Any Tips on Tightening Pots?

Beebe

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To keep the pot housing from spinning while tightening, I sometimes grab the pot housing with monkey pliers and tightened down the nut on top with a socket wrench. I don't like the idea of putting pressure on the pot housing though.

I checked out some YouTubes and both of the ones I watched just left them finger tight... didn't seem right to me.

If I try to just hold the pot with my fingers, I can end up bending the solder tabs as they are really the only place to get a good grip.

Now I'm thinking one of those rubber/silicone things they sell to open jars might be a good thing to grab it with.

And no, I'm not over tightening... At least I don't believe so. I just want them to not wiggle loose over time and for the pot to not turn when tightening.

I usually put a little bees wax on the threads to help secure them (old skool version of blue Loctite).

Anyone else have a way that works for them?
 

Telekarster

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Do you have the multi point lock washers under the nut side i.e. the type that look like a "star"? I do, with a washer below it to protect the underside surface. I only tighten with an adjustable wrench to snug, and never have any problems after that.
 

Peegoo

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An internal star washer, slipped over the pot threads, and then installed. Use a flat washer and a nut on the outside. They don't need to be Superman tight.
 

Freeman Keller

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I use a lot of long shaft pots with two nuts, one on each side of piece they are mounted to. Two wrenches, open end on the inside and box end on the out.

With a split shaft pot if you need to hold it while you tighten or loosen a nut slip a flat blade screw driver blade into the slot and turn it full cw or ccw while you snug up the nut. You can use that trick to get the 0 or 10 position exactly where you want it if it makes a difference.

When I have to fish pots thru an f-hole I like to get the back nut and washer setup before I put the back on the guitar and I'll put a tiny drop of Loctite on the back nut so it doesn't more. You usually don't have access to that nut once the back is on and it can be tricky to adjust.

And if your pot has it don't forget to drill a hole for the little tab that keeps it from rotating.
 
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AAT65

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I bought an ESP Multi Spanner many years ago. Only cost a few £ and it does a great job of tightening or loosening pots, tuners etc, and can get under recalcitrant knobs to pry them loose when needed. I just hold the pot in back and this lets you crank it up tight enough without any difficulty.
 

schmee

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You need the star washer under there. I just tighten with a socket in my fingers and hold the pot with a finger or two.. With the star washer you hardly need to hold it. You dont need more than that.
 

Solaris moon

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I'm not going to repeat what everyone else said as that's a moot point. The best way is to hold the potentiometer between your index finger and thumb. Use a socket - no wrench attached to it and turn lightly. Once snug no more force is neccessary to secure it to your instrument. Otherwise you'll end up damaging your part or guitar or even both! I have special alligator hemostats for assembling acoustic electric guitars through the sound hole. The same basic principal applies - no more than snug and not over tightened.
 

Si G X

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I tighten tele pots a little more than I would on other guitars because you can without damaging anything (because of the metal plate) and yes you need some kind of locking washer underneath, serrated 'shake proof' washer, star washer.

I just use a regular ring spanner and hold the back of the pot with my fingers, if you can't stop the pot spinning with just your fingers then your washer isn't biting properly (it needs to be up the right way btw, sorry if that sounds patronizing) you shouldn't have any problem holding the pot because once it's tight the washer should stop it turning.

If it's not happening then you could get some more aggressive/better quality SS washers... something more like these.... or even get some curved or split spring washers? they'll only be a few cents from a hardware store and might work better on a hard tele plate. I don't know what the ones are like on your pots now, but I wouldn't be sacred to change them if something else works better.


Serrated-Washer-Internal-For-Cable-Gland-854648740.jpg

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flat-spring-washer-500x500-1210760673.jpg
 

Old Verle Miller

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What Freeman Keller suggested works for lots of slip prevention situations - a tiny drop of Loctite will do the job and can easily be overcome when a repair is due.
 

NoTeleBob

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Star washer, 1/4" drive socket, Nutdriver handle for socket. Or just a standard nutdriver if you have them in the correct sizes. Even with just the nutdriver, "firm" is tight enough. Don't overdo it. Hold the pot with your hand - once the washer bites it will stay in the same place.
 

highwaycat

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I added a star and a nut to this one to improve the height and looks of the knobs. I put the star on then nut then tighten till I feel a mechanical connection then use thin pliers or in this case the stumac thin wrench and simultaneously tighten the top nut.
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6E7ADCE9-B2CA-47B8-8293-1CB4776442EB.jpeg
 




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