Trouble fitting tuner bushings into headstock

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by callmebono, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. I bought a Warmoth neck (off ebay) and have some Fender reverse vintage tuners I would like to install on it. The bushings for the tuners do not fit into the pre-drilled holes on the headstock. They are close - but I am guessing the headstock tuner holes are undersized by about 0.030 - 0.050" max in diameter (total guess).

    Whats the easiest and safest way to bore these holes out bigger given I do not have a drill press? And how much of a press-fit should the bushing be in there anyway? Do I need to bang them in with a rubber hammer?
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    DO NOT bang them in. Try some 100 grit paper wrapper around a marking pen or some other round object. Take a little off at a time. then go to a finer grit. You should be able to press them in with your fingers..t
  3. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    Do the tuners go into the holes at all? Or they just don't fit no matter what?

    My Warmoth neck is drilled for the vintage BML tuners (I used Schaller in this case). It is a really tight fit, but they do go in. I used a C clamp and slow pressure after fitting them slightly to the hole and they went right in, however, I couldn't push them all the way in by hand. Make sure to protect the neck with a cloth. And as previously stated, DO NOT TRY TO BANG THEM IN.
  4. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    I'd use a round file, or sandpaper on a dowel to ream the hole to where they are a press fit. Don't force them in or you will split the headstock.

  5. Hard to get a consistent turn with a round file. Tuner hole reamers from Stew Mac are great.

    Holes are tricky because you don't want to use glue if the hole is too big, they have to be tight but not too tight. I try to get about a quarter of the bushing in by hand and then I pound it in the rest of the way with a rubber mallet, always with the headstock FLAT on the table (like hold the neck off of the end of the table and lay the head flat)
  6. asnutter


    May 11, 2005
    Southwestern PA
    are the holes drilled clean through the headstock on the warmoth necks???
    reason i ask, i have seen allpart's necks routed leaving a "lip" on the bottom to help set the depth of the inserts...
    if that's the case, I have used a 1/2" sanding bit on my cordless drill and "CAREFULLY" widened the bushing holes while setting the end of the bit on the "lip"...
    if you do this slowly and continue to measure the amount you remove, you can do 4 holes in about 4 minutes...
  7. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    I wouldn't open the holes up at all. Just twist them in, and let the external threads bite into the hole. It'll be a very snug, tight fit, and secure as you can get. I wish my tuners went into my headstock tightly, cuz I hate the play in them. They wiggle.
  8. asnutter


    May 11, 2005
    Southwestern PA
    sometimes those bushings wont fit without hammering...
    i agree that if they could be twisted in by hand then leave the holes as is...

    it has been my experience, (albeit minimal), that forcing them into too tight a hole could open up, (no pun intended), other problems in the headstock, i.e., cracking...

    Just last night I opened up the holes, just enough to allow the bushings to "twist" in...

    By the way, what type of tuners are we speaking of???
    The schaller type will have play in them until settled in with the screws...