Key-bushings are made from bearing cloth and sit within the mortises of the wooden keys, between the wood and the pins on the key frame; which serve to keep the keys on track. Without key bushings the keys would clatter against these pins.
Over time the key-bushings wear down with use, harden with age and sometimes fall out altogether.
This causes the keys to wobble and rattle, giving a piano that distinctive 'old feel'.
For piano keys to perform correctly (and silently) these bushings must be in good condition, and replaced if necessary.
In our workshop, our technicians replace key-bushings wherever necessary to give our pianos that 'new piano' feel.
Before the removal of the original bushings, careful measurements are taken to determine both the size of the pins used in the key frame, and the thickness of the original bushings, to ensure that the correct thickness of replacement material
is used to create the optimal snug (but not tight) fit.
For the utmost longevity, we source our parts and materials from the long established and most reputable suppliers in the UK and Germany; opposed to cheaper suppliers/parts, which compromise on quality and performance.
After the keys have been reinstalled into the piano they are meticulously eased (adjusted), if necessary, for an absolute consistent feel across the entire keyboard.
Our professional installation restores the feel of the keyboard to the day it left the factory.
The photo on the right (shot from a model keyboard) shows the front rail bushings (in red), which stabilize the key from side to side.
All of this work is carried out by our technicians in our workshop before we offer them for sale; and is backed by the Sykes & Sons guarantee.
Some manufacturers used key-bushings made from a composite material instead of the traditional felt.
Usually in green, these bushings are easily identified.
The bushings worked well when they were new, however with age, they began to wear down and replacements cannot be sourced. Pianos with these bushings are usually accompanied by an action made by Kastner-Wehlau. These pianos are generally of poor quality and should be avoided.