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Truss Rod Drilling Jig

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Amerman, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    67
    Aug 23, 2017
    UK
    I've been ruminating on the problem of accurately drilling fender style truss rod nut and anchor holes of late.
    The typical method of drilling through a block at an angle doesn't work for me, there's too much margin for error. So I came up with this over engineered jig, to replicate the way the Fender boys did it in the 50's based on the well known 8mm factory video.
     

    Attached Files:


  2. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    67
    Aug 23, 2017
    UK
    The jig is all 3/4" ply.

    The idea is that the neck is held flat against the hinged board, which is parallel to the action of the drill press. (I should mention that my drill press is adjustable for throat depth, height and angle in two axis, though in this case everything is at right angles. )

    The lower edge of the hinged board has a pair of 8mm bolts with an insert in the backing board. Washers can be added between the bolts and the board to get a variable angle at the drilling point. I need to work out the offset distance, but it's fairly easy trigonometry based on the angle required and length of the boards.

    In theory, this should allow me to drill the butt and anchor holes in one piece Fender necks with a high degree of accuracy.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017

  3. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Holic

    517
    Oct 11, 2009
    south carolina
    Ameriman,
    your jig looks promising. I have some problems with this operation, and use a similar jig. I have a 14" drill press, and tilt the table 3% and clamp a board to the table to which the neck is them clamped. Simple in practice, but hard to explain.

    I have come to the conclusion a two piece neck makes more sense in terms of strength, accuracy, and simplicity. I see a single piece neck as staying with vintage construction, just for vintage sake.

    Ah, but it is this differing opinions that keeps the world moving forward, so I say to each his own.

    Please post your process and result, I could be converted.

    Happy New Year,
    Jim
     

  4. johnboy99

    johnboy99 Tele-Meister

    177
    Jun 7, 2012
    florida
    Nice jig! look forward to seeing the results.

    "fairly easy trigonometry" are words that have never come out of my mouth... Just a lot of other, more colorful words after I realize that my math was wrong and I screwed something up:mad:
     
    Tezuka27 and koolaide like this.

  5. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    67
    Aug 23, 2017
    UK
    Thanks for the vote of confidence guys! Koolaide, that's basically what i'm doing except the jig itself has the ability to tilt. My drill has a tilting table but I'm not sure it's precise enough.

    Personally, I think that a once piece neck has advantages in both tone and weigh, but as you say, each to their own! The one piece/two piece issue is part of the reason for making this jig, as the truss rod nut is lower (~3mm) on a 2 piece slab neck than a 1 piece.

    With regards to the Trigonometry, it's pretty simple if you use sketchup like I do ;)

    Based on the distance between the top hinge and the two 8mm bolts, I need a spacer of 17.7mm thick to achieve 2.5 degrees of elevation. Simples!
     

  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    How long is the drill bit? The chuck will hit the peghead with a short one.
     

  7. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    67
    Aug 23, 2017
    UK
    As long as it needs to be ;)

    I haven't got the correct size drill bit yes. I know the butt needs a 3/8" bit, which can be standard length, however the actual truss rod hole which should be longer i'm still not clear on the right size. It's not 1/4" as I originally thought.
     

  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    I drill that one at 3/8 too. That's the size of the walnut plug IIRC.
     

  9. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    67
    Aug 23, 2017
    UK
    That's what I was thinking, and I'll be using 3/16 rods threaded to 10/32 so it fits easily available truss rod nuts. This makes more sense than using the vintage correct 11/64 or whatever the size was pre-CBS.
     

  10. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Holic

    517
    Oct 11, 2009
    south carolina
    Be sure to drill a 3/16 pilot. Don't ask me how I know.
     
    Amerman likes this.

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