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tuning machines

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:53 am
by kmac
I find the tuning machines on my Waterloo Mahogany to be a quite bothersome detraction to an otherwise very nice guitar. The machines are tight, unpredictable, and cheaply built. The coefficient of friction is such that it takes considerable effort to overcome. This makes for a guitar that's not ready for on-stage performance. Waterloo replaced the machines on warranty. The replacements provide no resolution. I'll try molybdenum disulfide on the gears to see if it helps, but I'm convinced that new machines will be the ultimate fix.

Has anyone else found a resolution to the cheap machines issues?

Re: tuning machines

Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:58 am
by kmac
Today, I tried a light application of molybdenum disulfide lubricant to the tuner pinion and worm gears. Moly lube has an exceptionally low coefficient of friction. The results are promising. Next, I'll take off the strings, lube the tuners properly, then turn them a few dozen times each with a string winder. Will advise.

Re: tuning machines

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:27 am
by kmac
WARNING: Molybdenum disulfide bonds to metal at the molecular level. Do not get moly lube on the string winding posts, or on anything else where friction is important. Moly lube does not dissolve in water. It is used as an anti-seize compound on offshore drilling rigs.

I have decades of experience using molybdenum disulfide, and have made my share of mistakes in application. Caution is advised.

I removed the strings on my WL-12 TR Mahogany, applied "Woodland Scenics Moly Grease w/Molybdenum WOOHL656" to the worm gear of each tuner, and spread the moly toward each end of the worm gear. I used an amount of moly lube that would cover this capital letter "O", and spread the lube with a plastic toothpick. I did not apply moly to the pinion gear. After the application, I used a string winder to operate each tuner a few dozen turns in each direction. This distributed lube to the pinion, and along the worm gear. Operating the tuners in both directions assured that the lube would contact the bearing surfaces on both gears. To finish, I wiped the tuner gears with a lint-free cloth to remove any visible lube.

Previously, the tuners would bind, making it virtually impossible to operate accurately enough to tune without great effort. Now, the tuners run smoothly. The application of moly lube achieved the objective of improving tuner operation.