I have recently "remastered" or upgraded my mdf neck templates using some Oak off cuts from my daughters new staircase, then got out my old collection of headstock drawings I downloaded years ago from TDPRI forum. These are supposedly a pdf from Fender USA, they are bang on scale with the major dimensions, but threw up a can of worms with the age old question:
What is the correct tuner spacing for vintage necks using 6 in line Klusons?
For years I have been using the "6 in line drilling jig" from Stewmac and is spot on for Gotoh clones and WD Kluson tuners with zero gap between each tuner.
The outer tuners (E/E) center to center spacing on this is 119mm or maybe 119.5mm but on an American Standard Tele there is a noticeable gap.
This also confirms the tuner spacing on the pdf headstock drawing print off I am using, which closer to 122mm between outer tuner centers. There is also a comparison between .015" and .030" gaps just to confuse things further, hmmm.
That should keep me busy for a while, it did!
I made up some different jigs with 122mm spacing (brass) and bought another jig from a luthier in usa with 120.5mm spacing and now have a choice of 3 with the stewmac one giving no gaps.
This is a shot of the spacing with tiny gaps using a 1/4" drilling copy of my new usa template.
Here is the Stewmac jig with same Klusons fitted.
Anyway all well and good until I started looking online at pictures of old necks and its near impossible to tell if small gaps between each plate and some seem to have none at all! More hmmmmm.
The spacing seems nice with just tiny gaps to my eyes (120.50mm between outer post centers) so I have plugged an re-drilled my master templates using my new jig from USA. This had 6.5mm drillings to allow for lacquer build up in 6.35mm (1/4") post holes but I prefer using 1/4" drillings so the post is nice and snug in the drilling. Then the 11/32" reamer which has a 1/4" guide plug, reams 7mm deep for the tuner ferules. It will work with 6.5mm drillings however but I am fussy.
These are my new oak "masters", they do not flex at all on the router table and more hard wearing and accurate than mdf but still require carpet tape and 2 screws (drilling's in future truss rod channel) to attach firmly to the neck.
Anyway, after all that what is the correct spacing on vintage Strat and Telecaster neck. Now Fender make the things all over the world and numerous "reissues" it gets a tad confusing....
Does anyone have a vintage instrument? If they dont mind sharing a few rear headstock pictures it would be a great help to clear this up, that is if there is a definitive answer on this. I suspect Fender have changed the spacing over the years as a lot of the old ones I see on the internet seem to have almost no gaps and look like one continuous plate, to my eyes at least.
Wot is "vintage correct" anyway? Sniff.... Lol...