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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Oiling Tuners

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scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Mar 4th, 2018 10:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

Is it a bad idea to do this? I have an old set of sealed tuners that are very stiff, damn near need a set of pliers to tune the G string. Thinking about dribbling some 3in1 down between the collet and post.

Don't see any downside but I thought they were lubed & sealed. I suppose the posts could have been slightly bent over time making them hard to turn.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 5th, 2018 03:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

It may be the shaft that the button is attached to.

If the buttons have a screw on the top:

Unscrew the screw.
Carefully lift the button off ensuring the little washers (and I mean little) don't fall off. There are usually 2 or 3 washers/spacers. One of them may be a tensioning washer.

You may need to remove the washers to gain a better access to the shaft. If you do, note the order they come off. I've seen spacer/tension washer/spacer.

To lube, straighten out a paper clip (or use a stiff single strand of wire) place one end of the p clip/wire where the shaft exits the casing and hold it at a 45 degree angle whilst letting a single drop of oil run down the wire into the casing.

This procedure just minimises the potential for making an oily mess on your headstock.

Pop the button back on without the washers & screw and see if turn more freely. If so, give it a few turns maybe another drop of oil then reassemble.

Hope this helps.


RicOkc

Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Mar 5th, 2018 04:36 AM   Edit   Profile  


oops



(This message was last edited by RicOkc at 06:38 AM, Mar 5th, 2018)

wrnchbndr

New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Mar 5th, 2018 07:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

Be minimal when lubricating tuners. I have lubricated tuners excessively and ended up with tuners that rotate backwards from string tension. If you gotta, you gotta. But do it conservatively.

009
Contributing Member
******

USA

Mar 5th, 2018 07:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

^. ^. ^. That’s interesting. And it occurs to me maybe to use something that is primarily a corrosion solvent and maybe only secondarily a lubricant. WD-40 comes to mind, but I suspect there may be others...

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Mar 5th, 2018 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Kerosene, I’ve made up a few gauged wire oil applicators for apply minute amounts of lubricant, I use the small one on tuners. Probably works out to a fraction of one drop. I also use Ballistol known for it’s ability to resist drying out, it can also be mixed with water (the water evaporates leaving a film of lubricant), it’s harmless to wood and leather.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********
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So. Cal. USA

Mar 5th, 2018 09:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

The tuners are assembled with grease. The grease stiffens and they get tight. Sometimes it is wear on the helical gears that make them tight. You will know once a little fresh lube gets in there.

As above minimal lube it best so it doesn't contaminate unfinished drilled holes in the headstock.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 5th, 2018 02:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Be minimal when lubricating tuners." and "...do it conservatively."

Good advice that I was not too specific about in my previous post, but is what I intended with my "single drop of oil" comment.

Interesting about the Ballistol stuff Hushnel.
I'll have to look into that in future.


hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Mar 5th, 2018 04:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

Clipped from Amazon.com

Ballistol was developed for the German Army who requested an oil that would lubricate, clean, protect and preserve firearms and gun stocks as well as preserve leather gear. It is unmatched for cleaning firearms and minimizes the need for brushing and scraping barrels and chambers. It forms a protective film on the surface of metals and is capable of creeping into the finest cracks and fissures making Ballistol and excellent "penetrant" to help loosen frozen nuts and bolts. It will even protect wet surfaces! Unlike most lubricants, Ballistol emulsifies with water; when the water evaporates, Ballistol stays behind to protect the metal, plastic, wood or leather. Ballistol will keep all smooth leathers soft and moisturized (do not use on suede). It is also non-toxic and biodegradable; neither its use, disposal or decomposition will produce any byproducts that are harmful to the environment. Coca Cola and many of Germany's famous breweries use Ballistol as does Bizerba, one of the largest precision scale manufacturers, who specifies Ballistol because it never gets sticky or increases friction over time. It's also a great silver and brass polish. Human sweat and skin oils are slightly acidic; their effect is similar to the etching process. Ballistol is slightly alkaline and neutralizes this effect. Of course Ballistol is also perfect for all the household chores any normal oil will do, but why settle for a "normal" oil when you can have one product that does so much more.

I’ve also read that an open bottle of it was found in a deceased hunter lodge in the Alps, it was 40 years old and the same consistancy as the day it was purchased. I started using it for field cleaning my Black Powder muzzle loaders.

Back in my day job, Bio-Medical Engineering, I used test lungs to calibrate ventilators, it squeaked horribly, I used WD-40, it was the only stuff the hospital supplied. It would keep the test lung quiet for three or four months. I tried a little ballistol on it at a 1:10 ratio with water. I never had to re-apply, about 10 years or so before I retired. I’ve got other stories about this stuff too. You can get it by using the Amazon link. I buy it by the case now, I still have a few bottles of it. In Europe it’s approved for hospital use and will not support combustion in a high % and Pressure O2 environment. A piece of felt sprayed with the one part ballistol, ten parts water is in my instrument cases, my guitar and bass strings look like new when they are shot. Can’t hurt the finger board and has no effect on frets, keeps everything nice.

I know I sound like a fanboy but this stuff does what it was designed to do, it been around since 1917 or so.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 5th, 2018 04:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Hushnel.

There's a gun shop just a few k's from my house. I'll check if they stock it. Probably pretty dear price-wise here. But will look into it.

Cheers

edit to add:
Ballistol is readily available here and not too expensive. Local shop doesn't stock it but a number of online retailers do. Mostly the aerosol version, but some non-aerosol too.

Thanks again.

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:37 PM, Mar 5th, 2018)

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 5th, 2018 04:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

The stuff ya learn here. (-:

scott-s
Contributing Member
******

juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Mar 5th, 2018 05:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, Thanks for all the good info, if nothing else I learned about Ballistol.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 5th, 2018 07:11 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just ordered a can

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 5th, 2018 07:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

“Test Lungs”

W00T!

Hammond101
Contributing Member
**********
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So. Cal. USA

Mar 6th, 2018 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I received a new guitar yesterday and while installing electronics and re-stringing a tuner locked up, the D string. Open style tunes on a slotted headstock. I went to the garage and got my little can of Fluid Film and gave the offending gears a squirt. Perfection! I then lubed the other five and wiped up a slight excess. They are all very smooth now and feel more "expensive".

I started buying this stuff to lube the tracks of my patio doors but have begun to use it in a lot of places.

This stuff:

Fluid Film

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 9th, 2018 10:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had occasion to disassemble an old bicycle shifter recently which was shifting very stiffly or not at all. The grease inside it had turned into a stiff, thick wax. Perusing a couple of bike forums, I found that this is a recognized and common problem with older gear. It's possible old tuners are subject to the same phenomenon.

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
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VA

I say stuff
Mar 10th, 2018 08:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

My can of Ballistol came in while I was out (in TX) this week.

Going to give it a go on my boots. (-:

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Lassoing

Leopards
Mar 10th, 2018 09:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

I prefer gun lube for oiling tuner gears and vibrato bridges because it's formulated to be used in close proximity to wooden stocks. Which means it won't damage wood like 3-in-One oil and similar lubes.

A little dab'll do ya. Less is better than too much.

Also, keep it off the tuner post where the string wraps around. If you get any on the post or string wraps, it can allow the string to slip off the post.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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**********
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Lassoing

Leopards
Mar 10th, 2018 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Using Ballistol on leather is okay--but ONLY if it contains no brass or copper hardware.

The alkaline nature of Ballistol helps to dissolve copper, brass, and lead deposits in chambers and barrels.

If you use Ballistol on a leather item that has rivets, snaps, grommets or zippers, the metal will begin to break down and form verdegris (copper carbonate) that will stain the leather and corrode the metal parts.

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*

VA

I say stuff
Mar 10th, 2018 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

No metal bits on my boots. (-:

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Oiling Tuners




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