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Thread: tuner install

  1. #1
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    Default tuner install

    I have moved on to the neck, with my top glued to the rim, the veneer is on and holes drilled with the stew mac jig. My schallers went in like a dream. now I cannot remember what I did for the bushings. my friend uses a reamer, and I have one, but I know that is not what I did,and they will be a tapered hole and the bushings do not appear to be tapered. I think I just re-drilled it from the top, but again, can't remember if that was how I did it. thanks. I think stew mac has some kind of step drill jig but I don't think it will work with the jig
    Mike Marrs

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    The Stewmac reamers are expensive. I've found that I can use the right size drill bit and simply do it by hand without a drill or brace. It's slow but it works for me and I sure as heck wouldn't do it in production but it's not all that hard to simply wist that big a bit with your hand. YMMV.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: tuner install

    To drill a stepped hole without a stepped drill, drill the larger diameter, shallow hole first. Not the other way around. Then they will be more likely to be concentric, if using plain twist drills. Anyway, machine tool houses are a much more inexpensive source for step, piloted drills and most reamers. Not that I’m likely to do this particular job, but I would really try for accuracy to avoid excessive hand fitting.
    I was unpleasantly surprised once when setting up to ream violin and cello peg holes and saw the luthier supply prices! I guess it isn’t terribly important as a builder will never wear out some of these tools, or need whole sets, but still.

  4. #4
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    To drill a stepped hole without a stepped drill, drill the larger diameter, shallow hole first. Not the other way around. Then they will be more likely to be concentric, if using plain twist drills. Anyway, machine tool houses are a much more inexpensive source for step, piloted drills and most reamers. Not that I’m likely to do this particular job, but I would really try for accuracy to avoid excessive hand fitting.
    I was unpleasantly surprised once when setting up to ream violin and cello peg holes and saw the luthier supply prices! I guess it isn’t terribly important as a builder will never wear out some of these tools, or need whole sets, but still.
    I still wonder why you all want to drill stepped hole? I've always drilled full 8mm (or whatever diameter needed for given bushings) hole through the headstock in one step and never had any problems. I measure carefully on front of headstock, use awl to create starter holes for the spur drill bit that will not wander at all even without jig. Then I ream it a bit for given type of bushings and I'm done. I check the installation of bushing by dropping tuners in from the face of headstock, they should fall in free with no resistance.
    Stepped holes create potential problem when the tuner post binds in the smaller hole - either dirt accumulates and wood shrinks or the tuner is installed so the post get skewed and bind in the holes. I've had few with these problems on my workbench and relieving the smaller hole to larger diameter and plugging screw holes and careful installation worked.
    Adrian

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    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    The Stewmac reamers are expensive...
    ???????????

    My $600 Herdigm double bass reamer is expensive; the little Stew Mac mandolin sized ones are not.

    Some days I use the drill press and go all the way through.

    Some days I use reamers for a tapered hole.

    Some days I use the specialty stepped bushing cutters for a crisp stairstep look (only me and some future repair person 30 years from now ever see it!).

    They all get the job done. Attention to detail with all is critical. The one tool that I do find very helpful is the peghead drilling template- any slight deviation from freehand drilling for the four on a row tuning machine holes can result in stiffness and tuning problems.

    Post some photos for the visual nerds!
    Spruce dork

  7. #6

    Default Re: tuner install

    [QUOTE=HoGo;1756184]I still wonder why you all want to drill stepped hole? I've always drilled full 8mm (or whatever diameter needed for given bushings) hole through the headstock in one step and never had any problems.
    Of course, but some things in the craft world are a funny mixture of tradition, experiment and quality displayed through demonstrating craft skill, like, for example, immaculate finishes. Tuners, which seem to be fine regardless of detail, must be one of these obsessive areas. If anyone asked - and nobody will - I’d support the top of the posts directly from the plate, and forget all the variability in the wood, bushings, string tension. Maybe if I got a government contract for high-performance string tuners....

  8. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Tuner instalation is almost purely functional thing. Players don't want instruments with problematic tuners. The installation is simple enough so many folks tend not to pay enough attention to necessary details. Talking about tradition, Loars didn't have stepped holes just straight holes with bushings. I don't know where the nonsense with stepped holes came from.
    I'm not sure if self-supporting tuners would be feasible. The plates are not very stiff and tension of strings is large and combined with leverage would probably not hold well unless substantial triangle is added... All you need is two points where the post is supported against string tension - one in the hole in the plate and another at the top of bushing. The only requirement is that these support poins are well aligned and square to back of headstock/plate.
    Adrian

  9. #8
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    I use "backward" stepped holes a lot when I'm using the "vintage" bushings instead of stock bushings-- tuners like Rubner, Gotoh etc. have a stack of washers at the base of the post that won't fit in the smaller hole for the vintage bushings, so the hole needs to be larger on the back. For a standard mandolin setup I don't see a need for stepped holes.

  10. #9

    Default Re: tuner install

    Of course, those primitives a century and more ago, understood nothing about mechanics when they inletted the mechanism, reducing the ‘leverage’ by a great deal. Then, they had the Victorian prudery about exposed things, like nasty little screws and gears, and just put a flush cover plate over the unsightly ‘machines’. I only have 8 mandolins: one has bushings, three have inletted tuners, one has transverse (guitar-like) pegs.
    I only comment again on this subject since warning about reamers is needed. The instrument world uses a definition of 1:x, the machine world uses degrees, but note that sometimes, the measure refers to the half angle, not the total included angle. A lathe compound indicates one, not the other! At these small angles, tapers can be critical and very hard to measure if they relate to friction fits, like cello pegs.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: tuner install

    in answer to me step drilling, I have stew macs jig and it takes a a 1/4 in. bit , which gets me half way there. so until I devise another way or a jig that takes an 8 mm. bit, you see where I am at

  12. #11
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Ah, I use piloted counterbores to enlarge the entire 1/4" hole to whatever my target diameter is for the particular bushings. Stew-Mac sells those counterbores for various bushings. I can see not wanting to buy one, though.

  13. #12

    Default Re: tuner install

    Martian, without the $20 counterbore, and if you have brad point drills, you can fill the 1/4” hole with a dowel. Mark the center carefully, and drill into it. Wrap tape on the drill bit for depth. Then push the dowel back out and go to the next hole. Handheld should be fine. Careful about splintering.
    If you don’t have brad point drills, you can still do this if you make an accurate little pilot hole in the dowel, say 1/8”.
    If your peghead has significantly non-parallel faces, the small hole is perpendicular to the back, not the top, but the bushing flange should be nice and flush, so it may have to be drilled perpendicular to the top face. Tiny issue!

  14. #13
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Martian, without the $20 counterbore, and if you have brad point drills, you can fill the 1/4” hole with a dowel. Mark the center carefully, and drill into it. Wrap tape on the drill bit for depth. Then push the dowel back out and go to the next hole. Handheld should be fine. Careful about splintering.
    If you don’t have brad point drills, you can still do this if you make an accurate little pilot hole in the dowel, say 1/8”.
    If your peghead has significantly non-parallel faces, the small hole is perpendicular to the back, not the top, but the bushing flange should be nice and flush, so it may have to be drilled perpendicular to the top face. Tiny issue!
    You don't really need the jig. If you can draw nice clean pencil lines and stick an awl right into their intersection to create prick that will lead the brad point drill that is all you need. Make 8 nice awl pricks into headstock overlay and go to drill press, hold the headstock tight against the base (with a piece of flat wood) and slowly insert the point of the turning bit into the tiny hole and it will center the drill perfectly. Drill just shy of going through the backing veneer to prevent splits (but even if they chip away thay are small and completely covered by tuners plate).
    With the drilling jig you need to drill from back of headstock and make sure position of holes is in correct relation to your inlay.
    Adrian

  15. #14
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    I prefer to drill the holes perpendicular to the headstock as has been discussed here before, thus drilling with the StewMac jig on the face of the headstock. That way the bushings sit flat on the headstock. It works with all mandolin tuners or guitar tuners with press-fit bushings (like Waverlys). To each his own .

  16. #15
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    Default Re: tuner install

    You don't really need the jig. If you can draw nice clean pencil lines and stick an awl right into their intersection to create prick that will lead the brad point drill that is all you need. Make 8 nice awl pricks into headstock overlay and go to drill press, hold the headstock tight against the base (with a piece of flat wood) and slowly insert the point of the turning bit into the tiny hole and it will center the drill perfectly. Drill just shy of going through the backing veneer to prevent splits (but even if they chip away thay are small and completely covered by tuners plate).
    Yep, that is how I do it.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

  17. #16

    Default Re: tuner install

    I have a violin peg reamer that I use for this. I go slowly until I get to the point that that bushing goes in to about a mm or so proud of face of the peghead with moderate pressure. I mark that depth on the reamer with sharpie for easy repeatablility. I then tap the bushings in the rest of the way gently with a dowel and mallet. I probably would have bought the counterbore reamer for the job, but back when I was building my first few mandos, SM didn't have the correct size for the Grover 309s I was using.

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  19. #17
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    Default Re: tuner install

    I have been troubled for some time by fact that tuner holes can not be perpendicular to both the top and bottom surfaces of a tapered head stock. I know some of you drill perpendicular to the top surface so your bushings lie flat and then somehow, so do the base plates. Magic!!
    -Newtonamic

  20. #18
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Simonson View Post
    I have been troubled for some time by fact that tuner holes can not be perpendicular to both the top and bottom surfaces of a tapered head stock. I know some of you drill perpendicular to the top surface so your bushings lie flat and then somehow, so do the base plates. Magic!!
    I drill perpendicular to back of headstock (just lay the headstock onto drillpress, otherwise I would have to use some atapered piece of wood to counter the taper of headstock) but I always ream the holes on face (the fianl diameter of the hole is always some odd number) so the bushings will seat flat against the surface of headstock. Forgot to mention this. One of the reasons I drill squeare to back is that some types of bushings used to be long and quite tight so they had to be inserted square to back of headstock (older Schallers and Waverlies come to mind) and I never felt the need to change my habits as it just plainly works every time.
    If you do the stepped hole (which actually results in nonstepped hole for installation of tuners) you have to check whether the final diameter of the bottom of hole in wood and in bushing will allow the tuner installation without jammed posts if you drill square to face of tapered headstock. Slight misalignment of the two can cause problems.
    Adrian

  21. #19
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: tuner install

    Right, good point. I probably couldn't use my method (drilling perpendicular to the face) with stepped holes as the posts would bind at the back.

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