At this point, the new neck has no tuning
keys, string nut, or string trees, so we’ll add
these components next.
1. Install the tuning keys. First, use a hammer with a soft nylon or rubber head to
tap the tuner bushings into their holes
(Photos 5 and 6). Turn the neck over
and lay the tuners into their holes. With
a metal ruler as a guide, carefully align
the tuners in a straight line (Photo 7).
Still holding the tuners in alignment
against the ruler, use a sharp-tipped tool
to mark a spot for the pilot hole for
each tuner mounting screw (Photo 8).
Countersink the tuner-screw pilot
holes using a small Phillips screwdriver
to create a cone at the lip of each
screw hole (Photos 9 and 10).
Tuner mounting screws vary in length
from one brand to another. Before you
drill any holes, always check the screw
depth against the headstock (Photo
11). If the screws are too long, you risk
drilling through the headstock face or
splitting the wood with the screw tip.
Insert a screw into a tuner, then
measure the screw’s length and width
against your drill bit. Match the bit
width to the screw’s main shaft—not
its cutting threads—and mark the bit
depth with a Sharpie or piece of mask-
ing tape (Photo 12).
5. Use a nylon- or rubber-tipped hammer
to gently tap the tuner bushings into place.
6. Check that all the bushings sit flat against
7. Use a metal ruler to align
the tuner housings.
8. With a sharp-tipped
tool (I’m using a soldering iron tip), mark the
proper spot for a pilot hole for each tuner
9. To prevent the drill bit
from splitting the headstock wood, countersink the pilot holes with a small Phillips
10. Check the countersink:
You should see a small cone at the lip of
each pilot hole.
11. Before drilling, check
screw length against the headstock depth.
12. Measure bit width against the screw
shaft and mark the bit to indicate
maximum drilling depth.