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1926 Gibson ball bearing actual views and dimensions

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Oct 18, 2020 - 5:04:30 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

I suck at technology. But, I’m going to try and load some pix. If I’m unsuccessful, perhaps someone more tech savvy can pull pix from my photos and post. Hoping to help those with ball bearing questions. It will help those wondering but fearful of disassembly. The pix are 1926 style 3.


Oct 18, 2020 - 5:06:42 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Oct 18, 2020 - 5:09:12 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Oct 18, 2020 - 5:11:18 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Hopefully final pix


Oct 18, 2020 - 5:13:03 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Now, I hope the 20 minutes of spare time will help someone someday. There is a lot of mystery about ball bearing and trepidation about dissembling and rightfully so. Sorry for boring those not interested in seeing ball bearing parts. Brett.

Oct 18, 2020 - 5:20:23 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Hope this also demonstrates to curious folks, how the tone ring could be flipped. Stock, you would see the holes on bottom side if you removed resonator. If you wanted to invert your ball bearing tone ring for more vibrating head surface area or footprint, you would lift if off rim and flip.
Then your holes would be closest the banjo head then and it would resemble flat head tone ring from exterior.
The 1925, to my knowledge, had holes in the skirt, just for info. Why, who knows the theory. But that was one year only, as far as I know.

Oct 18, 2020 - 6:04:08 AM
Players Union Member

RioStat

USA

5282 posts since 10/12/2009

Nice photo "essay", Brett. I wish I'd done the same thing when I had my '25 bb TB3 apart a few years ago.

One thing I'll chime in on, when i started removing the washers, springs, and ball bearings, I immediately noticed that some holes had 2 washers in the bottom, some only had 1 washer.

I then kept all the washers, springs, and balls in separately numbered little bags, and drew a rough "picture" of the top of the rim, with the holes numbered, so I could put everything back exactly as had been done in 1925. 

I believe it was 11 of the holes had 2 washers in the bottom, the rest had only one washer. One hole had a small folded over piece of thin cardboard (looked like from a manila file folder) in the bottom of the hole, under the washer. I could only guess that they were trying to make sure that all the ball bearings sat at the same height.

And yes, the 1925's had holes in the skirt, often referred to as a "shotgun skirt"


 

Oct 18, 2020 - 8:50:19 AM

13346 posts since 10/30/2008

Good photos "explaining" some of the BB idiosyncracies.

I would add just one piece of advice (which has been posted here by many!). DON'T TURN THE POT UPSIDE DOWN WHEN REMOVING THE TONE RING! All those little washers, springs, and ball bearings will fall out and go all over the place and you'll never get 100% of them back!

I would like to know exactly how Gibson got the big diameter tone tube made with the "spacer" ring on the side and the bearing surface rod on the top held in place. Soldering? Brazing? Looks like ticklish work.

Oct 18, 2020 - 10:13:38 AM
likes this

kat eyz

USA

1105 posts since 10/1/2003

Long ago when i was young i decided to change heads on my 25 ball bearing ...never had one a part and was fearfull that when i started releasing pressure on the head that the ball bearings and springs would "pop" out and go flying every where LOL not the case ..all pressure from springs is released long before you get all the tension hoop nuts off. As mentioned just keep it up right so ball bearings dont play 52 card pickup LOL Also long ago i was told that the holes in the skirt was called a "beauty ring" so i assume the holes are there for eye appeal more than anything.

Oct 18, 2020 - 10:59:44 AM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Good photos "explaining" some of the BB idiosyncracies.

I would add just one piece of advice (which has been posted here by many!). DON'T TURN THE POT UPSIDE DOWN WHEN REMOVING THE TONE RING! All those little washers, springs, and ball bearings will fall out and go all over the place and you'll never get 100% of them back!

I would like to know exactly how Gibson got the big diameter tone tube made with the "spacer" ring on the side and the bearing surface rod on the top held in place. Soldering? Brazing? Looks like ticklish work.


Ok, may not be able to see slider or braze joints, it’s tough even up close.


Oct 18, 2020 - 11:29:13 AM

13346 posts since 10/30/2008

Brett that's mighty clean work isn't it?!

Oct 18, 2020 - 11:42:38 AM

GeorgeG

USA

23 posts since 9/13/2019

Wow, thanks for taking the time to post your photo's. If a picture's worth a thousand words, I'm guessing you just posted about a 15,000 essay.

Oct 18, 2020 - 1:03:46 PM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer

Brett that's mighty clean work isn't it?!


  I never learned to solder big stuff or to braze at all, but I do mig and stick weld.  I’m extremely impressed at the quality of workmanship in assembling the tone ring apparatus.  No doubt a cast archtop ring was a phenomenal improvement in labor costs both in production and assembly phases.  Not to mention the labor of drilling all the rim holes, ensuring height maintained across all the ball bearing assembly pockets.  Fighting all that and then have to install a skin head.  

And then imagine how sick you’d feel when you didn’t check it and that skin head had split next time you take it out!!!  

I’m impressed also with Vega and how they brazed their tubaphone rings together.  But you can see the brazing much easier in the Tubaphone ring as opposed to ball bearing ring.  

Oct 18, 2020 - 1:10:38 PM

Brett

USA

2344 posts since 11/29/2005

Excuse the old masters stain under the pointing finger. I use stain with my bare hands and have been doing several last couple weeks humidity pending.
I tried again, while I had this out, and I cannot begin to compress the springs between my finger and thumb, and i have large gorilla strength hands.

Also in case I didn’t state, the factory washer is present in one of the photos also. Any washer anywhere close should suffice, as long as you come out level. Mine had no paper washer shims but as others mention some do.
Your ball bearing rim holes have 2 washers 1 spring and 1 ball bearing per pocket.

Oct 20, 2020 - 8:31:40 AM

1439 posts since 4/13/2017

Would it be safe to say that the large tube (with the holes) is 13/32" stock, and the smaller hoops are 1/4" stock?

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