Tuning Buttons

Is your zither in need of repair? Do you have questions on how to best maintain your zither, or have advice? Post your questions and advice here.

Moderator: Dave

Post Reply
johnm20
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Tuning Buttons

Post by johnm20 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:31 pm

Hello, All. This is my first post in the Forum. I am pleased to be the newest member and I appreciate all of the great information I have accessed since joining. I recently acquired a Franz Schwarzer Concert Zither that needs a lot of work. It was literally a wall hanger. The most visible damage appeared to be a missing string guide pin saddle. I'm working on that piece but a new problem has me stumped. Three of the five tuning buttons are cracked. One of the three split completely in half and is off the tuning machine. Has anyone had experience repairing or replacing these pieces? I've read about repairing/replacing guitar tuning buttons with super glue but that seems dubious give the stress of tuning. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Evelyn
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:23 am

Re: Tuning Buttons

Post by Evelyn » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:45 am

Welcome!

I suggest that you try
http://www.zithers-usa.com/Suppliers.html

You mention the stress of tuning - the tuning buttons should turn effortlessly. If not, it may perhaps be worthwhile having a look at the tuning machine/mechanic itself, as it might require cleaning and oiling (or replacement if damaged or broken).
Last edited by Evelyn on Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

NutmegCT
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
Location: Connecticut!
Contact:

Re: Tuning Buttons

Post by NutmegCT » Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:53 am

Hi John, and welcome to the Zither forum.

Sounds like you've got some work ahead of you; if the zither has literally been a wall-hanger, it might have internal cracks and damage from dry - or humid - environment. Once you've checked out more details, you may want to send the instrument to a repair expert, such as the workmen at Horst Wuensche.

https://www.zitherbau-wuensche.de/

There are other posts here on the forum describing attempts to repair the tuning mechanism itself, and minor wood repairs.

Best wishes to you.
Tom M.

johnm20
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: Tuning Buttons

Post by johnm20 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:03 pm

Thank you, Evelyn and Tom, for the suggestions. I will check into these resources. In the meantime, i might try cobbling together a "button" using a flat shelf peg or thumb screw connected to the tuning machine peg via a 5 mm to 3 mm coupling. I mentioned this instrument had been a wall hanging. Someone actually screwed two wood screws into the back with a string for hanging. The instrument only has the five fretted strings and I think at least two of them (G and C) might be guitar strings. Thanks again. John

johnm20
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: Tuning Buttons

Post by johnm20 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:14 pm

Just an update. I ended up gluing the tuning button back together around the tuning machine shaft using a super glue type product called Rapidfuse. Although the glue is rapid set, I let it set for 24 hours. I also used a hair dryer to provide some mild heat and air in the first few minutes after joining. This was all done after I had removed the tuning machine from the zither. I soaked the tuning machine gears (not the buttons) in cigarette lighter fluid and then slowly turned the tuners. A lot of black debris came out and the tuners loosened. I then added a drop of Tri-Flow lubricant to each tuner and now the tuning machine is very smooth. Fortunately, all of the gears are in very good shape. Polishing clothes did a nice job of restoring the shine on the tuning machine cover.

NutmegCT
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
Location: Connecticut!
Contact:

Re: Tuning Buttons

Post by NutmegCT » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:38 pm

Bravo on the successes - Now we know who to send our zithers to!

Thanks for posting the details.
Tom M.

Post Reply