Anything I should know about drilling for tuning machines? Tips?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by billiam5billion, Jan 4, 2014.


  1. billiam5billion

    billiam5billion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've got an allparts Jazz neck that I'm mounting on my shiny new warmoth body soon and I need to drill holes for the tuning machine mounting screws. The large holes are already in place but I want to know if there's anything special about getting them on straight.
  2. pfox14

    pfox14

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Definitely use masking tape on the drill bit to mark the depth. God forbid you drill through the peghead. That would be a disaster. I like to drill one hole and put that screw in before drilling the other holes. That way you can be sure you'll get the alignment right.
  3. stevetx19

    stevetx19 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, Texas
    yep - all that. I think this is what you meant, but I like to fully install each machine one at a time, and leave it on while I do the others to make sure they look the way I want.
  4. lbridenstine

    lbridenstine

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    MI
    I put the tuner in place and stick the screw in its place to make a little point in the wood where the hole needs to be drilled before drilling, which helps keep the bit from moving and marks exactly where the screw needs to go.

    Also, this is probably obvious, but use a bit that's the size of the inside part of the screw, not the threads.
  5. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    If they are Fender type it's easy. Just get a small carpenter's square (the triangle thingy.) The front edge of the tuners are 90 degrees from the top edge of the headstock. Place the square on the top of the headstock, butt it up against the tuners. Mark holes, drill, etc. I'd do it one at the time, starting with the tuner closest to you.
  6. billiam5billion

    billiam5billion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    This is precisely what I needed, thanks buddy!
  7. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    Try using an awl instead of the little screws. It's a lot easier.

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