would anyone know of a european based supplier for replacement parts for a mandolin - bowl-back in particular?
thanks in advance - bill
these are the sort i'm looking for:
If it's the entire tuner assembly you're looking for, you're out of luck. The only ones that I'm aware of that still use closed tuners like this are Calace, and their headstock is a completely different shape. I don't think anybody in the world still makes a direct replacement for your closed tuners, so other than looking for a basketcase on Ebay to buy for the parts, there's little you can do.
If it's a question of tuner buttons, you'll probably be able to find a reasonable match, although for consistency's sake it may be best to swap out all eight instead of a single broken one. Luthier supplies in Europe and the US have quite a wide selection of plastic and resin knobs for very little money and little postage costs. If you want natural materials, you can ask a luthier to handmake them, at rather larger cost.
What is wrong with your tuners? You may well find that they work again if you take off the back plate, clean any gunk on the gears inside out with small amounts of WD-40 on a fine hairbrush, and then lubricate with small amounts of Vaseline or Tri-Flow.
thanks martin. all i'm looking for are the replacement buttons - if you can recommend an on-line luthier supplier, all will be well. two of the present buttons disintegrated as soon as i exerted a little pressure. dave has offered to fill the holes with bone dust and something called cascamite but i'd prefer a replacement set - who knows when the other buttons will start showing their age.
i unscrewed the back plate off and dropped a bit of sewing-machine oil on each of the gears - they all spin easily now.
ciao - bill
Online try Stewart MacDonald Guitar Shop Supply. They have some small buttons that work well for mandolins.
As Michael says, Stew-Mac have a number of different choices, as do Elderly. Allparts may well have some, too, but I have trouble connecting to their web site. They're all in the States, of course, but tuner buttons are such small items that it makes little difference. If you want someone in Europe, there's Fred's Guitar Parts in France and in your own backyard, there's Alessi Tuning Machines, who seem to have a fairly wide range of buttons from many different materials. Pricewise, I would guess StewMac will work out cheapest. You will probably have to be prepared to order them with the smallest holes available and drill/file them up to the size of your shafts: old tuning machines tend to have non-standard sizes, and many have square shafts rather than round ones.
thank you both - my elsest son lives in rome and says he'll take care of it. if not, i'll probably order the buttons from the french connection - importing things from the states is always a dodgey proposition ... EU customs duties and a peculiar italian law governing the purchase of anything musical from america.
thanks again - bill