Keybed moth damage repair

When a Rhodes has been stored damp it can attract moths to the various felts inside. As well as eating the felt the larvae will leave marks in the surrounding wood, sometimes leading to significant damage. In particular balance pin holes are vulnerable as they sit right on top of a felt punching. This page aims to show the basic repair process in this scenario.

Below is a photo of the damage to the key I'll be repairing.


The damage is pretty deep. This needs to be routed out, patched and redrilled.

One difficulty here is locating the balance pin hole for redrilling. I use a perspex screen from an old oscilloscope with a 1.5mm pilot hole drilled to mark the key and a position marker on each end.

moths locate hole.jpg

With the hole position marked from each end of the perspex we then mark the area to be routed.

moths mark router.jpg

I mount the key in a vice and use a router bit in a pillar drill. I'm working on a different key in this photo.

moths drill.jpg

We then select suitable timber for patching. I cut a thin strip of maple with a circular saw.

moths timber.jpg

Then cut a section of timber for the patch, glue and clamp in place.

moths clamp.jpg

cut the patch down to size so it sits flush with the key. Then use the perspex with the pilot hole to mark the location of the new hole.

moths finished.jpeg

Then drill the new hole using a pillar drill. I would suggest 3.9mm on a Rhodes. Check how the key sits on the pin and for correct alignment with other keys. If marked correctly it should sit perfectly in place with the other keys.