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Golden Age Restoration Tuner Installation on Silvertone Kay K22

In the last post, I mentioned I was not happy with the pseudo-Kluson-style tuner that were on the Silvertone.  There are a number of Kluson repros on the market, and most of them are quite good.  But whatever ones were on the guitar were awful.  They were not smooth, and had a gritty feel when tuning.  So I got some Golden Age Restoration Tuners to replace them.

First we need to take off the old ones.  This is straightforward - just unscrew the two screws holding each tuner on.

I like the look of these, but they have to go.  They're the worst.

I used an awl to push out the old bushings.  They dropped right out.

There is a Stew-Mac tool to put in or remove bushings.  I've used plastic clamps in the past to press new ones in.  Maybe I'll spring for the tool at some point, but I usually can remove them easily.

Here are the new tuners.  These are the 'relic' version.  Stew-Mac also sells a bright nickel version.  I think either one looks great - I just decided to get the relic ones.  Both versions are  very reasonably priced, especially considering they're nice quality.

I don't know what type of tuners were on the guitar originally, but either these open-style or the closed Kluson style would be period-correct.  I would think that the open ones were more common on Silvertones, since they were cheaper.

The new bushings were just a tad loose in the holes, so I used a drop of medium CA on each on to hold them in place.

I also decided to touch up the silkscreened "Silvertone" logo where it was missing a small tip. 

In a Toy Making Dad-esque moment, I used a fine brush and some white acrylic paint.  TMD uses acrylics on all his stuff.  It's ideal for this kind of touchup.  If you make a goof, it comes right off with water.

Bushings are in place and the logo is touched up.

I really like the hex-style bushings.  Martin used these on a lot of pre-war instruments.  I think they're cool.

The Golden Age tuners fit the old holes exactly.  Right on the money. 

They're beautifully detailed - note the flat plate, the curved tabs, and the little dimple in the middle of the screw slots.   Just a perfect repro of old-style Klusons. 

The off-white buttons are great looking too.

Here are all the tuners installed.  These would be great on a new build too. 

It looks like Stew-Mac takes the nickel tuners and dips them in some kind of acid for the relic effect.  They look old, but they're brand new.  Pretty cool.

And from the top.

The tuners really give a great period vibe to the guitar.

They work absolutely great, too.  They have a nice 15:1 ratio, and are super smooth. 

Here's a closeup of a string post.  Note the hex nut. 

The posts are also nice and tall - some repros have short posts that make it hard to get a lot of string on. 

These look like they've been on the guitar for 50 years.


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