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First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:04 pm
by sookwinder
While I restored a 66 jaguar recently, I needed to replace one of the tuners.  The original 1st generation F tuner in the B string location had been replaced some years back with a 2nd generation F tuner.

I purchased two sets of 1st generation F Tuners tuners from ebay.
One set were from a 1966 telecaster and although pretty dirty and one tuner basically shot, the other 5 were in great condition.
The second set was from a 1968 Telecaster.  These were all in excellent condition and it was from them that I chose the tuner to use to replace the non correct tuner on the restoration project.

However when I came to fit the (1968) F tuner it just didn't seem to fit properly.  The tuner in question was meant to fit in the B string location, but no matter how much I pushed it just wouldn't slot in.  I removed the adjoining tuners and started with the replacement tuner and then tried to re fit the adjoining originals.  This time they wouldn't fit in.


I went back to the other 5 tuners of the 1968 set and each of them also would not fit.

I then went to the 5 good tuners from the other set I had purchased  (these are from a 1966 Telecaster) and each of those 5 tuners fitted perfectly.  I cleaned up one of them and fitted it to the neck.

Then when I had a spare moment I compared each of the 1966 and 1968 1st generation F tuners.  The 1968 F tuners have a longer turning knob shaft and my initial thought was that they must be wider than the 1966 tuners as this was the only possible explanation (I thought).  However as you can see in the photos and the data below, I now do not think they are wider, but infact the variation is either (i) because the die/tool being used to stamp the other shell had deteriorated and was stamping modified outers or  more likely (ii) a different die/tool was used for the stamping which, although produced units that although looked extremely like the earlier ones, they were infact different.

Width of outer cowling (of the parallelogram)
1966: 22.52mm
1968: 22.54mm

Height of outer cowling (of the parallelogram)
1966: 19.13mm
1968: 19.15mm

Width of the pressed "D" shaped section of outer cowling
1966: 20.20mm
1968: 20.45mm

width (diameter) of knob shaft
1966: 3.55mm
1968: 3.50mm

Visible length of knob shaft
1966: 9.80mm
1968: 11.42mm


Then I looked at the two sets of F tuners and started to see that the actual angles of the parallelogram shape which made up the out cowling of the tuners appears ever so slightly different.

As shown in the following photo, after measuring (roughly) the smaller angle of the parallelogram of each of the 1966 and 1968 F tuners I come up with:

Smaller angle of the outer cowling parallelogram   
(these angles are rough, but even with the uncertainty there is a definite variation between the 1966 and 1968 F tuners)
1966: 70.25 degrees
1968: 69.50 degrees


As shown in the photos where the tuners are laid flat and then moved so that they are touching, the top section touches but the bottom does not and a gap between them is evident.  This now explains why the only way I could get the 1968 F tuner to fit in with the other 5 1966 F tuners was to slightly rotate the 1968 F tuner.  This caused the top and bottom to no longer be in line with the tops and bottoms of the other 5 tuners, as well as the screw holes to no longer match up.


To confirm this, I removed a 1st generation F tuner from my mint 1966 Jaguar and was able to successfully fit this into the B string position on the neck I was restoring.

While the above observations are only based on 4 sets of 1st generation F tuners, when one is restoring a mid to late 60s fender with F tuners, you may need to obtain F tuners from the same year, otherwise you run the risk of them not fitting correctly.

Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:27 am
by mezcalhead
All I can say is:

  1. Great attention to detail there, sook.
  2. Thank goodness the '68 neck I've got already has tuners on it!

Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:08 am
by Pumpkin
I just took some measurements of my orig 66 F tuners (White buttons) off of the Mustang and it really doesn't match either 66 or 68 measurements exact,whats the deal? Any Idea?My Mustang is a Jan 66'.

Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:34 am
by sookwinder
Corona, the figures/measurements I have quoted are not meant to be THE ONLY CORRECT measurement.  They are just relative to the 4 sets of 66 - 68 First gen F tuners I have access to.  Basically what it is saying is that there is certainly variation in the production of these items, with some variation maybe being attributed to variation in manufacture but also due to slight changes in actual design/parts sourcing.

I can tell you that it is basically the same in the vehicles we make where I work. Last years car which is "wxactly the same" as this years car... isn't. different sourcing of parts, new tooling to make the same part, cost downs ...  all contibute to slight variations.  The engineers try and make all old parts be interchangeable with new ones, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

Your measurements just confirm what i have attempted to show.

Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:35 am
by zhivago
brilliant thread!

this is one for the archives!

nice one David!


Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:52 am
by Pumpkin

Re: First generation F Tuners - variations observed

Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:29 am
by fullerplast
Nice work, David!

This attention to detail makes me want to run right out and buy a Holden!

GM Detroit could use you and a few more over here....