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1940-ish Regal made Dobro, broken button, stiff tuners. Recommendations?

Apr 21, 2024 - 7:50:05 AM
6 posts since 8/28/2012

Recently acquired this old Dobro and been playing/practicing quite a bit. The tuners are a bit stiff, and recently a button split - without much pressure actually. Since I want this to be a user friendly instrument, is it wiser to find a new replacement set of tuners for smooth operation, OR is this issue worth addressing another way? I don't wish to crack any more buttons, so my first thought is to remove and store the original set. The flange on the button post seems quite small, making a glue job on the split button seem improbable to hold up. Any thought on this, and/or recommendations very much appreciated. And while you're at it, this old Dobro does not have a serial number, so anyone who can fully identify its age, etc., please speak to that.

Edited by - kgreene on 04/21/2024 07:55:40

Apr 21, 2024 - 11:32:52 AM
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4723 posts since 7/27/2008

I'm not sure off the top of my head if these  are the exact replacement tuners for your guitar, I would double check with StewMac to make sure, but the Golden Age Restoration tuners are the ticket. Link at the bottom of the post. 

I acquired a 1936/37 Model 37 in December (solid peghead),  the tuners function and the buttons don't appear to be in danger of crumbling any time  soon, but they are stiff and fairly difficult to turn, and some light oil in the gears hasn't helped much. So I'm considering buying a set from StewMac. 

As far as identifying  the model of  your Dobro, more photos are needed - like if you were looking at a guitar for sale online from the likes of Reverb, or guitar stores like Gryphon in the Bay Area or Gruhn in Nashville. Your current photos don't provide  us enough info. It is a Regal-built in Chicago Dobro likely from the mid 1930s, many of these did not have serial numbers on the headstock (as is the case with my Model 37).  We need photos of the body from different angles. 

Rather than add additional photos to your home page, it is best to include them in posts here in the actual topic. Make sure you are in Rich Text, look below the area where you type and you will see a section where you can upload photos from your phone or computer. If you're having trouble just ask, we can guide you through the process but once you figure it out it's pretty easy to do. 
 

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

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 04/21/2024 11:33:53

Apr 21, 2024 - 11:44:41 AM
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813 posts since 8/8/2008

As Mark suggested try cleaning and oiling the gears and if that works for you you can purchase replacement buttons. I was told it was fairly easy to do. You heat the button post and slide the button on. Overheating would not be a good idea.
Good luck!

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