Baker Style Vintage Tuners
The Baker Style tuners are reproductions of tuners manufactured by Baker and used on Louis Panormo guitars during the 19th century. These tuners were some of the first used when guitars transitioned from wooden pegs to metal tuning machines. In addition to making tuners Baker was also a gunsmith with some of his guns being sold to the English royalty. It is for this reason that many of these tuners have a ‘VR’ (Victoria Regina) stamp.
Traditionally the baker tuners were made of brass which is the usual material that we use. However, sterling silver or nickel (German) silver can also be used. The set to the left uses polished nickel silver with macassar ebony buttons.
Although many (if not all) original Baker tuners used ‘reversed gearing’, virtually all the sets we make now have modern standard gears. However, if you are replacing a set from an original instrument, you may prefer the set made with the same gear orientation. Reverse gears are where the gearing is cut in the opposite direction and built with the gear (worm wheel) above the button shaft (worm). The button will maintain the same direction of rotation to tighten or loosen the strings.
Most early Baker tuners were fitted with what we call ‘Kidney’ shape buttons or ‘Traditional’ shape buttons. We do not work with real ivory for obvious reasons but have a very nice alternative synthetic ivory which keeps the same aesthetic appearance as the early tuners. Obviously for new instruments, many luthiers like the aesthetics of the side -plates but prefer to use other shapes and materials for the buttons.