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Rusty tuning pins

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  • #109111
    April Brooks
    Participant

    I just got an old harp which hasn’t been played for over 10 years with all the broken strings. I find the tuning pins are very rusty and very hard to tune, especially the wire strings part, is there any solution?

    Thanks

    #109112
    Misty Harrison
    Participant

    Did you pull them out and clean them?

    #109113
    April Brooks
    Participant

    No, I didn’t. So, I should pull them out and clean them first. Which side should I put them out? Would it be hard trying to pull them out?

    Thanks.

    #109114

    Does the harp have thru pins (pins that stick out on both sides of the harp) or zither pins (that just stick out of one side)?

    #109115
    Misty Harrison
    Participant

    I just wiggle the pins out of my harp, kind of pushing gently on them and turning them with the tuning key until they come out. You can also ask a regulator to do it for you.

    Whatever you do, don’t use anything other than your hand and the tuning key to get them out. Sometimes people say to tap gently on the pin with a hammer. Don’t do that. It’s dangerous for the harp.

    #109116
    Karen Johns
    Participant

    If your tuning pins are rusty, you can take a bit of steel wool to shine them up, or replace them altogether, whichever is easier. Most harp stores sell standard zither and through harp tuning pins, and they are fairly inexpensive. If you have problems with the pins holding after replacing them, there is a product called “pin-tite” that you can dab into the hole to help the pin stick.

    #109117
    Liam M
    Participant

    BEFORE YOU PULL ANYTHING OUT, Determine zithers or tapers!!

    #109118
    April Brooks
    Participant

    Thank you all for helping out.

    Another question is how to get rid of the mold built on the discs?

    #109119
    paul-knoke
    Participant

    Ummm…. Rust? Mold? Tarnish? Verdigris? It sounds to me like this harp has been stored someplace very damp. If it’s been wet enough to rust the pins and form some kind of corrosion on the discs, you should probably take it to a harp technician before you do anything else. That kind of dampness can also warp wooden parts and loosen glue joints. Plus, after ten years, it’s going to want complete restringing, new felts, and a regulation.

    Keep us posted!

    Paul

    #109120
    Liam M
    Participant

    I agree, this is getting deeper all the time. This instrument has been abused and may not even be recovereable at any sort of reasonable price. Time to let a skilled

    #109121
    kay-lister
    Member

    If you are on the east coast, I would check out Howard Bryan and see if he can help you our advise you on what you have and what can be done.

    #109122
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    If the harp is a pedal harp, it really needs a harp technician, since the pedal mechanism is a very complex piece of equipment that needs someone who understands it thoroughly.

    April, where are you located? Do you have any idea of what kind of harp it is?

    #109123

    If it has rusty pins, does it also have dusty strings?

    #109124
    Liam M
    Participant

    No pun intended?

    #109125

    A tuning pun, do you mean?

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