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Thread: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

  1. #1
    Registered User Uncle Brad's Avatar
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    Default Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Folks, the arthritis in my hands is significant enough that trying to tune these small tuning pegs can be difficult and painful at times. I couldn’t find a small tuning tool for the mando, so I made one. Not showroom perfect in appearance as I don’t have fancy woodworking tools, but it’s very easy to use and works 100%. Now I can tune with a smile. I used poplar so it was extremely easy to shape.
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  3. #2
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    I like it! As a fellow arthritis sufferer, I would love to have one, but my woodworking skills, such as they are (not), are probably too rudimentary for success.

    Cool idea!
    Kit
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  4. #3
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    I have made one with a tuning top for an electrical drill/screwdriver and a bits handle for a screwdriver. And now I can change the top for any size, f.x. for tuning guitar or bass.

    I filled up the too large hole in the guitar top, with moldable plastic to make it suit the smaller mandolin tuner buttons.

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    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Brad View Post
    Folks, the arthritis in my hands is significant enough that trying to tune these small tuning pegs can be difficult and painful at times...
    I can actually appreciate the concept. I have a modified Dunlop winder I use when restringing but something like what you've made might be in my future for simply tuning.
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    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    I made one a while ago to tune harder tuners. Fortunately I can still do the easier tuners. Guess there is a new business opportunity for someone.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #6

    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Sometimes a little lubrication helps, to state the obvious. Also, be careful when putting too much "leverage" on vintage tuners -- I learned the hard way. A little lube probably would have kept me from breaking off the buttons...

  9. #7
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    A few of the tuners in my Strad-O-Lin are super hard to turn. I think the posts are not fully straight in the holes, or there's play, and there aren't any bushings. I don't really want to change the tuners because I like the look of the enclosed backs. I've thought about an assistive device, but worry a little about the use of mechanical advantage to turn them. What happened to Jeff above with the buttons, and also the gears etc. under the hood.

    They were cleaned up and lubricated when I got the mandolin 2 years ago.
    "To be obsessed with the destination is to remove the focus from where you are." Philip Toshio Sudo, Zen Guitar

  10. #8
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    The bigger risk is damage to the buttons, especially older ones. Loosen them now before they get too tight.

    If on the other hand you damage the mechanics, the tuners were eligible for replacement anyhow.
    Kentucky KM-805..........2 Hora M1086 Portuguese II(1 in car)
    Hora M1088 Mandola.....Hora M1087P Octave
    Richmond RMA-110-VS .Noname (German?) mandolin
    Pochette Franz Janisch...2 Pocket
    Puglisi Pocket 1908........Puglisi 1912
    Mandolinetto Neapolitane 1910
    1 Mandriola...................Cannelo G. Mandriola...Böhm Waldzither 1921
    Johs Møller 1945............Fangel 1915................Luigi Embergher Studio 1933
    Marma Seashell back......Crafton.......................Luigi Embergher 5bis 1909

  11. #9

    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    The great luthier Frank Ford makes “Frank’s cranks” - really gorgeous winding cranks for sale on the Gryphon Strings site. He makes mandolin and guitar sizes, and very pretty handles. I have a few, they’re well made.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    A few of the tuners in my Strad-O-Lin are super hard to turn. I think the posts are not fully straight in the holes, or there's play, and there aren't any bushings. I don't really want to change the tuners because I like the look of the enclosed backs. I've thought about an assistive device, but worry a little about the use of mechanical advantage to turn them. What happened to Jeff above with the buttons, and also the gears etc. under the hood.

    They were cleaned up and lubricated when I got the mandolin 2 years ago.
    Yes, you can easily break buttons and more. If you think of the post as a lever, with a gear on one end and a string pulling with about 20 lbs on the other, and the fulcrum being either or both the wood and the tuner plate, you can see that if the hole in the wood has enlarged (or moved!) and the tuners are “worm over” that very large pressure between the worm and gear results. Lubrication won’t help, and you can’t tell anything without that string tension. If those posts are anything but perpendicular to the plate,*trouble results. So, do not enlarge the hole through the wood as a fix.
    I’ve had success with a few by adding a very thin shim to the hole on the aft side: thin plastic or brass shim stock, to straighten out the geometry. Also, the lower on the post the last string turn is, the lower the pressure at the other end. Bushings, as little as I like the appearance, solve two problems.
    There can be a couple of other issues, but I think post misalignment is the biggest one.
    *If there’s no thickness taper in the headstock - perpendicular to its top face as well.

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  14. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    If you have hard to turn buttons there are different reasons why that could be but the first thing I would look at it Paul Hostetter's tuner maintenance page.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  15. #12
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    A few of the tuners in my Strad-O-Lin are super hard to turn. I think the posts are not fully straight in the holes, or there's play, and there aren't any bushings. I don't really want to change the tuners because I like the look of the enclosed backs. I've thought about an assistive device, but worry a little about the use of mechanical advantage to turn them. What happened to Jeff above with the buttons, and also the gears etc. under the hood.

    They were cleaned up and lubricated when I got the mandolin 2 years ago.
    I have had a few Strad-O-Lins that required some work on the holes because they were slightly misaligned. I've also added the Stewmac vintage bushings on occasion because they look right.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  17. #13
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    I think some tuner posts are not centered in the gear, as they turn easy until they reach a certain spot, then turn hard, then easy. Either that or something gets out of wack between the post and gear. I have had success with cleaning and lubing some tuners, not others. I wonder if they were hard to tune from the start, well maybe not as hard as now, but had a small problem to begin with that has gotten worse over the decades.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  19. #14
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I have had a few Strad-O-Lins that required some work on the holes because they were slightly misaligned. I've also added the Stewmac vintage bushings on occasion because they look right.
    Have also worked on the holes on my Strad-O-Lin. Made a good difference. At first thought it was the tuners, but when I removed them, saw they were original Waverly. So figured it was probably the holes.

    Really like what the OP did. That should help a lot. I would probably buy one or two if someone were to market that type of tuner.
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  21. #15
    Registered User TheMandoKit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Really like what the OP did. That should help a lot. I would probably buy one or two if someone were to market that type of tuner.

    Yeah, me too, if the price were reasonable. I am mostly OK with larger guitar tuner buttons for right now, but the smaller mandolin buttons are a problem. Now, if it had the "crossways" slots that would allow using it with smaller and larger tuning buttons, that would be something.
    Kit
    Guitars, Mandos, Violins, Dulcimers, Cats

  22. #16

    Default Re: Homemade Tuning Peg Tool

    I bought a D'Adario stringwinder a few years ago, it includes a string clipper and peg lifter, top job IMHO

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