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Thread: High Quality Friction Tuners to fit 7mm peg hole?

  1. #1

    Default High Quality Friction Tuners to fit 7mm peg hole?

    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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    Last edited by kissing; 02-11-2021 at 06:50 AM.

  2. #2
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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.
    Last edited by Mike $; 02-11-2021 at 07:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    I'm puzzled. Why would you use a tapered reamer for this job?

    John Colter

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    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.

  5. #5

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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

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

  6. #6

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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...r-metric.html?


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

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    I'm puzzled. Why would you use a tapered reamer for this job?

    John Colter
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike $ View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 02-11-2021 at 12:56 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    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...r-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.
    Last edited by Mike $; 02-11-2021 at 01:46 PM.

  9. #9

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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
    Thanks for all the help.

    I'll probably get a set of these 8mm Gotoh's
    https://luthiersupplies.com.au/gotoh...et-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.
    Last edited by kissing; 02-11-2021 at 03:56 PM.

  10. #10
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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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