How to Repair Wind-up Music Boxes

music box image by Paul Moore from

Things You'll Need

  • Lubricant
  • Pin point oiler

Music boxes can be difficult to repair. Sometimes the combs, cylinders and other parts made to play a specific tune, especially for older music boxes, can be difficult or impossible to replace. If your music box isn’t winding up, or if the music plays slowly or not at all, there are a few things you can try before contacting a professional repairman.

Carefully wind the music box key in the opposite direction. This will reverse the damage of a spring that has been wound too tightly.

Try winding the key as normal. If your music still doesn’t play, go on to the next step.

Apply a few drops of a lubricant such to the stem of your winding key.

Allow the lubricant to sit for a few minutes, before winding the key to play your music. If it still doesn’t play normally, proceed to the next step.

Apply a drop of lubricant to the top, base, and center of the endless screw, connected to your music box’s air brake, using a pin point oiler.

Allow the lubricant to sit for a few minutes, then wind the key to play your music.


  • If your music plays too fast now, it may have been over-lubricated. Correct this problem by using your pin point oiler to apply 30 weight motor oil to the same screw.


About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.

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