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Prewar Grover Tuner knurled post screws?

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Sep 20, 2019 - 3:16:57 PM
6 posts since 9/18/2019

I'm sure I'm not using the right word to describe these, but one of my old banjos has the Grover Pat Pending tuners with threading for a knurled screw to tighten against the string inside the post to keep it from slipping. I'm trying to figure out if these are still available anywhere but I'm not even sure what they are called. As things stand now, I have to tie the thin nylon strings a couple times through to keep them from slipping, so the item I'm looking to identify seems like it would be very useful.

Anybody know what I'm trying to describe?




Edited by - Jimbo Banjo on 09/20/2019 15:19:51

Sep 20, 2019 - 3:41:03 PM

1883 posts since 4/7/2010

I think I have a set at my shop. When I return on Monday, I'll take a look and let you know.

Bob Smakula

Sep 20, 2019 - 4:22:57 PM

6 posts since 9/18/2019

Great! Thanks, Bob---

Sep 21, 2019 - 10:19:01 AM

500 posts since 5/19/2018

I am pretty sure those were designed for steel strings. The screw/clamp would most likely cut a gut or synthetic string.

Really a nice design. Saves a lot of string winding. I wish that someone would make a contemporary set of planetary tuners that had that style of string fastener.

I had a Fender Stratocaster that I had built for me back in the early 80’s that utilized a similar string clamp. I think that Steinberger made those tuners. Very fast and easy to change strings.

Sep 21, 2019 - 11:33:10 AM

6 posts since 9/18/2019

I'm sure these tuners aren't original to the banjo, which was made in 1895. But I do believe it has the original ebony nut, which is sized for thin gut strings, probably steel strings were used on it in its lifetime too. But I've tried to keep it as original to how I found it anyway. Using rectified nylon strings. It still would be nice to have the knurled screws for the tuners even if they won't work with nylon.

Sep 21, 2019 - 1:18:23 PM

4673 posts since 9/21/2007
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder

I am pretty sure those were designed for steel strings. The screw/clamp would most likely cut a gut or synthetic string.

Really a nice design. Saves a lot of string winding. I wish that someone would make a contemporary set of planetary tuners that had that style of string fastener.

I had a Fender Stratocaster that I had built for me back in the early 80’s that utilized a similar string clamp. I think that Steinberger made those tuners. Very fast and easy to change strings.


Nope, though they might have been intended as a secondary use with plectrum and tenor banjos.

A. D. Grover played "Banjo", that is, a 5 string banjo with gut or silk strings.  That was his instrument.  I have plenty of his compositions to show you if you like.

You will notice in the patent...

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/c3/d1/3d/5cf148a50e5bde/US1384459.pdf

and add attached below the reference to "tying on strings"  that is gut or silk.

In 1921 the "orthodox" or "regular" banjo was still gut/silk strung. 

By that time most pick players had gone to wire (for durability of strings), many still played gut with a pick.

Tenor banjos are mandolin family instruments with a banjo body.




Sep 21, 2019 - 1:34:06 PM

524 posts since 5/31/2004

Thanks, Joel. I've seen these on several Vega tenors made around 1920 and believe they were factory-installed for a short period of time.

Sep 21, 2019 - 1:37:28 PM

524 posts since 5/31/2004

Joel, do you have date for that trade journal article?

Sep 21, 2019 - 1:37:59 PM

6 posts since 9/18/2019

Joel,

Which tuner would a basic grade American Princess like mine have most likely had? The serial number puts its manufacture date at 1895. I assumed the Grover pegs with the screw in post were added later. I do know the metal Grover 5th string tuner is not original to this banjo.


 

Edited by - Jimbo Banjo on 09/21/2019 13:52:52

Sep 22, 2019 - 4:57:56 AM

DSmoke

USA

724 posts since 11/30/2015

I have 4 of those tuners sitting in a box, but they are all missing the knurled screw at the end. Eric Sullivan just helped me out last night and I said I would pay it forward. So, they are yours if you want them, just PM me and I will send you a picture.

Edited by - DSmoke on 09/22/2019 04:58:11

Sep 22, 2019 - 5:00:29 AM

6 posts since 9/18/2019

I appreciate it Dan, but I'm just looking for the knurled screws. My tuners are in good shape. I appreciate it though----

Sep 22, 2019 - 12:25:05 PM

6 posts since 9/18/2019

quote:
Originally posted by vintagetenor

Joel, do you have date for that trade journal article?


May 22, 1920.

Sep 22, 2019 - 2:33:34 PM

524 posts since 5/31/2004

May, 1920 coincides nicely with the Vega tenors I've seen these tuners on.
Thanks!

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