Following on from the superglue method of building up tuner holes to fit press in bushes, here is another method that works for both press in bushes for vintage style tuners and any modern tuners.
Tools that you need: ruler, heavy duty scissors, pencil and an aluminium can. The tin snips (centre) are total overkill and I ended up doing the whole job with the scissors!
The intent here is to make sleeves from the can to wrap around the bush or base of a tuner.
Captain Obvious Disclaimer: take care when using sharp things and cutting metal!
First it’s a good idea to rinse the can with soapy water and allow to dry to get rid of any residue of the original contents so the metal is not sticky. Carefully cut the top and bottom from the can and then split the resulting tube in half vertically. You want to make the sleeves following the curve of the tube.
Measure the tuner hole diameter and multiply by 3.14 to get the circumference. Cut the sleeve a little longer than the circumference to allow it to overlap itself. The holes in this neck are 11mm (circumference 34.54mm) so I made the sleeve 37mm long for the bush. The sleeve should be just a little wider than the height of the splines on the bush. Use a bush as close to the diameter of the hole as possible – I’m using 10.7mm reducers. This isn’t rocket science – we’re going to wrap the sleeve around the bush and press into the hole. It helps to first wrap the sleeve around a pencil to “tighten” it a little to retain shape.
Depending on the size difference between the hole and the bush you may need to make the sleeve longer so there is more overlap – more overlap = increased circumference = tighter fit. This one was perfect first time with a tight fit requiring strong finger pressure to install.
The vast majority of modern tuners have a base of 10mm. If they are fixed to the headstock with a screw on the back and a screw in bush on the front, the size of the tuner holes should not really be an issue – they are firmly held in place on two planes and as long as the mount holes are carefully marked and everything is screwed down tight should not move under string tension.
However, if you feel that a tight seat in the hole is required the same method can be used to make a sleeve for the base of modern tuners. The only difference is that you should cut the sleeve a bit longer as you will probably need more overlap/wraps to fill the gap between the wood and the base of the tuner shaft. In the photos below I also cut the sleeve wider so it would show from the top with the tuner in place for illustration.
Same result – a tuner with a tight fit that won’t move under string tension.
I personally prefer this method to the superglue method – it’s quicker (no waiting for glue to set), does not modify the neck in any way and can be removed leaving no evidence, there is no need for a reamer (although imo everyone should have a reamer in their toolkit) and there is considerably less chance of sticking your fingers together!
So have a soda or beer (dealer’s choice) and grab a bargain on one of the necks in Clearance Corner!
Enjoy the weekend!