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Need Tuning Machines

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by dmeador11, Oct 15, 2013.


  1. Can anyone give me a lead on tuning machines for my upright bass?
    I have a 1956 American Standard with a broken peg. What is the best way to fix it? I would like to find a set for the G Side of the scroll. It would be nice to stay with a set for a King or American Standard but I am open to suggestions. [​IMG][/IMG]
    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Search KLUSON...
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  4. Is there a machinist's shop anywhere near where you live? The easiest/best thing to do would be to have a new grip cut to match the other three, take a torch to the damaged tuning machine to get the stub out, and then have the new grip welded into place.

    Obviously, the plate would have to be removed from the bass first.

    There's a weird lot of mismatched tuning machines on eBay right now that includes an old King Mortone plate, but it's the wrong side for your purpose.
     
  5. 360guy

    360guy Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Lansing, MI USA
    Go to a hobby shop and purchase a sheet of brass ( same thickness as the existing keys. Trace the key profile onto paper and transfer onto the brass. You can cut it on a scroll saw, band saw or by hand. If you have a spindle sander touch up the final sizing nicely, or do it by hand with a file and sandpaper.

    Take the machine head with the new key blank to a jewelry repair shop. Or if you have a high school vocational center they might have some jewelry design class that could solder it for you.
     
  6. Why replace soft, bendable metal with more soft, bendable metal?
     
  7. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    There are different grades of brass/bronze, etc.... Some of them are pretty durable. I realize that cheap old thing only lasted 58 years so far, but the new owner might feel that is a good investment...beside the fact that it would match the original, if that is desirable.
     
  8. The machines on H.N. White basses, especially the post-war examples, are notoriously fragile from what I've been told.

    I'm a form-follows-function type of guy, which is why if the paddle has to be replaced my thought was that it should be replaced with a strong durable metal.

    Overall, though, the original machines should be saved. They're beautiful, and rare.
     
  9. MollyKay

    MollyKay

    Sep 10, 2006
    Southern PA
    Bass Hobby'ist
    American Standard and King Mortone tuners were not made by Kluson. Kluson was used on Kay and Epiphone’s. :D

    The AS and King Bass tuners are thought to have been made in-house at H.N. White as their main line of band instruments were brass and silver. The tuner is very repairable in the right hands. It will be less expensive and far better to save the tuners on the bass then look for vintage replacements that very rarely surface. Try a real jeweler (not a mall jeweler) that specializes in making and repairing jewelry that will be your best chance for a quality repair.

    Good luck! :)
     
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Brass repair guys (tuba, trombone, etc.) have the right tools and materials and the chops to repair tuner keys well.
     
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I did say useless...
     
  12. I appreciate all of your help and advice.
    I saw the used ones on E-bay, put it on my watch list, i will see in a few days.
    I would like to keep the original plates, maybe I can try cutting new grab from some decent metal.
    Thanks
     
  13. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    And I believed you! :D
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Thank Gyawd someone did!
     

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