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Old September 10th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to drill holes in neck?

This is my first time build, i am 17 and just bought a mighty mite rosewood fretboard/maple neck which cost me 90 bucks.

i do not want to mess anything up!

so i was going over how i should drill the neck holes in my neck, since it comes without the holes. =/

anyways i was thinking can i just place the neck in the neckpocket.
use a C-clamp to apply pressure and keep both the neck and the body aligned and together. and use the holes of the body (already drilled out by the builder of the body.) as a template?
What bit size should i use to start drilling? should i just drill about a centimeter into the neck and then hand screw the rest in???

PLEASE HELP ME! =/
I AM REALLY NERVOUS!

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Old September 10th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's what I do.

Put the tuners on the neck and the (2) E strings like you were changing strings.
Set the neck into the neck rout and use a C clamp in the center of the four holes, but don't forget some type of cushion so that the clamp pressure doesn't screw up the frets and fingerboard. Adjust the neck so the strings are equal on each side of the fingerboard and tighten the clamp, but not too much, just enough to keep the neck still. Find a drill that is narrower than the threads. You could be using metric or english screws, so you'll have to determine the size or if you know, you can consult a pilot hole chart. Put some masking tape on the drill so that you don't drill too far in and out the other side. You want to just drill a hair more than the length of the screw. Drill the hole. I put the plate on first, then take a screw and put some wax on it and tighten it up. Move the clamp and repeat until all are done. As always your mileage may vary and there are more ways to do this tasks.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You should drill the pilot holes at least as deep as the screw will penetrate, otherwise you risk cracking the wood.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guitarbuilder View Post
Here's what I do.

Put the tuners on the neck and the (2) E strings like you were changing strings.
Set the neck into the neck rout and use a C clamp in the center of the four holes, but don't forget some type of cushion so that the clamp pressure doesn't screw up the frets and fingerboard. Adjust the neck so the strings are equal on each side of the fingerboard and tighten the clamp, but not too much, just enough to keep the neck still. Find a drill that is narrower than the threads. You could be using metric or english screws, so you'll have to determine the size or if you know, you can consult a pilot hole chart. Put some masking tape on the drill so that you don't drill too far in and out the other side. You want to just drill a hair more than the length of the screw. Drill the hole. I put the plate on first, then take a screw and put some wax on it and tighten it up. Move the clamp and repeat until all are done. As always your mileage may vary and there are more ways to do this tasks.
Yes as far as i have research and known, this is the method most builders use for drilling their holes in the neck. I do thank you for the thorough details! I hope i do not screw up my piece of wood! if so i guess ill have to go with neck inserts =p blehh

Do you know what drill bit size i should use? to drill?
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Old September 11th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you know what drill bit size i should use? to drill?
That depends quite heavily on the size of the screws you will be using.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And remember to watch the tape marker on the bit. It can slide up as you drill each hole. By the time you get to the last screw....you could drill all the way through the fingerboard....I've seen it done. Check the tape lacation before EVERY hole!
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Old September 11th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One more thing I'd like to add.

When you have the neck clamped in place, take a drill bit that is the same size as the holes in the body and push it into each hole and give it several good hard twists to mark the spots on the neck heel. Using a drill bill that is the same size as the body holes will ensure that the marks are perfectly centered where they need to be. Using a smaller drill will be inaccurate and the holes may be off far enough to cause alignment problems.

Then take the neck off and drill the holes. And for the love of god please use a drill press with a proper set-up if one is available to you. Using a hand drill can be pretty risky.
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Old September 11th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarbuilder View Post
Here's what I do.

Put the tuners on the neck and the (2) E strings like you were changing strings.
Set the neck into the neck rout and use a C clamp in the center of the four holes, but don't forget some type of cushion so that the clamp pressure doesn't screw up the frets and fingerboard. Adjust the neck so the strings are equal on each side of the fingerboard and tighten the clamp, but not too much, just enough to keep the neck still. Find a drill that is narrower than the threads. You could be using metric or english screws, so you'll have to determine the size or if you know, you can consult a pilot hole chart. Put some masking tape on the drill so that you don't drill too far in and out the other side. You want to just drill a hair more than the length of the screw. Drill the hole. I put the plate on first, then take a screw and put some wax on it and tighten it up. Move the clamp and repeat until all are done. As always your mileage may vary and there are more ways to do this tasks.
What if there are no holes in the body either? Do you use the neck plate as a template for the holes? How do you get it in exactly the right position, I mean in line with the center axis of the body?
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Old September 11th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What if there are no holes in the body either?

With an accurate rule, I take a piece of thin posterboard and draw a trapazoid the size of the neck rout around a centerline. You could draw in the radius, but I just cut the corners off at an angle. I then measure where the center of the holes are and cut that shape out with an xacto knife and lay it in the rout. I poke through the dots with an awl, then drill away.
A freeware CAD program will let you print this out as well.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for all the feedback guys. I finally researched and using a hand drill i heard is very risky... so i dont want to take the chance instead for my new project. I just figure id invest in a dremel work station drill press. Basically, i already have a dremel 275 rotary tool, and that attaches to this drill press station for precise drilling. All i need are the brad point drill bits. And im ready to go.

This cost me 48.00 to pickup at my local lowes + i got a 10% off coupon from their website.



heres a youtube link of what it can do.(well what most drill press are designed to use :p)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j07zmBYhnmY



You guys should invest in one of these if you guys got a dremel already! it'll save the worrying time!
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Old September 12th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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And remember to watch the tape marker on the bit. It can slide up as you drill each hole. By the time you get to the last screw....you could drill all the way through the fingerboard....I've seen it done. Check the tape lacation before EVERY hole!
I take a piece of plastic tubing like the shell of a cheap ink pen and cut it to the desired length as a drill stop. The plastic tube can not slide up the bit like tape. Just be sure to recheck the dimension before drilling and each time you reuse the spacer on another guitar.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by giale123 View Post
thanks for all the feedback guys. I finally researched and using a hand drill i heard is very risky... so i dont want to take the chance instead for my new project. I just figure id invest in a dremel work station drill press. Basically, i already have a dremel 275 rotary tool, and that attaches to this drill press station for precise drilling. All i need are the brad point drill bits. And im ready to go.

This cost me 48.00 to pickup at my local lowes + i got a 10% off coupon from their website.



heres a youtube link of what it can do.(well what most drill press are designed to use :p)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j07zmBYhnmY



You guys should invest in one of these if you guys got a dremel already! it'll save the worrying time!
The throat depth is pretty shallow on that... I bought an actual drill press from Harbor Freight for $39.00... but I drill the neck holes with a hand drill...

This one was on sale a couple of years ago for $39
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=38119

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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Since your fingerboard is rounded, what's going to guarantee your neck heel is perpendicular to the drill bit and not off by a couple of degrees?
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Old September 13th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Since your fingerboard is rounded, what's going to guarantee your neck heel is perpendicular to the drill bit and not off by a couple of degrees?
even because the fingerboard is rounded im going to take the extra precautions to make sure my neck heel is flush flat in the neck pocket. I'll put 1-2 clamps and tighten it down well. I heard many people on trdpi do it, without any problems of that "off by couple of degrees" so no sweat. As long as i make my pilot holes before the actual drilling, and making sure i drill the right depth. I'll be fine.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Big Mike Simpson View Post
The throat depth is pretty shallow on that... I bought an actual drill press from Harbor Freight for $39.00... but I drill the neck holes with a hand drill...

This one was on sale a couple of years ago for $39
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=38119

it is pretty short of a regular base, but ill make it work. Its not the base that im worrying about. If the body cant fit up to the base, and work around it then ill perhaps drill the neck holes without the body being clamped on to the neck.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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If the body cant fit up to the base, and work around it then ill perhaps drill the neck holes without the body being clamped on to the neck.

I always drill through the body holes as a guide. Drilling the neck off of the body is just plain asking for trouble...

1. Clamp the neck to the guitar with a C clamp using leather or scrap wood to protect the fretboard and the back of the body.

2. Put both E strings on and make sure the neck is on straight.

3. Turn the whole thing overwhile it is still clamped together and drill your neck holes using the body holes as a guide.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Big Mike Simpson View Post
I always drill through the body holes as a guide. Drilling the neck off of the body is just plain asking for trouble...

1. Clamp the neck to the guitar with a C clamp using leather or scrap wood to protect the fretboard and the back of the body.

2. Put both E strings on and make sure the neck is on straight.

3. Turn the whole thing overwhile it is still clamped together and drill your neck holes using the body holes as a guide.
Thanks! I'll definitely use your input when my neck comes in thursday. Its been such a wait and im ready to build this thing already! Anyways, i figure today that since im going to be clamping the body + neck together when drilling, i needed some extra height from my press drill or w.e you make of what i just bought^^^. So that i did, now i need to make sure everything is level somehow that way i drill a straight and level neck hole. But anyways thanks! ill tell you how it goes!
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