View Full Version : Grover geared tuning machine installation

08-03-2012, 05:55 AM
I am using Grover geared tuning machines for my tenor ukuleles and I had a couple of questions for anyone who has experience installing them or similar tuners. I have a reamer and practiced on some scrap the drilling and reaming process and decided what diameter holes to drill in the peghead. My original plan was to drill a hole that was a bit smaller than the bushing for the tuner, use my reamer to make the hole so that the busing will just start to go into the hole, and then press the bushing in so that it fits tightly. After some more thought and looking online it looks like I have a couple of other options that might give me a better fit for the tuner post on the back of the peg head. One option is to start by drilling a 1/4" hole which is the diameter of the post and then reaming out the other side so that the bushing can be pressed in. Another option is to have the hole be stepped so that I start with a 1/4" hole and then use a peghead bushing reamer from stewmac shown here on their website http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/product/2062 that will end up making the 1/4" hole step to a lager diameter so that the 1/4" post has more support on the backside of the peghead. This process may require that I also use my regular reamer to make the bushing be able to pressed in. I am wondering how other uke builders have dealt with this issue. I know that the tension on a uke tuner post is not as high as it is for a guitar so it may not be a problem if the backside of the post is not supported by a 1/4" hole. I am reluctant to purchase one of the peghead reamers from stew mac because they are pretty expensive, I am not sure exactly which diameter to purchase, and I am not sure if they will work or are necessary. Also, I am wondering at what point in the building process everyone drills and reams the peghead. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

08-03-2012, 06:09 AM
Take look here http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Ukulele_tuners/Grover_Ukulele_Tuning_Machines.html?tab=Details

The Big Kahuna
08-03-2012, 06:12 AM

08-03-2012, 06:22 AM
I appreciate the links. I have looked at the info that stew mac has available. And I understand from their info and my trial and error on the scrap that I will need an 11/32" hole on the face side of the peghead but it does not answer the question as to whether I need to start with a 1/4" hole and ream it out to get a 11/32" hole on the face, or if I can just drill an 11/32" hole and ream it, or if I need to step the hole so that the post gets maximum support inside the hole. I am planning on using geared tuners rather than tuning pegs.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-03-2012, 06:46 AM
No need for a stepped hole. You've got a big metal plate plate on the back utilizing two screws to make sure everything is secure. Use the right sized drill bit for a snug fit and use the tiniest drop of Titebond on the bushing when installing it.

08-03-2012, 06:47 AM
If the head stock is 7/16 thick you can just drill a 11/32 hole. You do not have to ream the hole

08-03-2012, 06:57 AM
Thank you. This is very helpful and I appreciate the response. That is what I planned on doing originally before I guess that began over thinking the process. Wasn't sure the plate and screws would be enough but it sounds like this has not been a problem for you.

08-03-2012, 07:55 AM
Totally unnecessary to do all that work. Just drill 11/32 through and tap the bushing into the front side. The tuners don't need more support.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
08-03-2012, 10:37 AM
http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/product/2062 .

I bought one of those stewmac stepped peghead bushing reamer drill bits to install Waverly tuners as their bushings offer no room for error. They are pretty good but, if i remember correctly, I still fine tuned it by wrapping some sand paper around a normal drill bit to creep up on a good fit.

Other brands such as Gotoh have the bushings screw into the machine housing and are wide enough on top to offer protection against small chip outs after finishing. Even tiny chips with Waverly bushings show, but they do look good, but so would i if i was a $90 tuner :p

I tend to drill the holes after everything else is done. Once I forgot and started finishing a guitar without drilling them- not recommended but I saved the day without hassle.

In a nut shell, the product is handy but not essential.

08-03-2012, 10:54 AM
I drill 1/4" and use Stewmac's stepped reamer. Easy peasy.

08-03-2012, 03:58 PM
No need for a stepped hole. You've got a big metal plate plate on the back utilizing two screws to make sure everything is secure. Use the right sized drill bit for a snug fit and use the tiniest drop of Titebond on the bushing when installing it.

Mine only have one plate. Are mine fakes? Gosh I wish mine had plate plates.