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Drilling through body string holes help

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Telecastermusic, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Telecastermusic

    Telecastermusic Tele-Meister

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    Hi, after some help on best way to drill holes through tele body. I haven't got access to a drill press with a deep enough throat, so will have to drill freehand. Going to be difficult to get all ferrules in line. How have you done this? Thanks.
     
  2. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    get brad point bits
    I like to drill the smallest hole first and work back to front so if the holes under the bridge are not perfect no one can see them :D
     
  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Make a little fixture with two squared up pieces of narrow, but long wood. Glue it into an L shape. If done correctly, the inside corner will be perpendicular to the surface it sits on.

    drill fixture.png


    Then you can place the hand drill bit into the corner and that will help guide it down squarely into the body. Use a center punch to make a starting spot too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Two things can happen if the holes are a little off that make it (IMO) not worth saving the cost of a drill press, which is cheaper than a Tele body.
    You might have to file the sides of some ferrules because they're too close together, or IMO worse still the holes under the bridge will be off and even after you enlarge them your strings will be a PITA to get through the bridge.

    If you want to build guitars but can't afford a drill press, maybe you could carry the body round to some furniture/ cabinet shops and ask if they would drill six holes for you. OK so 12 holes but you want to get their interest.
    Woodworkers can be interested in other kinds of woodworking, and guitars are cool. Maybe someone will help you out.
    If they're really curious you can show them the dowel in the table trick for perfect centering, which they may find useful in the future.
    If you've barely got their attention maybe skip that and hope for alignment as good as vintage Teles, not great but charming.

    Or just go with the jig Marty suggested, and be very careful.

    I'm coming from my own personal obsession, certain things bother me more than others. Difficulty stringing up a body because the holes are off under the bridge makes me want to toss the body in the woodstove.
    Depending on how you choose to proceed, you can mount the bridge and drill right through it to ensure alignment there. Won't help the ferrule alignment though.
     
  5. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    Could you use the drill press to drill six guide holes in a small block of wood, then use the wood block as a drill guide??

    Or could you route for a Telecaster ferrule block, and then use it as a drill guide?

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That's pretty cool!
    1/2" thickness should hold the drill bit from wandering as well as a drill press, so only bit flex would prevent dead on alignment on the back.
    There would still be the issue of centering a forstner bit on the holes, but there are other bits that would do that task.
     
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Somebody posted that jig last year. I bought one. Being aluminum, a drill scars it up a bit, but it does the trick.
     
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  9. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Borrow a larger drill press.
    I've even had these wander.
    The faster the bit is turning, the less it wanders.
    The faster you push the bit in, the more it wanders.
    So high speed, slow insertion.

    You're looking at a bit that needs to be near four inches long.
    Long enough the bit itself should be checked for straightness.
     
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  10. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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  11. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Friend of Leo's

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    A really simple and cheap way to just get the ferrules in a line is a marking knife and dividers. Get them perfectly spaced in a perfect line. Now, connecting them up to the holes through the top is a different issue.

    On my current build, here is what I did. I drilled part way down from the top. The bit wandered some, so they weren't perfect. So I drilled the two E string holes all the way through. I measured center to center distance and divided by 5 to get hole-to-hole distance. Using that, I made a jig that would allow me to put guide pins through the jig and into the holes I just drilled and then mark the other 4 holes. Not the best way, necessarily, but you could easily adapt it. For example, drill your two E string holes all the way through with a smallest bit possible. Measure distance and divide by 5 to get string to string distance. Strike a straight line through the centers of the two holes and mark the string to string distance, preferably using dividers. Then drill as straight as possible. A jig always helps.
     
  12. mauer62

    mauer62 Tele-Holic

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    I was faced with this decision my last build and I decided to make it a top loader and I was glad I did. I do have a jig for the ferrule holes I have used in the past but think about doing a top loader if you haven't already.
     
  13. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don't do what I did once. Don't use a hand drill.

    You only have one shot at this, and a template/jig ain't gonna keep that bit from wandering in all SORTS of whacky directions if you hand drill.

    Don't take the chance. Beg, borrow, steal, or buy a cheap drill press from Harbor Freight.
     
  14. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I also agree with this if you can't get your hands on a drill press.
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    well if ya wannit accurate, and typical of the 50's broadcaster... then ya are dooin' fine... crooked is thew way to go,,, but if ya wannit lookin' like it was done with a CNC.. here's what to do..

    Ron Kirn

    First make sure your bit is plumb with the base....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    URL=http://s110.photobucket.com/user/Ronkirn/media/007.jpg.html][​IMG][/URL]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh, the U.K.

    Forget my reference above to Harbor Freight.
     
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  17. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did it ''freehand'' and got decent results; but I had spot-on 1/2'' deep pilot holes on the front side of body. I'm also very hesitant to post my my method lest anyone consider it a how-to guide.

    Do you have accurate marks or pilot holes on front?

    Here's one of the bodies I did, it's not perfect but it's definitely in the ballpark for early 50s look.

    DSC_0949.JPG
     
  18. BC-Rush

    BC-Rush Tele-Meister

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    Hey, a cheap and fool-proof way to drill 90 degree holes is to use a doweling kit. You can pick them up at any hardware store for about 30 bucks. I don't have a drill press and I use this tool all the time.
    Just mark where you want to drill the holes, use a punch to indent the wood, clamp the doweling thingy down and drill on through to the other side.

    Mine is made by general, it has lots of different diameters and even came with some drill bits and other handy things. I can't recommend getting one enough if you don't have a drill press.
     
  19. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    IMG_2067.JPG Whatever you do, don't do it like I did... the front looks good... that back side though...

    IMG_2066.JPG
     
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