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Thread: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

  1. #1
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    Default Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    Has anyone seen stock Handel tuner buttons that look like these? I am trying to discover what they looked like originally. Additionally, I want to fabricate some reproductions.

    These tuner buttons seem to be modeled somewhat after Handel white celluloid buttons with MOP flower inlays. There is a sort of rose shape in the center. When I obtained these buttons, there seemed to be a trace of gold or yellow color in the star-shaped recesses. What was in the circle-shaped recesses, I have no idea. Green leaves? MOP?

    I figure the place to ask is on the mandolin cafe, as I think more people have seen stock plate Handel tuner buttons on mandolins than on guitars. Mine so happen to belong to a single neck, 9-string harp guitar by Bohmann, thus the oval shape rather than a circular shape. It seems some of Bohmann's family members married into the family of the owners of Stromberg(?)/Voisonet, and they used the same semi-inletted headstock tuner design.

    Has anyone seen tuner buttons like this before?

    Button 1 and 2 show the basic design, while button 3 and 4 highlight the high relief of the remaining green stems that survived over time.

    Cheers!
    Hambone pickerClick image for larger version. 

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    Bruce Hammond
    BH
    near Alvin, Texas
    Anonymous

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    I never seen any like that but I bet they were looking sweet back in the day! They still are nice although, are they celluloid made to look like tortoise? They look to be anyway to me? Now with age they've shrunk/deteriorated and that's way common for the see thru stuff, the original Handel buttons have aged very nice and I don't believe I've seen a set that has deteriorated. Heat and extreme dryness will cause that.
    I think what you have is a great template to replicate, you can see where the different inlays were so you could choose what to use? But for original look I don't know unless someone else here has seen them? And I'd say a chance as I've seen tons of neat weird things but nothing like that until now! You make some PM me and I'd love a set for a mandolin as those are way KOOL!

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    Default Re: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    These are the original tuner buttons, and are fake tortoise shell. Celluloid. apparently, ivoroid tuners are much more long-lived. I recall someone used to reproduce the fancy Handel tuner buttons with MOP inlay in a round shape, and they were about $20 each. I understand it took a long time to make them. A luthier friend just sent me a link to some stock tuner buttons, which would probably be the best way to approach the problem. I wonder, can anyone print 3-D celluloid nowadays? If I were to make any extra tuner buttons for mandolin, I would assume everyone would want round shaped buttons. My guitar tuner buttons are oval shaped.

    Here is the link:

    https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...RoCeYUQAvD_BwE
    Anonymous

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    It would be a challenge to make those buttons for either guitar or mandolin, Ellis makes them for mandolin but they are expensive, I imagine they use a CNC? If you really like them its worth it. At the Philly guitar show last November I remember seeing a set of antique guitar tuners with I believe oval buttons but in the Handel button style, they were quite expensive and missing some inlays but if you needed them for a resto one would have a hard time finding them.

  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    Quote Originally Posted by Hambonepicker View Post
    I recall someone used to reproduce the fancy Handel tuner buttons with MOP inlay in a round shape, and they were about $20 each. I understand it took a long time to make them.
    Mike Blohm used to make Handel button replicas. I don't know if he still does. Here's a thread from 2006.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Antique Handel or Stromberg-Voisonet tuner buttons

    I had to have that type of button when I saw some old Handel's. Then saw that Mike Blohm was making these and got them built onto mine. They still look great to this day.

    Click image for larger version. 

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