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Author Topic:  Bell cranks
Larry Hopkins


From:
Lubbock Texas USA
Post  Posted 3 Jun 2020 5:47 pm    
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Was just wondering,besides more adjustments,what is the advantage on the LEGRANDES ,4 hole bell cranks ,verses the 14 hole Rolling Eyes
Lh
_________________
Justice s-10 pro ,peavey Ltd 400,peavey renown 115
Nashville 400, Emmons SD-10 legrande lll ,sho-bud pac a seat,Sierra S-10
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Leo Grassl

 

From:
Nashville TN
Post  Posted 3 Jun 2020 6:24 pm    
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That is the only advantage and the only difference between the 14 hole bell crank guitars Vs the 4 hole ones.The changer on the earlier 4 hole bell crank Legrandes is the same as on the 14 hole bell crank guitars (besides the short key head models which came first and did have a different changer and were a totally different guitar IMO). I owned a 14 hole crank "Legrande" that was made early on in the transition from 4 to 14 holes and the only difference between it and a "Legrande II" was the decal not saying "II". It did come from the factory with lower return compensators which I suspect work better with more leverage options from the 14 hole crank. I don't believe the comps were a factory standard but I dont know for sure.
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Larry Hopkins


From:
Lubbock Texas USA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2020 3:22 am     Bell cranks
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Thanks for the info Leo, Very Happy
Lh
_________________
Justice s-10 pro ,peavey Ltd 400,peavey renown 115
Nashville 400, Emmons SD-10 legrande lll ,sho-bud pac a seat,Sierra S-10
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 7 Jun 2020 8:32 pm    
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With 14 hole bell cranks you have an advantage of about a 7 % movement incerments of pulls instead of 25% incerments of pull with 4 hole bell cranks.
This allows precise adjustment of pulls so strings start their pulls together and end together allowing a smooth movement of sound from 1 note to the other.

It is for the adjustment of pulls mechanically, Which means a better sound and that is what people are wanting.

One company even built a bell crank with a screw that the pull rod bracket moved up and down the full length of the bell crank lever. This system was more precise than the 14 hole bell cranks. But there was so many parts it was much more expensive to manufacture and assemble.

One manufacture of steels uses dummy cross rods with extra bell cranks to give them smoother start to full pull on strings, But at the cost of more parts and cost of assembly of guitars.
I like to work on a steel with 14 hole bell cranks, Allows easy timing of pulls.Then there is those little E-Clips to deal with.
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John Swain


From:
Newberry,SC
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2020 5:55 am    
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FWIW, I've read on a full D10 setup, the 14 hole guitar weighs a few pounds less. The return compensators were an option, on my 93 D10 there's a ninth pedal cross shaft locked in place with bellcranks and pullrods.
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Dean Holman

 

From:
Branson MO
Post  Posted 8 Jun 2020 8:05 am    
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With the 14 hole, you can get a shorter travel without the pedals being too stiff.
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Leo Grassl

 

From:
Nashville TN
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 10:19 am    
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Yes I agree more options for leverage equals a better playing guitar. Bobby I am intrigued by the bell crank design you described with the the rod being able to slide up and down at any height on the bell crank. That is genius in my opinion. Do you recall who made the proto type of these?

LG
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 9 Jun 2020 11:32 am    
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Here's a pic showing Sierra's micro adjust bell cranks. Check out more pics in the Sierra Steel Guitars thread. They allow for spot on timing which has a lot to do with how smoothly a guitar plays.

Jerry Blanton used them on his guitars long before I came around. He used them for tuning the pulls and not for specifically for leverage/timing adjustments. No endplate tuners at all if I recall correctly.

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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 11:58 am    
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Leo, Thanks to Ross he has a picture of the Sierra setup. Like I described. I thought it was Sierra I had seen with the screw movable Bell Cranks. "Did not want to put shoe store in my mouth".

When I worked in the light bulb industry we had similar cranks for precision adjusting certain filament installs.
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Leo Grassl

 

From:
Nashville TN
Post  Posted 10 Jun 2020 6:12 pm    
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Ross!!! Too cool. Thanks for posting that picture. Brilliant.
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Mark McCornack


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2020 12:10 pm    
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Yep, those Blanton-esque bellcranks are but one of the really cool things I see on Ross’ new Sierra. The idea of being able to time pulls together, such as 4 & 8, is really nice.

I have an old Sho~Bud Pro-I that I made some custom cranks for that give me this advantage as well. These worked out pretty well (other than the untenable complexity in fabricating them!). Perhaps with CNC capabilities and the incentive of some volume of production, this might have worked out, but not for just a hand full of parts. Milling these all out one at a time by hand became too tedious, so I abandoned the project.

The picture below shows a few pieces. There is a beam which goes on the Sho~Bud’s cross shafts. On the beam is an assembly that established the radius of the pull. It’s held by two tiny set screws. Within this assembly is a ball bearing assy that captures the pull rod. This has the ability of several degrees (enough) rotation relative to the beam to execute the pull. I think if you look at the bits in the picture, you’ll be able to see what I did. Obviously, it could be simplified, especially with newer guitars fitted with pull rods without barrels like the old Bud had.

It’s pretty much of a “set it and forget it” situation on getting the radius set. Not like Blanton where you actually “tune” the pedals with these.

(Oops! The tuning barrel is actually mounted backwards on the rod in this picture) Mr. Green
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2020 6:03 am    
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Neat bell crank idea Mark as well as some cool machining! And I thought my bell cranks were a hassle to make!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2020 6:16 am    
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I fell in love with the Blanton cranks when I was working on a friend's Blanton a few months ago. Not only are they infinitely adjustable, you can adjust them with your fingers, reaching under the guitar as you sit there. In a perfect world, I'd be good looking and all steels would have these bellcranks.
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Mark McCornack


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jul 2020 3:40 pm    
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Yes Ross, these were an overly complex manufacturing task for small quantities, and as such, not terribly practical. If one ordered several thousand from an offshore vendor, I’m sure they would fall into the realm of ”PEZ” but one-zy two-zy In the garage, not so much.
Putting adjustable radius crank pulls on your new Sierra is just another piece of elegance you’ve included in the design. Tracking pulls is a REALLY nice feature to have. Unless one has tried it on a guitar, one may not know what one is missing. Smile
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