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Rotary Oiling

Postby WiFiber » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:54 pm

Hello Everyone,

I was just given an old Miraphone 5V-CC that was probably made around the 70s. Because it had been sitting in a garage for over a decade, I intend to take it in for an overhaul this week to get it back up to snuff.

I've been browsing all over this forum regarding the topic of rotary oiling and the different oils one may need to ensure their instrument is at peak performance. I have yet to see some sort of consensus.

If possible, would any of you mind shedding some light on which oils I should buy for my horn?

Thank you and I hope to hear from you all soon!
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Jerryleejr » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:55 am

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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Doc » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:12 am

Save your valve oil money. Instead, buy ultra pure paraffin oil. Pour/squirt it down the leadpipe and work the valves as it runs back and forth. It's cheap, easy, and you can use plenty.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Mark Finley » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:16 am

You know, reading that link, nobody mentioned my method for oiling, which is putting a drop of oil directly on the back bearing, and then pull a valve slide to suction it into the bearing. I can't be the only person that does that
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby toobagrowl » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:28 am

WiFiber wrote: I have yet to see some sort of consensus.


You are not gonna find consensus here because we are like a herd of cats with different opinions :P

Honestly, any needle oiler with rotor oil will do the job. I use a mixture of 3-in-1 oil / clear lamp oil.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Doc » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:29 pm

Mark Finley wrote:You know, reading that link, nobody mentioned my method for oiling, which is putting a drop of oil directly on the back bearing, and then pull a valve slide to suction it into the bearing. I can't be the only person that does that


I oil the back bearings and all the other moving parts on the instrument at fairly regular intervals, but I do the flood-down-the-leadpipe thing daily. I haven't tried your method, but I might have to experiment just to see how it works.
All that, plus $8.00, will get you a venti at Starbucks.
Or in my case, a large can of Folgers.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Roger Lewis » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:21 pm

For a great source of rotary valve maintenance, check out Jeff Funderburk's web site at UNI. He has a bunch of videos on how everything is done:

https://sites.uni.edu/drfun/repair_vide ... index.html

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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Jim Brewer » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:53 pm

I agree with Mark . I put a drop of oil on the bearings and pull the tuning slide to suction it into the bearing. About once a week I do squirt oil down the mouth pipe to get (hopefully) some to the other side of the bearing.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby jonesbrass » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:01 pm

Mark Finley wrote:You know, reading that link, nobody mentioned my method for oiling, which is putting a drop of oil directly on the back bearing, and then pull a valve slide to suction it into the bearing. I can't be the only person that does that


I do the same thing once a week, Mark, and also to the top bearing, as well.

I also put blue juice valve oil down the leadpipe.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Bass Flatulance » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:39 am

Put some 3-in-1 oil on the valve things that move and drink lots of beer while I play. The more I drink and play, the better the tuba and I feel.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:18 am

needle oiling the END BEARINGS (only) of rotors:

30W (and - of course - I buy the cheapest off-brand dollar-store 30W oil, and it lasts until I top off my mower's engine) works FINE for ALL BUT THE TIGHTEST-FITTING rotor BEARINGS (I'm referring to the SPINDLE ENDS - tops/bottoms of the rotors). For crazy-close-tolerances rotor bearings (99% of which are found on high-end FRENCH HORNS), 3-in-1 (or cheap 30W thinned out with lamp oil) is the thing.

Lamp oil (about a dime an ounce...sometimes, 20 cents, depending on the container size and vendor) is the thing to slosh across the rotor BODIES through the BORE of the instrument...

bloke "or sure: Spend 30X as much for fancy oils...Mrs. bloke sells all that stuff...Show up and blokeplace, and buy some of it from Mrs. bloke."
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:37 am

Well what came as the first visual on "rotary oiling" was how to whirl the oil in a circle....maybe fasten it to a bicycle wheel which you then spin?
Sorry. It's that kind of day ....
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:09 pm

MaryAnn wrote:Well what came as the first visual on "rotary oiling" was how to whirl the oil in a circle....maybe fasten it to a bicycle wheel which you then spin?
Sorry. It's that kind of day ....


When I shoot it down the mouthpipe (to discourage lime from coating the inside of the mouthpipe tube), I actually do rotate the nozzle of the dispenser while squirting the oil into the mouthpipe.

An oily surface really does greatly discourage lime build-up. If you've ever toured a cave in a stalagmite/stalactite area, there are all sorts of signs saying "DO NOT TOUCH!" because even the body oil from your hands can ruin the adhesion of the lime...the inside of a tuba, basically, being a cave.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby tofu » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:19 pm

Mark Finley wrote:You know, reading that link, nobody mentioned my method for oiling, which is putting a drop of oil directly on the back bearing, and then pull a valve slide to suction it into the bearing. I can't be the only person that does that


Ummm...he has an old Mirafone - so the bottom of the rotor cap has an adjustment screw and not an opening. He'd have to unscrew the rotor cap for each valve and I've never had a horn where that was a quick process. I do remove them once a month, but I'm putting a heavier oil on the bearing.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Mark Finley » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:22 pm

tofu wrote:
Mark Finley wrote:You know, reading that link, nobody mentioned my method for oiling, which is putting a drop of oil directly on the back bearing, and then pull a valve slide to suction it into the bearing. I can't be the only person that does that


Ummm...he has an old Mirafone - so the bottom of the rotor cap has an adjustment screw and not an opening. He'd have to unscrew the rotor cap for each valve and I've never had a horn where that was a quick process. I do remove them once a month, but I'm putting a heavier oil on the bearing.



????
Removing a rotor cap is easy, especially if you do it on a regular basis and never let them get stuck
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby toobagrowl » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:37 pm

Yes, I also oil the top and bottom spindle bearings and pull the slides to suction the oil in :!:
Right now, my rotor oil mixture is 3-in-1, lamp oil, and a few drops of Marvel Mystery Oil, all blended together :P I oil the linkage when needed.
I also spurt some thinner viscosity oil down the mouthpipe every once in a while.

One thing that needs to be mentioned - make sure the back bearing PLATES are on good and flush; especially on older rotor horns. Can make a difference in how well your rotors move, as well as have an affect on compression :idea:
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:47 pm

I would sort of hope that my rotors fit a little closer than for a vacuum to be able to get past the rotor side walls far enough to pull oil into the spindle bearings.
Oiling underneath of the stop arm, oil should run into the spindle bearing surfaces without any coercing needed. Dropping some on the flush spindle bearing on the back - after removing the cap - will accomplish the same thing.
As dirty as I see most customers’ tubas, pulling a vacuum might actually pull dirt in between the rotor air seal services from the connecting knuckles… Which (migrating filth) is actually why pulling vacuums on valves sometimes makes them stick.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby Three Valves » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:03 pm

You Marvel Mystery Oil folks need to step up to the 21st Century and get with the STP!!
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:13 pm

Yeah… Apparently, a lot of people have decided that removing valve caps from tubas – whether rotary or piston – is pretty darn tough. Most all of the school tubas that I encounter - as a set of examples - show evidence of never ever being oiled.
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Re: Rotary Oiling

Postby toobagrowl » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:25 pm

bloke wrote:I would sort of hope that my rotors fit a little closer than for a vacuum to be able to get past the rotor side walls far enough to pull oil into the spindle bearings.


Why oil the bearings if no oil 'gets thru' where it's needed? Oiling the bearings only on their surfaces, it seems, won't do much. Doesn't the oil need to 'coat' the entire spindle bearing nub? Even on my 'tight' Meinl CC with great pop/compression, I pull the slides to vacuum the oil in and coat the bearing nubs :idea:

Three Valves wrote:You Marvel Mystery Oil folks need to step up to the 21st Century and get with the STP!!


I'm actually kinda new to Marvel Mystery Oil -- started using the stuff maybe a month ago. Love mixing it with other oils. It's good, cheap stuff :tuba:
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