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Mar 23, 2023 - 1:43:36 PM
4670 posts since 3/6/2006

I know that some of these ancient Page tuners had very fragile pot metal housings, and some were brass. This is a friend's banjo who inherited it from his Dad, and I don't think it's been set up properly or even played much in decades judging by the cock-eyed position of what appears to be a 50ish year old Remo head that is in the process of failing. The tuners appear to have brass housings, and are in pretty good shape except that a couple of them are pretty sticky and probably could use some lubrication. Is their a preferred lubricant (for example 3-in-1, or rem oil I use on my firearms, etc.) ? And if so, it there a procedure I should follow to avoid doing any damage to these ancient tuners?

PS...I'm trying to upload a photo but I'm having a bit of difficulty....patience, friends!

Edited by - mainejohn on 03/23/2023 13:49:30

Mar 23, 2023 - 2:12:09 PM

4670 posts since 3/6/2006

...and here is the long-awaited photo!


Mar 23, 2023 - 5:41:08 PM
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2175 posts since 5/19/2018
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If you lubricants them, make sure you take them off of the banjo.

You do not want any lubricant damaging the finish of the banjo itself. Solid brass housings, there is not much you can do to damage those.

I always use the lightest oil possible. Sewing machine oil is preferable. I stay away from gun lubricants as some of those have solvents and other chemicals in them to protect against the chemical reactions with gunpowder, but may be detrimental to musical instruments that are kept in cases.

Somewhere on line, and I do not know where, is a tutorial on how to break down and recondition those specific type of tuners. I saw it once, but not having any instruments with page tuners, I read it out of interest a number of years ago and promptly forgot where it was.

Looks like you have a beautiful instrument there. Just out of curiosity, would you mind posting a full front photo of it.

Mar 23, 2023 - 7:14:23 PM
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New Zealand

11754 posts since 6/29/2003

I think Paige tuners have a crimped plate on the underside of the housing. if this cannot be removed easily then the only way to approach this take is as said, use very light oil to soften the grease inside the housing. I use syringes with a variety of needle sizes. You don't want to inject a whole lot of oil in at one time. Insert a little bit them work the tuner. keep doing this until you feel it freeing up. If there is too much oil in the housing, it will eventually leak out onto the peghead.

Mar 24, 2023 - 11:29:35 AM
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673 posts since 5/29/2015

I generally wash out all the old lubricant with naphtha before applying new lubricant. This process sometimes miraculously restores function of old tuners.

Mar 24, 2023 - 12:10:11 PM
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4670 posts since 3/6/2006

Thank you, guys! This was simpler than I expected, as I removed one tuner as a trial, a found that there are two machine screws holding the housing together, which made accessing those little gears a breeze. I'm guessing they hadn't been apart in the 99 year life of the banjo, judging by the general condition, but the sewing machine oil did the trick.

Mar 24, 2023 - 4:42:58 PM
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16712 posts since 8/30/2006

I lubricate my 90 yr. old Page Turners with Limoncella, it makes for much smoother turner action. The fact that you found a 90-yr old Page Turner at all is really charming and shows you have a kind and wandering soul.
that is a beautiful banjo. And the right oil.


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