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 Post subject: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
I bought a cheap set of mandolin tuners ($8.31) to modify for a Stauffer style tuning machine set. Unfortunately I used half the set for a dulcimer, so I have another set on order.
However - here is what I've done with the other half so far:
1. I heated the stems with a lighter to remove the buttons.
2. I cut lengths of brass tubing and drove them over the button shafts.
3. I cut slightly smaller tubing to slide into the first.
4. The next smaller size tubing slides into the second and into the buttons.
After I do the final fitting on the actual peghead I will solder all the bits and pieces together and glue on the buttons


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
I received some more sets of the $8.31 Chinese mandolin tuners. I finished modifying one of them to make a set of Stauffer style tuners. Here the tuners are fitted to an antique peghead (which is not where they will end up) to give some idea of how close they would look compared to the originals. Not exact, but close. When I make the neck/ peghead they go with I will fine tune the length of the shafts.
I am still surprised at the low cost the Chinese manage on these tuners. $8.31 including postage from China! They may not be quite as nice as the low cost ($33) Grover's - the base plates might be slightly thinner and the button shafts are plain "sticks" like F style tuners have (works in your favor for modding) but they do seem to have reasonably well cut gears and fairly smooth operation. They may be a good replacement tuner for a "budget" instrument with bad tuners.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3621
NIce! Thanks Clay. I'll be doing something like this soon.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
I noticed when comparing the way different modern makers (Rodgers and Rubner) are reproducing the style that they are not following the original construction but have "improved" it - doing much as I have done - burying a modern type of construction in the peghead and covering the counterfeit with a plate. The original's were quite different.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:07 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
A slightly larger picture showing how the old tuners were held together with tiny cotter pins - no screws!


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:38 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3621
Very cool! [:Y:]


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
A little further along. The center section morticed out and the tuners fitted. I made a wooden back plate rather than the metal one. Rather than shortening the posts and redrilling the string holes I made the peghead thicker. Next time I think I will shorten the posts. And next time I might start out with one side of a 12 string set. The post spacing is pretty much the same as mandolin machines and they would all be on the same plate.
One other thing I found was removing the plastic buttons by heating the stems with a soldering iron worked better than using a bic lighter.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:53 am 
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Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:58 pm
Posts: 834
First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Looks just right. What body style guitar will you put these on? How about just prying the buttons off with a claw hammer instead of heating?

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:16 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
I have a size 1 body with an american sassafras top that needs a neck, so that is where it will probably land.
Heating the stem with a soldering iron (Weller gun type) and pulling the buttons off with a pair of pliers was quick and painless. The claw hammer could work, but you might lose a button or two to breakage. The Chinese sell replacement buttons, so that is not really a problem either.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:02 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
A little further along with the neck. The peghead is attached with a hidden scarf joint so you don't see a line on the back of the peghead


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:19 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
Tuners installed and back plate screwed on.


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These users thanked the author Clay S. for the post: TimAllen (Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
Hi Ed M.
Thanks for the kind words in the P.M. I took a couple of side views as requested. I rounded the ends of the peghead where it joins the neck, but not so much that the scarf would show. I like doing a bridle or hidden scarf as it allows me to do most of the work on the peghead before joining it to the neck shaft.


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 Post subject: Re: tuner mod
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 2789
Before this thread slips into oblivion I thought I would post some pictures of the neck attached to a body to finish things up. The finish isn't buffed out and the fingerboard tongue isn't glued down, but I often wait a month or two before doing those things. It is quite playable, and I am quite happy with the way the (american) sassafras sounds as a soundboard. I have used it for dulcimer tops and wanted to try it for a guitar. I think it sounds much better than the usual mahogany topped Martin's I've had in the past. I think it gets closer to spruce in clarity of sound, but with a bit more warmth that is hard to describe. I will definitely use it again.


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