Freewheel Tuning Machines

Objective & Result Design Variations Choice of Knobs Fitting Measurements

Objective & Result

It was my objective to design guitar tuning machines that fulfill the toughest professional criteria.

The perfect combination of materials is just as important here as the use of a real worm gear with an optimised transmission ratio.

Further, you require a sophisticated bearing construction for the smooth turning of the shaft, which guaranteed the even tuning of the strings. A lot of calculation and experimentation was necessary before the optimum result was achieved.

Exact technical drawings have to be prepared to be able to produce the individual parts. It has to be taken into consideration that all elements have to be adjusted to each other for a perfect fit during the final assembly process.

The result of this process has now reliably proven itself on the market under the product name of 'Freewheel Tuning Machines' for many years.

Since this is an innovative gear unit, the design is also deliberately modern.


The photo on the left shows a 'Freewheel Tuning Machine' from the first small production series from 1994.

The construction of the 'Freewheel Tuning Machines' stands out through the following technical attributes:
• The base plates are milled from one solid piece to retain a precise distance between worm and wheel.

• All shafts are specially mounted and the string shafts are additionally supported through a bushing,

  preventing them from chafing the wood.   
• Worm wheel and string shafts are made of one piece to guarantee a perfectly centered rotation.
• To enable a particularly delicate tuning of the strings the gear ratio is set to 1:17.
• Bronze for the worm wheeland high grade steel for the precision gearing ensure a long life cycle and the

  even rotation of the gears.
• It was possible to reduce the weight of the individual parts so much, that in spite of the solid construction

  the 'Freewheel Tuning Machine' distinguishes itself through its light weight.

Since its original conception the external appearance has been slightly altered and the construction is being continually revised in order to enhance the quality without increasing the price. A large part of the work on the tuning machines is still done by hand today.

The refinishing, sanding, separating and burring of the base plates.

Further the adjusting and mounting of the gears and finally the test.

No tuning machine leaves my workshop without it.

Design Variations  

At the moment the Freewheel tuning machines are only available for mounting in the slotted heads of classical and acoustic guitars as sets with


base plates in gold, design in black

or base plates in black, design in gold


as well as individual tuners with base plates in gold or black.

The Freewheel design is a registered trademark of the Guitar Workshop Welsch.

business details

Fitting Measurements        

In order to adjust the string shafts correctly I require the measurements for F and W.

Please note: It is important that you supply these measurements for every order.

The distance between shafts is fixed at 2 x 35mm.

Drill diameter = 10mm



An indispensable aid for the drilling of the holes into the new head is the drilling template.                             >>>>>>>>>>

It supports three hardened drilling sleeves.


No need to start the drilling holes.


The three holes are in exactly the right distance along a straight line.


This enables a fast and precise fitting of the tuning machine.

To download a copy of the measurement diagram for F and W as a .pdf document, please click here .
Choice of Knobs  
base plate gold, design black
base plate black, design gold
Ebony knobs
Rosewood knobs
Mother-of-Pearl knobs with grey highlights
Mother-of-Pearl knobs white

Dear friends and customers,

The Welsch family would like to thank all of Knut's customers and express their gratitude for everyone's kind words.

The closure of the business side has now been completed and all outstanding demands from third parties have been met and no new demands can be processed.

Due to popular demand the Freewheel tuners will probably go back into production around the middle of the year.

11 February 2012