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Tuning Machine Question


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My new tuning machines just came in the mail and I installed them and they are not a tight fit. I would say they are about 1/16 of an inch smaller in diameter than the hole.

Will these work as is... (after I tighten the nut and screw it in of course)??? Or will having them slightly "loose" in the headstock hole kill the sustain of the guitar.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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My new tuning machines just came in the mail and I installed them and they are not a tight fit. I would say they are about 1/16 of an inch smaller in diameter than the hole.

Will these work as is... (after I tighten the nut and screw it in of course)??? Or will having them slightly "loose" in the headstock hole kill the sustain of the guitar.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

the absolutly correct thing to do is fill the holes and redrill (with dowel)

but i would make some kind of sleeve to tighten up on the inside; im thinking like o rings or maybe an elastic, something to keep vibration or rattling from eventually loosening your stuff

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the absolutly correct thing to do is fill the holes and redrill (with dowel)

No, the correct thing to do would be to get the proper tuners to fit the guitar.

There are basically only two sizes of tuners --- 11/32" (vintage) and 13/32" (i.e. 10 mm) --sounds like you're putting vintage spec tuners in 10mm holes...hard to know with the little info you provide.

Did the original tuners fit properly or were they loose also? Have you measured them?

You can try a set of conversion bushings, but really first thing to make sure of is the size of your existing tuner holes. Then get the tuners to match.

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I like the tuning machines and neck that I have... so I would really like to use them... hopefully w/ out modifying the headstock!

I did some measuring... the tuner holes in the head stock are 10.5 MM (aaprox 0.412 in). All of the conversion bushings that I saw online are for use on 10 mm holes. If anyone knows where I could get some that are for use w/ tuner holes that measure 10.5 mm please post the link! BTW The string posts are 1/4"-diameter.

It would be greatly appreciated.

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The correct thing to do would be to calculate properly and do some little physics;

- First, if you do the maths, you'll notice that a 13/32" drill bit is actually 10.3mm.

- Second, you can't fit an object in a hole of the same size right? Drill holes are always a little bigger that the actual bit size. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to get the bit out of the hole.

Now, tuner manufacturers specs for tuner posts are 10mm or less. Planet Wave posts for example, are 9.52mm. There is a gap close to 1mm. Add the drilling tolerance and you're at exactly 10.4mm, like Kramers said. I got a few Sperzel here, and they are 9.80mm. The unfortunate thing, is that sellers like Stewmac recommend a 13/32" bit, which is slightly bigger. You have to be careful when using both metric and US specs. It's impossible not to have a gap with a 13/32" bit, unless the tuner posts are a little bigger that the manufacturer specs.

You can use plumbing tape around the posts to make sure it is tight. Plumbing tape doesn't have glue, so it's easy to remove and replace and doesn't leave a sticky mess when removed. Some people also use a little bit of silicone. Personnaly, I use a 25/64" bit, which is 9.9mm. Stewmac also sell a real 10mm bit, which is not a 13/32".

the absolutly correct thing to do is fill the holes and redrill (with dowel)

I think it's a little bit overkill to redrill for a 1/16" tolerance. Shimming the posts would be as good.

Edited by MescaBug
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You can use plumbing tape around the posts to make sure it is tight. Plumbing tape doesn't have glue, so it's easy to remove and replace and doesn't leave a sticky mess when removed. Some people also use a little bit of silicone. Personnaly, I use a 25/64" bit, which is 9.9mm. Stewmac also sell a real 10mm bit, which is not a 13/32".

the absolutly correct thing to do is fill the holes and redrill (with dowel)

I think it's a little bit overkill to redrill for a 1/16" tolerance. Shimming the posts would be as good.

I drill using a 25/64" bit and its a perfect fit for Sperzel, Grover and Steinberger. If you read the Grover instructions, they spec the tuner holes at 25/64". I'm pretty sure that's what Sperzel specs as well. Don't remember what Steinberger specs but its a perfect fit.

If your tuners fit a little lose, take a piece of paper that is the same width as your headstock thickness and cut in in full lengths. Take that piece of paper and curl it around so it fits in the tuner hole. Mark the length of paper you need to cover the inside of the tuner hole, take the piece of paper out and cut to length.

With the paper cut to length, put it back in the tuner hole and soak it with CA glue just a little bit at a time so it doesn't drip out of the tuner hole. Make sure the paper stays in contact with the wood while the CA dries. Be patient and make sure the paper absorbs the glue. Voila! You're done. This is the method I used recently to fix slightly large tuner holes.

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Ditto, previous posts. Sticker-type is easier to apply than paper with CA though :-D

25/64" bit? Man, i've only got one of these 6400/16384" bits. Will it work?! :D

Never thought of sticker paper... like envelope labels kinda thing? Good idea but not as permanent as the CA glue. Hell... you could even use both methods together.

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I also chose 25/64" as the hole size for sperzels, and that still gives a little slop, but it varies with each tuner. If I'd go down to the next smaller size, I'd end up with some Sperzels being too tight, but some others wouldn't.

I don't understand why some places like StewMac say to drill them so damn big. Maybe they figure you'll hide your money in there, before they raise their prices.

I once took factory tuners off a bass, and found holes 1/8" bigger than needed.

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