G string tuner super hard to turn

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Jeffrey Armbruster
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Location: Berkeley, California

G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:17 pm

I use a winder to change strings but this last time even that was super hard on this one tuner. And then hand turning it to get the string in tune is tough too. Should I use wd-40 on the gears, or what? Thanks in advance.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

SteveL123
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:56 am

I wouldn't use wd-40 spray. If any of it gets into the wood, you won't be able to get rid of the smell.

I'd suggest taking the tuner off, clean it with a tooth brush in dish washing detergent + hot water, blow dry with hair dryer. Lubricate moving parts lightly with olive oil. Wipe off excess and reinstall.

I did that with my tuners and they came out smooth as butter.

OldPotter
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by OldPotter » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:46 am

I would suggest that Vaseline will last longer than olive oil. Some like a light bicycle oil with Teflon powder in it. Sometimes a G tuner will get a knock which bends the button shaft and some tuners have a screw which might tighten the button onto the shaft. If overdone it can make the button stiff to turn.
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

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joachim33
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by joachim33 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:08 am

I definitely wouldn't use WD40. It is designed to creep and creep and creep. You want something that stays where you put it. If it is an expensive instrument I would seek information from the maker/seller.

Regarding bike oil, the latest I got for fixing my bike also seems to creep. You would want that for lubricating bike chains. I would be very careful with bike lubes as well.

Sorry, these are mostly "what not to do". I hope it is still appreciated.

SteveL123
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:55 pm

Vaseline will be less prone to running than olive oil since it is higher viscosity, but viscosity is temperature dependent. At higher temps, Vaseline will also run. The key is to use very little of the lube so there is nothing to run. I blot off any excess with a cotton cloth before mounting the tuner. I like olive oil because it is natural, smells nice, is non toxic and does not polymerize as readily as other edible oils. I put it in salad as well as on my skin as a moisturizer.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by Alan Carruth » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:15 pm

Check the tightness of the screw that secures the gear on the end of the roller shaft. If that gets loose the gear and the worm will not mesh properly, and you'll chew the gear up, which makes it hard to turn. Another cause of this is wear in the worm bearings, or slop caused by loosening of riveted posts. Those can be hard to fix. On really old machines I've seen the shaft hole in the tuner plate wear enough to cause this sort of problem as well. If they're worth the effort, or use a non-standard spacing (usually 35mm between posts these days) you can sometimes disassemble the tuners and silver solder in bushings of brass tube.

Jeffrey Armbruster
Posts: 1988
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:16 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:35 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I'm a klutz and removing the button and tuner is way beyond me. I think that this is a job for John Mello, the local luthier who's trying to stop working on other peoples' guitars and just built his own. Or someone. Guitar center? I bet that this can be solved in five minutes by John, who has tools.
Paul Weaver spruce 2014
Takamine C132S

amezcua
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by amezcua » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 pm

Do you have rivets through the base plate? Many have several metal bumps pressing on the wood. The screws being tightened can easily distort the plate and make the roller press against the centre wooden hole . Any roughness or chipping on the roller shaft could hook into the wood . Or the baseplate getting bent can press the gear and worm drive too hard together or oppositely let them separate enough to jam the edges of the gear teeth on the worm teeth . Plenty of choice for you . Use a magnifier to get a good closeup view .

Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by Alan Carruth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:20 pm

You don't have to disassemble anything to check the tightness of the screw, which, in my experience, accounts for the majority of such problems. Just loosen the string and see if you can tighten the screw. If you can the machine should work easier unless the gear is already trashed.

amezcua
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Re: G string tuner super hard to turn

Post by amezcua » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:52 am

Some tuner gears have a slot with rounded ends and others have splines. These may get damaged if the screw has been loose. Also another player may have swopped parts that don`t belong where they are .Once again with the magnifier .

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