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Thread: Replacing Friction tuning pegs with geared ones?

  1. #1
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    Dec 2018
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    Default Replacing Friction tuning pegs with geared ones?

    Can anyone tell me whether there is a product out there that's relatively easy and not too invasive to swap out friction tuning pegs for something that's geared or at least easier to adjust and hold the strings?
    Jamie T.
    Bonita, Calif.

  2. #2
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    I should add a little more background. This is for a 1960's era Silvertone (Sears Brand) Baritone Uke. The tuning pegs are tired and hard to control. I think perhaps just newer and better quality friction pegs might give me the control and hold I want.
    Jamie T.
    Bonita, Calif.

  3. #3
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    I've not tried a baritone uke myself, but did have a similar problem with the friction pegs on a soprano uke. With mine the plastic deformed which made the tuning process very vague! I replaced them with Grover pegs. My advice would be take one of the old pegs off and have a really good look at how it works before choosing what peg to buy because different pegs have different shape bushes (some conical, some cylindrical) and you want to find one that matches the ones you have for an easy swap replacement. I ended up cannibalising parts of my old pegs to make the new ones fit.

    Unfortunately Grover don't seem to be very forthcoming with technical specs of their pegs or even pictures at the moment (see https://grotro.com/product-category/brands/grover/ ). So I recommend finding a helpful dealer who you can discuss it with. In the UK, Southern Ukulele Store currently have a reasonable selection of pegs. I'm not sure where you would look in the US.
    Corsham Ukulele Jam is at Pound Arts in Corsham, Wiltshire (UK) on the 1st Friday of every month.

  4. #4
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    I think you'd be better off with a set of planetary geared tuners. They still stick out the back, so you'll have no screw holes, and most of them are wonderfully easy to use.
    There are others, but these are about the best.
    https://www.theukulelesite.com/gotoh...r-upgrade.html
    They do require a little honing out of the holes to fit. This should be done by a luthier, unless you have the right reamer and the skill.
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  5. #5
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    Newer friction pegs may do the job. If the uke is new to you, it may be worth finding a luthier to see if a swap will be easy. If you’ve had it awhile, then you might consider making the change yourself. I’m a bit klutzy but replaced tuning legs on three ukes (all with Grovers) and didn’t break anything!
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  6. #6
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    Dec 2018
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    Thanks for the insights. While looking at the Grover I found this listing for Baritone Uke specific pegs. They don't give you a lot of details, so I can only assume these are slightly bigger? Maybe I'll send a note to customer service.
    https://grotro.com/product/champion-...egs-88-series/
    Jamie T.
    Bonita, Calif.

  7. #7
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    Check out this thread
    Thread: Review: Graph Tech Ratio Tune-a-lele tuners on a Fluke

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimavery View Post
    I've not tried a baritone uke myself, but did have a similar problem with the friction pegs on a soprano uke. With mine the plastic deformed which made the tuning process very vague! I replaced them with Grover pegs. My advice would be take one of the old pegs off and have a really good look at how it works before choosing what peg to buy because different pegs have different shape bushes (some conical, some cylindrical) and you want to find one that matches the ones you have for an easy swap replacement. I ended up cannibalising parts of my old pegs to make the new ones fit.

    Unfortunately Grover don't seem to be very forthcoming with technical specs of their pegs or even pictures at the moment (see https://grotro.com/product-category/brands/grover/ ). So I recommend finding a helpful dealer who you can discuss it with. In the UK, Southern Ukulele Store currently have a reasonable selection of pegs. I'm not sure where you would look in the US.
    I am reminded of some friction tuners that were on an old Mahalo that I once had. Those tuners really didn’t work well but I did some research on here and ended up making them perform very nicely. The Maholo tuners had two mating flat circular faces and those two binded together under compression rather than slid relative to each other with restraining friction - when locked the back of the cup skidded against the headstock. I removed moulding marks, polished the surfaces (flat and square to the axis of rotation) and placed a fibre washer between the two friction surfaces. The result was a very marked improvement, indeed a perfectly functioning set of tuners that were a joy to use - so good that I bought a similar inexpensive set to retrofit to one of my other (current geared tuner) Ukes at some time.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 03-07-2020 at 11:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    I am reminded of some friction tuners that were on an old Mahalo that I once had. Those tuners really didn’t work well but I did some research on here and ended up making them perform very nicely. The Maholo tuners had two mating flat circular faces and those two binded together under compression rather than slid relative to each other with restraining friction - when locked the back of the cup skidded against the headstock. I removed moulding marks, polished the surfaces (flat and square to the axis of rotation) and placed a fibre washer between the two friction surfaces. The result was a very marked improvement, indeed a perfectly functioning set of tuners that were a joy to use - so good that I bought a similar inexpensive set to retrofit to one of my other (current geared tuner) Ukes at some time.
    Excellent idea to start with. After watching a few YouTube videos, you realize how simple these are. After 55+ years since my mom bought this and decades of sitting in a closet, I bet a couple of fiber washers would do the trick. Thank you!
    Jamie T.
    Bonita, Calif.

  10. #10
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by DymnDog View Post
    Excellent idea to start with. After watching a few YouTube videos, you realize how simple these are. After 55+ years since my mom bought this and decades of sitting in a closet, I bet a couple of fiber washers would do the trick. Thank you!
    Can you say more about these 'fiber washers?' Are they a specialty item? I haven't been able to find them in hardware stores in my area, but it's possible I don't really know what I'm looking for. Many thanks!

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