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Thread: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it?

  1. #1

    Default Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it?

    I went and dropped my old Strad-O-Lin, and two of the bearing blocks (plummer blocks?) that hold the tuning peg broke off. Is there a simple fix for this? Can I solder or epoxy them back into place, or is the entire machine a total loss?

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Heat will probably destroy the button. I'd be real surprised if epoxy held it. Post a picture of the rest of the tuner. Somebody might have one.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Good idea Mike, here you go. I guess it'd be easier to replace one button than the entire machine, but as you can see they're all pretty rusted and old - maybe an entire new set wouldn't be amiss?
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Will the bearing blocks fit flush on the plate now?
    Was it a peening of the posts (tennons?) that held them on originally?

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    OK, if it was me I'd just replace the entire set. A standard set of Grover, Gotoh, Rubners, Waverly, just about any manufacturers A style worm over tuners will work. The spacing should be .906 in or 23.01 mm center to center on the posts. Everything A style tuner set on this Strewmac page will fit except the Golden Age Restoration Tuners for A style mandolins. Those have a different post spacing.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and...ning_Machines/

    You could also check eBay for a vintage set of tuners. Those tuners are the WWII vintage sets with no screw just a glob of brass holding the cog to the post.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Oliver View Post
    Will the bearing blocks fit flush on the plate now?
    Pretty close - the broken off bits fit pretty well into those wee holes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Oliver View Post
    Was it a peening of the posts (tennons?) that held them on originally?
    Um... if you mean something like a rivet, I can't really tell without taking the whole thing off.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Looks to me like it was peened, you will like newer tuner soooo much better than these.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Everything A style tuner set on this Strewmac page will fit except the Golden Age Restoration Tuners for A style mandolins. Those have a different post spacing.
    Thanks for the heads up, I was actually considering those.

  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Quote Originally Posted by dwbarron View Post
    Thanks for the heads up, I was actually considering those.
    Look on the bottom of each of the Stewmac tuner pages. You'll see a drawing with the dimensions on them.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  11. #10
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Perhaps some steps of this could be used to repair the original tuners....
    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luth...f4gearfix.html
    Adrian

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  13. #11

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    Hi, I have been accused for uneconomic fixes on all sorts of things, but I enjoy it. Those tiny protuberances are almost certainly just peened in from the backside, which means you have to take the whole tuner plate off, clamp the part in position carefully, using some force to push the part all the way in.(Button to the outboard side!) Then, resting the two bearing blocks on a vise top, or whatever’s sturdy, take a centerpunch, or if lacking, a sharpened big nail, and re-peen the thing. You will have to guess how much is enough. Then check for proper motion of the worm. Doesn’t have to be very strong at all. If you want to go nuts, and have access, you could use a jeweller’s torch and braze the thing without melting the button, but the original plating (nickel probably) may inhibit adhesion.

  14. #12
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    You might be able to peen it if there's still enough metal there, I'm going to hazard a guess that it probably let go when it was dropped. It still won't be a decent tuner and wont add anything to the value of the mandolin. You would have the satisfaction of knowing you fixed it though.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  15. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    And then you could buy these:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-1940s...sAAOSwXfNdCpaS

    NFI
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-25-2019 at 11:23am.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Broken bearing block on tuning machine - can I glue/solder it

    You could try silver solder. It's actually structural unlike regular electrical solder. It takes some decent amount of heat to get it working though. You normally need a blow torch for it. That amount of heat and open flame would probably ruin any nickel/chrome plating or any patina it has now and you'd definitely need to remove it from the instrument. I probably wouldn't use silver solder if I were you but it's an option I guess.

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