The tuners I ordered for this guitar are the Gotohs with staggered posts, like the ones Fender installs on the Eric Johnson Strat. The idea is to eliminate the string tree, always a potential source of tuning woes. The B and high E tuners have the shortest posts. If I wind on as much string as I can fit, I should get enough downward pressure at the nut to prevent string buzz there.
I didn’t really illustrate this during the Esquire build. The first step in tuner installation is to seat the grommets. I use a huge pair of pliers and a couple of small scraps of wood for padding. Crude but effective. Those suckers are NOT coming out.
Next I line up the tuners with a straightedge and mark the locations of the first and last screws. I drill pilot holes with a 1/16″ bit, soap the screw threads, and in they go. After that I mark the holes for the middle screws and repeat. There’s a tiny bit of room to adjust the alignment. These came out just fine, thanks.