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Jun 7, 2023 - 5:08:29 PM
99 posts since 8/14/2018

I recently sold a Stelling Sunflower here in the forum… the buyer just received it today and called attention to something I completely overlooked!

The pivot pins are bent as shown in the pics below… It’s been this way since I’ve owned it, and I’m a bit embarrassed to say I assumed this was by design! I’m unsure what the best course of action would be.

I’d love to sort this out for the buyer — he’s super nice, patient, and well known on the forum. I’d gladly comp a replacement tailpiece to make it as easy as possible, but seems this may be difficult to scare up….

Worst case I’ll take a return and sort it out myself — perhaps dremmeling off the screws before the bend, and sanding the threads a bit in hopes of backing them out safely.. and finding some suitable replacement machine screws.

Open to any advice! What do you think the odds are of finding a replacement?

Jun 7, 2023 - 6:39:38 PM
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5147 posts since 5/29/2011

If the original screws can be removed without damaging the threads, a couple of socket cap screws from Home Depot would work for a minimal cost.

Jun 7, 2023 - 7:18 PM
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2807 posts since 9/18/2010
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Here's what I'd probably try:
Grab the bent, threaded end with a pair of pliers and bend it the other way, then back and forth until it breaks off, then back the screws out with a hex wrench.
Alternately, screw them in farther so that you can cut them off between the bent part and the tailpiece itself. I would do that with a jewelers saw but I realize that is not something everyone has and that is why I suggested breaking them off.
As Mark said, they are standard hardware store items, other than perhaps plating, so replacements can be had relatively easily.

Edited by - sunburst on 06/07/2023 19:19:28

Jun 7, 2023 - 9:39:30 PM
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169 posts since 12/25/2003

My Stelling has the same bent screws and also assumed it was by design -- you get complete control of the tailpiece by adjusting these bent screws.

Jun 8, 2023 - 12:29:43 AM
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834 posts since 3/7/2006

I discovered ONE of my Stelling MasterFlower tailpiece screws was bent in a similar manner. I assumed I had not located it properly when I was adjusting things after some years of ownership.

I closely examined what the screws were supposed to do (aim the tailpiece a little to one side to the other) and simply bent it back straight with pliers - the metal seems relatively soft. It has been perfect ever since. BUT now I am careful to align the screw ends in the little divots on the tension hoop when reassembling.

Because the Stelling tailpiece falls off completely when the strings are removed I have avoided the problem by changing one string at a time.

Those screws being 'bent by design' seems unlikely given Geoff's quality workmanship everywhere else.

Edited by - Grum on 06/08/2023 00:32:17

Jun 8, 2023 - 6:15:36 AM
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430 posts since 6/28/2006

Contact Sherri at Stelling.

Jun 8, 2023 - 6:24:28 AM
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11262 posts since 4/23/2004

These should never be screwed that far out anyway. They're simply meant to "fine tune" the alignment of the TP. I tend to adjust them so the TP barely clears the tension hoop.

I actually found them to be a nuisance. Mine moved a lot and created buzzing. I simply added a dab of blue Loctite to keep them in more worries! I have also seen where people cut them off shorter so that they can be screwed all the way in to prevent further movement and/or snagging.

I also tend to remove the angle adjustment screw as I prefer the tailpiece to "float" rather than add pressure to the bridge. It stays in the little key envelope (in the case pocket) that came with the banjo.

Jun 8, 2023 - 6:26:28 AM
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99 posts since 8/14/2018

Thank you all for the suggestions and insight! Have a few avenues to explore now, and I’m grateful for it!!!

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