First remove the keyboard cover – the part of the outside case that covers the area between the keys and the hammers. It didn’t take long for me to remove the cover and lift out the keyboard lid to expose the mechanism.
It was actually a simple matter to remove the keys. Before doing that, I identified which keys were sticking and tagged each of the sticky ones with a tiny Post-It ® note. I thens started working my way from left to right lifting the keys from the frame. The keys sit on top of a rod that acts as a fulcrum. Press down on the ivory part of the key and the other end of it tips the hammer which strikes the string. The keys are balanced so that the weight of the hammer end of the key is heavier than the ivory end and drops back into place of its own weight, restoring the key to its proper height.
DO NOT MIX UP THE KEYS. Take the keys out and put them back the same way - left to right or right to left, it doesn't matter. Use a sharpie and mark the keys in an inconspicuous way with a number or the key name if you know what it is so that if, heaven forbid, you get them mixed up, you can put them back where they belong. Set aside a large flat table or other work surface for laying out the keyboard. Threaten anyone that comes by with death if they mess with the keys while they are lying loose on your work table.
Next I cleaned the ivory (actually plastic) covered part of each key with alcohol and a rag to remove any dirt or oil and working from left to right again, began restoring them to their places on the keyboard. When I got to a sticky key I fixed them. Usually there are two or three together where a key has swollen from moisture getting into the cells of the wood. While this may not be the orthodox method, but since I couldn’t find instructions for how to fix sticky piano keys anywhere, I did what seemed logical.
I simply found where the key was rubbing against an adjacent key or the frame it sits in and sanded the contact point down. Just take a small bit of medium sandpaper and sand the sides at the point of contact. Work slowly and sand very carefully so that you only remove the essential amount of surface wood so as to unstick the key. Keep test fitting the key with the two adjacent keys in place on either side. Sand the adjacent key at the contact point as well. It’s best to alternate between the two keys until both keys move freely. Continue down the keyboard reinserting working keys and trimming the sticky ones until they work.
When all keys are clean and in place, simply replace the lid, screw the cover back in place, lower the top lid and put the trophies back on top and call a piano tuner. Your piano should work as good as new now.
Danger Will Robinson! I am not a professional piano guy. I may be revealing secrets that will get me assasinated by the secret guild of piano fixers, I don’t know. By the time you read this I may be dead. If not, I’d like to state for the record that this is just how I did it. I was successful, but that doesn’t mean you will be. If you break something, it’s not my fault and you can’t sue me for it because I’ve hereby warned you that
What can you do? I was born to repair stuff.
Tom King - firstname.lastname@example.org