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How to enlarge tuner peg holes without a reamer?

Discussion in 'Squier Strat Forum' started by stratnewf, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. stratnewf

    stratnewf Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I'm putting on a brand new set of vintage kluson tuners but the bushings are bigger than the stock holes. I read that the best tool to use is a reamer, but the guy at the hardware store didn't really know what I was talking about and I got a feeling they didn't have them. Now I'm kinda stuck because I can't find a reamer, only online where they are $60+. Has anyone had any luck with using a regular drill bit? I'm skeptical because I'm afraid I'll mess up my headstock.

  2. Snagproof

    Snagproof Strat-O-Master

    Jul 30, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada

  3. Snagproof

    Snagproof Strat-O-Master

    Jul 30, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Another idea, possibly a better one, would be to take it to your local guitar tech and see how much they will charge to do it for you.

  4. TC52

    TC52 Strat-Talker

    Jun 14, 2010
    Be patient, you probably would make a mess of things if you used a regular drill bit.
    Woodworking supply stores or a millwork shop could be a source.
    Good luck, TC

  5. RonGH

    RonGH Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Good Hope, IL
    Go to Amazon.com, and input "reamer tool" into the search engine. The third item down is what you want. Around $12.


    P.S.--There really is no substitute for one. Trying to ream the holes by drilling is a bad idea. It's too easy to make a mistake. Spend the $12!

  6. inkedintville

    inkedintville Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 10, 2010
    North Carolina
    I use a drill bit and a drill press, but I am a fabricator and probably have a little more experience.

  7. stradovarious

    stradovarious Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 14, 2010
    The guys at the hardware store NEVER know what you re talking about with these, but they ALL have them, every single hardware store. PERIOD. Usually locked in the sliding glass tool cabinet and they are around ten bucks- just show him THIS PHOTO-open the photo on your phone or right click on it now and PRINT IT.

    I am telling you they have it, and NO, there is NO better way, drill press gives you 6 chances to screw it up and believe me, it's almost impossible not to, this is a piece of cake. Done it 7+ times now with perfect results and I am a guy who cannot drive a nail in straight.
    Here it is packaging and all. Once I went there and asked where the mineral spirits (turpentine) is located. The guy said they do not carry mineral spirits.

    Mineral spirits is...PAINT THINNER! Seriously!
    Well, give him a break, if he had the IQ of Bill Gates he wouldn't be working in a hardware store. Probably tell you they don't carry screws, either, that "those are only legal in Las Vegas, now get out of my store you sicko"!:

    Attached Files:

  8. softwarejanitor

    softwarejanitor Most Honored Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Central Texas
    You can do it with a regular drill, but it is more risky. For best results with that approach you really need a good sharp drill bit and a drill press.

    That said... $60 is crazy for a tapered reamer. I paid about $10 for mine from Harbor Freight Tool. If your hardware store doesn't have them you need to go to a better hardware store!

    Amazon.com: General Tools 130 T Handle Reamer: Home Improvement

    That was the first thing that came up on google...

  9. MrPoppa2

    MrPoppa2 Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 5, 2011
    Sun City, Az.
    I worked in retail hardware for 30 yrs. and loved it,I got to help people everyday. I know a lot of hardware clerks don't know what a reamer is, but they will learn, it can take years to become a good hardware clerk, you have to know plumbing, electrical, paint mixing, lawn & garden, housewares, re-keying locks, cutting and threading pipe, not to mention having to learn cashiering. my point , is, a good experienced hardware person is priceless so don't give up on them, they have a lot going on in that brain.......poppa

  10. RonGH

    RonGH Strat-Talk Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Good Hope, IL

    That is the EXACT reamer that I have! All General brand tools used to be made in the good ol' U.S.A., but now, sadly, like most other things, are made in Cathay (sigh!).

  11. johnny35

    johnny35 Strat-Talker

    Feb 21, 2012
    Livingston, Scotland
    Hey there, here is a method i have used for this task. I am a carpenter, not a tech, but this worked for me..

    Remove your existing tuners from your headstock. Get a piece of scrap timber, preferably smooth and dressed, at least 20mm or 0.75inch and clamp it with a soft face workclamp to the "logo" side of your headstock. Get a drill bit the EXACT size of your existing bushing hole and, using a cordless drill, drill through the holes from the back of the neck, through the scrap, to the front.
    Next, get a drill bit the Exact size diameter of your new bushings and drill slowly from the "scrap side" towards the back. The scrap timber will help to steady the drill bit as it goes through. Take your time, its not a race. There shouldn't be any "break-out" at the back of the neck but even if there is a very slight amount the body of the tuners will cover it.
    Hope this has been of some help to you.