Talking about the carbon-fibre tuning lever (a subject I shall return to later, as I intend to review it) has made me think of other technology products in regular use by piano tuners that I might write a short article on.
One such product is Protek CLP. The CLP stands for cleaner, lubricant, protectant. Since its arrival some years ago, it has assisted greatly in the job of the piano tuner. I use it chiefly for its lubricating properties. It’s amazing at freeing up sluggish or seized up action parts such as hammers or keys without the need to dismantle them.
This saves huge amounts of time as the only alternative would be to take everything apart and then begin reaming out bushings, testing them, repinning them back together and finally, reassembling. If the problem was extensive, such process would cost a fortune. On old pianos, removing the hammers can mean the accidental, though inevitable breaking of the old and brittle bridle tapes along with other fatigued parts like springs and flanges; so the cost of such work can easily spiral out of control.
Protek CLP is similar in its effect to the familiar penetrating oil, WD40, but it has one distinct difference; it is not an oil. It is designed for the job and unlike oil, it is harmless to wood and felt. It is also harmless to plastic, metal or the piano finish. So, in theory you can splash it on all over. Though in practice, the use of a dropper, syringe or small brush is best. There’s harmless and harmless and as it contains flouropolymers in solvents, I think a degree of respect is called for!
Still, it has been a saviour for many an old piano and I never travel to a job without it.
More information from Protek Products Inc, Smithtown NY 11787