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Refinishing worn pedals

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

Refinishing worn pedals

Postby georgefung » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:49 pm

Hello,

I've seen a lot of discussion on what type of wood to use when building your own pedalboard, but what would you use as a top coat finish?

I have a concave radiating pedalboard (AGO specifications) in my HW setup. The finish in the naturals (i.e., long pedals) have been worn off in very specific spots by the previous owner who was more of a left-footed, toes-only, single-octave pedaller. These bare areas are becoming more noticeable because of normal use.

I'd like to lightly sand those areas and refinish those spots. What can I use to refinish these areas? Can I just use a water-based or oil-based polyurethane that is commonly used for refinishing hardwood floors? Or is there something else that is recommended?

Thanks to all,

George
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby flydeltajets » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:14 am

George,

Your best bet would be to buy a set of naturals (caps) from an organ supply company or builder, such as Armdt. The caps are normally glued or screwed to the top of another piece of wood which contains the spring and notch (keystick per se).

If you have the tools, you could also make the tops fairly easily from solid maple, then use a router to create the bullnose profile and roundovers. The naturals are normally coated in a hard laquer or epoxy to help prevent wear.
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby organtechnology » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:58 pm

georgefung wrote:Hello,

I've seen a lot of discussion on what type of wood to use when building your own pedalboard, but what would you use as a top coat finish?

I have a concave radiating pedalboard (AGO specifications) in my HW setup. The finish in the naturals (i.e., long pedals) have been worn off in very specific spots by the previous owner who was more of a left-footed, toes-only, single-octave pedaller. These bare areas are becoming more noticeable because of normal use.

I'd like to lightly sand those areas and refinish those spots. What can I use to refinish these areas? Can I just use a water-based or oil-based polyurethane that is commonly used for refinishing hardwood floors? Or is there something else that is recommended?

Thanks to all,

George


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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby Stuart » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:54 pm

Waterlox is an excellent choice and can be found at https://www.waterlox.com/products-item/waterlox-original-penetrating-tung-oil-floor-sealer-finish.aspx.

Waterlox is a highly modified tung oil, often used on gym floors. I used it on a newly built pedalboard several years ago and there is little evidence of any wear to date. (It is used daily.) Waterlox is essentially a "wipe on" type of finish and I applied perhaps 10 coats over a period of several days while other work on the pedalboard was in process. If you choose to use Waterlox, please do not ignore the following which is critically important: Read the instructions very carefully both in regards to ventilation (or the use of a respirator) and for cleanup of application rags. The finish is a true drying oil and rags saturated with the finish may spontaneously combust if not disposed of properly. I am a woodworker and use this finish quite often, but I always keep in mind that more than one woodworking shop in my immediate area has burned to the ground because rags used with this general type of drying finish were not removed from the shop and disposed of properly.
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby eajohnson » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:13 pm

I refinished a 30 year old pedal board on an AOB a few years ago, the finish had worn off many of the naturals near the middle C pedal. I lightly sanded all the naturals then applied a basic water based polyurethane in three coats, lightly sanding between coats. It turned out just fine and has been in use at a local church for about 5 years now with no visible wear. I was a little concerned that the polyurethane might prove to be too "slippery" but that did not turn out to be the case.
Owner of an old Schober homebuilt, midified and Hauptwerkified.
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby georgefung » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:51 am

Thanks to everyone for their input.

Just in case anyone wants to know for future reference, I ended up using a Semi-Gloss Minwax Polyurethane that I bought at Home Depot. It's a standard polyurethane that I'm also using to repair some worn spots on my hardwood floor. The one I'm using is NOT water-based, so it does give a slight yellow tinge to the bare wood, which is actually a good match for my pedals.
I sanded the worn spots slightly, then appiled the Polyurethane by foam brush. I think I'll apply a 2nd coat and then check if I need a third coat (probably unlikely).
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby 1961TC4ME » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:10 pm

The Minwax oil base polyurethane is good stuff, I've gone through many a quart over the years, you'll be happy with it's finish and durability. Only difference is I prefer application with a good varnish brush vs. a foam brush. A second coat is a good idea as the first coat will sometimes remain slightly tacky to the touch until a second coat is put over it and dried. 12 - 24 hours later you're good to go.

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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:49 am

georgefung wrote:Thanks to everyone for their input.

Just in case anyone wants to know for future reference, I ended up using a Semi-Gloss Minwax Polyurethane that I bought at Home Depot. It's a standard polyurethane that I'm also using to repair some worn spots on my hardwood floor. The one I'm using is NOT water-based, so it does give a slight yellow tinge to the bare wood, which is actually a good match for my pedals.
I sanded the worn spots slightly, then appiled the Polyurethane by foam brush. I think I'll apply a 2nd coat and then check if I need a third coat (probably unlikely).


I'm about to do the same thing. Are you happy with the end results of using the Minwax semi-gloss?
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby georgefung » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:18 am

Tweedle_Dee,

I'm very happy with the results.

I ended up applying 2 coats to the worn spots with the foam brush. I didn't bother with a 3rd coat, since those areas really won't see that much traffic anyways.
After the 1st coat, you may find that the finish is slightly rough, so a very light sanding with fine grit sandpaper (220 or 400 grit) to knock off any high spots might be necessary before applying the 2nd coat.

I can't see or feel any difference between the original areas and the newly finished areas. And if I can't feel the difference by feeling it with my bare hand, I definitely won't be able to feel any difference through organ shoes.

No regrets whatsoever.
Let us know how it goes.

Good luck,

George
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Re: Refinishing worn pedals

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:26 pm

Excellent. Thanks for letting me know.
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