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Author Topic: Noisy pallets and springs  (Read 450 times)

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Stiamh

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Noisy pallets and springs
« on: March 06, 2017, 03:09:28 PM »

This tiny clip is of a Saltarelle Irish Bouëbe, one of the early models with the butterfly badge  (no engraved lettering) and the white feet. It could be as much 25 years old, I suppose.

Questions for the collective oracle:

1. Would new pallet facings significantly reduce the clopping noise? The facings look very clean but they must be getting long in the tooth.

2. How could I stop the creaking springs? Those in little-used areas of the keyboard are silent.

Any advice on how to undertake the necessary work as a DIY job would be greatly appreciated.

Theo

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 04:33:58 PM »

The creak is usually from the back of the keyboard where the tail of the springs rest against the edge of the aluminium action frame. My favourite treatment is a dry ptfe spray.

Pallets always make some noise.  Is it noticeable in playing the box?
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Stiamh

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 04:54:59 PM »

Thanks for the ptfe hint, Theo. The pallets do make a bit of a racket - when I play the box, anyway! Are you implying that refacing would be a lot of work for little gain?

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 04:59:03 PM »

I have found that the open aluminium action levers as shown in your video tend to make slightly more clopping noise than wooden levers. The impact of the closing pallets seem to be transmitted along the lever arms, whereas wooden lever arms seem to deaden the impact noise more.

Also the springs may be set a bit too strong, causing a higher energy impact than necessary to ensure an airtight seal. Your video seems to indicate this might be a possibility. It might be worth trying to ease the springs a little.

If you play with the grille removed, that will also make the pallet noise more audible.

However, as Theo as hinted at, is the pallet noise noticeable under normal playing conditions? I have found that such noise is generally only noticed by the player and rarely by listeners a fathom or so away. Also, goose-neck and grille-mounted mics will tend to pick up pallet noise more readily than stand-mounted mics.

If the pallet facings are really old and compressed, there might be some benefit in replacing them with new soft felt/leather composites, but there will still be some noise.


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Stiamh

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 07:53:34 PM »

Thanks Steve. I keep the grille on, but I do use a gooseneck mike. I understand that there will always be some noise but I would like to quieten the action as much as possible on all of my boxes. But I wouldn't bother refacing the pallets if the improvement was likely to be only marginal.

Gromit

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 08:30:03 PM »

I have the same two problems with my Bouebe which is about the same age. The creaking I cured with a very small amount of graphite, the pallet noise sounds loud to me but I've been told it's not too bad from a distance (far away  (:)) but I find it a bit annoying.
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Malcolm Clapp

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 10:49:45 PM »

A small improvement can sometimes be had from removing the pallets and, with a soft brush, raising the nap of the leather which may have compacted over the years.
I suggest you try just one first to assess the improvement gained (or otherwise).
Of course, if you are going to the trouble of removing all the pallets, it might be worth just replacing all the pads anyway!

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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 02:01:44 AM »

A small improvement can sometimes be had from removing the pallets and, with a soft brush, raising the nap of the leather which may have compacted over the years.
I suggest you try just one first to assess the improvement gained (or otherwise).

It can work to seal off an air leak and may reduce clatter, but I wouldn't remove a pallet to try it.
Given the pallet lift on that box, you should be able to get a small brush in there to ruffle the leather.

Also the springs may be set a bit too strong, causing a higher energy impact than necessary to ensure an airtight seal. Your video seems to indicate this might be a possibility. It might be worth trying to ease the springs a little.

I agree and if you ease up the springs, you will have a lighter, faster action, which is an added bonus.

This tiny clip is of a Saltarelle Irish Bouëbe,

Of course,you could always use that box to send messages. It's already making the right noises!

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Kimric Smythe

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 05:04:41 AM »

Vincent Cirrelli (he worked for Colombo accordions) said the felt gets packed down over time and will get noisier over time. You can try needling the felt from the sides (not through the pad!) to fluff it up much like they do on piano hammers.

When I rebuild a keyboard I will often massage the pads to fluff them up a bit , and use a toothbrush to fluff up the nap of the leather.
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Stiamh

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Re: Noisy pallets and springs
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 11:17:02 PM »

Thanks all for the suggestions. Fluffing the felt and the raising the nap of the leather sounds like a good first step before contemplating refacing. Although the felt at least does not seem to be very much compacted.

The creaking vanished with the merest hint of the nearest thing to ptfe I have handy - a lubricant sold as Jigaloo here in Canada (a ptfe spray of the same brand is available). Come to think of it, a few years ago in my house Yves Hélie used that very same can when performing some emergency maintenance on Jackie Daly's box which was in a filthy state - its usual condition, Rees said recently!
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