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Shortening Schaller Shafts

Shortening Schaller Shafts

by David Golber

Originally published in American Lutherie #33, 1993 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

I’ve been making a Yugoslav folk instrument called prim. It’s something like a small mandolin; the scale is 15 1/4". For tuning machines, I’ve been using Schaller M6 minis, but I’ve been modifying them to solve some problems: the peghead is only 3/8" thick, and the threaded bushings that come with the Schallers don’t tighten down this far; the instrument tends to be too heavy at the head; and I have trouble getting enough string angle over the nut.

The photos show what I’ve done to the Schallers. The threaded bushings have been shortened; the metal knobs have been replaced by the proverbial Handsome Pearlescent Plastic; and the shafts have been cut down short and reshaped.

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