View Full Version : Tuning Knob on the Top or Bottom of the Gear? Does it Matter?

Apr-20-2011, 6:17pm
I have a 25 Gibson A-Jr and I just received some Golden Age Tuning Machines from Stew Mac in relic Nickel w/ Ivoroid Knobs. These are the machines with the Arrow Points. I was looking through the Mandolin Archive and it seems the 25's had the Knob/worm drive above the Gear. The 24's seem to have them located below the Gear.

Does it matter were the Gear is in relation to the Knob? With these machines, in order for them to turn the "right" way, they have to be installed with the Gear below the Worm Drive.

BTW, these machines look great! Unfortunately, the bushings were too small as the Jr came to me with Schaller Machines and larger diameter bushings. I don't want to mess with plugging the holes and redrilling so I'm going to contact Stewmac for some relic Nickel oversize bushings. They won't have the right look as in a 20's style bushing but they will do the job and match the finish.

Apr-21-2011, 1:37pm
the way the knob turns to wind the capstan , changes.
most players seem to like the Counter clockwise knob motion
so the direction it turns is towards the end of the headstock on the near side
G,D strings.

the wind of the capstan the string is attached to, instrument face up , is:
Clockwise on the A and E strings,
counter clock wise for the G and D strings.

Apr-25-2011, 7:15am
Worm over or under doesn't matter with respect to how well they work, but the main concerns are:

Buttons turning the way you prefer.
Matching the original tuners for authenticity.
Where the buttons stick out on each side of the peghead. Since this will change the position of the buttons with respect to the capstan holes in the peghead, the overall look might not be authentic looking or to your liking.

Mike Black
Apr-25-2011, 8:29am
As Phil said: "Worm over or under doesn't matter with respect to how well they work" But not having that authentic look has been my big issue with the new Golden Aged tuners (as well as most all A-style tuners). Especially have troubles when Stew-Mac say that they have the "authentic look and classic features of tuning machines from the pre-World War II era." They got everything right except the main issue of the gears are in the wrong place, which shifts the tuning buttons in the wrong place towards the end of the headstock. They could have simply use the redesigned F-Style tuners with all the same length shafts and had the perfect A-style tuner, but I guess Stew-Mac wanted to waist the extra money to also redesign a tuner that never existed.

Apr-25-2011, 3:33pm
I believe the post to post spacing is part of the modern/vs teen~20's adaptation.

Note stew mac offers dimensioned drawings on their website.

snake head style A's began using a worm over, and that is what you see on current offerings.

paddle head, the earlier style , are worm under.

got pictures to help sort this out, PnG .. ?

I have replaced my CW turning Schallers with CCW,
fWiW the worm helix is cut the other way..

Apr-25-2011, 8:53pm
After some difficulty with StewMac in getting the right sized bushings, I was finally able to get the new tuning machines installed. The bushing specs on the StewMac site were incorrect - much larger than listed. I wound up needing a 10.5 mm bushing for this to work. I know they don't look like period bushings but I'm not too concerned about that as I didn't want to plug/redrill holes and likely have to refinish the headstock. I put them on with the worm drive over the gear as they exactly matched up with the existing holes left from the Schallers. I'm very happy with how this change over turned out. The new machines are very smooth and precise. Here are some pictures:http://inlinethumb59.webshots.com/46714/2645288430054353545S600x600Q85.jpg http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/45621/2709140560054353545S600x600Q85.jpg http://inlinethumb40.webshots.com/45543/2730000570054353545S600x600Q85.jpg http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/47630/2909356370054353545S600x600Q85.jpg http://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/48181/2765211980054353545S600x600Q85.jpg

May-02-2011, 10:14am
Very nice PicknGrinnin. I just installed these in relic nickel with black knobs on my 25 Ajr. I wish I would have seen this thread sooner as I could have given you tips on the bushings. You probably noticed that the original bushings were slightly too small to use with the new tuners. This is easily fixed by using a tapered rounded ####### file to ream out the diameter slightly and then you can use the original bushings. I think I will start my own thread in the builders section.

May-02-2011, 7:03pm
Unfortunately, this Jr was stripped of the original tuners and bushings before I took possession of the Mandolin. Someone had installed Schaller machines on the Mandolin and the peg holes were drilled out/reamed to fit larger bushings. A 10.5 bushing was needed to avoid plugging, redrilling and refinishing the Headstock. Like I said, it doesn't have an original look but I don't worry about that. These machines are very nice.

Tom Wright
May-02-2011, 9:01pm
...a tapered rounded ####### file...

Guess we need to mis-spell b-a-s-t-a-r-d to get past the speech-cleanup software.

BTW, in my experience gear turning direction is universal, with the alternate gear position combined with reverse thread on the screw. I installed gear-under Siminoff tuners on the CSO mandolin to match the original Klusons, and they of course turn the expected direction.