The new key covers not only should not only look good, but make it a much more enjoyable, much more playable (and cleanable) surface. That's where this job is about - and here we go!
The first step was to remove the original ivory and prepare the keys for their new key covers. After steaming the keys, the originals were removed, exposing quite a few new issues that one always finds when installing new key covers. Once that was done, there was some cleaning needed, to remove the years of dirt and dust that had settled and permeated into the keys.
In this picture, you can see the lighter keys on the right being the ones that have been cleaned, and the ones on the left awaiting their turn. This is done in a sand blasting chamber with light grit material, or the way I do it is with a very fine grit buff pad.
On the picture below, you'll see that the sides are also in need of some cleaning as the piano has had some water exposure - not all the water stains can be removed, but the surface is worked over and cleaned to make it much better than it was originally. This is a restoration project, not a rebuilding to brand new - I like to use material that is already there when I can, and piano keys are idea, as new keys must be custom made and are quite pricy!
Once the cleaning is done, the keys will be planed down a bit to take on their new key covers, and the key covers will be installed.
Then, installation of new key bushings will be in order, But that will be for another day!
If you have an old piano you would like spruced up or are interested to see what it would take to bring your old piano back for a new life of music, contact me and we'll explore the opportunities.
Free State Pianoworks Co.