The tuners were one of the great challenges of this project. Besides a realistic model of the tuner (which is difficult already given the dimensions) it should also be capable of tuning the string in some way. Many people have asked me beforehand how I was going to tackle this problem. Myself included!
I did a lot of thinking and after a long time I finally got into making these sketches:
I started with making 20 tuners, expecting that a lot of them will fail (eight tuners died eventually…). Here you see the first step: two stainless steel tubes are soldered to each other.
I used an M2 hex bolt (stainless steel) for the axis to which the string will be connected. I slightly adjusted the dimensions of the bolt and also removed the thread:
To be able to make the hole in the axis (through which the string will be guided) I built a template first. Using this template I could drill a tiny 0.8 mm hole at the centre of the axis more easily:
For the tuner knob itself I used a stainless steel M 1.6 bolt and squeezed a piece of a tube on it, such that it resembles the shape of a knob. I filled it up with solder and smoothened the little thing:
Making a real worm screw construction for the tuners will be almost impossible. Therefore I had to choose another mechanism. The string tuning will be done by the centre axis: using a hex key you can turn the axis and thus tune the string. The tuning knob, when turned in, will put friction on the centre axis, thus allowing to keep a string tuned up.
This is of course not the actual way of how a tuner works, but from the outside you won't see the difference.
To keep the whole thing in place I added a hollow screw around the axis. Since this part was so small I had to use a magnifying glass to make a picture of it. So it is not the earth you see on the background! It is just the distortion of the glass…
Here you see all four assembly parts of the tuner:
I started with 20 tuners in work, and ended up with exactly 12! More than 40 hours of work were needed to make them. To get an idea of how small things are, here is a mini tuner together with a real size tuner:
As you see the basic shape is quite similar, and (the most important) they act as tuners and so do their job.
Now on to assembling the tuners. First the body parts which fit into the back of the head:
As seen from the front:
Then the centre axis and the tuning knobs, giving this end result:
If you still don’t have an idea of how small everything is, here’s a picture of the guitar head with six tuners mounted, together with a single (real size) tuner: