The hardest thing for a newbi like me is keeping the guitar in tune, I have to retune it every time I pick it up. Are there better tuning machines that will fit a 1/4 in tuning peg hole, or do I have to have the holes redrilled Any and all help is appreciated!
stewmac.com (Stewart-MacDonald) can sell you a remarkable selection of tuners in all sizes, qualities, and prices.
I've had a lot of problems, but slipping tuners has not been my biggest trouble--and I use the cheapest tuners I can find. Possible reasons are: (1) my hearing is shot and I just don't know I'm out of tune, (2) I don't tune as high and put as much tension on the strings as some others do, and (3) I pay close attention to the orientation of the tuners to the strings. (Supposedly, the gears mesh more reliably when the tension of the string is in the direction that the manufacturer intended.)
A possible fourth issue could be that structural failures at the tailpiece, bridge, neck, or nut are slacking the strings and the problem is not with the tuners at all. A buddy of mine built a tenor banjo with a crap tailpiece. He had $200 tuners and the damn thing wouldn't stay in tune. Could have solved the problem with some 6-penny nails.
Finally, if you really want to be a hardcore "maker" type, try using eye bolts instead of tuners. Put the nut on top of the headstock and a wing nut underneath. Depending on your hand strength, you may need pliers to tune, but those suckers will hold just fine if you cinch 'em down tight enough. I use 'em for canjos and I like them well enough to try them elsewhere.
Thanks TN Twang for the info, will look at stewmac, thanks for your help!!
I tried the eye-bolt route, and I just couldn't justify it, when you can get reasonably stable tuners for ten bucks for six. That's not much more than buying eye bolts, washers, and nuts.
There's hard-core, and plain hard-headed, and I know which side I think eye-bolt tuners fall on.
Your mileage may vary, of course.
Well FWIW always tune UP to the note, never DOWN. Also avoid having any wraps overlapping, or too many.