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Re-drilled Tuner Holes Too Noticable ?


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I'm building a strat for a guy and I had a little mishap with the tuner holes. Any ideas on how to cover up my "fix" ???

IMG_6191.jpg

1. I drilled the tuner holes a bit off center b/c I didn’t use a fence or a brad point bit. Original holes a bit crooked

2. I decided to plug the tuner holes and re-drill because only being off by 1/16" max, the mounting hardware should cover up any bit of the old plugged hole. Plugged and re-sanded

3. When marking for the new holes I realized that my string pull would not be exactly straight if I left the tuners in the same spots. So I figured that I would also correct the string pull issue and locate the tuners where they should have been in the first place. Yep, DIDN'T EVEN OCCUR TO ME THAT I WAS NOW PLACING THE TUNERS IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SPOTS and the mounting hardware would no longer cover up the plugs in the old holes. It's not pretty The worst of it

Right now the plan is to finish the neck natural and the body black.

Any ideas ?

- Inlay ?

- Maple vaneer on headstock ?

- Dark or burst finish on headstock ?

- Larger mounting washers ?

- Firewood ?

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First, I'd talk to the dude and see what he thinks. Even if you're able to hide it, he might not want it. A sunburst, solid color, or veneer all sound like liable options to me. Big washers would look dumb, and inlay around the posts wouldn't look right.

Firewood is never the right thing to do. There are too many folks like me who would be more than happy to have a neck with some flaws like that.

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veneer or painted headstock... i would go with veneer as the plugs may move differently to the surounding wood and become more noticeable over the years if you just cover them with paint

a maple veneer only needs to show up as a thin line around the edge of the headstock but i would be tempted by a black veneer depending on the look of the rest of the guitar

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veneer or painted headstock... i would go with veneer as the plugs may move differently to the surounding wood and become more noticeable over the years if you just cover them with paint

a maple veneer only needs to show up as a thin line around the edge of the headstock but i would be tempted by a black veneer depending on the look of the rest of the guitar

Thanks for the advice Wez !

I was leaning towards a matching maple veneer but I have two issues with that:

- How do I transition the maple into to scooped rosewood fretboard without having a noticable line where the rosewood stops on the headstock face ?

- I don't think my headstock face is quite dead flat so am I opening myself up for possible slight gaps around the edge ?

Before the neck carve but shows the transition to the headstock

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First, I'd talk to the dude and see what he thinks. Even if you're able to hide it, he might not want it. A sunburst, solid color, or veneer all sound like liable options to me. Big washers would look dumb, and inlay around the posts wouldn't look right.

Firewood is never the right thing to do. There are too many folks like me who would be more than happy to have a neck with some flaws like that.

Thanks John !

I'm kind of dreading talking to the guy because knowing him I think his answer is going to be, "it's okay, no problem", even if he really wants me to start over.

What about a 1/16" to 1/8" rosewood overlay just going around the tuner posts and maybe the rounded portion of the headstock as a "design addition" type thing ? I'm no Paint expert but something like this ?

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- How do I transition the maple into to scooped rosewood fretboard without having a noticable line where the rosewood stops on the headstock face ?

what i would do is veneer the whole front right up the curve to the edge just behind the nut, you dont need a thick headplate for this or you will have to bend it with heat... just a thin piece of veneer will bend fine as it is

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- How do I transition the maple into to scooped rosewood fretboard without having a noticable line where the rosewood stops on the headstock face ?

what i would do is veneer the whole front right up the curve to the edge just behind the nut, you dont need a thick headplate for this or you will have to bend it with heat... just a thin piece of veneer will bend fine as it is

Sounds like a solid idea. I'll see if I can dig up some maple veneer and cut a test piece to see how it looks.

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You might try two veneer layers, a black one, capped by a maple one. This gives you a wood layered look and the black would match the body. There are headplate size maple veneers available from LMI that are thin enough to bend over the headstock contour. They make them dyed black as well. It might give you a look similar to this idea:

hsvnr.th.jpg

I always like a fix that looks like you meant it to be that way :D .

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  • 1 month later...

Well the fix is coming along okay. I've got the two layers of veneer glued onto the back of the headstock, sanded them to shape, and redrilled the tuner holes.

The birdseye veneer is obviously a different shade than the birdseye the neck is made from but I think it looks pretty decent with the contrasting shades, especially with the walnut slab in between them.

6-Tunerholesredrilled.jpg

Any opinions ?

I think I'm going to have time to glue the walnut veneer on the face of the headstock tonight. I'm nervous to glue on the curved part of the headstock. Hopefully I can get good clamping pressure on that awkward position.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, the front didn't turn out as well as the back but it turned out okay I think.

IMG_6523.jpg

There's some weird green spots in the maple and a smallish crack near the nut on the bass side.

Now my tuners are too small !! The headstock is 11/16" thick now with the veneers. Can I make Sperzels work on this ? I saw that Sperzels should handle headstocks 11/16" thick but I'm not sure if I need to get all long shafts or some mediums from the staggered set. Any advice out there ?

Thanks,

Steve

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TK instruments-Sperzel info

This page has a lot of the Sperzel info you'll need. Used to be one of the few places to get those Tuners. Sperzel has its own site now and while it doesn't say you can buy through them, if you call you can. My buddy talked to Bob Sperzel himself and said it was cool to call for tuners.

Anyhow, it looks like .650 is the thickest headstock you can go with any Sperzel, which would be the non-staggered sets. The staggered sets require thinner headstocks, like .590 or so I believe.

So 11/16" is .6875" and you need .650", so you're close. How thick are the veneers top and bottom? You only need .0375 taken off, you should be able to get that much, even if both are thin you could try taking just a hair from each side. I dunno, worth a try. You need to make sure you get the 6 inline style but non staggered. The 3x3 style tuners will be too big for that style of headstock, but the 6 inline won't be and will work if non-staggered.

As for the crack, did it happen because of the curve right there? I had to figure a way around that problem on the back where I had a volute with an ever steeper curve. Made a home made bending pipe and it worked perfect, doesn't crack. I don't know about that green stuff, where did you get the wood? Was it like that before you did anything with it? I know there can be mineral stains or if left moist it can discolor or get fungus, I don't know. It doesn't seem extremely noticeable or anything. Looks loads better than it did. Nice work. J

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TK instruments-Sperzel info

This page has a lot of the Sperzel info you'll need. Used to be one of the few places to get those Tuners. Sperzel has its own site now and while it doesn't say you can buy through them, if you call you can. My buddy talked to Bob Sperzel himself and said it was cool to call for tuners.

Yep, I've spent some time going through this site. I see where it says that the max headstock thickness for 6-in-line is .590" (19/32") for the staggered set. But it makes it sound like the only reason this wouldn't work is because the 2 short posts would fall below the mounting nut. So can I use a 6-in-line staggered set and swap out the two short posts for two mediums ?

You need to make sure you get the 6 inline style but non staggered. The 3x3 style tuners will be too big for that style of headstock, but the 6 inline won't be and will work if non-staggered.

Exactly. Hopefully I can get a 6-in-line set that is non-staggered. I'm going to call Sperzel.

As for the crack, did it happen because of the curve right there? I had to figure a way around that problem on the back where I had a volute with an ever steeper curve. Made a home made bending pipe and it worked perfect, doesn't crack.

I made a curved clamping caul and since it wasn't dead on, I clamped some thick foam between the veneer and the caul. That worked great to push the veneer down to make good contact everywhere. The crack started in the excess veneer sticking out above the nut when the veneer started to dry out. The piece warped and the crack snuck down into the glued part. Maybe the foam kept me from getting enough clamping pressure to keep it from moving.

I don't know about that green stuff, where did you get the wood? Was it like that before you did anything with it? I know there can be mineral stains or if left moist it can discolor or get fungus, I don't know. It doesn't seem extremely noticeable or anything. Looks loads better than it did. Nice work. J

I got the wood from a guy on eBay. The front piece is from the same piece of veneer as the back piece. The back turned out okay after glue up with no green spots. The only difference between the two sides was that I misted the front veneers with water to bend them into the radius near the nut. I glued it up when it was still damp, maybe I should have waited until it dried.

BTW I just got off the phone with Roger from Sperzel and he said that Sperzel tuners in general (or at least the 6-in-line) sets have enough threads to mount on headstocks up to 3/4" thick. BUT the post lengths won't allow for headstocks that thick. He said that there is an "extra long" post that I can request that will clear the face of the headstock but he's afraid that it will be too long and I'll need to use string trees on all 6 strings to keep them seated in the nut. It would be nice (for me) if there was a post size in between this "extra long" one and the longest in the staggered set. Or maybe I should just make my damn headstock right the first time !!

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With the extra thickness only being a couple pieces of veneer, you might not have to recess them any further than the washer. With any luck, the recessing won't be that noticeable.

Good idea ! That was my first thought too. To stick with the tuners that I have (gotoh's) and recess just the washer. But I wanted to only recess the washer, no extra around the washer. I couldn't come up with a way to be sure that my forstner bit was centered on a hole that I already drilled.

Now after thinking about it a bit more I think I can get it worked out with a fence and my drill press.

If not.....I'll just add another layer of veneer :D ....or maybe not.

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Believe it or not, it's not that difficult. Put the tuning peg on as it is, then trace around the washer. Pick out a forstner the same diameter as the washer. Remember that it'll fall just inside the outline. Line it up on the drill press with it stopped, clamp the piece, re-check the alignment in case it wiggled - even 1/16" will throw it off - then drill the hole. Check the depth with the washer before you un-clamp it.

Honestly, it's a matter of eyeballing it with a SOLID point of reference and triple checking before drilling.

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