Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

IconProjects, musings about guitar builds, guitar repairs, vintage tube amplifiers, old radios, travel, home renovation, and other stuff.

Waverly Tuner Installation and Polishing the Regal Tenor Guitar

The Regal tenor is more or less done.  Whoo hoo.  I'm a couple posts behind the actual finished work at this point.  As I write this, I just need to do a fret level and crown.  I wasn't planning to, because the frets show so little wear, but with the reset, there are some random buzzes on higher frets.

But meanwhile back to where I left it.

My friend who owns the guitar sprung for some Waverly banjo tuners to replace the old friction tuners.  You may recall it had a wine cork stuck on one of the tuners as a knob!

When you get fine quality tuners, you also get nice packaging.  Check out the nice box.

The tuners are packed in there as if they were jewels.

Which, in a way, they are.  They are very well made and are just beautiful.  Compared to some of the other sets Waverly makes, these are not too expensive.

I spent about 5 minutes just looking at them before I took them out.  I really didn't want to get my fingerprints on them.  They're that nice.

I polished up the headstock in preparation for installing the new tuners.  It's hard to tell in this picture, but it has a nice gloss to it now.

Here's a closeup of one of the tuners.  You can see they have that classic 'offset' gearbox.  They have planetary gears with a 4:1 ratio.

As I found out later when I used them, they are super smooth.  Just a delight to use.

Note the locator pin on the bottom of the case.  

It's a piece of cake (mmmm....cake) to install them.  The holes have to be reamed out to 3/8 of an inch...I think. 

Then you just take the top nut/ferrule off as well as its washer.

Slip the tuner up through the hole, put the ferrule nut on and tighten it up.

I used an awl to make a tiny divot on the back of the headstock for the locating pin(s), but it's probably not critical.  I think the pins would go into the headstock when the tuners are tightened down.

Here they are installed on the guitar.  They look absolutely perfect.

Stew-Mac sells different tuner buttons to fit these if you don't like the stock ivoroid.  My friend opted for the stock buttons and they look terrific I think.

I have a set of these to put on my May-Bell tenor as well.

I polished the body of the guitar before I put it back together, since it's a lot easier to work with with no strings on it.

This is the 'before' shot of the top - it was fairly dirty and didn't have a lot of gloss.

I do a first pass with a weak solution of Simple Green in water - maybe a 15 to 1 ratio.  Put that on a clean soft rag and have at it.  Just dampen the rag - don't soak it.

You need to get the dirt off first - if you just polish you'll be grinding the dirt into the finish. 

After a pass or two to get the worst of the grime off, I use Virtuoso cleaner followed by Virtuoso polish - both applied with a machine.

These old guitars were almost always finished with nitrocellulose lacquer.  Unless the finish is totally gone, they polish up nicely.

You can see the top has a nice gloss after cleaning and polishing.

.
The back and sides look really good and have a nice gloss now.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It looks great in person.

The guitar may have been stained with a natural color stain before it was sprayed, but the wonderful amber color is due to the clear lacquer yellowing over time.  Really a classic look.

I think I mentioned before that the top is spruce, and the back and sides are birch.  Makes for a very light build.

Next, I'm cooking up a new bridge.

 
 
 
 

Post a Comment 1 comments:

Post a Comment