Music boxes are a popular storage accessory for jewelry and come in many sizes and shapes. When a switch is triggered, a song is played by the musical mechanism hidden inside the box. Over time, the musical mechanism can break down, eliminating a key feature of the music box. A jewelry or watch repair shop can fix the mechanism, but the cost can be high. Use a few basic tools and techniques to repair a Reuge music box, saving the cost of a trip to a professional.
Check the spring. The spring must be wound in order for the device to work. Place the key in the spring slot. Turn the spring key clockwise. Stop winding the key as soon as the spring’s tension becomes noticeable. Do not over-wind the spring. Many Reuge music boxes have a switch to stop the mechanism from playing. Turn the switch on to determine whether tightening the spring resolved the problem.
Access the mechanical parts. Reuge's newer line of music boxes incorporates the mechanical parts as part of the design. This means that the mechanisms are not hidden in a compartment within the box. Remove the set screws that hold the mechanism's bed-plate in place. Remove the set screws with a jeweler's screwdriver.
Remove the mechanism. Gently separate the mechanism from its housing. Place the mechanism on a clean towel.
Tighten the steel comb. The steel comb is responsible for creating the sound that comes from the music box. With continual use, the steel comb becomes loose. On Reuge music boxes, the comb is held in place by two set screws. Tighten the two set screws with a jeweler’s screwdriver.
Check the drum alignment. The steel drum is covered in small protrusions that catch on the steel comb as the drum rotates. On most Reuge music boxes, the drum is mounted on two metal arms. If the comb is loose, it can cause the drum to slip out of its mounts. Spread the metal arms slightly apart and place the drum’s mounting pins back into their slots.
Clean the mechanisms. Dirt and debris can cause the small gears that turn the drum to stick. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Gentle rub the tip of the swab on all of the gears and moving parts until any dirt and debris has been removed.
Lubricate the gears. Gears that are lubricated are less likely to wear down over time. Use a spray lubricant. Place the nozzle 3 inches above the gears. Lightly spray the gears and any other working parts. Remove any excess lubricant with a cotton swab.
Reassemble the music box. Most Reuge music boxes have their mechanism mounted to a simple frame. Place the bed-plate back into position. Insert the mounting screws and tighten them.
Things You'll Need
- Jeweler’s screwdrivers
- Cotton swabs
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray lubricant
Hugh Patterson started writing poetry in 1978. He started writing fiction and non fiction in 2003. His work has appeared in "The Nervous Breakdown" magazine and a number of other literary journals. He also writes online book reviews. He studied chemistry and design at Ventura College and had a California Math and Science Teacher's Fellowship through the University of California Santa Barbara.