High Quality Friction Tuners to fit 7mm peg hole?

kissing

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I want to change the stock friction tuners on my ukulele. I've removed one of the existing ones and note that the peghole is about 7mm (maybe 6.9mm) in diameter.

However, when looking for quality friction pegs... the peg hole diameter requirement is either too small (eg: Waverley 5-6mm) or too wide (eg: Gotoh and Grover are all 8-10mm).

Is my ukulele quite obscure?

*Yes I know people are probably thinking that I should buy a violin peg reamer to widen the peghole. However, in order to buy one locally in Australia I have to pay over $100... or else order from China which will take ages and is not guaranteed quality. I am preferring to avoid using a reamer due to costs and risk of modifying*



I did find these Gotoh UKB's, which state that a 7.2-7.4mm peg hole is required. This is the closest match yet.
However, I am concerned that they are budget tuners which won't really be an improvement to what I currently have. In fact, I think my uke probably has these very tuners installed already, so there would be no point in buying them.
 

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Mike $

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You can find a nice T-handle tapered reamer 3.175mm-12,7mm at hardware stores near you for 25 Aus money or less. Here's something on Amazon, from Nidaye. It is similar to the ancient one I used to put the Gotoh planetary tuners in my T1K with no issues. Just ream little by little and check the fit often.
 
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John Colter

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I'm puzzled. Why would you use a tapered reamer for this job?

John Colter
 

kissing

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Thanks for the recommendation Mike! I'll go have a look at the hardware store.
I guess the price for simple tools skyrocket when it's marketed for something specific to instruments :D

Regarding tapered reamers, I think they're a requirement if you want to install Pegheds.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I'm puzzled. Why would you use a tapered reamer for this job?

John Colter

I used it because it was what I had. The taper didn't negatively affect the installation, it worked perfectly. You will notice that with tuners, a slightly larger hole works perfectly and a small hole doesn't work at all, since the tuner is held in place, not by the size of the hole, but by the tightness of the nut and a small piece of metal pin from the underside of the tuner. You have plenty of wiggle room if you ream from the underside.

That’s a logical answer and I think that I might be tempted to do similar too, if reaming from both sides. If you have a Pilar Drill then using that instead is, to my mind, the obvious answer. Hand drilling can be fine too but, and maybe this is just down to my skills, hand drills seem to have a habit of ‘wandering’ (the final hole doesn’t have its centre in the exactly same place as the original or pilot hole).

No doubt John has his reasons for asking. What didn’t come across in his response and what you’re unlikely to know is that John is an able amateur who has built and repaired many quality instruments. I’m wondering what route he would have taken with the same problem, it’s always good to learn from others. :eek:
 
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Mike $

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Would something like this do the job?
It conveniently reams to 7, 8, 10 and 12mm holes which is within spec for many friction (and even planetary geared) tuners out there
https://www.modelflight.com.au/great-planes-precision-prop-reamer-metric.html?


Much more affordable than the likes of these which are specific for instrument pegs..
https://luthiersupplies.com.au/violin-peg-hole-reamer

I am not an expert on this tool, but I imagine that the closer to your target diameter, the less chance for a mistake. If you can find something cheaper, I would go for that instead, but if you don't mind paying the price, it should do the trick. Just go little by little, just as much as all the parts fit. You can bring your uke with you and ask the salesman, they usually have great advice.

As for my reamer with a much larger taper, one thing to realize is that on a peghead that is only 1/2 inch (12.7mm) thick, the rear taper is about 1mm larger than the front taper. I hope that makes sense. If your peghead was 4 inches thick (100mm +/-) then the front taper would be 1/8 inches (3.17mm) and the rear would be much larger 1/2 inch or about 12.7mm.

I also agree that the price does go insanely up as you buy for one specific purpose when another tool can do the exact same thing. It makes me think about all the case humidifiers...a simple plastic box with holes and a small sponge will do the same thing. I think that's how they get those of us who are less experienced. Hopefully others will read and find that they can save lots of money and to double check for substitutes.

Good luck to you, I hope it works out well.
 
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kissing

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Thanks Mike.

I spoke to the sales team regarding the graded reamer that's around $33.
It seems like it will serve the purpose I am looking for.

i.e. It will enlarge holes to 7mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm from a smaller starting point.
Given that the friction tuners I am looking at often come in 8 and 10mm it should work.

Ideally I would go for the expensive instrument peg reamer that's $140+.... but that's a lot to spend on a tool which I'm not likely to use often.
In fact, I currently only have 1 ukulele with friction pegs and have no plans to get more. And I guess if I do get more ukes in the future with friction pegs, this cheaper tool for model planes would work nonetheless.

Let's see how I go :D
Thanks for all the help.

I'll probably get a set of these 8mm Gotoh's
https://luthiersupplies.com.au/gotoh-uka-4in-ukulele-tuners-set-of-4-nickel


Even with the less expensive reamer, I've spent about $120 AUD total to get a set of good friction tuners installed.
But I guess with any future installations I don't need to include the cost of the reamer.
 
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MJB

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Why do you have the third string wound toward the outside instead of toward the center of the headstock? I've seen this on first and fourth strings but never on second and third strings. All my ukes have all 4 strings wound wound toward the center as are most I've seen.
 

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WebParrot (s2)

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With regard to using a tapered reamer, I'll 'testify' to using one on 10+ occasions to enlarge headstock holes. I purchased mine for about $9 from Harbor Freight, choosing one with the least taper-angle. FWIW, just about any taper angle will work providing you are really really patient, and use the following technique.

Because headstocks are (relatively) thin using an alternating side to side approach protects you from ending up with a hole that is significantly narrower on one side than the other.

So I :
1-measure the diameter of the part that will eventually be inserted into the hole. You can use a set of calipers for a certain amount of precision, or an adjustable spanner ( an adjustable 'crescent' wrench). Transfer that measurement to the reamer, marking it with a pencil.
2-Place a piece of tape (painters tape, electrical tape) about a half-millimeter below the pencil line (i.e., to make a hole slightly smaller than what would be made to the pencil mark)
3-Slowly begin using the taper, making two or three rotations on the front side, then switching to the back side using the same number of rotations.
4- when you start getting close to the tape, try dry fitting the tuner.
5-Now limit rotations to one full turn for front then back. After each rotation, check the “fit” of the tuner.

You’ll find that once the tuner starts to just fit inside the hole, the fit near the center will be slightly snug. At this point I’ll take a few more gentle passes from the back of the headstock until the tuner slides snugly from the face.
 
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kissing

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Why do you have the third string wound toward the outside instead of toward the center of the headstock? I've seen this on first and fourth strings but never on second and third strings. All my ukes have all 4 strings wound wound toward the center as are most I've seen.

To be honest I hadn't given it much thought; other than having all the tuners turn clockwise to tighten.
 
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kissing

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To give an update!

The $33 reamer worked beautifully! Perfectly enlarged my 7mm holes into 8mm holes.
Installed the premium Gotoh tuners, which I think look beautiful (tune very smoothly too!).

High end friction tuners are a joy to use.

If I ever want to install Gotoh geared UPT's in the future, I can use this reamer to enlarge the holes to 10mm.
 

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