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Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier

Genie 24 Aug 09 - 11:45 PM
EBarnacle 25 Aug 09 - 12:10 AM
Songbob 25 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM
Micca 25 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM
Peace 25 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM
Peace 25 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM
Genie 25 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM
olddude 25 Aug 09 - 09:11 PM
Rapparee 25 Aug 09 - 09:24 PM
Songster Bob 26 Aug 09 - 12:05 AM
Peace 26 Aug 09 - 12:14 AM
Micca 26 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM
Genie 26 Aug 09 - 06:54 AM
Genie 26 Aug 09 - 07:05 AM
Songbob 26 Aug 09 - 11:42 AM
Genie 26 Aug 09 - 02:19 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 26 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM
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Subject: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Genie
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 11:45 PM

I can't play my old Martin right now because I have a screw loose.

Yeah, I know, I know, some of you are thinking "This is news?"
And to be more precise, it's the Martin's tuning peg screw that's in question, and it's not so much "loose" as it is "gone."

I think the screw was loose for some time and probably has been missing for a few months too, but the tuning gear was held in place by tension until I changed the strings -- whereupon the gear fell off.

I have the gear but I need a screw -- Yeah, yeah, do not let your minds go there! -- before my D string (Whew!) will function properly.


Now, my question is this:
Given that this is a vintage Martin, do I need to take it to an authorized Martin luthier-repairer to get the proper screw? Is it important for them to install it?
Or should I just go to any old guitar shop and get a screw for a tuning peg and then do it myself?

My Martin technician is way across town, so I'd prefer to do the latter, but not if there's a good reason for going to the authorized Martin guy.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 12:10 AM

Check at least one other screw. If it is a standard size, proceed to do the repair yourself. If not, invest in the OEM screw and keep your instrument "original."


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Songbob
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 12:20 PM

Go to your local guitar repair place (or find out who does the repairs for your local shop and contact the repairman). Most repairmen have a parts box where you can locate odd screws and gears and even single tuners, and see what can be found.

And no, it doesn't have to be a Martin certified repairman, since it's a simple part replacement, and doesn't alter the instrument. Regluing a bridge or refretting, yes, you should worry about the warranty.

And if it's truly vintage, finding the part may be tricky, but probably not.

And have you looked all through the case and on the floor near where you last opened the case?

Bob


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Micca
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 12:27 PM

If you find a really expert Martin fixer would he be a Martin luthier King?


Sorry Genie!! I'll get my coat!


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Peace
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 01:36 PM

Dang, Micca, that's exactly what I came here to say.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Peace
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 01:37 PM

Hey, Genie, was the 'whew' because it wasn't a G string?


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Genie
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 03:36 PM

Peace: Yes (Would you want to walk into your local guitar repair shop and say "I need a screw because my G string is ..."?)

and, Micca: Glad to see you're in fine form, as usual.   (Severn will be very jealous.)

As for the "vintage" part, it's over 50 years old but I don't know if that qualifies as "vintage" in everyone's book.

I'm told via PM that, just as Songbob says, I can probably just get the right kind and size screw from any guitar repair shop.   
I am pretty sure the screw was missing for quite some time before the gear came off.

I wouldn't dream of removing another screw or otherwise tampering with any of the working tuning pegs. I couldn't be sure that the screw wouldn't be stripped or the wood damaged by doing that with an instrument this old. Why take the chance?

I don't have a warranty on this guitar because (sob story) it was given to me by the original owner. Even if I had the bill of sale, which I don't, the lifetime warranty would apply only to the original owner.   

I have considered replacing the tuning pegs with Waverly pegs (and keeping my original Martin pegs), but I'm not there yet.   I have no intention of ever selling this guitar, and I'm leaving instructions in my will to see that it gets handed down to family members who will play it and take care of it.   The original pegs would be there in case someone wanted to "restore" it.    But the original pegs work pretty well (it stays in tune amazingly well), so for now I just want to get the A string (it was the A, not the D) peg working again.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: olddude
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:11 PM

buy the screw on ebay ... they got em cheap and replace it yourself
non issue


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 09:24 PM

I dunno -- I think that a Martin luthier would be best for a reformation.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Songster Bob
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 12:05 AM

The screw is for holding the tuner to the guitar? I envisioned the screw that holds the gear in place. A metal screw, holding metal to metal. Or am I wrong?

If it's a wood screw, go to a decent hardware store and match one of the others (yes, screw up your courage [pun noted] and take out one of the others for comparison). A small brass screw should not be hard to find.

And 50 years is surely vintage. I think eBay says "pre-1980" or some such year. I think antique dealers use 25 years as the cut-off, or used to, anyway. What model is it, and what kind of tuner? I'll look in my junk box.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Peace
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 12:14 AM

"I dunno -- I think that a Martin luthier would be best for a reformation."

Ya know, I had to read that three times. YOU Rapaire are getting to be as 'bad' as Art T, Severn, Smokey and a few other folks around here.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Micca
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 06:05 AM

Rap, So long as he doesnt go and nail his faeces to the door!!


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Genie
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 06:54 AM

Really, folks, all I wanted to know is whether there is something special/distinctive about the screws Martin uses to hold their tuning peg gears in place. If so, I wouldn't want to replace it with a generic guitar-tuning-peg screw, much less a generic screw made for other purposes.
If not, of course all I need to do is find the right size screw.

It may be a "non-issue," Old Dude, but I did not know that -- even after having consulted with a friend in town who is a guitarist and former guitar store owner.

And, no, I do not want to take apart one of the other tuners to see what the screw looks like. Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but if one of my tuner screws worked itself loose, I don't want to invite another one to do the same.    I'd rather take it to a nearby guitar shop and hope that they can direct me to the right size screw.

Micca and Peace, thanks for keeping it light (even if corny)! LOL

Genie


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Genie
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 07:05 AM

Micca, if the Martin luthier nailed something like that to a church door, they might put HIM to the screws.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Songbob
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:42 AM

I don't think Martin used anything unusual in tuner-mounting screws. If they used a Grover tuner, then whatever Grover puts in the box is what they used to mount it. The little set-screw to hold Grover Rotomatics or Sta-tites in place is a very common screw.

If it was a 1930s Martin, or a "New York" Martin (pre-1896), then you might have a worry. But a 1960s Martin? No, they used nothing extraordinary for the purpose. Any good repairman can provide you with a Grover mounting screw. I was thinking it was an older model, somehow.

You have mental pictures from what you're familiar with and I didn't connect with my 1960s D-28, but instead with the Martin I'm playing a lot these days -- a pre-Civil War Martin model 2-27 (on long-term loan, as I couldn't afford something like that at all) and the tuners on that are nifty brass tuners with ivory pegs. Those tuner mounting screws might be hard to match, as they are tiny flat-head brass screws, not round-head nickle screws like modern tuners sport.

You're fine, whatever you do. Collectors of vintage instruments are not so picky about a tuner screw, or even a tuner as such. I have a 1944 Epiphone Zenith, which, when I got it, had three original tuners and a modern, 3-on-a-strip set on the other side of the peghead. i just bought a replacement set of Grover Sta-tites and put the remaining original tuners in a box. If ever I sell the guitar (or my estate does so), the originals can be put in a baggie in the case for the buyer. I don't think the difference in value would be much if it still had all original tuners. And even if the difference was significant (>$100, let's say), if one of the mounting screws was changed out, it wouldn't make 10 cents' difference.

Once that guitar is 150 years old, the mismatched tuner screw might make $10 difference in the value, but by then, $10 will be a postage stamp's cost.

Get a new, modern screw, and play the guitar. It's not doing you any good without the tuner.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Genie
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 02:19 PM

Well, it's pre-1960 but not nearly as old as 1930s.

Old Dude, I really appreciate your comments, if only for general information value re guitars.
I'm not especially concerned with resale value, though, for reasons I gave above. I was more worried that if I tried to substitute a 'generic' screw for a specialized one, it might affect the longevity of the repair or otherwise interfere with the guitar's excellent ability to stay in tune.

I'll probably head over to a geetar shop today, with the guitar, and have their repair person find me the suitable screw.


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Subject: RE: Screw loose - Do I need a Martin luthier
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:00 PM

To the best of my knowledge, Martin has never actually "made" guitar tuning machines. There's never been a factory owned by Martin that churned them out. Instead, Martin has always used tuners made by companies like Grover and Schaller. They often* have the Martin name or logo embossed on them, which might lead one to believe Martin actually made them, but that's not the case. For every set of tuners bearing Martin logos, there are identical sets without the logos. Parts are fully interchangeable.


* (Often, but not always... All three of the Martins I currently own have Schallers with Martin logos, but the mid-'70s D-35 I once owned had standard Grover Rotomatics.)


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