My Chinese knock-off vintage Kluson is missing the string hole

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by grabby, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. grabby

    grabby Tele-Meister

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    I bought an inexpensive vintage Kluson set of machine heads from China on eBay a couple of years ago and they've been sitting in storage waiting for me to put onto one of the Telecasters I'm veeery slooooowly putting together.

    I went to install today and I realize that one of them has no string hole (the bottom one... it's not just turned sideways... there's no hole at all). I guess they missed that one when drilling. I know I should probably just replace the set, but I have them and the tools are right there. Finish aesthetics don't have to be perfect -- it's a pine-caster and it's already rough. It's intended to be a player not a looker.

    It looks like a 5/64" bit fits with slight twisting so that's about the right size. You think I can clamp it down somehow on the drill press and blast my own hole? Maybe drill a smaller pilot hole first? Or put it into a vice and use a dremel? I never have much luck drilling straight through round/cylinder object, but I might as well try. I have no idea how hard this metal is.

    Alternately, I guess I could slot it with a cut-off wheel. Relic.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Since they’re cheap Chinese junk, they’re probably made of pot metal, and should drill easily. Try punching a center divot with a punch, or find a really small drill bit to do the pilot hole with. If it’s not exactly centered it won’t matter. Once you’re finished and have them installed, they’ll work fine. Well, not fine. They’ll be difficult to turn, and won’t hold tune very well. Then one day one will break. Then you’ll realize why it’s foolish to buy cheap Chinese junk.
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Make a little v block of wood or clamp the shaft in a drill press vise. That may make things easier.
     
  4. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    And so why the knock offs are cheaper!

    You are on target with drill press clamp up, center punch, and drill. You will need to give a good debur of the edge to avoid it leading to a premature broken string


    Eric
     
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  5. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    You also want to get that size bit spinnin' like a raped ape. Fast! and a bit of oil.
     
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  6. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    Come on who cares about these little details. Just wrap the string around it!! :D:D:D No-one will see it
     
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  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    If it's intended to be a "player" then buy some better tuners. Throw those in the bin.
     
  8. urbandefault

    urbandefault Tele-Meister

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    Ooh, dude. I'd throw those away.

    If you have to buy cheap, Amazon has several options for under $20. I prefer to use real Kluson, but recently I've had good luck on budget builds with these: LINK

    Understand that the quality control is nil, so what you get is what you get.

    Personally, I'd step up and buy the real deal. Kluson quality under WD ownership is, in my experience, excellent and consistent.

    Find a WD dealer and ask for a discount off retail. ;)
     
  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wilkinson makes some good Kluson knock-offs. I'd get the split shaft versions.
     
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  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got a good set of those cheap knockoffs and a bad set that look identical. They all have their holes but one set turns stiff and the shaft grinds as it's turned. If they seem like a decent set of tuners id drill that one like you plan to. If they feel hokey I would bin them and get a new set. Classic vibe tuners are the best bet for cheap Klusons if you can find a set and the split shaft is way better than those side hole tuners and they are nickel.
     
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  11. Erdowonge

    Erdowonge Tele-Meister

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    lube them with vaseline if they are difficult to turn.Use a syringe from the chemist to apply if neccessary
     
  12. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    Confucius he say, he who buy cheap buy twice.
    *bows*
     
  13. bumnote

    bumnote Tele-Meister

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    Trash them.
    I needed some parts for a set of gold Klusons I have, so I bought the gold set of these...

    Dopro Chrome Split Shaft Vintage Guitar Tuning Keys Pegs Guitar Tuners Machine Heads for Strat Tele https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07563QQQ3/?tag=tdpri-20

    I didn't use the tuners, kept them as spares, it they're not bad...and less than $20.
     
  14. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Even if you did manage to drill the whole, I would likely argue that the drill would leave a rough enough surface, both on the inside of the hole and on the outside edge where the string makes contact, that would cause issues. I would just get something right.
     
  15. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

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    Axesrus’s own brand copies from the UK are amazing. Better than the Korean Klusons and as good as Fenders, just a touch tighter (which I prefer). I’m sure if you look around, there are some equally good equivalents in the states.
     
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  16. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Id punch the tuner with the shaft against some wood. Then Id mount the tuner to a scrap bit of wood (like you would on the neck) where the shaft hole is a tight fit. Clamp the wood on your drill press, drill a pilot hole and then drill the full hole. I would be tempted to just buy a set of wilkinsons though, cheap enough especially when it seems your spreading the cost of the build out over a couple of years.
     
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  17. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    That's genius, if Leo had thought of that he would have saved .001 per unit and it would be regarded as vintage correct.
     
  18. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wouldn't omit to buying something that cheap :lol: After buying some cheap tunnig pegs from Guitar Fetish I spend the $$$
     
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  19. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    File a small flat spot where you want to drill the hole, slow your drill down, a drill press would be best.
    I have had good luck with these, on my 5th set and only had problems with one tuner.
     
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  20. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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