i've been having some problems with "economy" guitar and mandolin tuners, from different sources.  it seems like i'm losing too many of them to gear failure.  the little gear just strips out on a tooth, and then it skips. this has happened about 6 times during my still short time building.

    there have been times when i feel it may have been me putting too much stress on them (experimental bass builds and such), but some of them haven't even held up in regular tunings!  my mandolins, for example, have never had any crazy tunings or string arrangements, but it happens on them too.  

    is this a problem others have?  is it inherent to "economy" tuners?  i guess it's not really too big of a deal, as stew mac replaces them without problems, and cbgitty replaces them upon return of the faulty ones.  but it still leaves some broken or useless tuners laying around the shop.  if i could find a source for those little gears, it would be the cheapest and easiest fix for me.  anyone got one?

    it does make me think about upgrading to better tuners though.  anyone recommend a good middle-of-the-road tuner?  i prefer open gear.

 

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yup, not been a prob so far but drilling the holes correctly is crucial , imo. drill 'em wrong and you can feel they're not liking it

 

 

exciting to hear, ben!  

it would be great to order them from c.b. gitty!  best of luck tracking them down.  keep us updated, please.

When I first started building a few years ago, I had some problems getting them to work correctly. The problem was traced down to the holes not being drilled straight and true, as already mentioned by others. I got a drill press and make sure I have the headstock nice and perpendicular and I haven't had a problem since then, and I have never broken a gear off. But that is not to say that others haven't.

You could certainly get a bad tuner now and then, but I haven't run across one in the 50 or so sets I have purchased from Gitty.

very likely so...

but with those gears, the tuner is as easy to fix as the improperly dilled hole is!

i'm all for cheap and easy fixes.

i have already picked up the mandolin tuner jig to accompany my drill press... hopefully i will see this problem less and less with experience

I put Mandolin tuners on a 4 string 26" scale and had problems getting it up to 440. I end up tuning it flat after I broke the 1st tuning knob off. I figured the mandolin had a lot of tension, but it seems as though the string gauge and length make quite a difference. I have run into the hole problem also. My cheap drill press made life easier.

the replacements Ben got in at CBGitty are a perfect fit.  Exactly what I needed!

Instead of trying to line up the headstock on a drill press, i made a 3/4" thick drilling jig on the drill press. I clamp this onto the headstock and then hand drill. The wood seems thick enough to give me very close to vertical. So far no problems with stripping.

HTH
dave

I have had no problem with the econo tuners from Gitty, but I see he has replacement gears available now too. I'm sure the holes not being straight enough must be the problem, unless there was just a bunch of faulty gears. 

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