Contact: Rick Wheeler  503 654 1888

Roseland Piano Co. was established in the Pacific Northwest as a full service piano rebuilding 
facility specializing in soundboard replacement and complete action restoration.

In 1993 Roseland Piano produced its first piano keyset, and has since, become the largest maker of piano keys in the nation.

The founder of Roseland Piano Co., Richard (Rick) Wheeler, has been a technician in the piano industry for more than 40 years.  His background includes decades of hands-on piano rebuilding and restoration, plus many years of manufacturing experience in quality control, production 
management, and new product development.

Why Replace Piano Keys?
Of all the thousands of parts on the modern piano, most components (strings, hammers, action parts, felts etc.) have been readily replaceable, often available from many different sources. Because there were no key makers who catered to the rebuilding trade, the keyset was usually reconditioned, rather than replaced. Since a quality piano can be rebuilt many times, the keys would become more degraded and compromised with each round of piano service. Along with the obvious benefit of replacing worn, damaged, or poorly serviced keys, a Roseland keyset can improve the way a piano plays. 
Ivory Piano Keys
Ivory has been the traditional covering for the natural keys (white keys) for 250 years. It was a near perfect material because of its durability, uniformity, and its smooth (cool touch) texture. It wore well and cleaned with relative ease. 
A small U.S. town was established at the primary port of entry for ivory, aptly named Ivoryton, Connecticut, located on the Connecticut River. There the ivory was processed for use as piano key covers, combs, hair clips, toothbrush handles, and many other quality products. 
Substitutes for ivory were sought, more for cost factors than ecological reasons. One such material of mid 19th century English origin was Galalith (Elfinite in French), which means literally “milk stone”. It was made of the casein component of milk.

Faced with a huge milk surplus in the U.S. in the 1920’s, the Borden company developed three products to utilize the milk: the white Elmer’s glue we're all familiar with, casein paint, and a product called “milk rod”. The latter product was used as a piano key covering, although by which piano key makers remains a mystery. Because of its casein base, it is assumed to be similar to the Galalith.
Celluloid was developed in the late 19th century and was used as a substitute for ivory on many household and personal items. Its use on piano keys began early in the 20th century. Although a fairly durable material, at significant cost savings, it did have an unfortunate drawback. It was highly flammable. Its primary components were nitro-cellulose (the primary component in finishing lacquers), camphor, and petroleum distillates.
For the most part, ivory as a key covering material was discontinued in the late 1950’s. This was due primarily to cost. Materials of cellulose, styrene, and acrylic base were dramatically less expensive for key covers. 

In 1977, the African elephant was listed for the first time by CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species), under Appendix I, which banned trade in ivory. The result was a prohibition of importing ivory for commercial purposes to the USA. To this day, it is legal to bring registered ivory into the USA under certain conditions with correct documentation and valid permits, but only for personal use. 
The ivory we use at Roseland Piano Co. is all pre-ban material with proper documentation. It is processed in the Amish country of Ohio. 

Make Your Piano Play Better
The modern grand piano action is a relatively simple mechanism, comprised essentially of 3 levers. Working together they convert the downward motion of the key to the upward movement of the hammer.
Our ACTION GEOMETRY ANALYSIS is an in depth study of the lever system of a given piano. We first determine the working ratio of both the hammer and whippen assemblies, then calculate what the correct key ratio should be to achieve an optimum overall ACTION RATIO. By relocating the fulcrum (balance point) of the key to its ideal position, the piano action will regulate properly (mechanical adjustments) and the touch weight of the key (resistance to movement), will fall within correct parameters.
What this means to the performer, is a piano that is more responsive, repeats faster, and has a wider dynamic range. Because there is typically less lead in the key, player fatigue and forearm injury is minimized.
Services & Supplies for the Piano Technician
Custom made replacement keysets
•	 8 different headscales available
•    4 different species of keystick material
•	Many different key surface materials, including genuine ivory
  A dozen different styles of sharp covers...Premium Ebony...available straight or tapered

Modernization of antique piano actions 
We can create a new piano action & keyset to replace obsolete original components. This allows use of off the shelf replacement parts, and standard regulation procedures.

Key button stock
Made to order reversible key button stock. 
Available in the finest grade white hard Maple, or select Basswood. 
Machined so that the buttons will form a perfect straight line at front and back edge when installed correctly. 

                                          Custom-made sharp covers


     Roseland Piano Co. 
11380 SE 21st Ave. Milwaukie OR 97222 
503 654 1888