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!

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2 thoughts on “Reaming Tuner Holes

    • Thanks again for the advice! I’m happy with the results and hope my friend is too. I may get a set of drill bits someday (my current set only goes up to 1/4 inch), but for now I like the reamer and round file approach. Especially when I can borrow one!

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