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Ignorant question about drilling string ferrule holes

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by KS6V, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. KS6V

    KS6V TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    First, I've never assembled a guitar from a kit. In all the tutorials I've seen, after the bridge is located, they drill the string holes from the top through the body part way. Then they flip the body place on a jig to drill the larger hole for the ferrules through the back. Many of the bodies I see for sale already have the small holes drilled on the top but not up from the bottom.

    Why not just drill the small hole all the way through, flip the body and use the small hole to mark where the larger ferrule holes should be? I'm guessing the bit may wander on the first hole.
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Small diameter drill bits tend to bend and not come out the other side evenly. They follow the grain. Look at pictures of early telecasters.

    By drilling in half way, the body can sit on a pin on a fixture directly under the drill bit and be drilled until the holes meet up. Then the ferrule holes can be drilled with a larger 5/16 or 3/8" drill bit.


    See this example from this link


    ferrules.png

    https://reverb.com/price-guide/guide/666-fender-broadcaster-1950-blonde
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  3. KS6V

    KS6V TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, that is rather extreme. And that was done in Fullerton, wow!

    So if I mess up, I can call it vintage style;)
     
  4. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Tele-Afflicted

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    That's how I do it. I don't really care if my holes aren't perfectly straight. The early teles weren't, so why should mine be? I do try for the best I can get but don't lose sleep when it doesn't turn out that way. 20200417_125304.jpg
     
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  5. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    A drill guide/jig is your best bet. The larger standard drill bit will not want to stay true despite our best intentions.
     
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  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I do it for two reasons. First, there is almost always more chip out when the drill bit exits the wood than enters. If I drill from both sides I have two entry points and no exits.

    The other is more practical. The throat on my drill press isn't deep enough to reach the center holes on a tele string thru bridge. I drill the bridge mounting holes and the two outside string holes from the top (all the way thru the body being very careful on the exit, I put a backing piece under the body). Then I drill the center holes by had as vertical as I can, stopping about halfway thru the body.

    Flip it over and locate the template with drill bits thru the two outside holes and drill the middle ones by hand again. It doesn't matter if I'm not perfectly vertical since the meet in the middle.

    Pull the template off and carefully drill the ferrule recesses by hand.

    Its one of the harder things to do perfectly - if I was ever to buy another drill press I would want one with a deeper throat

    IMG_4708.JPG
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If your holes come out wrong, the ferrule flanges sometimes will interfere with each other, making installation tougher. Doing it in two stages is the way to go to minimize screw ups. There's not a whole lot of space between ferrule flanges when they are done correctly. That's an area where wood can split out pretty easily, so evenly spaced helps control that.


    See post 88 and on for the process. I use the pilot hole drill bit as the pin to locate it on the fixture.

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/lets-make-a-body.1017362/page-5#post-9774130
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  8. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Drill the front with small diameter bit on a drill press. Use a jig or at least centerpunch the marks before drilling.
    Then line up a jig like this and flip the body to drill the back of each hole. It won't matter if you have some wander when you drill the front side hole because the pin ensures you line up to the positioning of the ferrule with the hole on the guitar face. I think that's a 6d nail I cut off as an indexing pin.
    upload_2020-10-23_13-4-41.png
     
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  9. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    You are correct. Even if you can drill perfectly straight with a drill press, the larger bit will have a hard time centering within it. There are big fancy jigs using pins and stuff, but here's how I do it:

    (at the drill press)

    1. Screw your bridge in place with the saddles off.
    2. Drill all your holes from the top about 3/4 of the way through.
    3. Chuck a smaller bit and drill through the high and low E's all the way through the top; center these as best you can through the existing holes.
    4. Uncrew your bridge. Flip the body over. Use the two E holes to line up as best you can the bridge. Use a pencil to mark the 4 remaining holes.
    5. Drill the ferrule holes with the larger bit. The larger bit will center better on the E holes since you used a tiny bit on them, and the other 4 holes will be colinear if you marked properly and drill properly.

    The trick is to realize that the ferrule holes don't have to be perfectly lined up with the top holes; but the top holes should be in a straight line, and the ferrule holes should be in a straight line.
     
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  10. KS6V

    KS6V TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Thanks everyone for the explanation and methods. I have a small throat drill press, so the method of indexing off of the two e strings, with the bridge on both sides, sounds like the best plan for my resources.
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    KS6V, if my drill press had a deep enough throat I would definitely use ale.istotle's method but I can't. Doing the outside holes on the drill press does insure that they go perpendicularly thru the body, putting the template (or bridge) on the back will let you set the spacing. Enlarging the holes for the ferrules is the hard part.
     
  12. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    This is the method I use.
     
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  13. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

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    That's pretty much my way of doing it.
    There are some pictures of it on a build I did a few years ago (scroll almost all the way down):
    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/ultralight-quad-lipstick-relic-maybe-just-a-little-build.860727/page-3
     
  14. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    What if I want the string ferrules flush with the back?I have done one already with the protruding ferrules and I don't like it like that.They should be countersunk.
     
  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Even if you use a smaller drill press it’s worth doing the pin alignment method rather than drilling all the way through for your back locations.

    I’ve been drilling holes for like 50 years and I still cannot get machinist results by eye! Nor can I coax bits to run straight through wood that has directionally opinionated grain.

    If I was drilling ferrule holes with a smaller press I would make a drilling jig for the big bit in a small block maybe 3/4” thick, almost the same as a body gets drilled on the E strings with a larger press.

    Screw or clamp the bridge to the small block of scrap.
    Drill half an inch deep, all six holes, with the through hole bit size which is the dowel pin size.
    Get rid of the bridge, pop in the dowel pin, flip the block, and line it up on the dowel to drill most of the way with the big ferrule size bit, but don’t drill through the dowel.
    Pull the dowel bed and drill the rest of the way through the little block so you have six through holes.
    Do the same procedure on the body for the two E strings, pin the template you made with big (5/16”? )dowels to those E holes and drill the other four ferrule holes.

    Takes longer but worth it if you like straight looking lines, and that block can be used again.
    For countersunk ferrules you need two of those blocks for the two hole sizes, plus a depth stop, but it really sucks to drift those holes into each other in a rush to avoid extra steps.

    Old Tele ferrule holes are charming but consider that they had huge industrial machines, good bits and skilled operators.
    Hobby tools and experience may fall short of Tadeo on a bad day!
     
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  17. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you can reach the end holes drilling from each side, you should be able to reach all six if you rotate the body 90 degrees and drill from the end, like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    Can't find my ferrules at the moment but I have the same stepped drill bit. I'll have to measure the O.D.of the flange part. That may just work even with a hand drill motor.
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    The distance from my pillar to the center of the quill is 5 inches. The only way I can can reach that is to sneak in at an angle from the waist. The dimensions you show are all 5-1/4 or more. I wish...

    IMG_6619.JPG
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I forget the dimensions and am not at home but it seems like 5/16”&3/8”?
    Much easier to drill the big hole first with a proper forstner bit but if holes are already drilled and you only have hand tools then a stepped bit might be the answer.

    I noticed the last time I bought ferrules that Fender sells different sets for vintage vs Am Std.
     
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