Tight and sticky tuners

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Leo
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Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Leo » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:06 am

I recently purchased a new guitar that had Gotoh premium tuners on it. Two of the tuners were very tight to turn and seemed to skip ahead a little bit when turning. I took the tuners off and did not see anything that appeared wrong with them. So I decided to apply Triflow lubricant, and applied it with a toothbrush over all parts of the gears, and let it sit overnight. Triflow is commonly used for bicycles as a deep penetrating lubricant. I also applied wax to the inside holes where the rollers contact the wood.

When I first put new strings on, the turning still seemed tight, but after a few hours all the knobs were turning like butter. Not sure if it was the wax or lubricant that helped more, but it sure beat buying new tuners. :D
2012 Hippner, Spruce-birdseye maple
1985 Takamine C-132S

soufiej
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by soufiej » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:17 am

Just an observation: You risked invalidating your new guitar's warranty by removing the tuners.

You wouldn't have been asked to pay for new tuners if you had a warranty.

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Peter Frary
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Peter Frary » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:20 am

Or maybe the Gotohs started to wear in or the wood dried out a wee bit. As I recall, if they're the high end Gotohs, supposedly they don't need to be lubricated. Also they have inserts in the hole for a more consistent diameter and smoother rotation. The lower Gotohs lack the inserts. I've owned several guitars where the tuners got sticky during humid weeks and were smooth on dry days. I used a few swipes of sandpaper on a wood round stick to slightly enlarge the holes. They were fine forever after that.

I don't think your warranty was threatened by removing the tuners. Plus, how would they know unless you told them? With that said, installing new tuners is one of the first things I often do when I buy a new guitar. Even many high end guitars ship with so-so tuners...
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

JohnB
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by JohnB » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:40 am

Leo wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:06 am
Two of the tuners were very tight to turn and seemed to skip ahead a little bit when turning.
If the pitch seems to stick as you turn the tuners, then suddenly jumps - that can be caused by the strings sticking in the nut slots. It is more common with the base strings than the trebles (because of the windings). Michael N has, in the past, said one can use string of a suitable diameter together with a mild abrasive such as mild car paint cutting agent to polish the slots.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

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Peter Frary
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Peter Frary » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:43 pm

That's a good point about tight nut slots. However, you'll probably hear the sound of the string rubbing against the slot. One or two swipes with a fine Swiss file is usually all it takes to fix although a wee bit of graphite lubricate may be enough to nix the bind.
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

Dirck Nagy
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Dirck Nagy » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:22 am

Graphite from a pencil "lead" works well for lubricating the nut slots. Just scrub it over the windings of the string as you tune it up to pitch.

This also helps eliminate the creaking noise you sometimes might get when tuning the lower strings.

cheers!
dirck
2015 John H. Dick
1994 Larry Breslin ("Deerhead")
1952 Vincente Tatay

Scott Phillips
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Scott Phillips » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:16 am

You definitely don’t was to get penetrating oil on unfinished wood, and I imagine that you wouldn’t want it to contact FP finish. Tri flo is great for sticky lock cylinder on your car door, but I wouldn’t use it, or worse WD40 on my guitar. +1 on the graphite.

JohnB
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by JohnB » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:01 am

Some years ago Klaus Scheller (of Scheller tuners) posted on this forum about lubricating tuners and said:
Do not use creeping oil. It creeps also into places where it does not belong!
Neither use oil containing acid, bad for any guitar!
Thinly liquid oil drops and adheres badly!
The oil of choice is thickly liquid, the kind you would use on a bicycle chain. I am using Shimano oil, but there are others.
Do it every time you change strings.
A word of warning: when I Google for Shimano oil most of the results are for for their Mineral Oil for hydraulic systems - this is NOT what Klaus meant. It is very thin and creeps absolutely everywhere!

I assume that Klaus was referring to the Shimano "Lube" (for bicycle chains), which comes in "Wet" or "PTFE" versions. I think the Wet Lube was the one Klaus meant (though I might be mistaken).

The full post is: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=66493&p=731071&hil ... no#p731071
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

Leo
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Leo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:34 pm

JohnB wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:01 am
Some years ago Klaus Scheller (of Scheller tuners) posted on this forum about lubricating tuners and said:
Do not use creeping oil. It creeps also into places where it does not belong!
Neither use oil containing acid, bad for any guitar!
Thinly liquid oil drops and adheres badly!
The oil of choice is thickly liquid, the kind you would use on a bicycle chain. I am using Shimano oil, but there are others.
Do it every time you change strings.
A word of warning: when I Google for Shimano oil most of the results are for for their Mineral Oil for hydraulic systems - this is NOT what Klaus meant. It is very thin and creeps absolutely everywhere!

I assume that Klaus was referring to the Shimano "Lube" (for bicycle chains), which comes in "Wet" or "PTFE" versions. I think the Wet Lube was the one Klaus meant (though I might be mistaken).

The full post is: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=66493&p=731071&hil ... no#p731071
If you look up Shimano chain lube, you get better results. Triflow has the same PTFE that Shimano oil has (also known as Teflon), and it worked for me. Always trust the experts. :wink:
Last edited by Leo on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2012 Hippner, Spruce-birdseye maple
1985 Takamine C-132S

SteveL123
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm

Triflow lube for bicycle chain in a spray can has a strong and nasty odor. I would not want that smell on my guitar or case.

I think Klaus Scheller's suggestion of using hard soap is a great idea. Soap is made from glycerin and fat, both an excellent lubricant by itself. It is not toxic, smells good, does not creep. May not be the best lubricant in a high speed/ high load rotating mechanism, but for a guitar tuner probably more than good enough.

Leo
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by Leo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:56 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm
Triflow lube for bicycle chain in a spray can has a strong and nasty odor. I would not want that smell on my guitar or case.

I think Klaus Scheller's suggestion of using hard soap is a great idea. Soap is made from glycerin and fat, both an excellent lubricant by itself. It is not toxic, smells good, does not creep. May not be the best lubricant in a high speed/ high load rotating mechanism, but for a guitar tuner probably more than good enough.
Used the one in oil form, applied with a toothbrush, as Klaus recommended, been a few days and no smell detected.
2012 Hippner, Spruce-birdseye maple
1985 Takamine C-132S

SteveL123
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:15 pm

Leo wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:56 pm
(....................)

Used the one in oil form, applied with a toothbrush, as Klaus recommended, been a few days and no smell detected.
Here are the MSDS for both, you can see the ingredients in section 3. So the liquid bottle Triflow has no odor at all? Both contain an Aliphatic Solvent which I assume has a smell to it.

Liquid http://www1.mscdirect.com/MSDS/MSDS0002 ... 161204.PDF

Aerosol http://www1.mscdirect.com/MSDS/MSDS0001 ... 161002.PDF

Which Gotoh premium tuners do you have? Does it have ball bearings?

JohnB
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Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by JohnB » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:19 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm
Triflow lube for bicycle chain in a spray can has a strong and nasty odor. I would not want that smell on my guitar or case.
Triflow does also come in 2oz "drop" bottles. I have tried that in the past but it is very thin and I am not at all convinced that it is ideal for guitar tuners.

I've ordered the Shimano Wet Lube so will report back after I have tested it.
Hermanos Conde 1968, Stephen Frith 2007 "Guijoso", Christopher Dean 2018, Ana Maria Espinosa 2014

mvotre
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:10 am
Location: São Paulo - Brasil

Re: Tight and sticky tuners

Post by mvotre » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:51 pm

hmm, as a cyclist this idea got me thinking:

For my chains I use Squirt lube, wich supposedly it's just wax in a liquid carrier, without many of the harsh chemicals, and no smell at all. Would it work? It works fine as chain lube, you can completely remove it with warm water and it is easy on fingers, and clothes (wife approved). Will try some on my guitar! :D

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