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Tuning machine bushings/ferrules too small...help!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rollyolly, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. rollyolly

    rollyolly Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2011
    So I'm replacing the tuning machines on a Squier VM jazz neck with some roadworn jazz tuners. I ordered some aged bushings from Madison's parts, but they are super loose and just fall out. Don't they need to be very snug in the headstock? Is there a fix or workaround for this? If I can't get it to work I guess I just need to "age" the Squier bushings so they match the roadworn tuners.

    20160418_171010. 20160418_171046.
  2. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    Yes they need to be snug. I would just age the Squier bushings unless someone can give you an easy and viable suggestion
  3. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    How do you age this kind of hardware, would like to do it to one of my basses?
    OP just age the existing bushings, how I don't know trying to get info...
  4. rollyolly

    rollyolly Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2011
    Well I think the Squier hardware is chrome, and from what I've read chrome doesn't relic nicely. All the relic'd hardware you can buy is normally nickel?
  5. Paper wrap, masking tape wrap, Plumbers teflon tape wrap

    Or dowel the hole, glue it in, cut flush and re-drill.

    I'd probably go paper wrap or teflon tape as they are very reversible.
    Radio likes this.
  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Put them in a rock tumbler for a few minutes.
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  7. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    I believe you use Acetone. Many paint strippers use Acetone. Fingernail polish remover uses it but probably too small of an amount to work on Metal effectively
    Kukulkan61 likes this.
  8. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    acetone won't do anything to your metal parts. i'd suggest lightly scratching the surface with a 3M pad then putting them into a jar with something mildly corrosive. say cider vinegar to start. the scuffing will cut into the plating be it nickel or chrome allowing the acid to get in and under and give it some "vintage". rinse with water for a bit to stop the acid from continuing to work. keep in mind that any kind of chrome plating will have a layer of copper under it. electroless nickel will not.

    or you could bead/sand blast them and take it from there.

    you're going to have to experiment so buy extras.

    those replacements look like they are hard chrome -satin finish i believe, and you seem to have a large enough gap to put some wood shim in there like say thin maple binding stock.

    were it mine or a customers i'd plug and re-drill.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  9. Gaebrial


    Mar 8, 2016
    I was missing one on a pbass I bought and picked a random bushing up from a local repair center. It was a bit loose, but once I put a tiny amount of string tension the bushing was held in. If it is just a little loose, it should be fine IMO.

    On another bass I reamed the holes out a bit to allow for some bushings that were too big, then I ended up having to go back to the original tuners. I put a little masking tape inside the hole and now the original bushings are nice and tight again. I might go back and do this to my pbass the next time I change the strings, since this seems to work as well.

    As far as I can tell, the bushings are there to keep the tuning peg post from wiggling around. To do this it does need to be super tight, just tight enough that the post doesn't wiggle around. I would try some masking tape and see if that works for you.

    I had one bass strung up without one, and it pulled the tuning peg to the edge of the hole (which I am sure what bad for the headstock/screws on the back). Even so, it tuned up just fine and held pitch. I know one guy who doesn't have one. He said it was missing when he got it, and when it put a replacement on the tuning wasn't stable, so he removed it. I don't understand it, and I don't know how that anecdote fits in with anything, but there it is.
  10. rollyolly

    rollyolly Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2011
    So I ended up wrapping the bushings with copper tape until the fit was snug. Not ideal but we'll see!!
    LoveThatBass likes this.

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