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Vintage Gibson Tuner Knob Replacement


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1. A Gibson L-00.  This one was built in 1941 and it sports a set of old open-geared tuning machines.  The tuners work fine but the plastic buttons are starting to deteriorate. 2. Rotten Buttons.  The plastic is shrinking and cracking leaving the buttons with almost no structural integrity.  Plus, they just look kind of ugly.  Time for some new buttons.
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3. Replacement Buttons for vintage guitars are fairly easy to get in different profiles and colors.  I bought these from 4. The Buttons are formed with a small mortise to accept the shaft of the worm gear.  These buttons don’t have the same profile as the originals but the off white color is much closer in color to the originals than the replacement buttons with the correct profile.
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5. Removing the Old buttons is fairly straightforward.  I break them apart with the same flush-ground end-nippers that I use for cutting fretwire. 6. Cleaning the Hardware with a wire-brush and some steel wool.
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7. Bent Shafts are kind of annoying when you are tuning a guitar.  While the buttons are removed, I’ll straighten them out. 8. Bending the Shafts straight in a vise is fairly quick and easy.
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9. Heating Things up with a small torch.  The hot metal will melt its way into the rectangular mortise in the replacement button.  I’ll use the vise to press the buttons onto the shaft. 10. Pressing the Buttons onto the hot worm-gear shaft can be a bit tricky.  It’s easy to set the button too deep so I measure the length of protruding worm-gear shaft to ensure a uniform depth of installation on all buttons.
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11. New Tuner Knobs for this old Gibson. 12. All Done.