I was ordering tuning machines for a couple of mandolins, thought I would use the Stewmac elite/golden age/whatever they're call these days, but one customer wanted gold plating and pearl buttons for F5. No go, they don't make them that way, so I ordered Gotoh deluxe, my old standby that I haven't used lately because that last couple of sets I got didn't work very well. Anyway, I've buffed the mandolin, finished the frets, and was starting to set it up. First step; install the tuners. I installed my usual thin metal "vintage style" bushings, dropped the tuners in place and was about to mark the screw hole positions with a punch when I realized the tuners weren't seated all the way against the back of the head stock. I pulled one of the tuners out to see what the obstruction was, and it turned out to be one plastic washer, two thin spring washers and a metal flat washer all stacked up between the tuner plate and the shoulder on each tuner post, and all too big to fit in the holes in the head stock!! What the heck is all that doing there?? Well, actually I know; it's to tighten up the slack so the tuners feel tighter to people when there is no string tension on them. Perhaps the maker was getting reports of people not liking the loose feel that the tuners used to have, the same feature that made them rather more tolerant of hole misalignment than some other tuners.
But anyway, at this point I have a mandolin on the bench, buffed out and ready to set up, and a set of tuners that won't go in the holes in the head stock because of someone's bright idea of a method to make them feel tighter. Yes, I know there are tools to counter bore/counter ream the hole, no I don't have one. Yes, I know I could have drilled the back of the peghead with a larger bit and still could at the peril of the finish, but I don't want to do that! I just want the tuners to fit the holes like all of them always have before this!
OK, I guess I'm done. There is just no end to the frustration associated with mandolin tuners, and where else might I find sympathetic ears (eyes?) for blowing off a little steam than here?