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Drilling through body string holes help

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

  1. Bakeacake08

    Bakeacake08 Tele-Meister

    Jul 23, 2016
    My solution for this was to take a scrap of 2x4 and use a square to mark a line down the length along the top of it. Then I flipped the board over and marked the line on the bottom (using the same side as a reference to make sure they were equally far from the edge). Then I measured from the end every inch or so on the line on both the top and bottom (so I'd have multiple shots at it). Now I have lines set up on the top and bottom that should be directly overlapped, so I freehand drilled at each of the marks until I got one that hit both marks perfectly, and then I used that hole as a guide to drill through my marks on the body. That didn't drill all the way through, but the new holes in the body were deep enough to keep it straight the rest of the way through. It turned out pretty well. I was using rivets (with the pins cut off) for my ferrules, so I used a router to route a small recess on the back side of the body, which cleaned up any scraggly holes from drilling through.

    Ukulele Back.jpg
  2. kingoflimbs

    kingoflimbs Tele-Meister

    Sep 8, 2011
    New Jersey
  3. Null99

    Null99 TDPRI Member

    Apr 30, 2017
    This is my first string through build and I also have a drill press that will not accommodate the guitar body. I made this crude jig and plan to get a piece of stainless and make a proper jig. I screwed the bridge to the wood block and drilled the 6 holes with a #31 drill (fits perfectly in the bridge string holes). Then opened up with an 11/64 drill. (This is where you have to be careful and also need three 11/64 drill bits). I mark the first string hole on the body and free drill about a 1/4 inch deep. I then use one of the 11/64 bits and push it through the jig and put it in the 1/4 inch deep hole. Then I align the jig properly to the last string hole and again drill about a 1/4 inch deep and put the second drill bit in that hole. Now the jig is in place and I drill the other 4 holes all the way through. Now you can move the drill bits to the 2nd and 5th holes and drill the 2 outside holes through. As you can see in the picture, I screwed up prior to coming up with this jig and had to plug the holes with glue and wood dowels. Second attempt worked well and will post picks when build is finished. Again this is crude but it worked. Apparently I have retained some of my skills from when I was a machinist 30+ years ago. Hope this helps somebody. I should also mention that what ever you use for the jig, the bottom has to be perfectly flat.
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    If you attempt to drill all the way through from one side only the majority, if not all of the time the holes will wind up crooked on the back side... Using a guide to stabilize the drill bit will not help.. here's why..

    As the bit is penetrating the body, its going to encounter differing densities, due to the grain structure... as the drill "hits" the denser grain, it will be at an angle to the direction of the drill bit... thus it will force the bit "off line".. causing the bit to flex off line... if you continue all the way through...it cannot help but to exit off line with the entry point on the opposite side...

    So.... drill half way on one side, flip it, and use the registration pin concept (shown above in my post #15) and drill the other side..... then run a drill bit all the way through to "clean up" any misalignment that may have "creeped" into your string holes...

    Oh yeah... using a brad pointy drill bit will greatly reduce the "wander" as it passes through the different grain densities, but a conventional bit will suffice...

    Ron Kirn
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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