Does anyone make extra tall tuning machines?

no doz

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I'm doing some restoration work on an old Teisco style guitar from the 60s with a super thick headstock, and I'm having trouble trying to source replacement tuning machines.

I need machines with long enough posts to compensate for the extra thickness of the headstock. All of the machines I can find online from the obvious big brands are too short. Was hoping someone on here might be able to point me in the right direction

The stock machines have a post length of exactly 25mm from the baseplate to the center of the string hole. Here is a photo:

hEYvUGM.jpg


I need the replacements to be six-in-line. If you can miraculously point me towards something kluson-esque that has buttons I can replace with white plastic ones, you'll have my undying gratitude and i'll venmo you five bucks lol. Thanks in advance
 

no doz

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i'll take a look at those, thank you. this thing is like twice as thick as the stocks on all the fenders i have here it's so wild
 

jvin248

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If you get stuck ... use a fostner bit to drill at the diameter of the washer/trim ring/nut, that is on a standard tuner you can source easily, to drill down to the 'modern' headstock thickness. Just like countersinking a bolt head when building furniture. Then finish the sides of the holes so they blend into the headstock.

.
 

no doz

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Look at some of the vintage reproductions - some of them have pretty long shafts. I looked at a couple at StewMac but they were three on a plate

thanks! i'll check out some vintage repros tmrw. i actually have a pair of those plated stewmac tuners here right now, i'll pop one through the headstock and see if they have enough height. if so i'll see if SM has anything comparable sans plate

If you get stuck ... use a fostner bit to drill at the diameter of the washer/trim ring/nut, that is on a standard tuner you can source easily, to drill down to the 'modern' headstock thickness. Just like countersinking a bolt head when building furniture. Then finish the sides of the holes so they blend into the headstock.

The headstock and neck are painted / aged in a way that I'll never match so construction is my last resort for now, but this is good advice and I'll keep it in mind if I get stuck. I was also mulling over trying to disassemble the original tuners and frankensteining those old tall posts onto some new / functional plates. Not sure it's possible but who knows. For now the hunt continues, thanks!
 

Peegoo

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About 10 years ago a pal wanted his first guitar to be made playable again; it was an ancient Japanese no-name from the late 60s with the fat headstock and cheepo tuners. He wanted it kept as close as possible to stock in appearance.

Like you, I came up bupkis on finding decent-quality tuners that were long enough. What I ended up doing was Frankensteining a set of tuners using the string posts from a set of cheap classical-style tuners like this:

616GREceu5L._AC_SY550_.jpg


I bought the tuners in from a shop rather than online, because I needed to measure the length and diameter of the posts with a caliper. They had an aisle with replacement parts and they had several types of classicals. Most styles have white ABS sleeves on the string posts, but some are bare steel with 1/4" or 6mm diameter posts. You have to do a lot of homework to make something like this work.

If you're not concerned about modifying the guitar, a simple way to install top-line tuners on a thick headstock is to rout a rabbet on the back to thin out the portion where the tuners go. Looks totally stock from the front, but it requires a refin or a spot refin. This is the idea:

Thick-Headstock-Modern-Tuners.jpg
 

etype

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If you get stuck ... use a fostner bit to drill at the diameter of the washer/trim ring/nut, that is on a standard tuner you can source easily, to drill down to the 'modern' headstock thickness. Just like countersinking a bolt head when building furniture. Then finish the sides of the holes so they blend into the headstock.
.

I'd use a drill press for this as the existing hole would mean there is no wood at the center for the forstner bit to grip. I'd be worried about wander if you tried to hand hold the drill.
 

Peegoo

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I'd use a drill press for this as the existing hole would mean there is no wood at the center for the forstner bit to grip. I'd be worried about wander if you tried to hand hold the drill.

You can do it with a hand drill if you make a drill guide.

Use a small 3" x 3" piece if 1/4" thick ply or other panel material like Masonite. Use the same Forstner bit to make the guide that you'll use to drill your counterbores.

Drill a through-hole in the center of the guide plate. Next, center the guide's hole over the smaller hole in the headstock and clamp it in place. With the guide clamped, drill the hole. The guide gets the cutter started and holds in perfectly centered on the existing hole.

You can do the same thing for larger holes using a hole saw to make the guide and drill the larger hole.
 

no doz

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i appreciate all the help, thank you everybody! gonna look into all this, if i strike out on something modern and whiff on something similar to peegoo's frankenstein method, i might surrender and try to hunt down some vintage ones that are in good shape. 4 of the 6 i have now are fine, would just need to replace 2.

just some new pots and a tuner install left to go and this beauty will be back in action :cool:

et49Tc2.jpg
 

toomanyteles

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@no doz Any updates on the teisco? I'm currently planning on a similar project to make an old Kawai Saturn hollowbody playable. Its current tuning machines are terrible and it has the same thick headstock issue.

What did you end up doing with your tuners?
 

no doz

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i wasn't able to find modern production tuners that were tall enough and i wanted to avoid making any irreversible modifications to the guitar, so i opted to just purchase some vintage replacements. i lucked out and found someone local who was selling completely identical tuners, so i cherrypicked the best six of the twelve and used those in the headstock. really funny that this thread just popped up, i'm actually cutting a new nut for that guitar this week. i'll post up some finished pics and maybe a clip or two when i'm done

best of luck with your project, those saturns look cool! is yours the model that has the classical style six on a plate tuners?
 




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