tuner roller stock

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Eric Reid
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tuner roller stock

Post by Eric Reid » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:27 am

Does anyone have a source for 10mm (13/32") glueable plastic rod or heavy wall tube (PVC?)? I'm trying to replace the crumbled rollers on an old set of classical guitar tuners, and I'd rather not have to turn the OD on a lathe. The tuners are an odd spacing, and the owner likes the look of the plates, so just buying new tuners is the last choice option.

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by Kent » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:45 am

What about just replacing the whole roller. Can you post a picture so we can guess who made them?

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by OldPotter » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:52 am

I've just googled for plastic rod, its not finding a source that's a problem, its narrowing down what you need from the vast array of possibles. Certainly in the UK there is one company offering white acetal rod in 10mm. I have looked at this too and think that some machining would need to be done to the rod, to make the original tuner shaft fit into the new roller. The original rollers may not be exactly 10mm. The plastic company that I dealt with in the UK, had a helpful sales staff who were willing to offer advice on the suitability of various plastics.. I don't know much about Acetal and have guessed that ABS might be better. PVC and Nylon seem to be a bit too soft. Frank Ford has used bone (machined).
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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:23 am

I think I've come across 10 mm bone rod on the usual auction site but it was a few years ago.

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Amateur luthier
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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by geoff-bristol » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:47 am

Its frustrating trying to source and make seemingly simple things ! It makes one appreciate just how much effort goes into manufacturing - we take it all for granted too much at times.
Model shop - dolls houses - and minature steam engine suppliers are useful sources.
Its probably easier to source tube than bar - it gives you your outside dims - and is easy to fill. I would have thought you would get 10mm hard plastic tube from B&Q or the like. Fill it with something.
You might find 10mm OD carbon fibre tube or - maybe white grp tube ?

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:20 am

How about black water buffalo horn? It is natural, tough, easy to machine, can be buffed to a nice shine. Let me know if you need some. I have a big supply of it.

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by MessyTendon » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:56 am

10mm Delrin rods...will that work? They aren't too expensive.

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Trevor Gore
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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by Trevor Gore » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:05 am

Eric, I've used these guys for all sorts of odd stuff and have not been disappointed yet.

In black above and white also.

There must be US supplier of acetal rod. It's a good engineering material used in lots of things...

Here's a supplier in Texas if you prefer red, green, blue or yellow rollers!
Trevor Gore: Classical Guitar Design and Build

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by jebejava » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:43 pm

Have the same problem with a roller that split. It's an older guitar and the roller is not of standard present day dimensions.

Right now I'm discussing it with friends who do 3D printing about printing a roller sleeve from ABS filament. It will probably work fine.

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Eric Reid
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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by Eric Reid » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:56 am

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. None of my usual industrial supply sources had metric sizes (or U.S. approximations). The auction site which shall bay nameless has several 10mm options with free shipping from China. (Again, my thanks.) I'll know more in a week or two about how accurately these are sized, what the surface finish is like, how they take to various glues, etc.

For what it's worth, the tuners I am monkeying with look to be the original tuners on the 1963 Manuel Rodriguez they arrived on. They are cheaply made, but have plates that are engraved--not stamped or cast. The plates are stamped "Germany" on the inside. The roller spacing varies from 37.5mm to 37.9. None of the various rollers I have kicking around in my tuner parts drawer had similar end fittings. There are many tuners available today made to a much higher standard. Plugging the holes and redrilling for a modern (or at least consistent) spacing may happen at some point soon. In the mean time, I may be able to make these serviceable.

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Re: tuner roller stock

Post by simonm » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:17 pm

Have you thought about asking a tuner manufacturer? Maybe email Rubner and see if the can sell you some rollers. On one order, I made a mistake on some of the tuners - they came with metal rollers instead of plastic. After an email or two they sent me some rollers and I fitted them myself.

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