On my first guitar I messed up the placement of the tuning machine holes on the peghead. This time I made a template. It's a scrap piece of mahogany. Here it is sitting on top of the peghead.
I think it's going to be a good idea to drill the holes before doing the finish. If I finished the peghead and then drilled the holes, I'd likely scratch or dent the finish, as I need to clamp it in place to drill the holes.
I marked holes on the peghead veneer using a white colored pencil.
The last time I did this, I used a neighbor's drill press. As a result, I think I hurried the job. This time I'm using my own newly-acquired press. It's small, and used, and fairly old, but in good shape. It does a good job.
First I drilled 1/4" holes for all six tuner posts. Then I drilled 11/32" holes, only part way into the top, to only accommodate the bushings. This makes for a nice snug fit. Stew-mac makes a bit that centers this hole, but I just wiggled the peghead until I got the larger hole centered. I think I got it done really well this way.
Here's what it looks like, all done. After drilling both holes, I insert the 1/4" bit again, thru those bushings, to insure that the tuner posts won't be rubbing against anything.
I had a little tear out on the back but it will be covered up by the tuners.
So here's what the back will look like.
These are the Grover Sta-Tites with "vintage style scalloped knobs." The gear ratio is 18:1.