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MMD > Archives > January 1997 > 1997.01.31 > 07Prev  Next

Pliobond and Carters Rubber Cement
By Craig Brougher

For some rebuilders, contact cement and rubber cement is thought to be an ideal glue. However, if I can convince anyone not to use these products, generally, I will try. Pliobond has been a popular glue in pianos and players for the last twenty years or so. It has never failed to fail, however, and removing it is a pain in the (shop).

I would love to hear from a chemist who has intimate dealings or who at least understands the latex base this glue is made from. I believe it was originally designed for automotive gaskets. Another loser is Carter rubber cement, when used for players. I don't think it was conceived or designed for this, either.

My experience has been very negative with Pliobond in player work. In every case, the stuff gets powdery and self-destructs on wood. I can't help but believe that there are many different formulations and characteristics of latex formulas. Tiger Brand rubber shoe cement seemed to me to be a good formulation of latex which lasted forever in shoe repair, so why wouldn't it last forever in player pianos? (Maybe it does).

Is there such a thing as a chemical reaction between the wood and the latex which causes such fast degeneration? Do natural acids in wood have an effect on all latex, or certain formulations more than others?

When pneumatic cloth is installed with rubber cement, I notice that long before the rubber covered cloth has timed out, the cement already has -- probably ten years before. After all, I don't see them until a disgruntled owner has resold the instrument to somebody for scrap. This is such a waste in my opinion!

There is just no reason to restore a player, if you're only shooting for about ten years or so. Don't even bother. A player piano is the most durable, reliable, happy piece of machinery that I know about. Think 60 years, guys.

I hope that those rebuilding their pianos realize that 20 years isn't very long. They should have their great-grandchildren visualized in their heads as they are doing each pneumatic because that piano will stand as a monument in their family to the care and foresight they exercised. "My great-grandpa rebuilt this here pianner, and this sucker has been a-playin' since '97." Pneumatics is the most reliable mechanical system ever devised.

Craig Brougher

[ Editors note:
[ Don Teach suggested the answer, and it's "Education". Discussing
[ what is good and what is bad, right here in the Digest, is education.
[ I'm not a technician and I'm not likely to do any more than simple
[ repairs to my instruments. By soaking up this education I can now
[ discuss with my local tech how the big jobs will be done. If a
[ quick fix with rubber cement is suggested, I know enough to question
[ "why", and then talk about better ways.
[ Educating the owners like me is just as important as educating the
[ technicians, because if the owner doesn't appreciate the necessity of
[ proper repair techniques, then the cheapest job will probably result.
[ Robbie Rhodes

(Message sent Thu 30 Jan 1997, 23:46:13 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Carters, Cement, Pliobond, Rubber

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