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Parts List to Build a Telecaster
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Warmoth Telecaster Body
Warmoth Birdseye Maple Telecaster Neck
Gotoh Kluson Tuners
Installing String Ferrules
Installing the Fender Vintage 3-Saddle Bridge
Shielding the Pickup Cavities
Assembling the Switch and Pots to Control Plate
Wiring the Pickups, Input Jack, Switch and Pots
Wiring the Pickups
Installing Input Jack
Installing Pickguard
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Installing the Strap Pegs
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Building a 1963 Lake Placid Telecaster - Installing the Tuners
Click on each image below for a larger view.
This was probably the longest and most frustrating part about this endeavor. When I first tried to insert the tuner bushings and found the holes in the headstock were not even close to the right size I called Warmoth and kindly asked if I had purchased the right tuners. They said yes and noted that "you may have to sand each hole a little bit and then you should be able to seat the tuner bushings by hand." Was I in for a surprise? Now I know this is my first time doing this and I was probably over cautious with all the taping but this task took days to complete.

I tested my sense of ingenuity in finding ways to clamp and align the tuners. I also was on the extreme end of frustration when, after properly drilling screw holes for the tuner machine mounting screws, I had not one but two screws break off at the head. Mind you I was extra careful knowing that the neck is maple and it is a hardwood and the length of the screws is nearly the width of the headstock. So I carefully marked a drill bit for depth and drilled my holes. I used soap to lubricate each screw. I started each screw by hand; set the torque on my cordless screwdriver to about one-third; drove the screws approximately two-thirds of the way in with the cordless screwdriver and attempted to finish them by hand. I though it was prudent to hand tighten the screws to prevent damaging the screw heads or slipping with the cordless drill only to have two screws just snap off at the head while hand tightening them.

Now I had to drill out the screws. A screw extractor wouldn't work because there was no head left on the screw. I didn't own a drill press - I was screwed. Well a lot of patience allowed me to drill out enough of each screw and fill the void with wooden dowels and toothpicks and glue. The tuners would cover the repaired holes.

But now I had another problem- try to find two nickel plated screws that match the size of the ones that came with the tuners. I found screws available at Guitar Parts Resource - an online guitar parts dealer. The irony here is that the shipping cost was $5.95 and the cost of the 16 screws was $2.99!


Building a 1963 Lake Placid Telecaster - Home
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Six Gotoh Vintage Kluson Tuners for Telecaster.

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The finish on the neck and headstock made the holes for the tuner bushings too small.

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You can see the neck resting in the neck holder on the guitar workstation.

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Top view of headstock.

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The sanding continues…

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More angles of the sanding process.

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More angles of the sanding process.

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More angles of the sanding process.

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More angles of the sanding process.

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Test fitting a tuner bushing.

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Test fitting a tuner bushing.

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Using a hand clamp to gently "coax" the bushing into place with the clamp.

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After using the clamp ever so slightly I realized I needed to sand the opening wider.

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Using the clamp again.

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Another view of the clamp.

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The first tuner bushing installed - 5 to go.

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The last bushing yet to be seated completely.

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Another view of the last bushing before final seating.

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The 6 tuner bushings installed.

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The 6 tuner bushings installed.

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The back of the headstock with the 6 tuner bushings installed.

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I had to devise a way to orient all of the tuning machines in a straight line.

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Next I tried to use a wood shim as a guide…

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Trying to make the wood shim guide work…

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Trying to make the wood shim guide work…

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One of my eureka moments…

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Clamping the metal ruler and the wooden shim.

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Another view of clamping the ruler and shim.

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The front of the headstock.

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The final clamping positions to hold and align the tuning machines.

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A top view of the clamps - looks like surgery…

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Here is where I had some fun…

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My repair efforts.

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Some dowels, wooden toothpicks and wood glue fixed the holes.

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I was fortunate that the tuners covered the two holes.

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I finally found the screws at Guitar Parts Resources.

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The tuners installed…but look closer…

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Try to see the hole fix in this close-up…best I could do.

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Back of the headstock - tuners installed.

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Another back of the head stock shot.

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Tuners installed - close-up of headstock front.

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Finally - all 6 tuners installed…and all holes repaired.

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All Photos (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © 2011, HiggyDude and Bobby Jean Enterprises
Website - Copyright © 2011, HiggyDude and Bobby Jean Enterprises