Headless Trem Tuning

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billinder33
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Headless Trem Tuning

Postby billinder33 » Mon May 28, 2018 8:37 pm

Is there anything that can be done to make the tuning knobs on my Vader headless trem a little easier to twist/turn/tune?

I realize most of the resistance is coming from the tension of the string, but they really require some oomph to turn, and when putting that much effort into twisting the knob, sometimes I find it hard to nail the tuning with precision.

Maybe it just 'is what it is', but if anyone has any tips or suggestions, I'm all ears!!!

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UnexplodedCow
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Re: Headless Trem Tuning

Postby UnexplodedCow » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:49 am

The tuners themselves are screws with thumbwheels attached for pulling the claw the string ball sits in.

You can push the claw all the way back when the thumbscrew is backed off entirely (like loosening the string fully) using a chopstick, or some other slender tool (no snickering, everyone else who reads this...you know who you are). This will expose the threads of the screw. Use some light oil (blue top 3-in-one oil or synthetic light oil), or a dry lube (teflon or graphite based), and that should ease up the threads.

It's a smart idea to do this anyway, because the threads will gall over time and use, and may eventually have threads bind and strip, or possibly break the screw. Of course, corrosion can happen to, so oil will keep moisture and other items away from the metal itself.

Even a very light coating of moly grease will do the deed. Something like anti-seize can work, but will feel a little gritty.
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billinder33
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Re: Headless Trem Tuning

Postby billinder33 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:43 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:The tuners themselves are screws with thumbwheels attached for pulling the claw the string ball sits in.

You can push the claw all the way back when the thumbscrew is backed off entirely (like loosening the string fully) using a chopstick, or some other slender tool (no snickering, everyone else who reads this...you know who you are). This will expose the threads of the screw. Use some light oil (blue top 3-in-one oil or synthetic light oil), or a dry lube (teflon or graphite based), and that should ease up the threads.

It's a smart idea to do this anyway, because the threads will gall over time and use, and may eventually have threads bind and strip, or possibly break the screw. Of course, corrosion can happen to, so oil will keep moisture and other items away from the metal itself.

Even a very light coating of moly grease will do the deed. Something like anti-seize can work, but will feel a little gritty.



Do you have an opinion on which would be better? I thought about graphite or 3-in-1, wasn't sure if one would be better than the other.

I also thought about this, which has a needle that I think could help me more accurately apply where needed:

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Butter-oz-Bo ... _200_img_2

Any thoughts?

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arahobob
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Re: Headless Trem Tuning

Postby arahobob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:00 pm

I found mine loosened up a bit over time. Not much, but it got easier.
A little lube couldn't hurt.
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Re: Headless Trem Tuning

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:12 am

billinder33 wrote:
UnexplodedCow wrote:The tuners themselves are screws with thumbwheels attached for pulling the claw the string ball sits in.

You can push the claw all the way back when the thumbscrew is backed off entirely (like loosening the string fully) using a chopstick, or some other slender tool (no snickering, everyone else who reads this...you know who you are). This will expose the threads of the screw. Use some light oil (blue top 3-in-one oil or synthetic light oil), or a dry lube (teflon or graphite based), and that should ease up the threads.

It's a smart idea to do this anyway, because the threads will gall over time and use, and may eventually have threads bind and strip, or possibly break the screw. Of course, corrosion can happen to, so oil will keep moisture and other items away from the metal itself.

Even a very light coating of moly grease will do the deed. Something like anti-seize can work, but will feel a little gritty.



Do you have an opinion on which would be better? I thought about graphite or 3-in-1, wasn't sure if one would be better than the other.

I also thought about this, which has a needle that I think could help me more accurately apply where needed:

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Butter-oz-Bo ... _200_img_2

Any thoughts?


Gun oil is usually good stuff, though that brand doesn't specify if it's synthetic or not. Most standard gun oils get sticky over time, which would make matters worse. Synthetic doesn't get sticky as quickly, and I've had some stuff for my miniature hand cannon that's help up well, but it did show signs of congealing after sitting around for a year in a case. In addition, gun oils are usually solvent heavy to break up deposits. They're not meant for painted surfaces so much as being good with gun blueing finish (which is a baked-on, chemically bonded finish that usually doesn't rub off).

I've used a variety of things for lubing threaded items on a guitar, or for rebuilding small fans and filling them up with oil.

Synthetic oil (does not gum up): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P ... UTF8&psc=1

3-In-1 mineral oil (does not get sticky): https://www.amazon.com/3-ONE-100454-Mot ... in+one+oil

Extra fine graphite works well, just reapply when you like, though it can get messy: https://www.amazon.com/AGS-MZ-2-Extra-G ... phite+lube

A "dry lube" would also work very well, like graphite, only less mess. Also works great for the nut: https://www.amazon.com/DuPont-Non-Stick ... Blube&th=1

There are other versions, such as "bike chain dry lube" which is the same thing, just marketed differently, and more expensively.

The above things I know work well. The issue with oils is that they can grab dirt from the air. Graphite gets messy very easily, so my vote goes for a dry lube on the threads. Just pull the screws out, take the string claws out, lube the slides up (they're lightly oiled from the factory), and apply some to the tension screw threads, and reassemble. You'll also need so little, that a bottle should last you the rest of your life (even if you're very young and play all the time).

My guitar has the hardtail bridge, and the screws tightened up over time, due to the oil going away, or catching dirt/dust/skin particles/body oils and moisture, so cleaning and lubing should be part of regular maintenance.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.

billinder33
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Re: Headless Trem Tuning

Postby billinder33 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:45 pm

thanks for the great advice, I will give the dry lube a shot!!! :woot:


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