OK…everyone knows I’m building my own bass, and I’ve posted a picture of it. My question to all of you is this…the body is standard p-bass but the neck is a Squier P-Bass. The peg holes are too small for the tuners I bought for it. Should I drill out the holes to 11/16 or 3/4 or should I just get keys that fit the current holes? I do have a drill press in my garage to widen the holes but I’m not sure if I should or not.
I measured the current holes and they are half an inch
Provided your tuners will fit in all dimensions other than the size of the peg hole… meaning that tuner body won’t be showing past the headstock, the washer or ferrule isn’t too close to the edge of the headstock, tuning machines not too close together, etc… then it should be fine to enlarge the holes.
But resist the urge to jump directly from 1/2 to 3/4, because you risk cracking the headstock. Instead use every bit you have between 1/2 and 3/4 incrementally, thus enlarging the hole a little at a time. Use high speed, slow feed and, to prevent tear-out, start your drill in reverse on both sides as shown in this video…
@Korrigan, you could also use chamfer bit on both sides as well
I measured the thickness of my current P-Bass with the 3/4" holes and pegs and the thickness of the Squier and they’re both 1/2" thick, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’ll take your advice and gradually increase the size of the bit instead of going right to the 3/4". So, in your opinion, should I go 3/4" instead of 11/16"?
If you don’t have a Indicol or an indicator to pick up the hole, just put a 1/2" or 31/64" drill in the chuck backwards, and use the shank of the drill to center the hole, and strap it to the table while the shank is in the hole, then put the correct drill in, and go for it. This will be more then enough to get the proper location.
If you decide to drill it that is.
I have plenty of experience with this sort of thing in metal, but I would still probably just get the right tuners, unless, you can’t return these, or if I just wanted it done, but since you are still waiting for things, and you can return them, you may get the new set in time with the other remaining parts.
Returning them isn’t an option unfortunately and I’ve found that the 1/2" pegs are a ton more expensive.
You can still use the method that @Korrigan stated, using gradually increasing drills.
I was just showing you a way to center it if you don’t have an indicator to sweep the hole, and that would be a pain on a drill press anyway, unless you have travels in X and Y
I do, but I like your suggestion. It’s not easy to center with the laser indicator
Yeah, I meant a dial test indicator in a chuck. IDK how with a laser.
Also, if you have a Stub ir Screw Machine drill, that would be best to use for centering, as it will be more rigid in the chuck and provide a more accurate, concentric location pick up.
Or if you have a 1/2" dowel pin, or pin gage. The dowel might be a tight fit unless it is a slip fit dowel, ground .0002 undersize. same with a pin gage unless it is a minus pin, but if you have a set, just use a .499 pin.
That said, I don’t know how accurate the holes are, so just use your best judgement to fit the biggest size you can with a tight slip fit, and avoid a press fit.
I run into this problem from time to time I use a reamer. It’s cleaner and much slower than drilling. I tend to cut twice and measure once so the slower and cleaner route works for me.
Yeah, it would even be the best option if you were to open up slowly to like 47/64 (.7344) with drills, then ream with a 3/4 reamer.
stepping up in reamers is certainly safer, but once you do things enough, you tend to want to just cut to the chase.
From what I’ve heard though, reamers are really expensive & may not be worth it for a single bass.
Assuming you can do one of the techniques mentioned here, I suppose it would work, however, seems like it would take a lot of effort to insure you don’t mess up the headstock (an even more expensive swap out). Also, I guess you would have to be really careful to insure each hole is symmetrically opened up otherwise the tuners would all be centerline and it would look very odd/bad.
I don’t have these skills so I would not attempt such a thing, but perhaps you do.
What’s the difference between a 1/2" and a 11/16" tuner machine anyway? Is there a noticeable sound difference or how the strings are wound? I CAN keep the 1/2" if I find another tuner online. The neck came with 3 (the seller did say 1 was missing) but had no caps. The 11/16" tuners I ordered a while back came with 2R/2L so I’d have to order 2 more of those. I’m starting to lean toward getting 1 half inch tuner and NOT drilling out the holes.
The machining of the tuning mechanism itself separates a good tuner from a bad, not so sure the diameter matters as much. There are some very high quality tuning machines that are super light, so I doubt diameter matters as much as other factors.
OK I’ve gone back the other way to drilling. Because the tuners that came with the neck don’t have the ferrules, it would be cheaper to drill. I actually found 2 more righthanded tuners on MGD for just under $12 and they come with the ferrules and screws.
Another option to consider: Since you’ve got 3 of the original tuners, use a Hipshot Xtender in place of the E tuner.
If you’re not familiar with the Xtender, it gives you drop D tuning at the flick of a finger.