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correct lubricant for Klusons?

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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1,157
Hi all,

I haven't put any lubricant on Klusons in over 30 years. Recently one of the tuners on my Strat is sticking in a huge way.

What is the modern consensus on this? What is the best lubricant to use?

Used to be put a drop of 3 in 1 and call it done....nowadays?

Thanks in advance.

Bernie
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
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I've both used general purpose oil in a small plastic squeeze bottle with a straw, and have also injected bearing grease in with a needle. I tend to believe grease works a little longer on the worm gear itself but a little oil is better than dry and will probably penetrate all the parts a little better.
 

toxpert

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I have been using graphite powder to keep petroleum product from getting onto/into the headstock wood.
 

Uncle Gary

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Oct 15, 2006
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White petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is the lubricant that is installed at the factory. I use an industrial syringe (with a large blunt needle) I got from work (I am a designer in a factory).

I melt the petroleum jelly by placing the jar in a pan of water under LOW heat on a stove, then fill the syringe with it. I then "inject" the petroleum jelly into the tuner through the lube hole while turning the key.
 

singlecut 54

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Oct 16, 2007
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White petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is the lubricant that is installed at the factory. I use an industrial syringe (with a large blunt needle) I got from work (I am a designer in a factory).

I melt the petroleum jelly by placing the jar in a pan of water under LOW heat on a stove, then fill the syringe with it. I then "inject" the petroleum jelly into the tuner through the lube hole while turning the key.

That's exactly what I do, Uncle G.
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Hi all, thanks for the feedback and ideas. If Vaseline is what's in there from the factory I'm game to try that. Next string change!
Cheers,
Bernie
 

oldog

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Nov 28, 2003
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Big Bends Nut Sauce works great and is already in a preloaded syringe that fits right in the hole.
 

toxpert

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be sure not to overfill the tuner. You really don't want the Vaseline product getting into the wood on the headstock.
 

JIMI55LP

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I've always wondered if synthetic oil or grease might be safer on the finish? I've never tried anything but petroleum and always use very little when lubing them.
 

krapac

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Nov 5, 2008
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I'm using Bach[IMG Trumpet oil for valves, it's perfect for old tuners.

olio_bach.jpg
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Ok, did the first guitar. Since it had been 55 years since the guitar had left the factory, I wanted to "clean" the tuners first. So I used a toothpick to put a small amount of Tri Flow on the gears and operated the tuner through it's range a few times. I put the guitar on the bench so if there was excess TriFlow, it would come out of the tuner casings. I did clean up some dirt and old grease that came out with a little Tri Flow. After that I used a woodworking glue syringe to shoot up the tuners with semi melted vaseline. Worked like a charm! Also kept the guitar on the bench after that to monitor Vaseline flow.

Thanks for everybody's help!
 

Uncle Gary

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I've always wondered if synthetic oil or grease might be safer on the finish? I've never tried anything but petroleum and always use very little when lubing them.

I'd be careful there. Some synthetic lubricants are known to attack plastics and the lacquer finish on your guitar is just that-plastic.

Fact is, Klusons should hardly ever need oiling or greasing. They are greased at the factory and should be good for many years. Over oiling can lead to a bunch of problems.
 

JIMI55LP

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I agree about the finish concerns and the plastic contant but Klusons original lubing can't possibly be any good at this point. It's passed time for folks to consider what is the best method for lubing them. I removed the Kluson deluxe from my 1952 and placed them in an ultrasound with Naptha covering the gear houses but not touching the knobs, you should have seen the junk that cleaned out. I then soaked them in alcohol and allowed them to dry over night before oiling them with a small amout of whale oil for watches. What ever oild/lube you use, only light coating is the way.
 
Last edited:

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Well I guess it's on to the next step. Cleaning with tri flow and packing with new petroleum jelly just made me feel like I had done something. I still have a couple of tuners that just don't operate properly. The B and the G, if I try to tune them down, they just stick, then all of a sudden let go and drop a bunch.

Naptha and ultrasound? Jimi, I guess you left the knobs out of the ultrasound so you wouldn't disturb the "glue" or whichever mechanism holds the button on the shaft?

Not sure I know what's involved there. Buy, rent an ultrasound machine? Or take apart the tuners? Or maybe I should send them to Rick...

Thanks all for any more ideas...
 

JIMI55LP

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My thoughts with synthetic type is that it doesn't evaporate like petroleum does, with any lubricant used on your tuners you'll need to only use a small amount safely placed where it needs to be only. And I explained in post #16 that I left the knobs out of Naptha contact.
 

JIMI55LP

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If you don't have an ultrasound you can just pore the Naptha in a coffee cup and put the Kluson gear house in the solution and hold a vibrator against the side of the cup until you feel the cleaning is complete. I make sure the Naptha doesn't touch the knob because it will dull the finish and possibly ruin the knob. This is something I did not want to experiment with!
 
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