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MMD > Archives > March 2002 > 2002.03.04 > 13Prev  Next

Removing Corroded Organ Reeds
By Craig Brougher

Roger Wiegand was asking about how to remove a reed frozen in a slot
with mouse urine.

To remove a frozen reed, I would use a solution of muriatic acid with
some phosphoric acid and an eyedropper.  By carefully letting capillary
action wick the acid between the reed frame and the wooden slot its
frozen in, the acid solution will work on the brass and corrosion.
Keep it wet and monitor it often.  Don't go off and do something else.
You should see it really working, fizzing and smoking.  Or just a drop
to test may tell you that you can dilute it some.  You don't want to
get it on the reed itself, but if it's a bit out of tune once you
extract it, you can retune the reed easy enough.  You can go down in
pitch or up in pitch.  You can put them right on, again.

The important thing is to neutralize the acid, after you've extracted
the frozen reed.  I would suggest using ammonia first, then baking
soda.  Pile it on, let it wick out everything you can, and then get
completely dry.  After that you can just blow it out with compressed
air.  To protect the reeds a bit, put talcum powder on all the reed
slots first.

Maybe somebody knows of an alternate way, or a better acid to use.
If so, I too would be interested, since the strength of muriatic acid
is enough to not be safe in inexperienced hands.  I use it a lot, but
some people may not be careful to get it all back out of the slot
again.  So I wonder about this advice to all comers.  If you wonder
about your slot, dampen it and use a pH strip (from a drugstore) to see
if you cleaned it well enough.  Also, recheck any glue joints that may
have become loosened around that area.

Craig Brougher

(Message sent Mon 4 Mar 2002, 15:52:14 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Corroded, Organ, Reeds, Removing

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