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Help With Replacing Tuner Heads On Lp Epiphone?


stvhuddy
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My son just aquired a Les Paul Epiphone with a broken vintage tuner head. He didn't want to replace them with another set of Vintage heads and purchased a set of gibson grover stainless heads not knowing modification would be needed.

Does anyone know the correct drill bit size for the modification?

The risk of destroying the neck?

any advice on removing the metal inlay from the old tuners?

The easy button to push would be just to replace with another set of vintage heads, however, they are more expensive and are not as good as the stainless grovers.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you :D:D

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I am assuming you have the type with the press in bushes.

Find a bolt or punch that will fit in the hole snugly and drive out the old bushes from the back. Usually most bolt on tuners require a 10mm hole. The instructions with the tuners will confirm the correct size.

What I have done before for the same modification is to drill a 10mm hole thru a small 2" thick block with a drill press so the hole is straight and line up the hole in the block with the peghead hole and clamp it in place with a piece of scrap on the other side to stop tearout as the drill breaks through. Then you have a guide to run a 10mm drill bit thru to enlarge the hole.

You can use a hand drill to do this no problem.

Edited by Acousticraft
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You can use a hand drill to do this no problem.

Jeez, you're starting to become the king of suspect advice.

Listen, using a hand drill for this job is just not a good idea. Sure, it's possible to get it right, and using a thick guide block can work--at least if you're using a drill press or drill stand. But it really requires a lot more effort than it's worth, and the consequences can be pretty disastrous. All it takes is a millimeter or so and you ruin the guitar (at least the look of it). And remember, you have to do this SIX times. Really, the chances of screwing this up is pretty high. Is it worth it?

Telling someone to use a hand drill for this job is just asking for trouble. You have to take into account the person's level of experience--and if he's asking this question, then it's pretty clear that his experience is limited. And if he did have the experience, then he'd know the proper way to do this, using the proper tools.

The way I see it, your son has two options. One, he springs for a REAMER, which is the proper tool for the job, and uses that to open the holes. Or two, he buys a proper set of tuners. I'm pretty sure that Wilkinson is now making drop-in replacements for vintage-style tuners (and they have an EZ-Lok version too). Those aren't expensive at all.

I don't mean to come down that hard on you, Acousticraft. But lately some of the advice you're giving (at least to the newbies) just gets too extreme, when there are better alternatives.

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You can use a hand drill to do this no problem.

Jeez, you're starting to become the king of suspect advice.

Listen, using a hand drill for this job is just not a good idea. Sure, it's possible to get it right, and using a thick guide block can work--at least if you're using a drill press or drill stand. But it really requires a lot more effort than it's worth, and the consequences can be pretty disastrous. All it takes is a millimeter or so and you ruin the guitar (at least the look of it). And remember, you have to do this SIX times. Really, the chances of screwing this up is pretty high. Is it worth it?

Telling someone to use a hand drill for this job is just asking for trouble. You have to take into account the person's level of experience--and if he's asking this question, then it's pretty clear that his experience is limited. And if he did have the experience, then he'd know the proper way to do this, using the proper tools.

I used a DeWalt hand drill to enlarge the tuner holes to install Grover tuners on my 1974 Les Paul Custom.

A little scary but it worked out perfectly for all 6 tuners. Just take your time, have the drill bit turning at max speed and drill away. The drill bit should be 25/64"

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I used a DeWalt hand drill to enlarge the tuner holes to install Grover tuners on my 1974 Les Paul Custom.

A little scary but it worked out perfectly for all 6 tuners. Just take your time, have the drill bit turning at max speed and drill away. The drill bit should be 25/64"

Doesn't change the fact that it's the wrong tool for the job. Especially since the right tool exists, it doesn't cost all that much (certainly for a '74 Gibson), it's easy to use and the chances of screwing up the job are greatly reduced.

But I really think the OP's best option is to buy the proper tuners. Of course, he's not modifying a vintage Gibson, so it's not such a big deal.

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