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How to enlarge holes in a guitar's top?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by SixStringSlinger, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Haha... for the second pair of holes, he was waving that running drill around like a drunken monkey. No wonder he marred the finish there.

    Don't do that, @SixStringSlinger.
     
  2. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    Tuxedo Poly likes this.
  3. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Good catch.
     
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  4. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

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    Hell no.
    Step drills are great for making holes in steel chassis, but they'd destroy a guitar top.
     
  5. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    99% chance of total disaster/thoughts of suicide.
     
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  6. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Noted.
     
  7. Ebony fretboard

    Ebony fretboard NEW MEMBER!

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    The pro luthiers use a drill press ...
    I'll post some pics

    ... and ya' need the right kinda bit.

    Stew-Mac has a great video youtube ...
    Erlewine top notch luthier btw
    [I'll dig it up and edit in]

    Proceed carefully ... but it CAN turn out ok
     
    BlondeButtersctch likes this.
  8. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Please! USE A REAMER. Pros don't use drills. They use A REAMER. In case you didn't hear me, USE A REAMER! PLEASE!
     
  9. BlondeButtersctch

    BlondeButtersctch TDPRI Member

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    drill press ... is what pro luthiers like Dan Erlewine at Stew-Mac use ...
    great video on youtube when I find it later today
     
  10. BlondeButtersctch

    BlondeButtersctch TDPRI Member

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    Dan Erlewine is a pro ... use a drill press is what I have done ..
    Do whatever suits ya'all best
    Best of luck
     
  11. BlondeButtersctch

    BlondeButtersctch TDPRI Member

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    WOW ...
    "shouting" sure makes ya' a whole lot less persuasive, eh ?

    Carry on !
     
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  12. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    any luck finding that viddy yet? I must admit I wouldn't trust myself to do it, so I'd love to see how he does it safely!
     
  13. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I used a drill once on a Squier I wanted to enlarge the holes on, and I wound up tearing off a good piece of the finish and some wood along with it. Thankfully the project involved putting a pickguard on a guitar that didn't originally have one, and that covered some of my mess.

    I'm sure poor/rookie technique played its part, along with using the wrong sort of bit, but I'm not eager to repeat that experience. I got a simple reamer for this project. The holes are almost big enough to begin with, so they just need a little shaving.
     
    LutherBurger likes this.
  14. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Friend of Leo's

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    This is what I use. It's safe and it does the job well. Get one at Harbor Freight.
     
  15. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    That and repetition.
     
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  16. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

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    Audience says........... REAMERS

    This is the best and easiest way to do what you need, you control the tool completely and can go a little at a time, I speak from some sad previous experiences......... best of luck ~ Gary
     
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  17. warchol

    warchol TDPRI Member

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    I like Forstner bits for this kind of work.
    They cut at the outside of the bit, and don't
    "pull up" chips.....
    Downside with them is that you can't use the existing
    hole as a pilot (because they cut at the outside).
    They require fixturing the guitar, in a drill press preferably.
    Make sure to use high quality bits. Cheap ones, like Harbor Fright, aren't sharp enough for fine work.
    Feed slowly, practise on a scrap piece first.

    -OR-

    Use a reamer....
     
  18. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    3 choices:

    A reamer, your best choice if you like precise, round holes.

    A step drill, if you have a super steady hand that keeps you from crashing the next step into the finish.

    80-grit paper wrapped on a dowel. Elongated holes, but so easy even a drummer could do it.

    Although tempting, stay away from twist drills for enlarging holes in wood unless you are doing it on a mill equipped with a power quill feed.
     
    Dunedin2019 likes this.
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