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Thread: Tarnished tuning machines

  1. #1
    Registered User Joe Parker's Avatar
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    I have silver Waverly tuners on my mandolin that have begun to tarnish and discolor. What is the recommended procedure for cleaning and polishing? All suggestions,tips,and guidlines appreciated. JPP

  2. #2

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    Replacement is needed, send any old used Waverly tuners to me. Email or PM me for my mailing address.
    Seriously thou, what kind of treatment are they receiving that they are tarishing?
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  3. #3
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    If they are actually silver plated, they only need to be exposed to the air for them to tarnish. Treatment would have little to do with it, I think.....

    About any sort of regular silver polish and a Q-Tip should fix things up..

    Ron



    My wife says I don't pay enough attention to what she says....
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    Registered User Bob DeVellis's Avatar
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    A jewelry polishing cloth might be a little less messy than a liquid polish. The cloth is impregnated with polish. Ask at your local jewelers.
    Bob DeVellis

  5. #5
    Registered User Joe Parker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. They are silver plated and,yes,it seems that every day exposure and probably a few outdoor jams are the cause. My concern is how the finish,which is varnish,might be affected by the use of a polish or treated cloth if contact is made. Or would it be better to remove them and then polish. Maybe I should just let them go and let the "distressing" begin. Thanks again.

    JPP

  6. #6
    Grannycrowe
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    Default Re: Tarnished tuning machines

    I have a 1977 Kentucky KM 250 S I'd like to restring but the tuners have turned Green and are difficult to turn. I don't know if they are silver plated. What should I do to remove the tarnish?

    Advise appreciated.

    Keep a song in your heart,
    Lisa

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tarnished tuning machines

    Lisa, those tuners would not be silver plated. Not on a mandolin in this price bracket. Also, silver doesn’t tarnish green. My guess would be brass, chrome plated. If you want to try cleaning them up, take them off the instrument. Try vinegar to remove the corrosion. Use an old toothbrush to scrub into the nooks and crannies. I’ll bet the vinegar will take off most of the green. If there is old oil or grease left on them, scrubbing the same way with lighter fluid will take care of that. If it doesn’t, give them a soaking in lighter fluid. Let them soak for at least a few minutes. The lighter fluid is naphtha, and it won’t hurt the buttons or anything else. Then work the knobs back and forth to loosen things up. To loosen them up more, put on a couple drops of Tri Flow. It’s a graphite lubricant you can get at bike shops or locksmiths. I think if it were me, though, I would just replace them.
    Don

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Tarnished tuning machines

    Ms. Crowe. Green or blue corrosion can be either nickel or copper. A low cost plating is probably not chrome on steel, but if it was, it’s chrome over nickel over copper. Most likely you have nickel directly over steel, or over copper over steel. Clean with almost anything, as suggested above, but if the surface shows pitting or flaking, or looks like pink copper, a brushed-on coat of clear (anything) afterward will prevent rapid tarnishing. The tuner gear is probably grotty with dirt or tarnish, so if loosening the screw a little frees it up a lot, just take the gear off, after taking tension off,and clean the underside and the surface it contacts. A tiny, tiny drop of (any) lubricant should be good for many years. Also check the post that holds the string for binding or heavy wear on the tension side.
    The one minute version of this is just a couple drops of light oil under the gears and a toothbrush cleanup, using the same oil.

  9. #9
    Grannycrowe
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    Default Re: Tarnished tuning machines

    Thanks will try it all if all else fails will consider replacing tuners. This is an entry level axe but has a really nice sound good intonation and plays easily too. She will be my beater mandolin. But I won't beat her up she is in almost mint condition except for the tuner and tailpiece tarnishing.

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