When tuning a headless, there is much more string creep over the bridge than with a conventional setup. I figured a 4mm polished stainless steel pin is about as low friction as it gets, while transmitting full sound to the soundboard. I’m calling it done now, grin.

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Comment by Bruce Young on May 18, 2019 at 2:59pm

Daniel, yes, sealed gear means enclosed. As to the gear angles, look at the various headstocks there are. Many, especially six in line, end up using string retainers on the headstock and strings come into the peg at odd angles anyway. I don’t suspect you or I will ever beat up a guitar bad enough to have tuning heads fail. Unless you suddenly join a death metal band and go on the road. Grin!

Comment by Daniel Walter on May 18, 2019 at 12:50am

Just saw your video. great!

Comment by Daniel Walter on May 18, 2019 at 12:40am

Great. I wondered about sealed tuners. This is the first guitar i'm building that will have the shafts in the sideways direction. i figured even sideways the gears can be orientated to pull together. good to know the more modern explanations. Pot metal? wow. that's why i mentioned the waverly tuners, seems like they don't care what direction. wish i knew more about milling machines. oh, when you say sealed, do you mean covered?, where you can't see the gears?

pick, that is a really cool idea. i can think of a few things where that would come in handy.

Comment by Bruce Young on May 17, 2019 at 10:09pm
Good thought, AP. Might try that some time.
Daniel, I did consider the gear position of the tuning machines. Mine ended up so the strings are pulling in line with the worm gear, and neutral load on the spur gear. It’s not quite as solid perhaps as the conventional orientation that closes up the gear lash entirely, but still is pretty resistant to any potential slippage, simply by virtue of loading a worm gear resists any vibration induced gear creep. In practice, any load on the spur gear acts to anchor the worm gear. I have a rotary table for my little milling machine. It uses a worm drive. All the cutter chatter in the world won’t move the spur gear once it slams into the worm. They simply don’t do that. So I think much of the tuning head conventional wisdom is about primitive pot metal tuning heads from ages ago, and keeping the gear lash as small as possible. Real effects are likely minuscule at most with modern sealed gear tuners.
Comment by the anonymous pick on May 17, 2019 at 9:51pm

TIP ...Most of us have many extra strings from the unused  3  of a set laying around .....

Many folks  ask what to do  with them ..

 One answer i usually give . is to take off the ball ends  , slip a finishing nail  through  3 of them . and you have the makings of a sweet roller bridge . (the top part anyway ,  you can easily  carve out a wooden base / cradle  for it .)

Comment by Daniel Walter on May 17, 2019 at 9:46pm

I agree, always tune up. go past then back up. thank you. Otherwise the tuning machines are not in the correct tension. I know and believe that, have preached to others, don't tune down and leave it. On the other side of the coin is the quality of the tuning machines. for example, when i had a few bucks I purchased some Waverly (sp?) tuning machines. 16 to 1 ratio, very solid. I still go back and tune up, but it's not as "less precise". And it takes 16 turns of the "knob" to turn the shaft one revolution. Allows for very fine adjustments if set up correctly. Less expensive tuners can be 10 to 1 or so, not sure. One thing I was wondering about.....many CBN'ers don't know that the large gear should always be oriented down. The tension of the string on the shaft pulls the worm gear and tuning gear together, creating a "bind" that helps the guitar to stay in tune. I see them upside down, I've put them upside down, with CBG's there are no rules. Your setup is so nice that it doesn't matter, just wondering if it was a concern? Wouldn't be for me if i could do what you did, just thinking and talking out loud. Thanks so much. We should start a blog. You get to name it, I started one called "Pickups and Pots" a while back, got some really good feedback. Paul Craig gave a bunch of info. There was clearly some different opinions. May still be in there?  I still think your design rocks!, I've dreamed of pulleys for a long time, but never dreamed it could be pulled off so nicely. (Pun intended). Kudos.

Comment by Bruce Young on May 17, 2019 at 8:16pm

I think it’ll be fine. Just keep in mind when tuning, to always tune up, and if you need to tune down, go past the target and back up. If you have difficulty making it settle, stop a tiny hair flat of dead on, and give the string a heathy pluck to shake out any resistance at the bridge. You’ll get it I’m sure. 

I just took the opportunity to head that off, in keeping with the low friction theme of this build. 

Comment by Daniel Walter on May 17, 2019 at 6:37pm

Thank you Bruce. Great to think about beforehand. I'm using this "Gibson" bridge I posted a while ago, a special creation with a seperate piezo under each string, gifted to me by this electronics guy, only a few were made. After reading your note, I think I'll put a sliver of bone or something on the bridge as I tune, then slide it out and tune to pitch? I'm adding a couple photos. Planning on a mag pickup or two as well. This one is taking a loooong time.

Comment by Bruce Young on May 17, 2019 at 5:46pm

With a conventional setup, the vast majority of the string is already above the bridge, and as strings tighten, the creep is at the nut. You’re adding more or taking it up between bridge and nut, collecting the wire on the peg. Putting the pegs on the bottom hauls that material over the bridge instead. With my temporary wooden bridge, I could hear it creak as the coils bumped over the top of the bridge. Naturally there would be some resistance to letting go as I tuned down also. By using a low friction steel saddle, the string glides smoothly as it is  tensioned. 

Comment by Daniel Walter on May 17, 2019 at 3:56pm

hmmm. i'm building a headless with a head, unusual. so string creep over the bridge? you mean the strings pull the bridge backwards?

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