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Why lefty loosey?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by agent77, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. agent77

    agent77 Tin Foil Hat Wearer Supporting Member

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    OK, here's a dumb question that no one has ever been able explain to me: Why are tuners designed to turn lefty loosey when we tighten our strings? Why not righty tighty like every other screw based tightening thing in the world?
  2. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Early makers of tuning pegs probably wanted the obvious functionality retained before and after the gear; that is, turning the peg clockwise corresponds to the shaft rotating clockwise.

    However, strings need to come off from the nut as straight (horizontally) as possible so as not to apply too much sideways pressure and either move or break the nut. In order to accommodate for this, we wind the strings in the opposite direction to tighten them.

    If we adopted some modified headstock system where the lowest string's tuner is farthest away, we could reverse the system.
  3. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    bicycle pedals and camera lenses go to the left too
  4. FunkMetalBass

    FunkMetalBass

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    I'm trying to remember, but I think bike pedals were designed that way so as not to accidentally unscrew themselves during forward riding. No idea about the lenses.






    One thing to consider is the frame of reference. If you're holding a nut and a bolt with the nut toward you and the bolt away from you, and then you want to tighten the bolt while fixing the nut, you'll have to turn the bolt counter-clockwise (relative to your frame of reference) to tighten it.
  5. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

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    Being a mechanic all my life it drives me crazy!!!
    I love my vintage reverse tuners.
  6. kcole4001

    kcole4001

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    Never gave it a moment's thought.
  7. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Supporting Member

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    The real reason is because it's "righty, tighty!"

    Dan K.
  8. awilkie84

    awilkie84

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    Except that turning the peg to the left on most basses is what tightens it. :p
  9. IPA

    IPA

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    My Sting P-bass is right to tighten for some reason.
  10. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Bicycle pedals go on clockwise on the right side and counter clockwise on the left. This is done to avoid having the left pedal come loose due to the rotation.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    The plastic retaining nut on a conventional toilet handle is left-handed. Ask me how I know.

    Not only are Pedulla tuners lefty-tighty, so are his truss rods.

    Riis
  12. Mehve

    Mehve

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    I always figured it was a throwback to classical instruments that don't even have worm gears at play. In those cases, you're simply turning the spindle directly, and left would pull the string tighter.
  13. jweber76

    jweber76

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    Don't some vintage Chrysler products have "backwards" threaded lugnuts on one side too?
  14. St Drogo

    St Drogo

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    Because it's not a screw. When you tighten the string, you're not screwing anything into the wood. It's not a direct connection; when turning the key you turn a cog, which in turn rotates the actual peg. I'd compare it more to turning a dial to adjust something, than to fastening something with actual threads, like a bottlecap or bolts and nuts.

    Keeping that in mind, I always thought this way makes more sense. When you turn the key so that the upper part rotates away from the headstock, you tighten the string. Almost like you're winding the string directly onto the key, like opening a can of tuna or spam. Lovely spam. Wonderful spam.
  15. Biggbass

    Biggbass

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    My P bass tuners are righty tighty
  16. St Drogo

    St Drogo

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    Your RW? It's because of the vintage tuners, they turn the other way. My RW jazz does the same.
  17. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    The real question is why anyone still uses the imperial system of measurement!
    Ok, I know the answer to that, but I reject it because it's dumb :)
  18. St Drogo

    St Drogo

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    You sir, are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor.

    Take him away!
  19. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    OH, and philips head screws. The motto should be "Designed poorly for people who can't control themselves!"
    Of course, flatheads are irritating too and torx has a patent...
  20. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    YOU'RE NOT MY FATHER!

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