Fender Rhodes 1970

Compared to my last Rhodes endeavor this restoration was a blessing. This instrument had the most beautiful key bed I have seen to date. No slop, all keys made from one piece of wood, only barely warped if at all, Marcel pedestals with pristine felt and nice and (following my new treatment) tight hammers with barely any sideways slop.

I had a few hammers which were too loose and worn and I was ready to scrap them so I decided to try what would happen if I apply hot air 130-150 Celsius to the flange. It proven to be excellent method, plastic becomes soft and very slightly shrinks which took away all the slop and the hammer I was about to scrap was suddenly as good as new. This method also allowed me to straighten some of the hammers where the wooden part wasn’t glued 100% straight

When I was done with all the keys, it was a pleasure to just change hammer tips and damper felts and the magic immediately happened, the most gorgeous experience beautifully responsive to touch with full dynamic scale.

The only bad part was the harp. It suffered severe corrosion to all the tines and tone bars. Most were like the bottom example or worse and one pickup wasn’t working, luckily the pickup wire corroded away at the top so I was able to fix it.

Harp frame, tone bars and tines went for re-plating and I must say they did wonderful job masking the tines with heat shrink tube to prevent the tine itself from being plated. I only used nano protection oil to prevent further corrosion.

By far my most enjoyable Rhodes restoration to date.