.


I then inserted the new lever into the key bed from the belly of the grand, reversing the order of my former removal steps.  It definitely didn't want to slide in at first, but I remembered how tough it was to get out and lubricated the pins with some Protek Dry-Lube - with some gentle but firm tapping I fully seated the axle pin, replaced the wooden retaining strips, and affixed the plates with their screws.


Here you can see the lever installed from further away, and see the pedal rod fitting perfectly into the long end of the lever.


Last, but definitely not least - use the Dremel to painstakingly shave off layers from the top of the end which engaged with the key bed so it was the tallest possible height, in order to ensure maximum efficacy.

I say painstaking because- even after drawing this pencil line at the approximate height and shaving it down to about that level- I had to install the action, find that it wouldn't slide all the way back because the lever was too high, remove it, sand off a little more, then repeat about 5 times before it just barely slid into place.

This was key, because I wanted to make sure the lever engaged fully in the underside of the key frame so it wouldn't just wear away the key frame and stop working.


When I finished, everything worked perfectly, and I was satisfied at completing a new job, as well as knowing that this piano was restored to complete functioning for many years to come - at least in terms of the shift lever : )