Dating martin ukulele tuners
I did some tests on scrap first (see the picture above), and found I only needed about 1 to 1.5 turns on my hand drill to make a nice chamfer for the bushing to sit neatly in.
So I made the same chamfer on the top of the headstock, and used the 100 degree bit for the back. However, the thickness of the headstock is about 1/32 of an inch too thin for the bushings to sit down perfectly in the chamfers! I really wanted the bottoms of the tuners to fit well, so I decided to use some plugs in the top of the tuner holes to make a new surface for the bushings to sit in. The chamfer made the top bushing sit just a little too deep in the hole.
In other words, when I put a tuner in and tightened it up, there was vertical play in it. It looked great - the outside edge sat perfectly level with the top of the headstock.
But the way the bushing dishes down made the effective thickness of the headstock too thin, so the tuner wouldn't tighten down all the way.
The plugs are about half the height of the holes - and they give the bushings the proper height to sit on.
I drilled out the plugs so the tuner shafts could pass through them, and I sanded the tops of the plugs down flush to the headstock. You can see the downward 'dish' of the top bushings.
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I prefer the Snark SN-6 ukulele tuner that clips on to the headstock of your ukulele, but you can use the online chromatic tuner above (if you're on desktop and have a built-in microphone). You can learn to play four beginner-friendly songs with me on ukulele in the FREE Learn to Play Ukulele Today video course delivered right to your email inbox.
To tune your ukulele by ear, listen to the pitches as a point of reference for tuning your ukulele.
A chromatic tuner is a device that detects the pitch of a note as you pluck a string of the ukulele like the one aabove.
With the aid of a chromatic tuner, you can quickly identify if you are sharp or flat (that is to say “too high” or “too low" in pitch) relative to the desired note.