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Thread: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

  1. #1
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    Default Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    CAUTION when using these NEW Waverly F-Style tuners.
    The ** base metal ** is softer and < thinner > than what was
    produced 15 years ago.
    (Probably now also made in China).
    I wanted to replace my OLD set on my 2004-2005 Master Model.
    I feel they do not properly stay in tune.
    (it might just be a issue with the nut slots)
    I requested a new ** replacement set ** of tuners from Stew Mac.
    They are GREAT at StewMac....no problem.
    They sent me out a brand new replacement set at ** NO CHARGE **.
    I installed them OK...but, when tightening down the mounting screws...
    the mounting base would < flex > causing the tuner shafts to rub inside the bushings.
    Loosening the mounting screws---> fixed the problem (no rubbing).
    Tightening the mounting screws---> 1 or 2 tuners would rub inside the bushings.
    Then...I took a measurement (using expensive micrometers):
    ORIGINAL F-5 WAVERLYS - .079" base metal thickness
    NEW F-5 WAVERLYS - .062 base metal thinkness
    The ** base metal ** FLEXES when the mounting screws are tightened down.
    Causing the tuner shafts to rub inside the bushings.
    2 tuners are OK....and, 2 tuners TOO TIGHT...and would RUB inside the bushing.
    LOOSEN all the screws...everything turns OK.
    TIGHTEN all the screws....1 or 2 tuners TOO TIGHT (rubbing).
    So....I am sending the NEW *REPLACEMENT SET* back to Stew Mac.
    I'll stay with the ORIGINAL set that came with the mandolin.
    It might just be time for a new NUT.

    ** ANY COMMENTS OR IDEAS ? **
    ipmala

  2. #2
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Waverly are NOT made in China.

    All of Stew Mac's business enterprises were sold to a giant corporation last year; everything was consolidated and moved under one roof to the old historic building in Athens, Ohio.

    That is where your new tuners were made.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    FWIW, just learned this past week in discussion with a colleague that Don MacRostie chucks his new tuners in the drill press and runs them for awhile as a break-in procedure to ensure consistent operation. That makes excellent sense. I'm going to do that from now on.

    Your new Waverlys might be happier with a thousand miles on them .

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Actually, I don’t understand the problem, unless the back of the peghead simply isn’t flat, or the tuner plate has a few projections that it shouldn’t, like the tangs on the bushings sticking out a little. If that’s the case, file them down. Or, you’re re-using the old screw holes and they don’t, and shouldn’t necessarily match.
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  5. #5
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Yes, the back of the headstock should be completely flat, all the the down to the end of the tuner plate. Most tuners flex some when you tighten the screws if the headstock isn't flat.

  6. #6
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    I had similar experience with other brand tuners as well, and reasons were simple : improperly drilled holes for tuner posts and/or improperly mounted plates - teh screws holding them on were not drilled centered in the holes or downright angled forcing the plate to side when tightened but this causes the jammed posts in somewhat tight holes (waverly requires very precise mounting). I bet this is your case... You need to be able to insert the tuners without ANY friction from front of headstock as well as rear. They should drop in and wiggle around freely (even the tightest post holes have some extra space...) And the screw-holes should be perfectly centered within the plate holes when the tuners are just freely inserted.
    I believe I described it in my "F9 overhaul" post few years back...
    Adrian

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  8. #7

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Yep - almost certainly what Adrian is pointing out. I bet the tuner mounting holes aren't perfectly drilled (the little screw holes, not the post/bushing holes).

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    It's easy enough to tell. Place the the tuner in place with no screws and stick round toothpicks in the holes. If they aren't straight up and down you have fill and redrill the screw holes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  11. #9
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    It's been noted that Waverly's are heavy. Maybe Stu-Mac is thinning the plate to decrease the weight a bit.

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  13. #10
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Back in 2010 I visited the Waverly factory in Boseman MT and was able to watch as the base plates for mandolin tuners were machined out of a block of bronze by a CNC mill. A most impressive process to watch and you could sense the pride the people working there took in their products. If they still have the same commitment to quality control (and I can't see why they would not) I suspect the problem lies in the installation, rather than the tuners.

    I am also puzzled why the OP did not simply have the nut checked and/or replaced by a competent repair person rather than just deciding his tuners were worn out and demanding replacements.

    Cheers

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    I only used Waverly's twice. I had a problem with the bushings being inconsistent, one would be tight while another in the same hole would have slop. Otherwise they were first rate. And they should be at that price.

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    Question Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    the tuner machining being precise, if the peg head drilling is less than up to that standard, they will not work at their best.

    And may be damaged if force fitted ,

    , getting a used mandolin with those issues, I got better function with a tuner further down the price point level.

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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    I love both sets of Waverly tuners I have. If you follow the installation guidelines you probably won't have any issues. If the tuners themselves have a problem Stewmac will step up and replace them. As for the original post I'd be looking hard at the screw holes as well.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  19. #14

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    When did Waverly change from the beautiful deep engraving to barely engraving a line in their tuners?

    2006 Stanley--I don't know if the tuners are original but they have beautiful deep engraving. Click image for larger version. 

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    2010 Heiden with original Waverly tuners with barely an inscribed line. Click image for larger version. 

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    Or is it an A vs. F thing?
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  20. #15
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    When did Waverly change from the beautiful deep engraving to barely engraving a line in their tuners?

    2006 Stanley--I don't know if the tuners are original but they have beautiful deep engraving. Click image for larger version. 

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    2010 Heiden with original Waverly tuners with barely an inscribed line. Click image for larger version. 

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    Or is it an A vs. F thing?
    Cafe member William Smith posted that they went from hand engraving to CNC engraving at some point. I have one set of each, both F style, one worm over, one worm under.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; May-16-2020 at 8:55pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  21. #16
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    If they went from hand engraved to CNC you might expect to see a price drop. But probably not.

  22. #17
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Manufacturing ease and efficiency has nothing to do with consumer price point, especially when your company was recently sold to a giant investment firm looking to turn a $$$ profit!

  23. #18
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    What did they mean by hand engraved? It would at least had to have been a panograph engraver, not some guy chiseling away wouldn't it?

  24. #19

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Could be anything, from die-stamp to CNC tool or photo lith. Actual hand-engraving would be silly in this or the last few centuries.

  25. #20
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  26. #21
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    I went back and checked the photo's of the 2 instruments I made with Waverly's which were several years apart and I think I had one set of each, the deep engraving and more shallow. I never noticed.

  27. #22

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    On second thought, the older ones that are thicker, may have been cast. If the newer ones are milled from solid, the decoration, stamped or cut, would be shallow. I’m assuming that all of them are plated bronze. Can’t comment on the esthetics.

  28. #23
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Here are the two examples from my mandolin and mandola. I bought both used. The worm over models are pretty much unknown. Stewmac won't hardly admit they ever made them.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  29. #24

    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Here are the two examples from my mandolin and mandola. I bought both used. The worm over models are pretty much unknown. Stewmac won't hardly admit they ever made them.
    I guess this has been beaten to death in the forums before, but since the Waverly design comes apart, worm over and under, even on an F can be just swapping the different length worm shafts - no? Like the open-hood-void-the-warranty myth for the Rolls Royce, the user isn’t supposed to ever adjust the worm preload or replace parts as that’s much too technical for humans. Given that you get, for your six bills, a plastic washer and a wave washer too, I’d suspect that there are alternatives to the suggested total replacement direction. Just on my side of the fence, I’d think the design is more susceptible to dirt than simpler ones, and disassembly for cleaning might be worthwhile if there’s any undue binding.
    Because of this thread, I’ve been thinking about one of my clients, Miniature Precision Bearings Inc. They make guess what - very small ball bearings. I think they could supply at least 3x8 little ones for tuners if anyone cared. An aerospace version anyone?

  30. #25
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    Default Re: Stew mac -- waverly f-style mandolin tuners

    You can't just swap the worm gears as the tuners will turn the wrong way and yes, it has been beaten to death, many times by me asking the same question. It wasn't until a half dozen people actually showed me I was wrong did I realize they aren't the same cut. Now some folks don't mind tuners that turn the wrong way. Our late friend Ivan thought it was perfectly acceptable. It just isn't to me. I have two or three threads out there about worm over F style tuners.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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