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Resonator Guitar Lovers Online


Jul 12, 2022 - 12:32:03 PM
21 posts since 5/31/2021

I’m looking for advice from the luthiers here. I was hoping to replace the 3 on a plate tuners on my Wolfe ported resonator. The guitar has a slotted headstock. I ordered some Schaller 3-on-a-plate tuners from StewMac but I ran into a problem. The Schaller’s have a larger shoulder on the shafts that would require me to drill out the shaft holes about 3/8 inch deep to allow the tuners to sit flat. So, my question is this:

Would you enlarge the holes and if so, how would you do that OR would you return the tuners and either find a different replacement or just keep the stock tuners?

FYI, there is nothing wrong with the stock tuners other than they are hard to turn at higher tensions.

Jul 12, 2022 - 1:03 PM

joeyd

USA

73 posts since 8/4/2008

Check out Waverly, I'll bet they'll fit just right

Jul 12, 2022 - 5:40:28 PM

4158 posts since 7/27/2008

Which tuners are  currently on the Wolfe? 

Jul 12, 2022 - 7:20:23 PM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

Which tuners are  currently on the Wolfe? 


I'm not sure. They are open, 3-on-a-plate with metal buttons. Fairly plain with no markings that I can find.

Jul 12, 2022 - 7:21:44 PM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

quote:
Originally posted by joeyd

Check out Waverly, I'll bet they'll fit just right


I bet they will, I only need an extra $200

Edited by - Ron Lacey on 07/12/2022 19:23:43

Jul 13, 2022 - 7:07:47 AM

badger

USA

624 posts since 8/10/2008

If it were mine, I'd be concerned about removing any material from a slotted headstock. You have a really nice instrument that can support the extra cost of Waverlys, and they're incredibly well-made. There's a feel to them that I haven't experienced with other tuners, and, once you try them it's hard to go back. I have them on my Bear Creek, and regret that I didn't include them when I had my Harlow built.

If I didn't want to spend the $$ to replace, I'd invest the time to carefully clean and lubricate the original machines (no gunk-catching spray stuff - dry graphite powder and/or wax will do the trick), making certain that the shafts aren't binding anywhere. Be sure to lube the holes that the shafts go into, keeping in mind that string tension will tweak the shafts a bit. I'm sure Bobby didn't use cheap machines on a premium guitar, and I'll bet that a little attention will pay off for you.

Jul 13, 2022 - 8:48:42 AM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

quote:
Originally posted by badger

If it were mine, I'd be concerned about removing any material from a slotted headstock. You have a really nice instrument that can support the extra cost of Waverlys, and they're incredibly well-made. There's a feel to them that I haven't experienced with other tuners, and, once you try them it's hard to go back. I have them on my Bear Creek, and regret that I didn't include them when I had my Harlow built.

If I didn't want to spend the $$ to replace, I'd invest the time to carefully clean and lubricate the original machines (no gunk-catching spray stuff - dry graphite powder and/or wax will do the trick), making certain that the shafts aren't binding anywhere. Be sure to lube the holes that the shafts go into, keeping in mind that string tension will tweak the shafts a bit. I'm sure Bobby didn't use cheap machines on a premium guitar, and I'll bet that a little attention will pay off for you.


Thanks Phillip, that was enough to push me over the edge. I put Waverly tuners on a Martin guitar years ago and they are great. I balked at the price but you're correct,  the Wolfe is a great guitar and I don't want to screw it up. I'm a fair hand at woodworking and I found a bushing reamer that would do the job, but I got cold feet. Nothing worse that that oh-oh moment when you screw something up irreversibly.

Jul 13, 2022 - 8:57:30 AM
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badger

USA

624 posts since 8/10/2008

Good decision! Hell, $200 is dinner-and-a-movie money these days.

Jul 13, 2022 - 9:52:29 AM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

quote:
Originally posted by badger

Good decision! Hell, $200 is dinner-and-a-movie money these days.


They're actually $270-$290 depending on the knob material. But I've already put $70 into the Shallers and by my wife's shopping logic the Waverlys are only $200 now. At least that's the argument I'm going to try.

Edited by - Ron Lacey on 07/13/2022 09:52:58

Jul 14, 2022 - 7:24 AM
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badger

USA

624 posts since 8/10/2008

Your wife's right. When you add the money you're not spending on a new instrument, the whole enterprise is a huge net gain for the family finances! Missusbadger and I live extremely well on the $$ that I didn't spend buying the new Porsche, despite not having the funds to buy it in the first place. She tells me we're obviously doing fine since we still have so many blank checks left.

Jul 14, 2022 - 8:46:58 AM
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1156 posts since 9/29/2009

It is only the outer holes in the slotted headstock that need to be enlarged to fit the collars. The existing inner holes should fit the shafts just fine. But enlarging the outer holes is risky as they tend to chip-out on the inner surface. Clamping a scrap backer against the inner surface should solve that. Another approach is slowly enlarging the outer holes by hand with a tapered reamer, which minimizes chip-out. Will the bushing reamer you found result in the right final diameter? Can you turn it by hand?

I agree with badger that Bobby didn't use cheap machines. I know he favored Grovers.

Edited by - SamCy on 07/14/2022 08:56:28

Jul 14, 2022 - 9:06:58 AM
likes this

1367 posts since 1/14/2011

quote:
Originally posted by badger

She tells me we're obviously doing fine since we still have so many blank checks left.


I just got a new shipment of checks, and for now I'm a millionaire! laugh

Jul 14, 2022 - 9:25:50 AM

badger

USA

624 posts since 8/10/2008

Congratulations on your good fortune!

Jul 14, 2022 - 6:43:34 PM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

quote:
Originally posted by SamCy

It is only the outer holes in the slotted headstock that need to be enlarged to fit the collars. The existing inner holes should fit the shafts just fine. But enlarging the outer holes is risky as they tend to chip-out on the inner surface. Clamping a scrap backer against the inner surface should solve that. Another approach is slowly enlarging the outer holes by hand with a tapered reamer, which minimizes chip-out. Will the bushing reamer you found result in the right final diameter? Can you turn it by hand?

I agree with badger that Bobby didn't use cheap machines. I know he favored eGrovers.


Thanks Sam, the reamer is at StewMac and supposed to be used with a drill press at slow speed. It's 0.001" larger than I need. I have the tools but as I think about it there is too much risk and not enough gain.
I agree that the stock tuners are of good quality. I'm finding that the arthritis in my left thumb makes it hard to turn the buttons and I was looking for a higher ratio and a larger button to improve my leverage. I'm probably going to go with a different set, likely the Waverlys. This is also why I'm playing more resonator (and banjo) because it doesn't hurt my hand like guitar. I'm retiring this summer and the money I save on not working I can spend on tuners!

Jul 15, 2022 - 8:21:22 AM

21 posts since 5/31/2021

Here are the current tuners


Jul 16, 2022 - 9:08:06 AM
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1156 posts since 9/29/2009

Be aware that replacement tuners for slot head come in two different shaft sizes: 0.236 and 0.248. So, it would be important to know what the shaft size is for the tuners you have now. Stewmac has Golden Age tuners for slot head that are high quality and less expensive than the Waverlys. They also have Grover individual slot head tuners that could be installed with drilling more mounting holes. But note that the Golden Age have 0.236 shafts while the Grovers have 0.248. See the spec drawings. The Grovers are a higher 18:1 ratio.

 

https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/tuning-machines/slotted-peghead-guitar-tuning-machines/golden-age-restoration-tuners-for-slotted-peghead-guitar---scallop-end

https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/tuning-machines/slotted-peghead-guitar-tuning-machines/grover-181-sta-tite-slotted-peghead-guitar-machines

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