Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Help! What size bit to make thru-body hole?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by thomcit, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. thomcit

    thomcit TDPRI Member

    Apr 5, 2003
    Spring, TX
    I've got Tele body and want to string through it. Is that what helps give the tele a special tone.I know it will need ferrules and want to get flush mount.What size drill bit should I drill thru.I know how to make chamfer to get it flush with body, but I need to know the size that the small part of ferrule fits in. My only other question is wouldn't that make the angle too steep?

  2. 0le FUZZY

    0le FUZZY Former Member

    <li>1/8" drill through the body and one of these fer the ferrules:

  3. Phil Jacoby

    Phil Jacoby Tele-Meister

    Mar 18, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    OK, heres how I do it, maybe this will help you. I try to get as clean a look as I can. I have dial calipers in .001"s and a standard drill index and a brad point bit index.

    1) Locate the bridge. I like to have the PU in the bridge. make sure your side to side is good either with junk outer E strings or a straight edge. I like to put down the cheap masking tape to use a pencil on to locate stuff, measure etc. Screw it down in the appropriate spot and mark all the thru body holes. Use a punch/ awl etc to give a starter mark.

    2) Drill all the way thru the guitar for the outer Es only. I use a drill press, no hand drill, 1/8" brad point bit as they do not tend to wander. Drill in a little and bring the bit up and clear the waste from it. This also helps to stop wandering and keeps the bit cool. Remember you are drilling thru a 1 3/4" body. Stop, clear, cool often, say every 3/16".

    3) With the outer Es drilled thru, flip the body over, masking tape to draw on, plot the ferrule holes centered between the two outer holes, equidistant, mark with awl... Use the dial calipers to select the right bit for the ferrules. IE - If the ferrules are .380" and you have a .375" bit, use that one. I start the holes with a brad point bit and then switch to a 112 degree standard twist drill bit the same size to get the right bottom for the hole. You can use masking tape on the bit to act as a guide for depth. Drill all 6 ferrule holes. Ferrules all vary in size depending on who made them so you must measure. For example, StewMac sells two kinds and Callaham offers 3 sizes. Do you want flush mount vintage style or the lipped ones? Want to recess the lip? etc...Frankly I measure all my drill bits too as they aren't exactly the size they are supposed to be.

    4) The ferrule holes all have centers now. use the 1/8" brad point from the back on center in the ferrule holes and deepen the holes about 1/2", not all the way thru. Stop, clear, cool.

    5) Drill remaining thru holes from the top with the 1/8" brad point, stop, clear and cool. The holes should line up fairly well. Try passing a string thru to see and/or looking thru the hole by holding the body up to the light. If the hole is off, use a sligthly larger twist bit from the back side in the ferrule holes to enlarge offending holes to the point where they meet the 1/8" hole from the bridge plate. Be reasonable here. If a bit really wandered or something is significantly off its because a step wasn't executed properly...

    6) Remove masking tape, install ferrules and bridge and enjoy! I install ferrules by using the drill press as an arbor press by removing the bit and closing the chuck all the way. The hole shouold be ever so slightly undersized, a couple of .001s" so that the ferrule is a good press fit, no glue or goop needed.

    Sorry for all the detail here if you don't need it. I've seen the results of folks just trying to plunge a bit rigth on thru and the result can be, well, messy.

  4. cranktime

    cranktime TDPRI Member

    Apr 10, 2003
    Toronto, ON
    I've been lurking on this thread because I've been considering changing the bridge on my Tele to a thru-body style. Right now I have a stock 6-barrel saddle where the strings thread through the bridge... not through the body.

    First, some of the Tele replacement bridges I've looked at seem to present a few problems for me. My current bridge is bolted to the body with three screws and the replacement bridges I've seen seem to bolt on with four. Second, the replacement bridge I looked at last night (it was a Fender) was a little shorter than my current one. At first I had concerns about the new bridge altering the scale length, but upon closer examination, I think the new bridge could be set up OK. However, being shorter it looks like the holes for the old bridge could interfere with the thru-body holes for the new bridge. Aside from any input on the above description of my problem, I guess my question is: Where can I find a good selection of replacement Tele bridges?

    Finally, I've considered modifying my current bridge by drilling it to convert it into a thru-body style. It looks easy enough to do. However, does anybody know how far back from the saddle the thru-body holes should be? I can imagine that if the holes are too far back from the saddle, the string could rub on the bridge plate causing excess wear and breakage. On the other hand, if the holes are too close to the saddle, you might not be able to make saddle adjustments. I'm beginning to think this is probably my best option.

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