Lubricating the turntable

It had been many years since I last sent my Rega Planar 3 for a lube job.

I spent some time reading online forums and found out that vinyl addicts used all types of oil from sewing machine oil to fishing reel oil to car engine oil to lubricate their turntables' bearings.

I discovered that the best oil - according to many - is Van den Hul's Special Turntable Spindle Oil, but it is expensive.

Rega recommends hypoid 80W oil which apparently is a gear oil.

There were some forumers who recommended gear oils rather than engine oils because the additives in the engine oils may corrode some materials like rubber rings and aluminium while gear oils typically have fewer additives.

The Rega spindle and bearing housing are made of metal and I could not spot any rubber ring or bushing and the sub-platter was made of plastic, so I felt I could get away with using engine oil. I did not have any gear oil at home anyway.

In the store room, I found a half-empty bottle of Mobil 1 5W-50 fully synthetic engine oil. Some forumers recommended a thinner oil like the 0W-40, but I swirled the Mobil oil in the bottle and noted that its viscosity was almost like water.

I was thinking that if it did not work, I could just remove the oil and use gear oil instead.

Many vinyl addicts use engine oil to
lubricate their turntables.

I used a straw to draw a little bit of Mobil 1 oil and oiled the spindle and then released a few drops into the bearing housing.

When I inserted the spindle into the bearing housing, the sub-platter floated and it took several minutes for it to slowly descend.

After placing the platter on the sub-platter, I spun it (with the belt removed) and noted that it spun for quite a while.

I have been using the Mobil 1 oil for a while without any issues. As for any detrimental effect in the long term, I don't know but if I notice any corrosion anywhere, I will post about it and change the oil.


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