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Thread: help with tuners

  1. #1

    Default help with tuners

    I thank anybody who would care to respond for their time and their patience. I just bought an old Gibson A-style mandolin and its developed some problems. (I was told it was a 1941 A-1 but don't know if that's true or not).

    Several of the tuning machines are so stiff that I could not physically turn them without the added leverage of a string winder. Of course I broke one of the buttons soon after. I would like to replace the tuners. I would also like to do it myself, but I am really bad at things like that. I'm including a picture of the tuners in the hope that I can find a set that will just fit the existing holes in the headstock as they are. No drilling etc.

    I have looked around on line and have not been able to find anything that looks exactly the same, or close enough to risk it. If anybody could point me in the right direction I would very much appreciate it. Thank you!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: help with tuners

    Usually disassembling them in place and cleaning/lubricating is the first step. Then check how they turn with no string tension. Then make a decision as to how to proceed.

    Just one opinion.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: help with tuners

    Those tuners are most likely original and before you choose to change them out you might want to look at the Late Paul Hostetter's page on tuner maintenance. It can be found here. Beyond just cleaning and lubricating the tuners the problem can also be the way the holes were drilled for the tuner posts.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: help with tuners

    For reference, here is another 1941 A-1. It does look like those are the original tuners on yours.

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    Jim

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  5. #5

    Default Re: help with tuners

    So do y'all think, if I take the tuners off, give them a naphtha bath and spray them with some tri-flow I might have a chance of making them turn again? And then, if that works the only way to get a replacement button on is to "melt" it to the tuner? Again, thanks for your indulgence.

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: help with tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by tomking View Post
    So do y'all think, if I take the tuners off, give them a naphtha bath and spray them with some tri-flow I might have a chance of making them turn again? And then, if that works the only way to get a replacement button on is to "melt" it to the tuner? Again, thanks for your indulgence.
    Here's the other expert luthier page from Frank Ford on replacing an old button. You just have to find the right button to match.
    Jim

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