Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

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JVG
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Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by JVG » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:57 pm

Hi all,

Probably a long shot, but wondering if anyone has tried converting right handed vintage "kluson style" tuners (with the split post) to left handed?

Why? Because I want white/creme-button vintage tuners on my lefty mustang build, and I can't find them anywhere. There seems to be white button vintage style in the string-through style, but not split post.

Gotoh makes a right handed set with the split post, and I'm wondering if it's feasible to open them up and flip over the post.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Cheers!
J.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by oid » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:27 am

You most often can do this, but it is not a simple task and you will likely ruin a few while getting the technique down, generally not worth the effort. Although I have not actually popped the cover off a recent Kluson, it may just be a screw on the end of the worm gear, but that would require Kluson to make a huge change in how they have done things for ages, which seems unlikely. You never want to flip used tuners like this, the spur and worm gear wear in very unique ways and individual teeth of the spur come to fit just one spot on the worm, so if you reverse it or even take it apart and realign the spur they tend not to work smooth anymore, always good to mark the gears when dismantling old tuners so you can reassemble them with the same relation between teeth.

Simplest solution is just use right hand tuners and get used to having to turn them backwards, most adapt quite quickly. As an added bonus you get to enjoy watching other people struggle to tune your guitar when they play it, but you probably do not get to see many play your guitars being a lefty and all.

Next would be buy a set of split post rightys and the standard post leftys with the buttons you want, if they are both the same brand and style, you can just pop the cover off, take the screw off the spur gear and swap the posts. Sell the right hand set off or toss em in the junk box.

After that, replacing the buttons, if you can find the buttons or if WD/Kluson will sell you a set of replacement buttons you can just swap em out, plastic button are fairly easy to swap.

Last would be reversing them

There are a small number of tuners which are designed to flip but they are uncommon. Perhaps I will pop the cover on a kluson tomorrow, kinda curious about what they have under there these days.
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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by mgeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:09 am

JVG wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:57 pm

Gotoh makes a right handed set with the split post, and I'm wondering if it's feasible to open them up and flip over the post.

Nope, I've poked around with the inside of Klusons and it's a living nightmare. You'd be better off getting a set of metal buttoned ones and trying to modify them. I wouldn't relish that either though tbh

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by MechaBulletBill » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:07 am

Gotoh's old site used to list every permutation of machine heads imaginable, and a gotoh dealer can order just about anything from them. Might take a while, however.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by oid » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:47 pm

mgeek wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:09 am
Nope, I've poked around with the inside of Klusons and it's a living nightmare
Living nightmare? It is a worm gear, a spur gear and two pillow blocks. In the old style the pillow blocks have a stud that is peened onto the base plate, you heat up the studs with a soldering gun from the bottom and then tap them out with a suitable punch, flip it end for end, slot the studs and repeen, done. In the new style it really looks like they went with a two piece pillow block made up of a small standoff on the base plate and the cover. There are no longer any studs visible from the bottom where the pillow blocks are and the cover attachment has been beefed up considerably, instead of a simple deformed tab at each end they have two well sized studs on the spur gear side and the traditional deformed tab on the worm side. Odds are once the cover comes off the key/worm are free and you can flip and reattach the cover. Curious to see what is in there, should have time in the next day or two to take a peek.

Reversing most turners should still be the last resort for most people, but it is not that hard, you just need to be ok with ruining a few as you learn or find some old damaged ones to repair.

Part of me thinks that klusons have always been in this new way and memory is confusing them with some other brand/design, the internet can probably answer but taking apart a few tuners is more fun and I could use a little practice, got some old tuners waiting to be restored.
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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by JVG » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:14 pm

oid wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:27 am
Next would be buy a set of split post rightys and the standard post leftys with the buttons you want, if they are both the same brand and style, you can just pop the cover off, take the screw off the spur gear and swap the posts. Sell the right hand set off or toss em in the junk box.
Thanks everyone for the comments - this is valuable info. I don't fancy the idea of bumbling through and potentially ruining a bunch of tuners while trying to reverse them (especially as everything is more expensive here in Australia), but I might try the option above. It seems like this might be a bit easier to do, and hopefully I can flog off the other set.

[As for the idea of simply using righty tuners, it looks weird having the knobs and posts offset the other way around, so I'm not a fan].

Much appreciated!
J.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by oid » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:58 pm

JVG wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:14 pm
oid wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:27 am
Next would be buy a set of split post rightys and the standard post leftys with the buttons you want, if they are both the same brand and style, you can just pop the cover off, take the screw off the spur gear and swap the posts. Sell the right hand set off or toss em in the junk box.
Thanks everyone for the comments - this is valuable info. I don't fancy the idea of bumbling through and potentially ruining a bunch of tuners while trying to reverse them (especially as everything is more expensive here in Australia), but I might try the option above. It seems like this might be a bit easier to do, and hopefully I can flog off the other set.

[As for the idea of simply using righty tuners, it looks weird having the knobs and posts offset the other way around, so I'm not a fan].

Much appreciated!
J.
I forgot in my last post to mention in the current version swapping posts will be likely the same amount of work as flipping them, still have to get the backs off which is not the simple task it once was. I will post a few pictures when I open one up in a day or two so you can see if it is something you feel comfortable doing.
Logic gates based on billiard-ball computer designs have also been made to operate using live soldier crabs of the species Mictyris guinotae in place of the billiard balls.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by mgeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:14 pm

oid wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:47 pm
mgeek wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:09 am
Nope, I've poked around with the inside of Klusons and it's a living nightmare
Living nightmare? It is a worm gear, a spur gear and two pillow blocks. In the old style the pillow blocks have a stud that is peened onto the base plate, you heat up the studs with a soldering gun from the bottom and then tap them out with a suitable pu..
Yeah yeah I know about the insidey bit, I should have made it clear I was talking about getting the shell off at all/ in one piece and without gouging your hands up.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by JVG » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:07 pm

Hmmm, I'm feeling less enthusiastic about attempting this now! Haha.

Stratosphere is listing a lefty set, with off-white buttons:
https://stratosphereparts.com/new-lefty ... ckel-aged/

The description says split post, but the picture angles are not sufficient to confirm this. They're only $18, so might not be the greatest quality. I would take a chance on them anyway, if it wasn't for the fact that Stratosphere's cheapest shipping option to Australia is $46. Yep, $46postage even for the smallest item. Insane!

Cheers,
J.

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Re: Converting vintage tuners to left handed - possible?

Post by armyofbees » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:56 am

I'm a lefty, too. please post if you order these and if they're split shaft. they look great!

JVG wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:07 pm
Hmmm, I'm feeling less enthusiastic about attempting this now! Haha.

Stratosphere is listing a lefty set, with off-white buttons:
https://stratosphereparts.com/new-lefty ... ckel-aged/

The description says split post, but the picture angles are not sufficient to confirm this. They're only $18, so might not be the greatest quality. I would take a chance on them anyway, if it wasn't for the fact that Stratosphere's cheapest shipping option to Australia is $46. Yep, $46postage even for the smallest item. Insane!

Cheers,
J.

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