How to Tighten a Loose Tuning Pin

In response to a question from a client of mine, here’s a short video on how to tighten up loose tuning pins. It should work on any make of harp that has pins that run all the way through the neck, as opposed to the zither-type (or Autoharp type) pins that are screwed into the string side and tuned from the string side. As I explain in the video, tuning pins tend to work loose, especially when a string is replaced. All that is usually needed is to push them a little deeper into the hole in the neck. The hole is tapered to fit the shape of the pin, so the more you push them, the tighter they will feel and the better they will hold.

I’ve heard of people who try to accomplish this by whacking on the back end of the pins with a hammer or mallet. While this should theoretically work, in practice it rarely seems to, and there’s the danger of that hammer going where you don’t want it to. Try my approach and see how it works for you.

8 thoughts on “How to Tighten a Loose Tuning Pin

  1. Thank you so much for this great video! It helped me tremendously!

  2. Thank you for this video! Worked like a charm!!

  3. I was told (haven’t done it yet) to pull the pin out, put a layer of crazy glue on it, let it completely set up, then replace it, and it should fit. The harp is new. 42″ tall

    • I have never heard of that approach. My sense is that it would be very hard to get an even layer of glue on the pin, which could make a poor fit, even if the pin were tighter. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re prepared to replace the pin with an oversized one (which requires reaming the hole) in the event that it makes things worse.

  4. Shelley Laidler

    I have a carbon fibre harp with wooden soundboard and the pins get loose often its very frustrating! Would you have any suggestions as to why carbon fibre would have this issue? I would have thought it less likely

    • Shelley,
      I’m sorry, I haven’t run into this issue on carbon fiber harps yet. Have you checked with the manufacturer for tips on how to deal with it?

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