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Aug 14, 2020 - 12:20:31 PM
14 posts since 7/23/2020

I am in the planning phases of building a Vega Whyte Laydie, and the plans I have call for a tapered head stock. While this is an interesting design aesthetic, it seems to limit functionality of selecting planetary tuners. They would never seat because the two surfaces aren't coplaner. So, I am curious what those have done with these original necks when it comes time to upgrade tuning machines? Right now, I am just thinking about scrapping the idea of putting a taper up there. Sure does simplify a whole lot.


edited to add: I guess I should specify that this is the case if using something like waverly tuners. They would never sit flat. I suppose other tuners might work.


Edited by - jwoollen on 08/14/2020 12:36:31

Aug 14, 2020 - 12:40:56 PM
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2227 posts since 9/16/2007

A small amount of taper will present no problems seating planet pegs. I put 1/32 inch of taper between pegs 1/4 and the tip. Doesn't sound like much, but it is enough, and planets seat fine.  I prefer the look of a tapered headstock with side cuts perpendicular to the fingerboard.  I also taper the fingerboard about 1/16 inch over its length.

Edited by - mbanza on 08/14/2020 12:44:44

Aug 14, 2020 - 12:47:09 PM

11067 posts since 6/2/2008

Originally posted by mbanza

I also taper the fingerboard about 1/16 inch over its length.

Why? And in which direction?

Aug 14, 2020 - 12:57:07 PM

14 posts since 7/23/2020

The taper that’s called on the plans is really significant. I think I’m going to lessen it and maybe add a volute for the fun of it.



Edited by - jwoollen on 08/14/2020 13:03:51

Aug 14, 2020 - 1:02:18 PM



2227 posts since 9/16/2007

I all started as a result of using hand tools to thickness fingerboards: A taper is easier to get than uniform thickness. I liked the look better and began intentionally tapering fingerboard, peghead veneer, and heel cap. All are thickest toward the heel.

Aug 14, 2020 - 1:20:51 PM

7775 posts since 1/7/2005

Do the plans specify planetary tuners or friction tuners?

Friction tuners are smaller in diameter and could probably accommodate a certain amount of angle with no problem.

Aug 14, 2020 - 1:26:42 PM

14 posts since 7/23/2020

It calls for friction tuners, which don't care about a taper. I do not particularly want friction tuners, but I also like the taper, hence my quandary.

Aug 14, 2020 - 1:44:27 PM
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21825 posts since 7/6/2005

You could use a counterbore on the back of the peghead to make a small recessed seat the same size as the planetary housing if perpendicular mounting is the issue. I like the tapered peghead. It looks sleek.

Aug 14, 2020 - 1:49:28 PM

7775 posts since 1/7/2005

Oops, I didn't see your drawing when I posted.


Aug 15, 2020 - 5:16:03 PM
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Bill H


1364 posts since 11/7/2010

I have a 1924 Senator and a 19th century Electric that have that sort of taper in the headstock. I replaced tuners on both with the small shaft tuners offered by Smakula Fretted Instruments They are available in two lengths to accommodate these vintage pegheads. The sit just fine on the instrument and work beautifully.

Aug 18, 2020 - 6:01:43 PM

2123 posts since 2/7/2008

I hadn't seen a tapered headstock before. That's very elegant.

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