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Thread: Replacement Tuner Buttons

  1. #26
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by AMandolin View Post
    Does anyone know about the 1950’s 1960’s kluson gibson tuners
    If you're looking for replacements they are being made now and available here. If you're looking for replacment buttons for crumbling buttons you have to improvise a bit with the buttons made for Schallers. Frank Ford talks about replacing crumbling buttons on www.frets.com website. The article is here. The Stewmac buttons are here. There may be other sources.

    In case you ever wondered what the inside of those Kluson tuners looked like, the late Paul Hostetter posted this picture on a past thread.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  3. #27

    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Wow, I didn’t realize it was such a crude design.
    " Practice every time you get a chance." - Bill Monroe

  4. #28
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by AMandolin View Post
    Wow, I didn’t realize it was such a crude design.
    I didn't either until Paul posted that picture. I always assumed the cover was more protection than anything else. I was wrong.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #29
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    So, surfing around I ran across an old article by a respected source. How bout this:
    http://www.lutherie.net/gotoh.compared.html

    by this thread BOTH his examples are Sagas. Hmmm.

  6. #30
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Enlighten me, I don't know what you're using as examples. Paul's pages were based on older models.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #31
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    I'm assuming your read the part about the bushing under the post. That's a recent addition to the Gotoh tuners. When Paul built that page they weren't there yet. The only way to determine Saga from Gotoh is the size of the shaft where the button is mounted. There is a slight difference in the plate width but the button size is a glaring difference. Even the rivet descriptions have changed.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  9. #32

    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Mike is correct. Current Saga knockoffs do not feature the new design that Gotoh switched to many years ago when they ditched the square posts.

    You can know that they are older Gotoh's if they have square mounts for the buttons. New saga knockoffs have the 2 flat 2 round design.
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  10. #33
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    So a little more info on this old thread. A few months ago I got a hold of some Gotoh ebony buttons from Luthier's Merc and they fit the Morris F4 (square, 0.124" (~3.17 mm) across both sets of flats). So I probably misheard or misremembered him - they are most likely Gotoh tuners.

    I ordered some ebony buttons off Amazon which if the dimensions are as advertised will fit the guitar tuners on my mandocello. I will report back on this, but initially they gave me a delivery date in October! I guess they have to wait to harvest the wood?

    I appreciate the help from everyone, especially Scott R. and Mike Edgerton.

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  12. #34
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    A new question related to the original one:

    Are mini-tuner shafts and the corresponding hole in the buttons typically the same dimensions as their full-size brethren? That is, do Grover mini-tuner buttons fit on regular size Grover shafts? I've found that the ebony Gotoh guitar buttons I bought from LMI fit on my Gotoh mandolin tuner shafts.

    I found today that the Grover labeled mini tuners on my Epiphone Mandobird VIII fit perfectly on the tuner shafts on my octave mandolin.

    I searched up a source that sells ebony mini tuner buttons for Gotoh and another set for mini Grover. Went ahead and ordered both. I'll let everyone (all 3 of us) know if they work when they show up.

  13. #35
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    The mini-Grover ebony buttons arrived today. Original pearloid buttons:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    New ebony buttons:
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    Part number - Click image for larger version. 

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    This is much more preferable to me. I’ll post pics when the mini Gotohs come in. So for some tuner brands there are readily available wood buttons to replace the “roids.”

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  15. #36
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    And now for the mini Gotoh buttons. I bought these regular guitar sized ebony buttons for Gotoh tuners and put them on my Morris. They fit perfectly but are just too big:
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    Here are the mini Gotoh’s. They look better and work fine, but have a looser, sloppier fit on the square shaft:
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  16. #37

    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Just from the mechanical side, a loose fit on either of those shaft shapes will be a stress concentrator at the corners. So other than reducing your enjoyment of nice smooth tuners with low backlash, the buttons may have the holes enlarged with use and maybe fail.
    Perhaps a tiny shim (paper, plastic) could be helpful.

  17. #38
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Just from the mechanical side, a loose fit on either of those shaft shapes will be a stress concentrator at the corners. So other than reducing your enjoyment of nice smooth tuners with low backlash, the buttons may have the holes enlarged with use and maybe fail.
    Perhaps a tiny shim (paper, plastic) could be helpful.
    I'd be tempted to mix up some epoxy and fill the cavity before installing to fill any space.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  18. #39
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by jim simpson View Post
    I'd be tempted to mix up some epoxy and fill the cavity before installing to fill any space.
    The buttons are only slightly looser when slipping over the shaft. Once the button screw is hand tight the tuners function just as before. I never epoxy anything that's meant to be removable (and that I may want to disassemble in the future).

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  20. #40
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I ordered some ebony buttons off Amazon which if the dimensions are as advertised will fit the guitar tuners on my mandocello. I will report back on this, but initially they gave me a delivery date in October! I guess they have to wait to harvest the wood?

    I appreciate the help from everyone, especially Scott R. and Mike Edgerton.
    The Amazon ebony buttons arrived from China. They didn’t quite fit so I spent some time with a drill and tiny file. Here are a couple pics of side by side ebony and pearloid:

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    Here it is with 10 new ebony buttons:

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  21. #41

    Default Re: Replacement Tuner Buttons

    I recently painted a set of MoTS buttons from a set of Grover 309s using a Rustoleum 2X rattle can and they came out looking exactly like a set of gloss black HanChang/Grover buttons I have. The 2X product is a blend of primer and topcoat that bonds to plastic, according to the label. I've had very good success with it over the years, including with weathered plastic outdoor furniture. Following the instrux I applied three coats within about 15 minutes and the 2nd and 3rd coats layed down nice and smooth. I don't expect the paint to flake off, but if it does I'll update this. I used gloss black but I imagine flat black would resemble ebony pretty closely.

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