What are some possible things to use to make for tuners? Like Eyebolts or Dowels? 

also How can you make those improve tuners work well? 

I don't understand why there isn't a lot of information on DIY or homemade tuners. I bet the original CBGs didn't have guitar tuners. 

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I use a piece of aluminum angle and an eye bolt for one stringers. Made a 2 stringer the same way. Hard to tune it though. 

Yes , indeed it could be a bear to tune that style. I remember putting a nut on both sides of the alum. angle to maintain a better grip on eye bolt? Cheers, looks good 

Yep, I tried the locking eye bolt tuner configuration also.

Hi, there has been a fair bit of info posted on here, but it's posted and filed away.somewhere I imagine.

Original CBG builders didn't have the internet either, if one wants to take DIY one step further then, necessity is the mother of invention. 


I've tried a few alternatives, some have worked ok, many have just eaten strings, I truly recommend, even for the most funky/down home roots machine, manufactured tuners, if you choose to ignore this advice, fine, it suggests you are serious, but the effort required, and the failure rate, says to me, "do I need this crap to save 3 bucks"?

My latest reinvention of the wheel is using nails as zither pins. Hammer one end flat, put a hole  in it for the  string, use sandpaper to mimic microthreads drive it into a hole a drill size or so smaller than the nail. 

I get two out of a 100 mm nail by cutting them in half. More detail in how  used them for this build


For an even lower tech solution the original design of asian long zithers like the koto  had no tuners. The strings were tied on as tight as possible and tuning was done by either moving the bridges and/ or swapping the bridges  for higher or lower ones. Modern ones use regular zither pins. Check out Luna Lee doing ACDC covers on a gayageum, the Korean version.

Invested in a peg shaver and peg hole reamer and made my own out of scrap oak in a maple headstock, worked well.

not as precise as tuning machines, and since the machines are dirt cheap....

One reason there isn't a ton of information on "Improv" tuners is that it is usually a great deal of work that, in the end, doesn't work so well. If you want an instrument you can play on a regular basis, then you would want it to hold tune. Eye bolts and friction pegs just don't seem to be able to hold tune very well with metal strings.

I guess you could go back to cat-gut strings or something like that and get away with improv tuners, but if the point is a daily player, then take advantage of the materials that will help provide that.


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