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sbpark

Will this work? (tuner conversion question)...

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This is purely for cosmetic reasons. Can't stand the way the stock Rotomatics look on my J45 Standard (funny thing is I don't mind them on my D-35).

 

Here's a youtube clip from StewMac converting from Rotomatics to Klusons on Rich Robinson's 335:

 

The holes left by the Rototatics are too large to just drop in a set of Kluson or Gotoh 3-on-Plate style tuners, but seems like they would fit with a set of these StewMac conversion bushings:

 

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Tuner_Parts/3_8_Conversion_Tuner_Bushing.html

 

g8epdQG.jpg

 

These are the tuners:

 

JqQSutD.jpg

 

Md8CsX1.png

 

I know I will have to do lust a little reaming to get the new bushings to fit, and will obviously have to drill new holes for mounting the tuners. My only concern is the conversion bushings hole for the tuner post is 0.25", and the diameter of the tuner shaft on the Gotoh's is 0.236". The Kluson equivalent 3-on-Pate tuners are listed as having a 0.25" post. Here are the Klusons:

 

jrHZHbj.png

Edited by sbpark

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You can forward this setup to the StewMac shop guys and they'll help you out, unless someone here likes messing with advising on the swap. Keeping the ID's and OD's straight is the tricky part. I used to swap out tuners a lot long ago and often screwed up my a mm or two.

 

Don't use a drill bit to ream. A Dremel tool sanding tip is best. You probably know that.

Edited by jedzep

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You can forward this setup to the StewMac shop guys and they'll help you out, unless someone here likes messing with advising on the swap. Keeping the ID's and OD's straight is the tricky part. I used to swap out tuners a lot long ago and often screwed up my a mm or two.

 

Don't use a drill bit to ream. A Dremel tool sanding tip is best. You probably know that.

 

I'm way ahead of you on forwarding my questions if it all will work with parts numbers, links, etc.! Hoping to get a reply early next week as it says they will reply in 1-2 business days. And as expensive as the tool is (around $60), if I go ahead with the tuner swap I'd purchase the StewMac reaming tool just to do it right. I learned this when I used to work on motorcycles. It' better to have the correct tools and do the job right the first time, even if it means forking out for a specific tool compared to thinking you can fudge it with an inferior tool, only to screw things up and end up spending more time and money fixing your mistake(s).

Edited by sbpark

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Don't use a drill bit to ream. A Dremel tool sanding tip is best. You probably know that.

 

I did this on my 2008 J-50, and if you are familiar with tools it's not too hard. You should not have to "ream" anything! Those are press-in bushings that are designed to fit the existing holes from the big Rotomatics. If you "ream" them, they will not fit tightly. StewMac sells an over-priced tool to press the bushings into place, get it if you think you need it. I simply used a c-clamp with a block of wood to protect the headstock. It was easy, although it takes a surprising amount of pressure to seat them.

 

One thing to be aware of is that while those Klusons look and work great, they may partially cover your serial number, as you can see from my J-50

 

j50-2008-kluson.png

 

For me, the most difficult part was the "bullseye" rings that the Rotomatic washers left on the front of the headstock. They looked really bad, so I sanded and polished the headstock to remove them. You could do some real damage here if you aren't careful. Worked fine for me, but it was worrisome until I saw it was going to be fine after polishing. You might want to remove just one Rotamatic and see how much of an issue this will be on your guitar. If you aren't confident in your workworking/finishing skills then you might want someone else to do this for you....

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I did this on my 2008 J-50, and if you are familiar with tools it's not too hard. You should not have to "ream" anything! Those are press-in bushings that are designed to fit the existing holes from the big Rotomatics. If you "ream" them, they will not fit tightly. StewMac sells an over-priced tool to press the bushings into place, get it if you think you need it. I simply used a c-clamp with a block of wood to protect the headstock. It was easy, although it takes a surprising amount of pressure to seat them.

 

One thing to be aware of is that while those Klusons look and work great, they may partially cover your serial number, as you can see from my J-50

 

j50-2008-kluson.png

 

For me, the most difficult part was the "bullseye" rings that the Rotomatic washers left on the front of the headstock. They looked really bad, so I sanded and polished the headstock to remove them. You could do some real damage here if you aren't careful. Worked fine for me, but it was worrisome until I saw it was going to be fine after polishing. You might want to remove just one Rotamatic and see how much of an issue this will be on your guitar. If you aren't confident in your workworking/finishing skills then you might want someone else to do this for you....

 

What did you use to sand the headstock?

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That's why I suggested the Dremel rasp tip. With a light hand you can take just enough off the inside circumference to let the bushing fit snug without forcing it. Good luck. Take your time.

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I did this on my 2008 J-50, and if you are familiar with tools it's not too hard. You should not have to "ream" anything! Those are press-in bushings that are designed to fit the existing holes from the big Rotomatics. If you "ream" them, they will not fit tightly. StewMac sells an over-priced tool to press the bushings into place, get it if you think you need it. I simply used a c-clamp with a block of wood to protect the headstock. It was easy, although it takes a surprising amount of pressure to seat them.

 

One thing to be aware of is that while those Klusons look and work great, they may partially cover your serial number, as you can see from my J-50

 

j50-2008-kluson.png

 

For me, the most difficult part was the "bullseye" rings that the Rotomatic washers left on the front of the headstock. They looked really bad, so I sanded and polished the headstock to remove them. You could do some real damage here if you aren't careful. Worked fine for me, but it was worrisome until I saw it was going to be fine after polishing. You might want to remove just one Rotamatic and see how much of an issue this will be on your guitar. If you aren't confident in your workworking/finishing skills then you might want someone else to do this for you....

 

So you used the StewMac conversion bushings?

 

Also, what was the process for sanding/finishing/getting rid of the "raccoon eyes"?

Edited by sbpark

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Yep, I used the conversion bushings just like the ones in your post above. That's what you see in the photo I posted.

 

Do you mean "what was the process"? I wet-sanded down the area around each tuner hole, but of course this required sanding the entire headstock to level everything out. This must be done before you insert the bushings. It's a bit scary to take a nice shiny headstock and attack it with sandpaper, then just hope that it turns out alright! You can get really fine sandpaper (like 3000 and 5000 grit) at auto parts stores. StewMac also has these micro-mesh sticks, which are primarily what I used. If you do this, get a bunch, it will take more than you think!

 

https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_Supplies/Sanding_and_Polishing/Sandpaper_and_Finishing_Papers/Micro-Mesh_Touch_Up_Stick.html

 

But remove one of the tuners for starters and look at how much of a problem you have. It looked really bad on mine and I wouldn't have changed the tuners without sanding the area around the holes. Now I will say, the headstock no longer has that mirror-smooth finish of a new guitar. It looks fine to me, but you would probably notice the difference if you put it next to a "virgin" headstock.

Edited by Boyd

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