Kingcaster uke build : part 07 – How to fit electric ukulele tuners

This is my second ‘how to’ for today and it was almost a ‘how not to’.

Machine Heads… Tuners… Gear Heads
I’m fitting these standard Strat-style tuners to my Electric Uke

For those of you with a worse memory than me, I remind you that earlier today I busted a scratch plate. I left you hanging with the promise of a post on how to fit the tuners. I’ve done that now and here’s how I did it…

Referring back to my master pattern I marked on the head where I wanted the tuners to go.
I’m trying to be really precise with where they go and I haven’t left myself much room at
all to maneuver. I wanted them as close together as possible, but I’ve also tried to
line it up so that the strings will be in line with the nut grooves as much as possible.
I know I’m being picky, but I reckon it’s little details like this that will make all the
difference. We’ll find out when I fit the strings! There were two things I was worrying
about when I drilled these holes: The first was that I wouldn’t get them straight; the
second was that I would splinter the wood. They’re fairly straight… as for the splinters…


OH DEAR, OH DEAR! Look at the mess I made of the wood!
All is not lost!. I tidied up the rough bits and prayed that the tuners
might hide some of the mess…


Here’s a picture of the tuners from the front. Looking good! Time will
tell whether I got them in the right place. How about the back? Read on…


And here’s a picture of the tuners from the back. Thankfully most of
my ham-fisted drilling is hidden. We’ll keep that little secret between us…

That’s it… a short post. I move on the the electrics next… and just when I thought I had it in the bag a discussion with Julian Davies is now making me have second thoughts. He’s reminded me that “Hot rails are very hot. They make a lot more noise than single coils do.”

Oh dear… and I thought that was a good thing…

What am I going to do?

I know… I’ll have a beer and think it over…

If you have an opinion, now is the time for your voice to be heard! Post me some advice. Go on… you know you want to!

Update 12-Jun-2012: Remember all that nonsense about trying “to line it up so that the strings will be in line with the nut grooves as much as possible.” I realised last night that I haven’t got them in line at all! They’re not even close! I think there may have been a couple of errors at play here, but the principle one was to measure to the edge of the hole rather than the edge of the actual shaft of the tuners. Gahhh! It’s not fatal, but here’s the King Uke factor I was telling you about coming into play. Another thing I’ve noticed – and this is simply an observation – is how much heavier the neck has now become with the tuners fitted. This uke is in danger of being neck-heavy. It’s going to be a close-run thing. I won’t know until I put it all together…

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