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Gibson Ball Bearing Tone Ring Parts

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May 28, 2022 - 7:33:06 PM

timacn

USA

605 posts since 7/30/2004

Hello. A Gibson Ball Bearing tone ring has 48 flat washers, 24 ball bearings, and 24 springs. They are notoriously easy to lose and difficult to find.

Anybody know a likely source for replacing these parts if they go missing?

Thanks.

May 28, 2022 - 8:53:55 PM
like this

beegee

USA

22964 posts since 7/6/2005

The springs are die springs, the ball-bearings are ball-bearings. I had the machine shop at the community college fabricate the washers for me as a class project.

May 29, 2022 - 5:30:32 AM

timacn

USA

605 posts since 7/30/2004

Great idea on the washers, and nice of the college to help you out. I'm curious about the ball bearings and springs, though. I'm not a machinist or engineer and I wasn't sure if those bearings and springs were standard production today. I also wonder if the spring tension, diameter, and depth, etc. that Gibson used are available on modern versions.
It seems to me (once again untrained and ignorant about these things) that the old specs might not be available today.

May 29, 2022 - 6:04 AM

1853 posts since 5/19/2018

Similar thread about those parts, springs, washers and BB’s here:

banjohangout.org/topic/383276

May 29, 2022 - 7:21:03 AM

14767 posts since 10/30/2008

You may find it easier to buy abandoned ball bearing parts than make new. LOTS of ball bearing banjos have been turned into flat heads, leaving plenty of orphaned small parts.

May 30, 2022 - 5:56:15 PM

4634 posts since 6/3/2011

Several years ago I was able to purchase an entire set of Ball Bearing parts, tone ring, ball bearings, springs, and washers, for $150. So I know that complete sets are out there. It is just a matter of finding them.

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