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68. Varmints, Lubrication in Player Pianos

We sell graphite for lubricating players.


Mice, squirrels, moths. I had a lady in Michigan who bought a Mahler player-- one of the best-- and stored it in the garage. Chip monks ate the bellows out of it, and I got some good money taking them to Jerry Peterson to repair. I put the bellows back in, and told her to guard the thing better. She left it in the garage! Some folks really help us tuners to make a living. Do you get the message? Forget the gurus, space cadets, and Conservancy. Kill every varmint that comes near that piano. If you think your grandma is in the rat, then you deserve all the pain you get.

See the section in this chapter on Varmints.


The rule is this-- graphite on wood and leather, and oil on metal. DO NOT break this rule if you want the thing to keep running. The most important area to lubricate is the bellows operated "motor" on the top of the "stack" of mechanism above. Dry graphite can be shaken onto the wooden sliding parts. It won't hurt if some gets into the holes.

Oil LIGHTLY the metal moving parts, but, DO NOT get oil on the leather breaking wheels, leather nuts, or devices. If they are breaking too much, then adjust them rather than lubricate them.

  On to task 69.