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Restringing Clinic

Slotted Headstocks
© Frank Ford, 3/21/98; Photos by FF, 3/19/98

The "original" tuning machines were mounted on slotted headstocks. In the 19th century, the standard guitar peghead was slotted for geared tuners, or was made flat for "friction" pegs of wood, bone or ivory.

Lots of old steel string guitars, as well as many newer ones made in the old style, have slotted headstocks. These guitars are restrung in essentially the same way as modern steel string guitars. You should take a little extra care to make the job come out neatly, though.

The steel stringing article has a clear description of attaching the strings at the bridge.

I'll demonstrate using the sixth string because it's the fattest and will show up best in photos. I'll just pass the string through the hole in the tuning roller:

I'm holding the string off the fingerboard 2 to 3 inches to allow one full turn to wind up on the tuner roller, and keeping tension on the string with my right hand as I work:

Next I'll bring the free end of the string around the tuning post and down the front:

I loop the free end of the string under and around back up toward the top of the headstock:

I have to pull pretty hard on the free end of the string to tighten up the loop:



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