BFO Fiesta Project: Installing The New Tuners

We’re finally ready to install our brand new Grover tuners!

First of all, if you’re planning on installing your own guitar tuners AND you need to drill holes, you really shouldn’t be doing it without a drill press. If you’re like us and you don’t mind experimenting with an old, mostly worthless guitar, then go ahead. We wouldn’t recommend trying this on your $3000 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.

The original holes were non-standard, so we had to widen it. To ream or not to ream? We decided not to ream and instead picked up a .391 drill bit to make the hole wider so that the tuning head would fit.

Here she is:drill bit for guitar tuners

holes drilled fiesta headstock paint chippedNext, we started drilling. I have a steady hand, but no amount of supernatural steadiness will prevent you from going off course. Plus, when you hit the other side, you could chip the finish. In fact, I guarantee you will chip the finish.

Like I did.

Ouch. Well, it’s not a big deal on a worthless guitar like this here Fiesta. However, I saved the chipped pieces for later use.

Looks pretty bad actually. The best about this picture is the purple glow. I’m not sure how that happened, but I like it!

Next step: Lining up the tuners and prepping for the drill holes. If you’re like us and you’re super impatient, you’ll do it all wrong and end up with very crooked tuners. They were so crooked that I couldn’t sleep thinking about them all crooked and everything. So I re-did them.

Here’s what I did to make sure they were aligned: The secret to doing this is masking tape. The easiest way to explain this is to show you. Just make sure the masking tape is in a straight line. Then, we tapped a nail in the guide hole to mark the spot where we would be drilling. Measure once, twice, twelve times. Just be extra careful. When you’re ready to drill, again, use a drill press. Or be like me and use your super slow very precise drilling technique. It’s not perfect, but in our case, it worked well enough.

It’s a dirty way to it, but effective. Don’t mind all the extra drill holes. They can be filled. Or not.
how to align tuners for drill holes using masking tapeAnd…OMG what have I done!!!

guitar tuners installed the wrong way

I’m just kidding of course. Here we are with our newly installed guitar tuners. Pretty straight and 1000 times better than the old tuners. Notice how I put the chipped paint back. It’s not glued in this photo. That’ll come later. Next time…new pickups!
new grover tuners installed straight


4 thoughts on “BFO Fiesta Project: Installing The New Tuners

  1. Hmm… I was following along as I attempted to install new tuners on my guitar but something went wrong and before I knew it I was making Dan’s Bacon and Hot Peppers Toasted Rice Deluxe Casserole. Now, I either got pieces of guitar in my rice or, I got bacon in my guitar.

  2. Dude!… could you Frankinstein a guitar thats almost 40 years old,and dis it calling it an almost worthless guitar?? I own a Fiesta les paul style….and that guitar is becomeing extremly rare “I love mine”….if you dont believe me on how rare it is try and find your guitar on line anywhere….bet ya didn’t find more then maybe 3 or 4 just because it doesn’t say Les Paul,or Fender, on it doesn’t make it worthless…if that guitar could speak, it would ask for a new home!

  3. It probably was a very good guitar in its original state but believe me, it was totally busted when we decided to “Frankinstein” it. It even had a goddam bass pickup in the bridge for fuck’s sake. So no matter how cool and collectible the Fiestas are becoming, this one had to be fixed. And the end result is outstanding. It hasn’t lost any of its mojo, and the fender pickups sounds much much better in it than they did in the original fender guitar they were taken from.

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