Looking for tuning machine screw

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Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:14 pm

Sorry if I'm a bit out of place here. I've been shopping around for a part and cannot locate the source. A parts vendor suggested I might find some help here.
My family grew up in Kalamazoo and I'm trying to fix grandpa's old mid 60's Epiphone Melody maker.
I'm missing a tuning post screw. A conical head countersunk machine screw that holds the gear to the post. Does anyone know where I could source one?
Pictures attached.

Thanks in advance,
Ken
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Freeman Keller » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:59 pm

Ken, you are certainly not out of place here, but the problem is that several different sized screws have been used on these things over the years and just finding a single screw might be a nightmare. Some of us have boxes of old tuners - I'll look thru mine. But another possibility would be to replace the whole set of tuners with new ones - either a cheapie like these

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Pa ... uners.html

or a little better, but same style

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Pa ... p-end.html

It is not uncommon to replace tuners on old guitar to get better gears, bushings, etc, but keep the old ones for history. If you are going to replace them check the measurements given in those links with yours - unfortunately there are variations here too.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:29 am

Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I'm hoping to keep this original. Its not a valuable guitar. It doesn't play particularly well. It's got some character to it. Cracks in finish, etc.
But if possible, I'd rather just replace the screw. Sure, new tuners would look nicer than the old ones. The buttons are nicked and discolored. The tuners have a patina. I'd liked to keep it that way.
Several years ago the old tortoise shell pick guard started to "sweat". It started with bubbles of perspiration and it it finally started running down the face of the guitar. The pick guard got thin and brittle. So I just replaced that. The new one isn't as nice as the original, but it works.

I took a set of calipers to the screw. I could do it in fraction inches or in mm if that would help. Would love it if someone had one around I could buy from you?
Attachments
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Bob Gramann » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:12 am

Have you tried the special parts drawers at the local hardware store? You may not find an exact match, but you might find a screw that works with matching threads. Don’t forget to check the metric drawers.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:14 am

Looks like a #4 oval head screw. Any decent fastener store should have one, but the best place to look is a local music store that does repairs, take your sample with you and ask to look through their old parts pile.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Mark Wybierala » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:26 am

You need to find a privately owned music store thats been in business for 30 or more years. They're going to have buckets of old tuners that they should let you go through. There are so many different screw sizes and thread pitches. I'm in central NJ if you're near. That guitar is actually worth a little bit of coin.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:36 am

What everyone said, but are you certain those are the original machines? Those look Japanese, especially the dual purpose string post (for both slotted and solid peg head). Have you had them off? You might see the imprint of the Klusons that should have been on it.

The only reason I bring up authenticity is to save you some time and get you a better set of machines. I am pretty certain that guitar would have a set of machine like these:
http://www.kluson.com/vintage-stamped-steel.html
With plastic buttons.

But if you want to keep those machines, do what the folks have said. I'll bet I have one. I might even have a complete set, if you're in the Boston area.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:38 am

Thanks for your help, all.
I'm no expert, so I can't be sure that the tuners are original. But I've had the guitar for about 15 years or so. It was granddad's and he bought it new. My uncle had it for several years, but he's passed on so I can't ask him if he swapped out the tuners. He would have been the one. I don't see any indications on the back of the headstock that look like the profile of a different set of tuners.
I'm in Austin, TX and there are still a few old music shops around that haven't been shoved out by the big chain. I'll give them a try.
Thanks again
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Mark Swanson » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:43 am

Those don't look like the original tuners to me. The original guitar probably had three on a strip Klusons.
    Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:02 am

This is what an early 1960's Gibson Melody Maker had, fwiw. This is a 1962 MM. Note slot head oval head screws, brass gears. Phillips head screws holding them on. Yours looks like it is a 1965 edition, asymmetrical dual cutaway and the vibrola. At least one picture of a 1965 MM I found has the rib-back Kluson's Mark posted.

Edit: Here you go... http://www.woodstore.fr/fr-2013/index.p ... Itemid=102
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:46 pm

Brian,
In the link to the one for sale, I made a few observations. No vibrola. Slotted screws on the tuning machines. The pegs that hold the strap look to be the wrong color. The control knobs don't look right, either.
I think maybe this one has had some work.
The attached picture with the headstock in front of a colorful blanket. That looks to be a different model year of the guitar. The profile on the top of the headstock is cut differently.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:11 pm

Mine looks stunningly similar to this one here: https://reverb.com/item/2127719-vintage ... remolo-bar
I've also seen these referred to as Ephiphone Olympic.
Headstock looks right (a "3" on its side rather than batwing). Tremolo / vibrato. non-angled bridge, lightning saddle. knobs look right. Tuners look exactly like mine. The finish on that one is in worse shape than mine, but the problems are of similar nature.
I am not sure that is the original case, though. My case looks like other photos I've seen out there. It's grey with a light-blue felt interior.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Brian Evans » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:23 am

Yes, that one looks a dead ringer for yours. Goes to show how much they changed over a very short period of time. My one on the quilt is a 1962 Gibson, just for a point in time reference. FWIW, they are, including your made in USA Epi, exceptional guitars of their type, great blues sound and full of character. I love mine. Dead cheap to make, exactly two pieces of wood - one piece neck, one piece slab body, all electronics on a drop in plate, but they really feel like a 1960's Gibson. The lightning bolt bridge is obviously intonated for a wound G string, and that bridge was introduced in late 1962 - early 1963. The earlier bridge was a smooth top stop tailpiece mounted at an 8 degree angle to the strings, to get close to intonated. Cases were often supplied by the store, for cheap student guitars. Good luck with your repair, and keep it in the family for another 50 years!
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:47 am

Thanks Brian, appreciate that. I was never really sure about the year. But I never found such specific information about the bridge as you've shared with me. Trying to figure it out by serial number just wasn't possible. But with the details of the bridge, the headstock profile, and the tuners, I can probably safely call this a 1963.
I just decided to pick up playing bass guitar and my wife says I have to put one away. So sadly, once I get this guitar repaired, it might have to go into its case for awhile. I'll never let it go.
I remember my grandpa playing on it when I was a kid. Blues, Johnny Cash, lots of old stuff. Some songs he'd retune it, set it on his lap, take a large glass from the kitchen and play it like a slide guitar. Fun memories.
I still have the Gibson Skyhawk amp that he had as well. Still works, doesn't sound that great, heh.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:25 am

"I just decided to pick up playing bass guitar and my wife says I have to put one away."

The guitar or the wife? :lol:
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Daryl Kosinski » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:47 pm

You may have to cut to length. I have used this company many times for the hard to find stuff.

https://www.boltdepot.com/Machine_screw ... _head.aspx
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:10 pm

An off-the-wall thought from someone who should defer to his betters, but could Ken do a Frankentuner by buying some new or used tuners and do some parts salvage? I was thinking maybe replacing the entire post/gear/bolt assembly.
==Steve==
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Ken Aldrich » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:45 pm

Thanks.
I tried to get ahold of a local shop. Haven't heard back yet.
Good callout on that bolt depot site. Looks like this is the right part. I'm going to give it a try. You guys are great.
https://www.boltdepot.com/Product-Detai ... duct=14909
I'm going to order some 5/16 and some 1/4 just to be sure.
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:49 am

you should get some metric sizes as well. The head might not be the right shape but I'd bet the screw you want is metric. And the shipping will dwarf the cost of the screws so you might as well get an assortment.

They are a great vendor. I got some tiny metric machine screws to repair some buttons on one of my wife's jackets. It's a long story. But I have pictures...
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Re: Looking for tuning machine screw

Postby Bryan Bear » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:23 pm

Take the post to the hardware store and see if you can identify the threads. They should have a board with all common sizes/threads in english and metric studs. You jsut screw the post on the one that fits and you will know what to order.
PMoMC

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