How To Un-bind Rickenbacker 12 String Tuners

Setup, repair and restoration of Rickenbacker Instruments

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How To Un-bind Rickenbacker 12 String Tuners

Postby (sands32) » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:49 am

OK,
SO I RECENTLY BOUGHT A VINTAGE 1992 620/12 IN IMMACULATE FIREGLO...
620-12.jpg
1992 620/12

the original owner had barely played it and it is in new condition. one of the problems I
noticed right away was that the high octave tuners were a little hard to turn
when tuning to pitch. the low e high octave string was so bad you almost
needed to crank it like turning a screw into wood.
I noticed that the tuners do not have bushings and the shafts are just
turning in the wood of the headstock. because of this some of the holes
had ovaled out a bit and would cause the tuners to bind under tension.
this was a bit of a let down because my six string 350 has the smoothest
tuners I've ever felt and having played cheaper 12 string electric's I was looking forward to playing a high quality Rick...
1 ovaled holes.jpg
ovaled holes

I was in a hardware store last week and I happened to see some 1/4" shelf supports and sleeves which reminded me of some tuner bushings on older guitars and they looked like the exact size for my 620s tuners. it was $2.75 for a set of eight so I figured what the heck.
2 tools.jpg
shelf sleeves and tools needed

so on the weekend I decided to check the fit and it was close but the bushing was a tiny bit too big to fit in the headstock. I decided to use a 1/4" box end wrench and tap the bushing in thus shrinking it and also creating ridges in the metal to help it grab better.
5 halfway.jpg
first tap wrench onto sleeve then flip over and tap lightly around sleeve perimeter to push it into wrench
9 finished product.jpg
finished product

the whole job took an hour or two and was pretty easy and now all of the tuners work beautifully with smooth action and no binding or stiffness whatsoever.
11 end result.jpg
pretty good for under $3.00

remember to put a capo on your neck to prevent string loss in the tailpiece.
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Re: How To Un-bind Rickenbacker 12 String Tuners

Postby (doctorwho) » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:31 pm

Great story! It's always good to see an example of MacGyvering things to work for a purpose unrelated to their original one. 8)
It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing. - Seneca
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Re: How To Un-bind Rickenbacker 12 String Tuners

Postby (Tdisewingmachine) » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:03 pm

sands32 wrote: one of the problems I
noticed right away was that the high octave tuners were a little hard to turn
when tuning to pitch. the low e high octave string was so bad you almost
needed to crank it like turning a screw into wood.
I noticed that the tuners do not have bushings and the shafts are just
turning in the wood of the headstock. because of this some of the holes
had ovaled out a bit and would cause the tuners to bind under tension.


Hello,

Nice guitar that you've purchased.
Did you by chance remove the tuner to inspect the hole where the post goes through? If you do remove the tuner, likely you'll see the mounting screw from G string tuner protruding through the hole of the octave G. Another tell tale sign of interference is if there is scoring on the tuner post. The gouges should be radial and closer to mounting side than the string end of the post. My 1985 360v64/12 had two tuners with the interference causing a difficult to turn tuner. Easy to remedy. Just trim of a bit of the interfering mounting screw.

Regards, Roger
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Re: How To Un-bind Rickenbacker 12 String Tuners

Postby (sands32) » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:21 pm

thanks for the replies;
I didn't look to see if the high g tuner screw was interfering but there were not any marks on the post. all of the holes were ovaled only on the side where the posts come out in the slots on the headstock and the tuners were binding on the wood.
its probably just from being stored and only played about six hours in its 25 year life. it tunes nice and smooth since my mods.
PS:
I just picked up a 2004 360/12 FG yesterday for $1800 Canadian and it's barely been played too; I tried one of my custom bushings and the slots on the headstock are a little more narrow than on my 620 so I will have to take about a 16th of an inch off on the belt sander. the tuners on the 360 don't bind as bad but I'm going to do some preventative maintenance.
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