Help - machine heads bust

Discussion groups for those of you with an interest in the construction and repair of the mandolin family instruments.

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Help - machine heads bust

Postby southcoastsounds » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:47 am

I have a Suzuki bowl-back mandolin, dating from about 1970. Its a lovely instrument but one of the machine head stips is broken. I measured the distance between the holes carefully, and bought a new pair of machine heads on ebay. Needless to say, they are about one millimetre out over the length of the four holes and won't fit the existing holes.

I shall relist the replacement heads on ebay, but wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can obtain replacement heads. Alternatively, does anyone know a repairer on the East Sussex coastal area who may be able to do the work for me?

Thanks, in anticipation
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Postby Dave Hanson » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:13 pm

Hi Tom, have a look through our ' makers ' list, a quick glance reveals Richard Osborne in East Sussex, weather he does repairs or not I don't know, but its worth an email to find out.

Dave H
Dave Hanson
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Postby PseudoCelt » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:14 pm

A quick look at Google Maps tells me that you're not far from Brighton, where TAMCo is located. Trevor at TAMCo may able to do the repairs for you, or recommend someone in the area. He may even know of a source of tuners that might fit without the need for alterations.

Otherwise, Richard Osborne's website states that he does repairs.

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Postby Rob-C » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:58 pm

I've got a standard Gotoh set here and the spacing is 23mm post-to-post; 69mm overall.

I imagine you'll struggle to find anything different in brand new tuners economically - all the 4-a-side tuner sets I've ever f itted have been the same dimensions.

Is is possible your headstock has the holes drilled incorrectly, which may be the cause of the failed original tuners? What has broken on the old ones?


Postby southcoastsounds » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:01 am

Well, having looked at other machine heads, I think the problem is as you suggest, the holes being drilled fractionally out.

I'm taking it along to a local repairer now, so perhaps he'll be able to suggest something. The problem is missing nuts holding the pegs in place. I think these Suzukis are just about worth repairing so long as it doesn't dig too deep into the wallet. I guess I've got attached to it anyway, having owned it for over 30 years.
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