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Wobbly Machine Heads

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Zender, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC
    I am working on a project Tele using a $179 Affinity and the machine heads wobble around in the bushings on the head stock causing tuning issues.
    I want to see if I can shim these bushings to keep the machine heads from wobbling. With the strings off you can easily see them wobble. They wobble with the strings on whether you notice it or not.

    I was able to make shims that fit using polyethylene from a clear bag but the plastic is too thin. I tried aluminum foil but it was too hard to make it fit.
    I'd like to avoid buying new tuners and if I could remove the wobble these tuners would be fine.

    Has anyone been able to make sturdy shims for the machine head bushings?
     

  2. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC
    OK. I'm going to answer my own question.

    I tried several more examples of shim materiel but decided to try different paper gauges.

    BB&T bank statement paper is the perfect thickness for machine head shims This is a permanent fix. Each shim looks similar in size to a postage stamp.

    This should explain just how far off the bushing to machine head fit is off. All Chinese Affinity Squier Teles have the same tuners.

    Wish I could buy brass shims this thickness.
     

  3. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    when you unscrew the machine heads do the back covers come off? if they do there may be a screw to adjust the shaft tension this may equalize the wobble, better than shimming
     

  4. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC
    http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/profile_mojo_data/1/8/3/1/1831494/pics/_c1110987_image_0.jpg[​IMG]

    Nah. The bushing that the machine head fits through threads into the body of the tuner. There are no screws holding the tuners to the head stock.
    Once you unscrew the bushing the body falls off the head stock..
    The only screw is a screw that tightens the knobs you turn to tune.

    BTW the machine head is the shaft the strings wrap around. The shaft wobbles in the bushing. The shaft is smaller diameter than the bushing.
     

  5. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC

  6. nymtber

    nymtber TDPRI Member

    57
    Dec 13, 2014
    New York - Upstate
    My affinity does that as well. Once strings are up to tension, its no longer an issue.

    It is annoying as you install and tune each string one at a time. All kinds of rattles from the loose tuner shafts! Again, once all 6 strings are in and at tension, its a non-issue for me.

    You can always switch to Vintage tuners. I like them better, no sharp poky string ends, and very easy to set up. IMO, that is. :)
     

  7. 24 track

    24 track Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
    I see now, On my Chibson LP they drilled the ferrel for Gibson standard tuners but used Epiphone machine heads smaller radius how they over came this was putting a sleeve in the ferrel to compensate the difference and hold the EPI tuners in place. I suggest new tuners iI know this not what you wish to do, But I see where you will be revisiting this issue until you do.
     

  8. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC
    Try my solution. These don't wobble now. The machine heads stay in place like they had the correct inside diameter bushing. Wobbly machine heads cause tuning issues because the shaft can dance around. Machine heads shouldn't wobble at all.........ever.
     

  9. nymtber

    nymtber TDPRI Member

    57
    Dec 13, 2014
    New York - Upstate
    Mine only wobble when unstrung. Once up to tension they are fine. Of course, I mentioned that, twice, already.
     

  10. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Holic

    777
    Oct 29, 2008
    Dixie
    Wobbly Machine Heads
    ...hope somebody tries that out as a band name................
     

  11. Zender

    Zender Tele-Meister

    283
    Jul 25, 2015
    SC
    They are still moving. You can't see them move but they float around and this that movement is enough to affect tuning.
    One of the reasons you pay $70 and more for aftermarket tuners is because of the precise machining tolerences. The tight tolerences take expensive tools, quality metals and highly trained people to achieve so you can have a guitar that stays in tune through an entire song.
    The machine heads on the Affinity Squier are the worst I've ever seen due to the wobble. I had never seen tuners move around like those do. I doubt you could get away with selling parts like that anywhere else but China.

    Which can be fixed for zero $$$ BTW. You needn't settle for tuners that cause tuning issues. Shim those tuners.
     

  12. nymtber

    nymtber TDPRI Member

    57
    Dec 13, 2014
    New York - Upstate
    But only if they play Squier Affinities that still stay in tune regardless :D
     

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