View Full Version : Replacing Tuning Pegs on some old Martin Sopranos

03-19-2009, 04:41 AM
Does anyone know where I might find some new tuners? The ones I have now are really difficult to turn, most likely the originals that came with the ukes. I would sure like to replace them. Are they pretty much to find? Howie

03-19-2009, 07:12 AM
Hold on a minute, Howie! How old are these "old Martin Sopranos"? Some of those old beauties are worth big money, and you don't want to go altering them in ways which could affect their value. If they are fitted with violin-style tapered pegs in tapered holes, they are survivors of a bygone age. The friction pegs that came later are lovely barrel shaped ones, and these are quite desirable. The more recent Martins had more ordinary tuners. I'm no Martin expert, but it might just be that the central screws have been overtightened. Try dismantling the tuners and cleaning them. The central screw on a friction tuner should be just tight enough to stop the peg from slipping, but not so tight that it is difficult to turn.

If all you want is a nice playable uke, you might want to consider selling your Martins, and buying a more modern instrument.


03-19-2009, 07:25 AM
What do I use to clean tuning pegs?? I have no idea if these were the original tuning pegs that came with these ukes, or replacements. Both ukes I would say are about 40-50 yrs old. Howie

10-03-2010, 10:58 AM
I got a 1940s Martin Uku with missing tuners, found some Ping brand tuners that only required just a tiny hole enlargement to work, the original hole size was approx. .1719 diameter, the Ping' required .1730 (I used a #17 size drill). They work fine as replacements using either a fiber or teflon washer instead of the supplied bushings; at least 'til I can find some original ones for big $$$$.


10-03-2010, 12:06 PM
As said above, before you touch those Martins, please do your research to see what you have. A vintage Martin can worth a chunk of change. What models are they, and if you could, post some pictures here so we can help you determine what exactly they are, and if you should touch em as far as changing anything. Also like said, as much as some of those martins are worth, you can sell one (even a basket case depending on model), and buy one or two nice custom built ukes with all current hardware and premium woods. Find out what ya got before you take a sawzaw to them, lol..

mm stan
10-03-2010, 12:39 PM
Aloha Howie,
Modify your martin and devalue it...enlargeing the hole for the posts or drilling mounting holes especially....Let me say this...Martin tuners and friction tuners don't behave like geared tuners....
You tighten the screws for slippage enough and go back and forth in small incriments for adjusting..it's the nature of the tuners...you gotta practice patience...that's all... and when stringing
with new strings, make sure to go through the posts twice with string for no slippage....I hope it helps!! Good Luck!! MM Stan....