Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Filling Extra Screw Holes on a Guitar Headstock

Part two of the Fender Flame work is the tuning keys.  Here's the deal:  the owner changed out the original Fender tuners for some Carvin tuners.  Right now the guitar has 5 Carvins and one Fender on it (you'll see why in a bit).

The Fender tuners are Schallers.  They're labelled 'Fender' but they are stamped 'Made in Germany,' which is a pretty clear giveaway.  The Carvins sure look like Schallers too...they may be clones but they look the same except for their mounting and labelling.

The owner wants to have the original Fender tuners on the guitar, if possible.  However, the Carvin tuners had an extra hole for mounting - so if I go back to the Fenders, I'll have six holes to fill.

Conversely, if we stick with the Carvins, there will be 12 holes from the Fender tuner locating pins to fill that are slightly visible with the Carvin tuners on.   This makes more sense in the picture above with the arrows indicating the Carvin screws and the Fender holes.

Whichever tuners I wind up using, I'll be filling the extra holes - which was the owner's first concern, moreso than which tuners are on the guitar.

There's also a broken screw shaft from one of the Carvins - hence the lone Fender tuner.  More on that later.

Fortunately, I have all the bits to assemble six Fender tuners or six Carvin tuners.  Again, the preference is for the Fenders, so I'm going to ponder that first.

One Fender tuner is on the guitar, and I have four complete ones in hand, plus one Fender tuner body with the worm gear removed.  Not sure how that happened, but it's what I have.

So I need to put the worm gear back into the tuner in order to have a complete set of six.

Is this making sense?

Here's the tuner body without the worm gear (and knob).  In order to get the worm back into place, the tuning shaft and it's gear need to come out.

How the heck does that work?

The little "Fender" label is actually on a plate that pops off.  Stick a screwdriver in from the inside and it comes right off!

Clever, eh?

There's a small screw holding the gear onto the shaft.  With that removed, the whole assembly comes out.

Notice the heavy grease for lube.  This is the 'sealed for life' thing you read about.  I'm witnessing it.

Slide the worm gear in, then reassemble the tuner.

Pretty easy to suss out if you're mechanically inclined.

Fortunately, my early mechanical experience mainly involved disassembling and reassembling an MGB.   For all of the jokes about Lucas electrics, most English cars in my experience are pretty well engineered and bolted together well.  (I can hear the comments now).

Here's the newly reassembled Fender tuner on a test fit.  One other issue becomes apparent.  In addition to the extra holes for the Carvin tuners, there is dented wood where the Carvins attached - the little 'tab' that sticks out made an impression in the wood.

If I go with the Fenders, I need to fill the holes and somehow raise the dents.  If possible.

As an aside, the "Made in Germany" stamp from the tuners is also visible on the headstock - in reverse!  Crazy.

On the lower right, you can also see the broken screw.  Those #2 screws are so small it's easy to do this when driving them in mahogany like this.  Gotta drill a pilot hole and use wax to lube the threads.  But even then they may snap.

So here's where I'm at:  I need to remove the broken screw no matter which tuners I put on.  I'm going to do that, and use that part of the headstock as a test area to see how much I can raise the indentations.  If I can't raise it, I'll have to go with the Carvin tuners.  Stay tuned.


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