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Old cheap tuners

6/27/2003 1:38 PM
Arn C.
Old cheap tuners
I have a couple of quite old electric guitars that have those cheesy inline tuners. How can I tighten them up so they don't go out of tune as much as they do. I sort of want to keep the guitars original, but they are a b**ch keeping them in tune. Any help would be appreciated.  
Arn C.
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6/27/2003 1:52 PM
Nathan Noel

ooh, that's tough, the backlash in some of those old worm gears is pretty bad. There's not a whole lot you are going to be able to do.
6/29/2003 9:56 AM
Paul D.

My special subject - restoring (& optimising) old, cheap guitars. Ensure that the tuners are working as well as they possibly can. Dismantle them, clean them, bend the frames back into place (they are always bent in my experience), reassemble (using lube if desired). You may want to keep track of the mating worms & gears because they wear-in together. On the other hand, the tightness caused by mismatching components may be all you need to remedy the sloppiness.  
-Paul D.
6/30/2003 5:04 PM
Arn C.

Thanks for the info Paul. I also do prefer to keep everything original.  
Arn C.
7/1/2003 8:47 AM
Steve A.

    For the heck of it you might want to try this stuff that they sell at pool supply houses to put on filter lid gaskets. The name "Aqua Lube" comes to mind but make sure that it is green and sticky (I think that "Magic Lube" is clear and definitely not the same).  
    I'm not sure why they call it a lube because it increases friction rather than reduce it.  
Steve Ahola
7/1/2003 2:34 PM
Nathan Noel

The idea is to get the worm gear tightly into the shaft gear and to not wiggle around. There are usually U shaped cradles that the worm gear snaps into you might be able to bend those a bit to force the gears to engage fully. I did this successfully on an old Harmony archtop once. I had to remove the tuners and squeeze the "U" in a bench vise. But it worked OK.  
A few other guitars that I picked up at flea martkets and yard sales (Silvertones and other crap guitars) were a little too far gone to fix though.
7/7/2003 2:03 PM
Arn C.

Thanks Guys!  
I managed to bend the u shaped holders with the worm gears still attached. Works great now, stays in tune!!!  
Thanks again!!!  
Arn C.

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