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unforseen tuning peg problem


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Okay, so I just picked up a Hipshot GT-2 (aka Guitar Extender, Drop D tuner) that I had ordered about two weeks ago. I came home to try and assemble it, and made a very disturbing discovery.


The tuning peg hole on my Epiphone Special's head is too small...the GT-2 won't fit in.


I'm not really sure why I'm posting this; I'm just planning on calling the same two repair places I called last time I had a problem to see what they say about possibly widening the hole.


But I would appreciate any advice if someone has run into something like this before, and there's some alternative I'm not thinking of, or some relevant info I don't know.

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You're on the right track. Call in the repair guys either to do it themselves or to give you the scoop on what pitfalls to watch out for doing it yourself.


Gibson is all about vibe first, logic... well logic is WAY down on their list of importance when building an instrument. :D


For this reason, they continue to use "vintage" style tuners that... well, they suck. I'm not sure if they've done this to you on your Epi, but the fact is you will have to widen the hole to make the switch, so dive in! :thu:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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I ran into a similar problem with a MIM Strat which I upgraded to have Sperzel locking tuners. The Sperzels needed a slighly wider hole. If you or a friend have a drill press, here's how to proceed in DIY mode. It will require you and a helper:


1. Use a caliper or micrometer to check the outside diameter of the new tuner and find a drill bit of that same exact size - NOT LARGER. Buy a new bit if you have to.


2. Places masking tape over each side of the hole to be drilled (this prevent the lacquer finish from chipping) and first manually spin the drill to make a slight cut ON EACH SIDE of the hole. This will prevent chipping and also get the hole started to allow easier drilling with the drill press in Step 5 below.


3. Place a flat board on the drill press ( a piece of 2x4) to use as an under board during drilling). This will prevent spintering on the exit hole when drilling in Step 5.


4. Gerry rig a fixture to support the guitar body in a position so that the head of the guitar will lie flat on the drill board in 3. above when being drilled (you want to drill a clean and perpendicular hole ). I used a camera tripod with a piece of wood taped to it and covered it with a towel to protect the guitar body. Your helper is in charge of keeping the guitar body on this fixture when drilling begins.


5. Set the drill press drilling speed to its slowest speed to that it doesn't grab and twist the guitar, move the head of the guitar to align the hole to be drilled with the bit, and slowly and carefully drill the hole.


I was very nervous when I did this process but it worked out without a hitch and unlike you, I had to drill all 6 holes. Fortunately, no failures.


If you elect to go to a guitar tech instead, ask him how he is going to enlarge the hole. If he tells you he is going to use a hand drill or a rattail file, go to another tech. A drill press is the correct tool for this process as it ensures a clean, square hole. The reason I did this myself is the "tech" I talked to said he would simply use a hand drill.

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I start the enlarging process by using a tapered reamer; then finish with a bit the correct size. By reaming the hole slightly oversize, just enough to let the bit start about 1/8" deep, you greatly reduce the risk of splintering. I will also typically use a hand bit, ie, a bit mounted in a tap handle, rather than either the drill press or powered hand drill.


Another successful method is to "step" up to the diameter...using successively larger bits until you reach the final size. This can usually be accomplished using the reamer method and a hand drill with little risk of splintering.


You are more likely to split mahogany than maple. But who knows what kind of junk wood is in the neck of a Pacific rim instrument...could be luaun, or a number of other species...probably NOT true mahogany.


IF I was going to use a drill press, I would most certainly use a BRAD POINT or FORSTNER bit(0.375" for American machines, 10mm for imports)...the problem with these is centering your hole correctly; however, these bits are designed to ELIMINATE splitting and lifting of grain, and are MUCH safer.

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