So I really like the idea of taking non-musical parts and making a musical instrument, or at the very least, making the part yourself. Using machine heads is sort of like cheating to me and sort of kills the spirit of "this something I threw together with crap I found in my garage."
i get what you're saying. Since i want to make a cbg the quick an ddirty style i woun't be using the machine heads, because that would mean taking an instrument appart that i might wanna sell in the future. CBG's appeal to me because people use to make best with what they've had to make what they want. If i would have some machine heads laying around i would use them to enhance the sound of the instrument and reliability.
I just happen to have laying around, a band saw, table saw, benchtop sanding station, drill press, machine heads, and peg shaver & reamer, so any itch can be scratched....
I came up with a solution using dowels as a simple tuner. The screw at the base end pulls it tight to the headstock and it stays in tune. I sprinkled salt in the recess for friction. This design works very well!
Another design using a dowel and block of wood - which doesn't work as well to keep tune. You can't tell in the pic, but I tapered the dowel on my belt sander to try to make it sit tight when pushed in the hole.
I mostly make serious instruments, many for gigging and recording, and usually use tuning machines. As an alternative, zither pins also work well.
I tried anchor bolts and nuts for a bass/baritone git. Never again, too much hassle and grief.
People in back in the day used whatever they had because they couldn't afford it, today parts are easily had for cheap. So why bother? Want to go as primal as you can? Cut your own wood from a tree, use some nails for frets, screws for keys and cut the wire from a few old brooms for strings. Then I'll be impressed. LOL
Same here with the anchor bolts, real pain in the as..., but, that being said, one day I want to find a real old(100yrs maybe) cigar box(will probably have to spend too much) and build a primal looking 3 string fretless, and might steal this design idea if that's ok Ted when I do, it will most likely be a wall hangar piece of art, recreation of the past sorta thing and I think this tuner idea would fit the bill.
But as far as building for either selling or playing, I'll stick with conventional machine heads. I understand some people enjoy making these instruments from gathered parts.
I used to have a didley bow I made, I used a wood shims, the kind used for installing doors etc, under the bridge and I could fine tune to pitch by moving the shims under the bridge making the string slightly tighter/looser. The string was anchored on each end with a deck screw, so the screws would set the basic tuning, then fine tune with the shims.
That is cool, you just gave me a slightly different idea for making separate adjustment saddles for a 3 string
Nice to have a bottle with that kind of edge for a bridge and your shim to pitch idea is ingenious.
Now I am impressed Bluesheart. LOL
Those are dowels epoxied into cigar mouthpieces and inset with BBs! I real bear to work with but they hold well. I made a T wrench out of copper pipe with vinyl tubing inside because thet are hard to turn with fingers only.