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Thread: tuners for my BANJOLIN

  1. #1

    Question tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Hi,
    I'm new to the mandolin world and have recently acquired a banjolin. Before learning how to play it, it needs a few things repaired; the bridge, the tuners and possibly the tailpiece. To cut cost on the repair I wanted to locate some of the items on my own. I was hoping some of you could help me in figuring out some questions I have on replacement parts.

    First question is about the bridge. I have the option of a 1/2" bridge or a 3/4" bridge. My banjolin currently has a 1/2" bridge but does the 3/4" give it a better sound with more of an arch?

    Second question: The tuners on my banjolin are approximately 10 1/2" in length with a squared off top and bottom and have 3 screw holes. All the mandolin tuners I have found have some fancy rounded top and bottom and have 5 screw holes. I'm afraid these may be too long for my banjolin head and I would like to avoid putting more holes in it if possible.

    please take a look at the pictures provided and see if you can offer any words of wisdom! Thanks a ton guys I really appreciate all the help I can get. :) :) :)Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Ok so I have found that the Golden Age restoration tuners fit best now is there any similar to these that fit older style mandolins that are under $50. I'm really trying to cut costs just to get this up and running, i don't need anything fancy

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Tuners are measured from the center of the post to the center of the next post. As long as the post centers are the same and the orientation of the gears are the same anything should fit that has the same post spacings. You may find that the posts are a little longer on what you buy. Is that bent tuner your only problem with the tuners?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4

    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Is that bent tuner your only problem with the tuners?
    I was thinking the same thing. If they can be cleaned, lubricated and straightened--that would get you up and running for almost no cost. I have about a 75 percent success rate with straightening a bent tuner. Basically, I have small Crescent wrench that will fit on the tuner shaft, NOT the button. You will ruin the button. A miniature Vise-grip will also work. Slowly bend (and I mean slowly) and if you are close to being straight, I would stop. I usually snap 'em off when I go for perfection.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    I have a 0% success rate straightening tuners but I know it can be done because people have done it, I just haven't done it well.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    yep broke the tuner peg ugh almost worked though but it was just too far bent. I would just buy normal tuners for it but unfortunately this model was pre 1920's so the spacing is .931 which is almost impossible to find except for the golden age restoration tuners which are all $50. If anyone knows of some .931 tuners let me know thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    I would just buy normal tuners for it but unfortunately this model was pre 1920's so the spacing is .931 which is almost impossible to find except for the golden age restoration tuners which are all $50.

  8. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Put a wanted ad in the classifieds and check eBay under mandolin. You might get lucky and find some.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadenotjane View Post
    I would just buy normal tuners for it but unfortunately this model was pre 1920's so the spacing is .931 which is almost impossible to find except for the golden age restoration tuners which are all $50.
    Just to put it in perspective, you can also get Waverly tuners at about $500.00 as well

    That's why everyone was so excited to see the Golden Age tuners.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #10

    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    Another option, which might take some time to find, is to buy a busted mandolin for its tuners. Bowlback, Stella, whatever, as long as the spacing is there. Unfortunately, these are getting harder to find under $50, but they were once at every flea market and antique store, being sold as wall-hangers.

    There are also "parts sellers" on eBay, who specialize in this type of thing, but I doubt if anything is under $50.

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  12. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    If there's a local instrument dealer that does repairs, or a repair tech/luthier, see if they have a "junk drawer" into which they throw parts from un-repairable instruments. One of my favorite local shops, Stutzman's, has cabinets with little drawers full of banjo bridges, tailpieces, bridge pins, banjo brackets, electric guitar volume/tone knobs, whatever. In many cases, broken mandolins will get "cannibalized" for their tuners, bridges, tailpieces, pick guards (if detachable).

    I've pawed through Dave's cabinets in search of the "right" part several times. You may have something similar in your area.
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    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuners for my BANJOLIN

    If you can't find an exact match, you go with four individual tuners instead of the 'four on a plate' which you currently have. It will look different from the back of the headstock, but it won't affect the playability. Redrilling the holes so a new 'four on a plate' will fit is also an option, but not as easy to do.

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