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Can I use any tuning pegs I desire?


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You may need to redrill the mounting screw holes, depending on which brand you buy, but yes almost any 6 in a line machine heads will do. Measure the diameter of the hole in the headstock that the peg comes through, as some brands may need to be shimmed or a bigger hole may be needed. Since the guitar is not a collector piece, you can pretty much suit yourself, and not worry about the effect on resale value.
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...and if you really want to put in tuners that require a larger diameter hole, the holes must be reamed (don't just try to have at 'em with a hand-held drill to enlarge 'em, it will easily drift on you).


Chances are very good, however, that you can find tuners that you'll be happy with that will need little or no modification of the headstock; a Strat is kinda like the small-block Chevy of guitars, most aftermarket parts are patterned after 'em.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

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Some tuners also require alignment peg holes (Fender American Strat tuning pegs have these). If you need something to help you drill the holes in the right place, Stewart-McDonald has those. They're not cheap, but it will help you do a good job of lining up the holes properly.


You can use a drill to enlarge holes for the tuning pegs. But you have to do it in a graduated fashion. Generally only a 32nd of an inch or half a millimeter at a time. Even then, the hole can still drift a little because of variations in hardness of the wood surrounding the hole. But it's generally much quicker than using a reamer. Using brand new (i.e. very sharp) bits will minimize the drifting problem.

Born on the Bayou


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Originally posted by CaevanO'Shite:

And if you've gotta use a drill, a drill-press is far better than a hand-held one for this.


I mean, it's not rocket-science, but it does need to be done right, the first time!

Yep. If you don't have a drill press, I really wouldn't use a drill to enlarge the peg holes.


I've found that little hole guide from Stewmac to be quite handy, though. I put Fender American tuners on my Squier Strat. It tunes a little easier, now. Of course, the graphite nut didn't hurt that any either. ;)


Oh, make sure you put masking tape on BOTH sides of the wood (front and back) before you start drilling on it. It will help keep the finish from getting messed up. The finish won't splinter as badly on one side and it will help keep the other side from getting scratched.

Born on the Bayou


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I used hand drills for all the drilling I did on my guitar mods with no problems at all. Of course a person has to be careful and if a variable speed drill motor is available, it's a better option. Battery operated drills will do fine too and I think all of them are now variable speed.

As to the masking tape...Use the good stuff, not the cheap stuff. The blue tape made for paint trim is the best. What may happen with the cheap tape is, it may stick to the finish due to the drills generated heat and pull some of the finish off. The better tape won't do that.


As to the replacement tuners, as mentioned above, any tuner that fits. I'd pay more attention to the size of the peg heads than the size of the shaft. The hole can be reamed or drilled out to fit if the shaft is too large and there are shims available if the holes are too large.

Use a good wood filler to fill the old mounting holes if they are in a different place than the replacement tuner's mounting holes. You can get filler that is colored so you may be able to fill the holes to where they are hard to see. If you can't find colored filler you just use that and use a stainer to darken it to match as close a possible.

Tuner replacement ain't rocket science.


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"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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