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Jun 8, 2023 - 7:38:13 AM
3 posts since 9/30/2015

Looking for some advice. I recently came across a Harmony bicentennial 5 string in great shape. Th only problem is that one of the strap tuners is missing the gear and screw. I have the post, bushing, and everything else. Id like to keep it original if I can find the correct gear, but if I have to change them out, I guess I would put in some planetary tuners. I've tried some gears from a guitar, and another cheap banjo, and while the gear sizes match, the post wont fit with it.

Any idea where to source one, and if not, any advice on installing new planetary tuners. Thanks.

Edited by - ClaytonDan on 06/08/2023 07:41:00

Jun 8, 2023 - 8:43:20 AM
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3377 posts since 4/7/2010
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I am sure I have the parts you need. Send me a personal message and we'll figure out how to get them to you.

If this was a standard Harmony Resotone, I would recommend installing new guitar style tuners. But being the significantly cooler Bicentennial model, may as well install original parts.

Bob Smakula

Edited by - Bob Smakula on 06/08/2023 08:44:16

Jun 9, 2023 - 2:57:50 PM

714 posts since 5/29/2015

Before changing tuners, take them off and wash them with naptha. Rotate the tuners back and forth many rotations. Sometimes--often times this is all that is needed along with a few drops of tri-flo oil. Replacing the missing parts should include this service. There should be lots of these spare parts around.

Jun 9, 2023 - 4:58:13 PM

12851 posts since 10/27/2006

It's an old Waverly tuner set. Newer tuner parts won't fit but Bob will certainly have the screw and gear you need. 

When you get the parts, you may notice that tightening the screw causes the gear not to turn. Here's how to fix that:

1. Oil the worm and the eyes where the shaft goes through.

2. Back off the screw, place a little drop of grease under the gear. Oil will do in a pinch but a light grease such as white lube is better.

3. Tighten the screw till it's just right. If you stop there, the new screw will vibrate out and the gear will drop

4. Back the screw out and count the exact number of turns

5. Apply a tiny drop of household rubber cement to the end of the screw. Just one tiny drop and don't use anything stronger, especially LocTite.

6. Immediately replace the screw counting the number of turns. The cement, when wet, will act as a lubricant making it easy to overtighten — you don't want that.

7. Test the tension to make sure you got it right.

8. Do this to the other three tuners.

"Before changing tuners, take them off and wash them with naptha. Rotate the tuners back and forth many rotations. Sometimes--often times this is all that is needed…"

Absolutely not! Do not operate these gears without lubrication! The worms will wear out when they get dry.

Although I like TriFlow, some object to the 'tick' sound that makes the first time you turn the gears after rest. Martin guitar recommends a little petroleum jelly on these. 3-In-1 works but you will have to re-apply now and then.

Jun 12, 2023 - 5:55:42 AM

3 posts since 9/30/2015

Thanks everyone.

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