Reaming Tuner Holes

I had purchased a 25/64th drill bit to enlarge the tuner holes on the headstock to the perfect size, but I felt very nervous about drilling. What if I wasn’t lined up properly?  What if I took a big chunk of wood out of the headstock?  What if the tuners still didn’t work?

Thanks in part to a comment on my last post, I went to one of my local guitar shops and, after explaining my situation, they suggested using their reamers. They had two sizes, so I started with the small one and then went to the larger one.

I’ve used a reamer before, and this just confirmed how easy it is…especially for existing tuning machine holes. I went very slowly and continually checked the size against the tuners and the tuner bolt. I reamed the top and bottom and then based on Dan Erlewine’s book, used a round file to flatten out the center of the hole (since reaming the top and bottom leaves a little hump in the middle).

I didn’t take any pictures, but I then used the cardboard template and a tuner nut to drill the tuner post holes (this post prevents the tuner from twisting).

I didn’t do as good a job on this when I installed the same style of Sperzel locking tuners on Wolverine. This time they lined up very well and the tuning machines went right into place!

More pictures to come!

EC Project Guitar paused

I’m so close, yet so far from being done. Everything is wired up. I just have to do the permanent modifications to the guitar and I’m afraid.  I need to drill out the tuning machine holes to fit the locking tuners and drill new guide holes for the pickgaurd screws.  Then set it up and it is done (assuming nothing is wrong with the wiring or anything else I’ve done).

I have to admit that I just need to do it, but I need to build up the confidence to starts drilling. I’d rather take a few hours measuring and checking and measuring again. Double checking my plan. And then start drilling. I could do all of it in about 20 minutes, but I want to be calm and not feel rushed.

How do anyone out there in the interwebs approach mods?  Is it a slam it out and be done approach or a patient one?


An old acquaintance has a great blog about all the music he is listening too (and he listens to a lot of stuff from a wide spectrum of styles).  A recent post is the following song by Crooked Fingers.

I love it. It just grabs my attention in such a subtle and monotonous way. I can’t really describe it any other way.

Shielding EC project

One of the goals of this project is to make this guitar quiet (minimize traditional single coil hum). The hum cannot be eliminated with single coils, but it can be minimized. The gold anodized metal pickgaurd is helpful, but as far as I can tell the gold anodizing (is that a word?) material is an insulator. So I scrapped a bit of it off anodized stuff around a tone pot mount and it is working great… I think. I tested it with my ohm meter and resistance is good.

(I’m not that knowledgeable about electronics so I either made a very funny joke or a very bad joke showing how much of an idiot I am. If someone would leave a comment telling me if I’m right or wrong, that would be great).

The next step was to take some copper tape I got at my local guitar shop for what felt like a very high price and shield the pick up cavity on the body. Here’s the cavity before the copper tape.

This was a bit time consuming, but I think I did a good job.I wasn’t sure if the glue was conductive or if I needed to make sure the front side of the tape was bent back so everything overlapped. I will worn people that this can tear up the skin on your fingers.  The wood/particle board cavity was not smooth and the metal is rough as you press it into all the corners. But it could just be that I have very soft skin since I really just spend the day typing at work and don’t do a lot of hard work that would toughen up my hands.

Anyway, I got all the shielding in. I tested it with my ohm meter and it seems to be one continuous circuit.

I then brought the ground wire from the bridge grounding wire (soldered to the spring claw on the back) and screwed it into the body so it grounded with the copper tape in the body cavity.

I then tested the copper tape in the body cavity with my ohm meter and again, resistance was low.

Captain America isn’t the only one with a shield now…

Wiring EC Pickgaurd

I guess I need to remind people that this “EC” strat project has nothing to do with Eric Clapton and everything to do with my friend EC.

Uh oh, there goes half my search engine traffic.

I started assembling and wiring the pickgaurd and all the stuff that goes on it. I decided to follow the shielding and wiring recommendations found at As you can see, I got started by wiring it up as follows.

Then I kept going, looking carefully at the examples and instructions. It isn’t perfect, nor is it pretty, but I feel confident that it should work…may work.  We’ll see.

EC Strat Project continues

I’ve been working on a series of posts (not about this project), but I’m not finished yet. So until I finish that, I give you this:

All the gold parts for EC’s strat project. The Sperzel locking tuners (graduated heights, so no string trees!) haven’t arrived yet. And I still need to get a self-lubricating graphtech TUSQ nut from my local guitar shop to replace the original plastic one. I’m also thinking about lining the body cavity with copper tape to decrease the natural 60 cycle hum single coils suffer from.  But assembly has begun.

Of course I’ve run into my first snag. The Fender gold anodized metal pick guard doesn’t quite fit the bottom of the neck. That pushes everything else out, so it won’t fit in the appropriate parts of the body cavity.  I think I need to grind down the edges a bit so the pick guard will fit around the base of the neck.  I’ll do some online research before grinding or cutting anything, but I’m curious if anyone out there has any ideas, suggestions, or similar experiences.