PDA

View Full Version : Fluke with open geared Grover tuners (selfmade)



dirk.li
02-07-2010, 10:31 PM
Specs:
Grover GR8N Ukulele Tuners, Guitar Machine Heads for Ukulele, Set: 2 right/2 left, open, ratio 14:1, 8.4 mm, nickel-plated.

9779 9778

Well, I really prefer geared tuners over straight ones. So I modified my Fluke in a 3-hours session, equipping it with Grover open geared tuners. It took me so long since I had to use a round file to widen the holes for the tuner sleeves to fit into. And I was very careful since I had no prior experience and didn't want to damage the uke. I also had to file off the sides of the tuners a little so that they would fit next to each other. (This removes the nickel coating, so I have no idea if this is going to rust or not. But it's just a tiny thing, really.) Filing off the tuners on the opposing sites (see photos!) was pretty easy, since the metal is really soft. At last I predrilled the holes for the tiny screws with a Dremel mini power drill. I guess predrilling is advisable since otherwise the wood of the headstock may crack if you just force the screws inside. But don't drill to deep, otherwise the screws will find no grip. :-)

I ordered the Grover tuners from thomann (for EUR 15,- pretty cheap, too): http://www.thomann.de/gb/grover_gr8n_ukulele_mechaniken.htm

Last thing to mention is, that these metal tuners make the headstock a bit heavier. You'll notice it at first while playing, but after a short time I got used to it.

That's about it. What do you think?

experimentjon
02-07-2010, 10:56 PM
Good job! Looks like a very elegant install. And i dont think it takes anything away from the simplicity of the fluke. However, I haven't had any problem with my Fluke geared tuners, since it seems to stay in tune very well, and rarely needs touching. But if you find yourself tuing often, then I'm sure the mod was definitely worth the time. :)

ukeninam
02-07-2010, 11:01 PM
looks like the three hours were worth it. Looks good...as long as it feels better for you then good on ya!!

luvdat
02-07-2010, 11:01 PM
Dirk, I like your location description.

Congrats on making it your own and most of all on being satisfied. Now go out and play in that "empty parking lot!"

Moondoggie
02-08-2010, 01:24 AM
That looks pretty sweet there, Dirk, though part of it's prob'ly do to the monkey :)

As for the sides of the tuners that you had to file off, maybe if you took them off and put a little clear nail polish (or some other form of brushable coating) on the filed spots, it would help delay anything that might happen from filing down to the bare metal. Since they're so close together, you probably wouldn't have to worry about a tough finish that won't wear out. Unless you've got some major OCD and are constantly cleaning out every nook and cranny every couple of hours :)

dkcrown
02-08-2010, 01:59 AM
Nice job on the install Dirk. Just curious. Did you consider upgrading your fluke with the available peghead tuners? It probably would have been an easier installation and also wouldn't have added any weight to the headstock.

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 03:11 AM
Nice job on the install Dirk. Just curious. Did you consider upgrading your fluke with the available peghead tuners? It probably would have been an easier installation and also wouldn't have added any weight to the headstock.

Thank you!
Yes, I did consider the pegheads. Actually before I bought this fluke (from "Southern Ukulele Store" on Ebay UK, because I couldn't find this one in Germany at all) I had already tried to find a reseller in Europe who sells flukes with peghead tuners - negative! Then I thought about importing some peghead tuners from the US (from fleamarketmusic) but decided against it, since I read on the fleamarketmusic site about the installation procedure of the pegheads and it seemed to me at least equally cumbersome. What is more, the peghead tuners are quite expensive, especially for me who has to pay for shipping PLUS 19% import tax!

Then I decided for the Grover open geared tuners, because they are cheap (about 20$ the set), I like the vintage look of them and they make this fluke really unique, too. ;)

beeejums
02-08-2010, 03:23 AM
I *knew* there had to be a cheaper way to do this than the PegHead tuners... I'm going to have to do this! Good job!

EDIT: Here they are at Stewart MacDonald, for 'Mericans: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Grover_Ukulele_Tuning_Machines.html?tab=Details#de tails

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 03:27 AM
That looks pretty sweet there, Dirk, though part of it's prob'ly do to the monkey :)

As for the sides of the tuners that you had to file off, maybe if you took them off and put a little clear nail polish (or some other form of brushable coating) on the filed spots, it would help delay anything that might happen from filing down to the bare metal. Since they're so close together, you probably wouldn't have to worry about a tough finish that won't wear out. Unless you've got some major OCD and are constantly cleaning out every nook and cranny every couple of hours :)

Hey Brian, thanks for the tip! Unfortunately I don't have any clear nail polish left in the house since my ex-gf took off. I have to admit that I looked up "OCD" on Wikipedia, and no, I'm really thankful not to suffer from any form of obsessive–compulsive personality disorder. *lol* That would really suck... apply nail polish - remove nail polish - apply nail polish - remove nail polish... and so on. Hmm... the only one who would profit from that would be the nail polish manufacturing industry! Well... gotta go now, find me some new gf who uses clear nail polish! (Sure, I could just buy some nail polish myself, but it's less fun!) ;)

Plainsong
02-08-2010, 03:34 AM
Hey, why not? You can haz slotted headstock! :)

Yeah, the Fluke/Flea selection is kinda less here in general. Thomann has also been good to me over the years.

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 03:36 AM
Dirk, I like your location description.

Congrats on making it your own and most of all on being satisfied. Now go out and play in that "empty parking lot!"

Thanks! I'm glad you like my location description. :)
The problem with empty parking lots around here is, that your first reaction is usually joy upon finding one (not that easy, especially in the evening!) which is followed by the disenchanting realization that this very parking lot is at least 3 miles away from your home and that it's freezing cold outside...

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 03:44 AM
I *knew* there had to be a cheaper way to do this than the PegHead tuners... I'm going to have to do this! Good job!

EDIT: Here they are at Stewart MacDonald, for 'Mericans: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Grover_Ukulele_Tuning_Machines.html?tab=Details#de tails

Thanks! If you do, please take some pics, too! I have also considered using Sperzel tuners (which are really cool) but they are equally expensive as the pegheads.

jinny
02-08-2010, 04:07 AM
that mod is exactly what i was planning to do with my fluke. i already have all the parts... got mine from stewmac too. got the plastic heads thinking they would be a little lighter than the all metal ones. i got a bunch a while back to swap out in other ukes too and dont know how much they are now, but the plastic heads were a little over 10 bux... cheap! I swapped out the friction tuners on some of my other less played ukes, so i got the practicing done... now I've just been waiting to get some time to do the modification on my Fluke. Unfortunately, someone nicked (stole) my Fluke while it was resting in my baby's under stroller basket while i was in the bathroom changing the baby's diaper. that's all they took... they had dig under some jackets to get it too... i'm still upset about it, but maybe it is an opportunity for me to get a concert flea to replace it... and then mod it. I like the classic-y headstock look and the turning the tuners all in the same direction thing. glad to see someone else did it and got it done so nicely first. makes me even more determined now. just have to wait to afford a flea.

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 04:22 AM
that mod is exactly what i was planning to do with my fluke. i already have all the parts... got mine from stewmac too. got the plastic heads thinking they would be a little lighter than the all metal ones. i got a bunch a while back to swap out in other ukes too and dont know how much they are now, but the plastic heads were a little over 10 bux... cheap! I swapped out the friction tuners on some of my other less played ukes, so i got the practicing done... now I've just been waiting to get some time to do the modification on my Fluke. Unfortunately, someone nicked (stole) my Fluke while it was resting in my baby's under stroller basket while i was in the bathroom changing the baby's diaper. that's all they took... they had dig under some jackets to get it too... i'm still upset about it, but maybe it is an opportunity for me to get a concert flea to replace it... and then mod it. I like the classic-y headstock look and the turning the tuners all in the same direction thing. glad to see someone else did it and got it done so nicely first. makes me even more determined now. just have to wait to afford a flea.

Dang, I'm sorry to hear about your fluke having been stolen in broad daylight, bro! Good luck with the uke modding. Please post a pic when it's done!

csibona
02-08-2010, 05:00 AM
What a brilliant modification to the fluke.

gobes
02-08-2010, 06:42 AM
That is really cool. I might have to work up the nerve to try that.

dirk.li
02-08-2010, 08:20 AM
That is really cool. I might have to work up the nerve to try that.

The procedure is actually less nerve-wracking than you probably think. It just took me so long since I didn't have the proper tools for the job. (Like a drill with the right diameter for the tuner sleeves. So I used a file which took long!)
But then again I love my Fluke, so it felt really good to personalize it. ;)

gobes
03-17-2010, 12:26 PM
Any regrets about changing the tuners? I've purchased some tuners to put on my fluke. My only concern is that they are heavier and will change the balance too much. I'm also concerned about messing up my fluke but if I go slowly I should be ok.

SailingUke
03-17-2010, 12:38 PM
I like the look and you did a great job.

dirk.li
03-17-2010, 01:49 PM
Any regrets about changing the tuners? I've purchased some tuners to put on my fluke. My only concern is that they are heavier and will change the balance too much. I'm also concerned about messing up my fluke but if I go slowly I should be ok.

No regrets yet. I got used to the heavier headstock in no time. I would have used the versions with the plastic knob, but I couldn't find them here. I guess, they're a little lighter.

dirk.li
03-17-2010, 01:50 PM
I like the look and you did a great job.

Thank you very much!

harpdog
03-17-2010, 02:25 PM
You are my hero. I thought long ago that this was the best scenario - not only
do you get the functionality of geared tuners, but it returns somewhat to the traditional
backswept tuner look of the ukulele. I suggested this long ago but was not taken up on it.
Kudos, it looks great and I'm inspired.

Keithmj
12-07-2012, 08:23 AM
Did you ever do this yet? Those on the site that you posted are for the short shaft, which might not be long enough? As far as I figured out you'll need the long shaft tuners which I ordered and will post as to what I used. I ordered mine from Pohaku's website..Cheers.

dirk.li
12-09-2012, 12:09 PM
Did you ever do this yet? Those on the site that you posted are for the short shaft, which might not be long enough? As far as I figured out you'll need the long shaft tuners which I ordered and will post as to what I used. I ordered mine from Pohaku's website..Cheers.

Sure I did this. :-) I posted my photos at the top of this thread. No need for especially long tuners - the "normal ones" work fine! I've been playing this uke ever since and the mod works very well!

dirk.li
12-09-2012, 12:16 PM
You can see this uke in action in my latest video ( recorded this summer (2012) ). So I've been playing this uke with the mod for 2 years now and it's still perfect! :-)


http://youtu.be/3VmjR86L-wM

TheCraftedCow
12-09-2012, 08:09 PM
I am an authorized PEGHED distributor. It is unfortunate that it costs $16.95 to send them to Europe.. If you don't pay in USdollar, PayPal whacks you with another 4% fee for currency exchange fees. There is an authorised distributor in France. They are quite limited in what they carry. There is no lighter geared tuner at 60 grams for a set of four, but life is a matter of trade offs. What you have done is very classy looking. Now it looks more like a ukulele that an open wheeled race car with a trailer. PEGHEDS would have made it look like a race car with the slotted headstock. A heavier headstock does drop it into the web of the hand. Some people actually prefer the weight. (I put a set of SGH318 Gotoh 16:1 minituners on my Martin Backpacker. They weigher more than the rest of the uke!) Yes, it now has the Flea/Fluke short tuners on it now for much better balance. You have done yourself proud, and given others an alternative to the stock tuners or PEGHEDS.
Thank you for your addition of how to change gears in a Flea or a Fluke.