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bunnyf
07-29-2014, 01:54 PM
I just picked up this early 50s Harmony baritone. It is quite clean for its age and it's even traveled a bit, as you can see by the Bemuda custom sticker on the case. I like it quite a lot but I need help with the tuners. I haven't restrung it yet, so forgive the half-assed stringing job (the fella that had it, second owner..a dealer, put new strings on-D'adds,DGBE, 2 wound). It is not staying in tune very well, especially the 2nd string (B) where the felt has been placed and also the 1st string (E) and to a much lesser extent the 3rd & 4th strings. I realize that the strings may be breaking in (don't know how long ago he changed the strings or how much play they got). Before I go changing out the strings, what might need to be done to the tuners? The little adj. screws do not turn easily and I don't want to force them too much. The slot on the head of the screw is very wide and appears a little rounded off on the outer edge, so it's hard to get any bite. Any suggestions out there? I'm not crazy handy but I am game, as I am no where near a luthier and don't want to ship, just have a little guitar shop nearby with no uke experience.6949969500

bunnyf
07-29-2014, 01:56 PM
Some additional pix695016950269503

Osprey
07-29-2014, 02:41 PM
Can't help with the tuners. But that is a good looking instrument
Cliff

bunnyf
07-29-2014, 02:49 PM
Thanks. I was pleased with it. It's in good condition for its age. From the design on the headstock label, it dates late 40s early 50s. No cracks or repairs. Just need to figure out what to do w/ tuners, esp. the 2nd. I have a very nice custom bari, but this Harmony will be one that I will take places that the good one can't go (like camping and the beach)

thenewb
07-29-2014, 03:12 PM
I wonder if a bit of oiling on the tuners could help.
As for the strings, mine take about a week to stay in tune. It it is consistently out of tune, might help with a new set of strings.

Ukuleleblues
07-29-2014, 04:32 PM
Some additional pix695016950269503
It may be that originally there was a leather washer between the knob and the headstock. Over time they deteriorate. Because the height of the tuner is reduced, sometimes the screws bottom out and it feels like they are tight but they are bottomed out and not squeezing the knob.

The screws slots get all buggered up as folks try to tighten them, which they can't because they are bottomed out in the hole in the shaft.

Take one tuner off completely, screw it back together as far as it will go and hold it next to the headstock to see how far it clamps together. I bet you'll find it is just as thick as the headstock, it should clamp down at least 1/16 - 1/8 inches smaller than the headstock. Might need to add some leather washers.

I've got some old harmony ukes and have been slowly replacing the tuners with new ones. I play them, not a collector. Some of those old tuners are terrible. Been on stage playing and have had the knobs split in half and pop off.

bunnyf
07-29-2014, 04:41 PM
This is a player for me too. I'm guessing the second string tuner is definitely not grabbing wood and that's why they rigged it up with felt on both sides to act as a washer. This one is coming off first but I'm actually not sure how one goes about doing that. Just back off the little set screw? Forgive my ignorance but my other ukes all have geared tuners.

Ukuleleblues
07-29-2014, 04:53 PM
The metal shaft has a hole drilled in it with threads. The part of the shaft that slips in the plastic knob is square. The plastic knob slips over the square metal shaft, it can slide up and down, but when you twist the knob the shaft turns because of the square shaft and square hole in the knob. The screw goes through the hole in the plastic knob and threads into the threaded hole in the shaft. The screw squeezes the knob so it slides down the shaft and acts as a clamp. You just have to unscrew the screw, slide off the knob, pull the shaft out from the front. Just make sure any washers get put back in the same direction and order.

Ukuleleblues
07-29-2014, 05:01 PM
here is a pic that might help

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WdZ8P76E82A/UI7mf7RiNtI/AAAAAAAAPmE/eYoP5DsGSSE/s1600/tuning+peg+measurements.jpg

bunnyf
07-29-2014, 05:06 PM
Thanks, I'm gonna give it a go tomorrow. Do you ever replace those screws if they seem wonky? If so, are they something that can be matched up in a good hardware store. I'm expecting to need a washer for that second tuner for sure when I take off the felt (which isn't working and seems to be falling off anyway) but where would one get leather washers and what would be a good substitute if leather was not to be found?

bunnyf
07-29-2014, 05:08 PM
Pix is very helpful thanx

Ukuleleblues
07-31-2014, 11:28 AM
Thanks, I'm gonna give it a go tomorrow. Do you ever replace those screws if they seem wonky? If so, are they something that can be matched up in a good hardware store. I'm expecting to need a washer for that second tuner for sure when I take off the felt (which isn't working and seems to be falling off anyway) but where would one get leather washers and what would be a good substitute if leather was not to be found?
Bring the screw and post to the hardware store and see if the can match it. You may have to cut the screws to the proper length. Buy two nuts, put them on the new screw. tighten them against each other and hold the screw by the nuts in a vise or with vice grips. cut the screw to length. File the end and the threads will clean up when you remove the nuts. You can get leather at a craft store or at a leatherworks shop. a leatherworks shop can punch out the washers for you, else use scissors and a drill.

ProfChris
07-31-2014, 11:51 AM
You could also consider a sandwich of flat and butterfly/crinkle (hope they have the same name in the US) washers. Plain/crinkle/plain. The crinkle washer springs slightly. Get thin, stainless flat washers, not the normal mild steel. eBay is my source, around a dollar delivered for 10 washers, so not an expensive experiment.

bunnyf
07-31-2014, 05:27 PM
I started by removing the 2nd peg(the really wonky one) and it was easier that I thought, especially after looking at that very helpful diagram. It was not hard to turn the screws in reverse. As you said, it was just that they wouldn't turn clockwise as the were already maxed out. While the slots on the screw heads were a little rounded, they still turned ok. It went so easy that I took them all off and then added thin stainless steel washers. I restrung with Living waters and am now good to go. Pegs appear to be holding but it's a little hard to tell because of the new strings breaking in. If not, I will try a second washer on the back of the headstock. 46 cent investment? Am I hurting anything by using the metal washer instead of leather? I am not near a craft store and the only other thing that the hardware store offered was a rubber washer.

Osprey
07-31-2014, 05:31 PM
You should be able to get nylon washers at most hardware stores. Not sure if they would suit though
Cliff

bunnyf
07-31-2014, 05:37 PM
Me neither, I was thinking that the leather was perhaps to give some cushioning so that you are not tightening down the metal washer deep into the headstock wood. I don't know whether this is damaging, but this is a hardy mahogany baritone and it is gonna be my beater uke so unless it's really awful for the uke or just won't work well with the metal washer, I think I might be good.

igorthebarbarian
08-01-2014, 08:02 PM
I had a similar-looking one of these awhile ago. Had a similar problem with the tuners not being smooth. I think I tried using a new set of Mainland friction pegs but they were a little too small/didn't fit (since it was a baritone, I kind of expected that). Overall though a good reliable affordable player.

Ukuleleblues
08-02-2014, 02:40 AM
You can use an old leather belt or purse, or buy one at the thrift store. If you have problems you could replace them with a set of these if the dimensions fit. http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Ukulele/Grover_Ukulele_Tuning_Machines.html?utm_source=goo gle&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=2014-08-gp&gclid=CObzs6_M9L8CFQwV7AodGBUAWg