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Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:03 pm
by dsomerville
I'm planning to start renovating an old set of pipes. Has anyone got advice about the synthetic material that often gets used for key pads, and who supplies it?
Thanks
David

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:30 am
by edric
I believe the material of choice is called "Funky Foam" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funky-Foam-Shee ... B000UCUL48

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:27 am
by Francis Wood
Advantages and disadvantages of Funky Foam pads

Advantages:

Easily available (Edric's Amazon link and many art shops)
Is of consistent thickness``
Will provide an instant effective seal
Needs relatively little skill to fit
You can use double-sided adhesive tape for a Kwik-Fit
Is consequently easy to renew and replace if necessary.
If you're partial to fluorescent pink, no contest!
Also available in beige. And brown

Disadvantages:

Consistent thickness, so for old pipes with varying seating angles this may cause difficulties
(the inconsistency of leather is an advantage here).
May compress noticeably and deform after relatively little time.
Therefore possible that the sealing properties are less than permanent.
Consider material and adhesive carefully if you intend to oil the chanter bore.

A final choice might depend on your time scale. Both leather and foam are good materials but are appropriate in different circumstances.

NB: Some earlier examples of foam pads were disastrous, the self-adhesive layer and the material itself deteriorating badly after relatively little time. Funky Foam seems a lot better, but use adhesive tape only for an instant job and a serious adhesive for something that will last. Worth noting here that leather pads can last for 100 years if looked after!

Francis

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:45 am
by Richard Evans
Francis Wood wrote:Advantages and disadvantages of Funky Foam pads



Consistent thickness, so for old pipes with varying seating angles this may cause difficulties
(the inconsistency of leather is an advantage here).
May compress noticeably and deform after relatively little time.


I disagree with Francis here. I find the foam (Fab Foam from Hobbycraft) excellent for sealing irregular surfaces because it compresses. It looks as though it will be too thick when you fit the pad, but it packs down nicely. I haven't used anything else for many years.

Richard

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:08 am
by dsomerville
Many thanks for the replies.
Richard - what do you use to cut the foam to right size/shape?
David

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:22 am
by pipemakermike
My only experience of foam pads was around 10 years ago when I was asked to troubleshoot a chanter just returned from a professional maker that had been repadded with self adhesive foam pad material and the oil on the pipe had rendered the adhesive to be a sticky as custard. Mind you, the chanter looked as though it had been dipped in the oil and I spent some time removing the oil before I repadded it.
I am afraid I am rather old fashioned when it comes to pads as I still use the same material I used in 1980 i.e. Pneumatic Basil fixed in place with a flake of shellac. I got a lifetimes supply from a friend who restored player pianos and that was the material that the bellows that drove the mechanism used.

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:06 pm
by Richard Evans
dsomerville wrote:Many thanks for the replies.
Richard - what do you use to cut the foam to right size/shape?
David


Various punches, some bought, some made. You can even make punches out of thin walled brass tubing, the foam is very soft.

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:53 am
by pipemakermike
I use brass thin-walled tube and I put it in my pillar drill. A piece of ply on the drill table and the drill running at a reasonable speed and a lot of pads can be punched at one session. I use 2 sizes 3/8" & 5/16"

Re: Advice about key pads

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:09 am
by dsomerville
Thanks again for all the helpful replies.
The Cambridge Pianola Company appear to sell basil leather.
David