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 Post subject: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:48 am 
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Location: Mercia
Somewhere - on this forum I think - I read to pull the pins on block mounted keys by sliding a knife blade behind the upturned part to hook it out. Ever since I have only seen instructions - from people who clearly know what they are doing - to pull the pin with pliers.

Having a great knack for damaging things with tools I have always used a (bluntish) blade as it seems safer. But then they have never been hard to get out.

Which is best and why?


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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 6:00 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
You can get them out with just about anything. However, you might want to try with a tool less likely to cause damage to pin or flute. Remember, you have to push the pins back in, too, aligning through both sides of the mount & the pivot point of the key. Key springs make that less than trivial.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XU21QT4

or alternative

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T3PBZ5B

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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:37 pm 
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Location: New Hampshire, USA, or Co Clare...
First I try to hold the pin with my fingers, perhaps getting a thumb nail under the curl, to pull it out. If it is too hard to pull it out with my fingers then I use pliers. I have also used nail clippers to grip the curled end of the pin but it requires care and patience to avoid cutting the end off. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 6:00 pm
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Location: Loveland Ohio
If the pin is bent into a hook at one end I try a thumb nail first. If that doesn't work then I'll use pliers to twist the hook back and forth, hopefully loosening up any gummed up oil or gunk that's causing it to stick. If there is a little bit of pin sticking out at the opposite end to the hook I will push on that with the side of a small screwdriver. Usually that frees everything up enough to extract the pin with a thumbnail. Otherwise it's back to pulling and twisting with pliers. When putting the pin back in I like to have a white well-lit background so I can align the holes in the pin and the key by looking through them and then try to stop them from moving while the pin goes in. Short F and low C / C# pins tend to be the hardest to align and get back into place.

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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:49 pm
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Location: Near Seoul
david_h wrote:
Somewhere - on this forum I think - I read to pull the pins on block mounted keys by sliding a knife blade behind the upturned part to hook it out.


I use this type of knife:

Image

I use the punch to push the pin out by half a millimeter or so, going slowly so as not to damage the hole. Then I put the end of the punch through the hook and pull. I find that this works very well.
Putting the key back is another matter though :swear:

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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:16 pm
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Aaron Olwell once told me that dental floss works, and it does.


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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:14 pm 
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Yogifluter wrote:
Aaron Olwell once told me that dental floss works, and it does.



The dental floss idea is genius! I've done the thumbnail. knife edge and smooth jawed pliers depending on how loose or tight, but dental floss is going to be in my hand next time,


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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:04 am
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Location: Mercia
Thanks everyone. That's very comprehensive.

I'll start with dental floss (hands against chest and breath in for controlled pull) and twist with smooth jawed pliers if it seems stuck. It's the squeezing hard with pliers to pull I don't like.


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 Post subject: Re: Pulling key pins
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:18 am
Posts: 42
Just another helpful hint:

The spring on the key is causing upward tension on the pin- this is why the pins don’t work their way out of the block with use. Pressing down on the key at the fulcrum point will relieve that tension and help the pin to pull out easily in some cases.

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