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Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?

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keldon85
Posted 2020-02-18 3:42 PM (#551281)
Subject: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia

The tuner for the 5th string in my 1763 classical gets very stiff as I tune the string to normal pitch.  This improved after I took off the knob and applied some grease to the worm gear, but it is starting to get stiff again.  I bought some other tuners to install, but the Schallers that Ovation used on this early 90s 1763 use bushings in the inner holes.  For my old Folklore that also used Schallers with bushings, the bushings were easily removed, when I replaced them with some NOS Schallers recently.  However on this 1763 the bushings are buried deeply within the holes and seem to be either tightly pressed in, or held by some sort of glue. I will have to remove them to put on a different type of  tuner.  Does anyone here have success in removing tightly held bushings Ovation slotted headstocks?

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DanSavage
Posted 2020-02-18 8:13 PM (#551287 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2184

Location: Lake Forest, CA
If you can't drift it out from the other side, you'll need to pull it out.

To pull it out, I would suggest using a wood dowel that's slightly larger that the I.D. of the bushing, then taper it slightly so you can wedge it into the inner bore of the bushing, then try wiggling it slightly side-to-side to break it free.
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seesquare
Posted 2020-02-19 8:10 AM (#551297 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
If you don't intend to re-use the bushing, you could use the appropriately-sized screw extractor to grip the bushing, and then pull it out. Maybe apply a little heat to soften any adhesive, give it a twist, then let it cool again. Dunno. Just be brave, I guess. This is, after all, the BFLG, & opinions are like you-know-what. You get what you pay for...............
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DetlefMichel
Posted 2020-02-20 5:54 AM (#551307 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?



Joined:
May 2011
Posts: 661

Location: Muenster/Germany
I spent some time and effort to ADD bushings to my slothead Adamas guitars... the tuners work much better with them.
Maybe you should try to carefully bore up the old bushings to the appropriate size.
Most tuners use 6mm axles. I trimmed the drilled holes on the opposite sides of the tuners to 10mm and inserted small ball bearings, outside 10mm, with 6mm inside measures. Thus the tuners work very smooth. When they move in wood they may tent to cant with the string tension on them.
If your tuners have 6mm axles and you want to try it, I can send you a set of the ball bearings I mentioned, I have some left.
If you want to remove the old bushings, the best way would be to carefully cut a screw thread and use a long srew to move them and a little heat.

Edited by DetlefMichel 2020-02-20 5:57 AM
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keldon85
Posted 2020-02-20 8:20 PM (#551309 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia
Next time I change strings I will try a combination of these ideas. The 1763 is a classical, and while it has a slot-head, the rollers for nylon strings are larger than used for steel strings, since the strings stretch more for a given increase in tension. For this year-model, Ovation continued to use Schaller tuning machines that used bushings with a 6mm ID, even though the string roller part was about 10mm. Schaller tuners for steel string slot-heads were similar, they just did not have the ~10mm sleeve over the inner 6mm shaft.

Curiously, the 74 Folklore that I just revived had Schaller classical tuners with the 10mm (actually closer to 3/8", about 0.363 in) sleeve over the exposed part of the shaft, just like a nylon string instrument, from what I have learned from this site, this was Ovation's practice on the Folklore until 1978.

Meanwhile, I took some caliper measurement on the Schaller bushings that originally came with my Folklore, and they are 0.420 inches, a bit more than 10mm. Standard classical tuner shafts, including the nice mid-priced ones I just got, are a little less than 10mm (0.382 in.) to fit well in a 10.0mm hole (0.393 in) I suspect the bushings currently in the 1763 are the same OD as used in the Folklore, so regular classical tuners might be a little sloppy in this instrument. Unfortunately, the the current Schaller open-gear classical tuners use 10mm shafts, without inner bushings, so I may be forced to either locate some NOS Ovation-Schaller classical tuners, or scavenge parts from used tuners to keep this one from binding. Theoretically, I could use the plastic roller from decommissioned classical tuners over the part of the shaft that contacts the string of current Schaller steel string slot-head tuners - Stewart MacDonald shows their shaft diameter as 5.99mm. That seems a bit more involved than it should be.

Has anyone here had any experience using non-Ovation/Schaller tuners on an older (pre 2000) Ovation classical?
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seesquare
Posted 2020-02-21 2:56 PM (#551320 - in reply to #551309)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
How serious do you wanna get?
https://www.grainger.com/category/power-transmission/bearings/sleeve...
You just might the right size among their inventory. Best-of-luck!
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seesquare
Posted 2020-02-21 3:03 PM (#551321 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Or, maybe this one:

http://www.accuratescrew.com/catalog/bushings
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keldon85
Posted 2020-02-21 8:46 PM (#551324 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia
Very cool. Thanks, I will have to keep these site in mind for other projects. The bushings that are in there do not bind, so they are still good for the original type of sealed Schaller tuner. I have the originals from my Folklore and they are still good, when I took the 1763 tuners off, they fit well in the old Folklore bushings. I swapped them out on the Folklore only because they ones with the NOS tuners were shinier.

My problem really comes down to the fact that the 5th string tuner on the 1763 classical got very stiff when tuning up to standard pitch. So stiff that the plastic tuner button broke - twice. When I took the button off, I was also able to take off the worm gear shaft assembly and put some grease on it - it was completely dry, I later did the other tuners as well. That helped, but it does get a little stiffer as I tune the 5th string up to pitch, just not as bad as before. I wanted to do some preventive maintenance by changing the tuner set, but so far getting the bushings out to use a more typical tuner set has been difficult, that is why I started this thread. Of course, if Ovation drilled the holes a little bit larger than normal to accept the Schaller bushings, I may have to re-think my approach to this problem, if the holes are too big for regular classical tuners to work well. I suspect that coating the inside of the hole with a thin layer of epoxy or cyanoacrylate might work, but am not sure. Anyone with experience with that?

For future reference, the tuner buttons on Folklore Schaller tuner sets are compatible with the sealed Schaller tuners that Ovation used on classicals, at least up to '91 when my 1763 was made. You may need to add one washer to make it work well, but they have the same shape and translucent pearl appearance.
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seesquare
Posted 2020-02-22 8:35 AM (#551329 - in reply to #551324)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
"Of course, if Ovation drilled the holes a little bit larger than normal to accept the Schaller bushings, I may have to re-think my approach to this problem, if the holes are too big for regular classical tuners to work well. I suspect that coating the inside of the hole with a thin layer of epoxy or cyanoacrylate might work, but am not sure. Anyone with experience with that?"
As a matter-of-fact, yes. I tightened up the bushings on my old 1613, years ago, by putting some Titebond in the hole, inserting the bushing, then mounting the tuners. That way, they center the bushings & stay in alignment. And, the Titebond doesn't stick to the tuner shafts, if it squeezes out a bit.
As they say, YMMV...………..
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keldon85
Posted 2020-03-12 3:47 PM (#551504 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
July 2019
Posts: 77

Location: northern Georgia
Well, I was sort of forced to finally fix this. The 5th string tuner got so stiff as I approached A440 that I had to stop halfway between A flat and A, otherwise I would have broken another knob. With an inspection camera, it looked like there was some discoloration on the bushing that hinted at the use of some glue. I did not want to use some sort of chemical solvent, to keep from damaging the finish, so I decided to heat up the bushings. I got a Philips screw driver that fit inside them, and then wrapped a section of it with cotton cloth to keep the metal from contacting the headstock wood. I then used a 60W soldering iron to heat the screwdriver, and indirectly, the bushing, a meat thermometer said that the screwdriver near the bushing was about 195 F. I was able to get a small punch to go through the bushing on one side and contact the back side of the bushing I was trying to remove. I was able to get the first one out by pushing on the punch with my hand, but the next one was more resistant, so I got a small ball-peen hammer and lightly tapped the punch -- the bushing moved noticeably. A bit of tapping around the bushing to keep it level and it eventually came out. I did that for the rest of the bushings, the whole job taking about 2 hours.

Looking at the headstock and bushings, I saw no evidence of any glue or finish holding the bushings in place, it was just a very tight press fit. I measured the bushings at 0.415" and the holes at 0.408", so it took some force to originally install them. I suspect the heat made the wood a bit more pliable, similar to heating up frets to pull them out of a fingerboard during a re-fret. The nice thing about it being so tight is that the holes were actually a good size for the rollers on the new tuning machines. They are now in place, new strings are installed, and the new tuners look nicer than the closed gear Schallers that came on it.
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seesquare
Posted 2020-03-13 7:08 AM (#551510 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?


Joined:
November 2002
Posts: 3262

Location: Pacific Northwest Inland Empire
Good work! "Necessity is the motherhood of invention", as they say. Enjoy your refurbished critter!
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DanSavage
Posted 2020-03-13 11:54 AM (#551515 - in reply to #551281)
Subject: Re: Removing bushings from Ovation slotted headstocks?



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 2184

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Yes, heat is a good tool to use to fix a lot of things on Ovations.

Which is about the best thing I can say about Ovation's love for epoxy.
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