Tuner hole size? G5232T

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by Hickeroar, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    I'd like to replace my tuners with some locking hipshots, but I'm not sure if I should get the 8.5mm or 10mm ones. I've read that Gretsch uses a non-standard hole size of around 8mm. Can any confirm that?

    I have a reamer, and I've reamed tuner holes before, so I'm not intimidated much by that. The finished headstock does give me pause though, because I don't want to crack my finish when reaming. Stuff I've reamed in the past is pretty much just sealed wood strat-style headstocks, and it's practically impossible to mess those up.

    Any tips on that (if I will need to ream the holes, anyway)?

    TIA for any help!
     
  2. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I'm not sure about the 5232T, but I installed 10mm Hipshots in my 2011 G5236, and I had to ream the holes. I went slowly with a hand-reamer and it was fine. There was a bit of chipping on the black lacquer, but I don't think it was caused by the reaming: I'm pretty sure that I caused it by over-tightening the nuts when I installed the new tuners. The washers covered the chipping, so there was no visible damage. (And then I decided to refinish the headstock anyway, just because I didn't like the painted-on Gretsch logo and also because I'm crazy.)

    One important note: the headstock was thick enough that the standard post length on the 10mm Hipshots ended up being too short. They sell tuners with three different post lengths, and I had to get the longest ones. Their customer service is excellent—they offered to exchange them for free, no questions asked—but I'm working on another build, so I just kept the originals for the new guitar and bought a new set for the Jet.

    One last thing: the 10mm Hipshots have a higher gear ratio than the 8.5s, so if you're not shy about reaming, you might want to go with the 10mms anyway.
     
  3. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    Ok thank you! I may go ahead with the 10s then. I like the idea of a lower gear ratio.
     
    section2 likes this.
  4. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    Age:
    71
    413
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    HR,

    If you do end up enlarging the holes, don't use anything potentially damaging as a reamer.

    Use a Dremel, with a small drum sander attachment. stop and start the Dremel with the attachment still in the hole/use the Dremel on a low speed/stop and check frequently.

    Check out Lee Valley.

    Work slowly/be careful/good luck!

    BIB.

    dremel drum sander.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  5. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    It's going to be quite hard to consistently widen a hole in the headstock by 2mm with nothing more than a dremel sanding wheel. There won't be any way to keep it centered, etc.

    As far as I know, a reamer is the standard way to do this, right?
     
    section2 likes this.
  6. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Can you remove a tuner and measure?
     
  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Good call on the reamer; I found out the hard way doing this on my 5120 back in the day that a drill bit will dig its way in more quickly than you can control the drill and it'll chip the finish pretty badly. I got pretty decent at doing drop-fills after that fiasco...
     
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  8. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    Age:
    71
    413
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    HR,

    Objective is not to keep drum center, but to carefully remove a slight amount of material from the circumference of the hole.

    How do you plan on keeping the reamer centered, unless you're using a tapered reamer, then the top of the hole will be a larger diameter than the bottom of the hole.

    Using a Dremel/drum sander attachment, it doesn't take much, I've performed this task numerous times, without a problem.

    If you have a Gibson/Epiphone or any other model with a black lacquered head-stock face, a reamer will chip the hard lacquer around the hole, immediately when the reamer takes the first bite.

    The only type of headstock where centering is important is six-inline. Using a dark magic marker/Sharpie, stain around the top inside edge of the hole, and, using the Dremel, sand, until the dark stain starts to disappear evenly. A couple of slow/careful runs around the perimeter and you're done. You're only removing a very small amount of material, sometimes a rolled up piece of sandpaper is all you need.

    You can always...measure the existing hole size, and purchase the correct size replacement tuning machines.

    Contact Hip-Shot and ask to speak to one of their techs. We tend to under-use these guys, and that's where the real help is.

    In my opinion, TV Jone's tech department is the prime reason for their success. If they can't give you helpful advise on your project, it's probably because you're doing something you shouldn't be doing in the first place.

    BIB.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  9. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    Well, this is the same headstock and laquer I've got (other than it being a different color), and he used a tapered reamer on it, and then drilled out the meat in the middle: Tuning Machine Installation - YouTube

    This is exactly how I did my 6-in-line as well, though it wasn't finished.
     
  10. Shock

    Shock Electromatic

    32
    Sep 7, 2020
    Minnesota
    I use blue tape when cutting countertops or finished wood, etc. May help. Going out the back side is generally what does the most damage. I would try to start on both sides and meet in the middle so it doesn't blow out the backside coming through. That would suck if it took a chip out on the back side. I bought Grovers for my Gretsch and they went right in and fit perfect. Sounds like I got lucky.
     
  11. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    Yes, I definitely plan on alternating back and front to keep from splintering on the outside. I'll use blue tape as well.
     
  12. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    10mm. I have a G5232T. I put in hipshot tuners. LIKE A GLOVE!!!
     
    gypsyseven and section2 like this.
  13. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    Oh man, if that's true I'm going to be ecstatic when I get those stock tuners off. I haven't checked yet because I'm using the guitar, and the tuners won't be in until Saturday or Monday.
     
  14. Hickeroar

    Hickeroar Electromatic

    34
    Oct 4, 2020
    Texas
    FINAL UPDATE!

    I finally had a couple days of guitar-downtime and was able to take the tuners out and check myself. So, my worrying was unnecessary; HypotenusLuvTriangle was correct: The G5232T holes are 10mm from the factory. No reaming required. Glad I didn't order the 8.5mm tuners.

    The new 10mm Hipshots arrive tomorrow. I have them in another guitar and they're wonderful. Smooth as silk, and the 18:1 ratio is awesome.

    Wanted to post it up here in case anyone down the road is looking for this same information.

    [​IMG]
     
    section2 and new6659 like this.
  15. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Gretschie

    459
    Aug 23, 2013
    Germany
    Yeah, my G5622 has also 10mm holes and I upgraded to locking tuners....

    D8724726-A856-454F-B441-EEAEB4DEF3A3.jpeg
     
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  16. HypotenusLuvTriangle

    HypotenusLuvTriangle Country Gent

    Oct 27, 2010
    Whittier, Ca
    of course I was.
     
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