Home Cleaning Mandolin Tuners Hospital


   One of the simplest jobs in the restoration process, is the cleaning of the metal tuners and tailpiece. The photo shows tuners from the same instrument, before and after cleaning. The tail pieces are from different instruments, though very similar. I generally begin with a wire brush, and progress to fine Dremel brushes for polishing. I free up jammed tuners with WD40 and often apply a little '3 in 1' bicycle oil. Wisdom has it, that oil or grease collects dust which is not good for tuners, but I have found it less of a problem than rust, jammed tuners and broken buttons!!!
   Screw cleaning can be done individually with a dremel and a wire brush.... but they are fiddly to hold. A better method, which works well especially if you have a lot to do.. (me for example..) is to pop them in a screw top jar with some vinegar... just enough to cover the screws. Leave them there for 2-3 days, shaking vigorously occasionally. Rinse off with clean water afterwards, dry, then pop them into another jar with a little oil and shake for a while. This will ensure that when they come out, they wont just start to rust again, which is what happpened the first time I tried this. Since oiling, wipe off any excess, they stay clean, ready for re-use.
Tuner Anatomy Tuner Repair Jammed Tuners Tuner Buttons