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fitting new gear tuners for 3/4 bass

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by basspost, Sep 26, 2013.


  1. basspost

    basspost

    Mar 4, 2009
    I just received new gear tuners for a Menzel bass that was missing all it's parts. The new tuners have tapered shafts that are slightly larger than the existing holes. I would appreciate advise on how to open up the existing holes. Can it be done with a common wood file or do I order a specific tool for this job? Thanks, James
     
  2. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    The tapered reamers required to accurately enlarge the tuner post holes aren't cheap. It might be best to find a luthier within driving distance to perform this operation for you. What may take minutes for him to do cleanly and accurately might take you hours to do with poorer results. Good luck!
     
  3. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Not saying you should necessarily do this on your "real" upright, but I used a stepped drill bit to enlarge the tuner holes on my NS WAV4 bass. I laid a couple layers of masking tape against the outside to help prevent chipping or damaging the finish, and moved with very light pressure. Worked a treat.

    Knowing that this is a "project" bass that you're trying not to spend a lot of money on, it might be an option.

    stepdrillbits.
     
  4. basspost

    basspost

    Mar 4, 2009
    Thanks for both replys. My last trip into a professional shop set me back $1400.00 for a new bridge and fingerboard shaping for my 1966 Kay so I'll have to do this refit myself. I talked to Mark on the phone. I only need to expand each hole by 1 mm and should be able to "find" that with CAUTIOUS filing. Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how it came out...James
     
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    You need to shop around...sounds like way too much. I got a new bridge and NEW fingerboard, nut, etc for a little less than that by one of the top shops in the midwest.
     
  6. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Jun 11, 2011
    NYC
    If it is one 1mm, sand paper should do the trick with much less chance of damage.
     
  7. basspost

    basspost

    Mar 4, 2009
    You're right, 1 mm should be easy to achieve. I've thought about creating a wood dowel taper on my lathe and gluing appropriate sand paper to it. The sanding would be achieved by rotating, not push pull, and the diameter, 14 mm, would be pre-marked on the sandpaper surface so I will know when to stop. Hmm, I think I like that idea a LOT...I'll keep you informed...
     
  8. basspost

    basspost

    Mar 4, 2009
    OK, job now completed! I did use a 10 mm dowel with 5 cm (2") of 120 grit sandpaper glued around one end. That just nicely fit into the existing holes. With a push-pull action, I worked in a circle as I sanded. I put just a tiny bit of "bias" outward to create a small bit of taper. Test often! The brass shaft slowly goes in further until you are done. Don't be afraid of this job. It's quite simple...Thanks for you comments...James
     
  9. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Great solution - glad it worked out!
     

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