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  #1  
Old 02-19-2009, 08:10 PM
brockgl brockgl is offline
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Default Drilling/Reaming an End-Pin Jack Hole?

I have an Alvarez Masterworks series acoustic that did not come with any electronics. I bought a Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend system to install in it, but I have to drill the end-pin hole to 1/2"... I bought a tapered 1/8" to 1/2" reamer bit from Lowes and am wondering if this is all I need to widen the hole.

I saw the stew-mac end-pin reamer, but I don't want to spend $60 on a tool I'll only use once. I am hoping my 1/2" reamer attached to my drill (at a low speed) will do; are there any other tools I will need to drill this hole, or am I good just to slowly drill it out?

Any advice is very appreciated!
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:28 PM
rlouie rlouie is offline
 
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if you buy the less expensive tool in the beginning to save yourself some money, you will spend alot more in the end if you do it like I did....................

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Old 02-19-2009, 08:39 PM
brockgl brockgl is offline
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What tool did you use when you did that?

I am planning on using a 1/2" reamer that I know our local guitar shop uses, and so I am guessing that this IS the right tool. It just isn't the most expensive tool.

The guitar I am doing it on is only a $700 guitar, and it's a player not a show piece. I wouldn't be all that mad if my guitar ended up like yours in the picture. I would just stain the light wood where pieces chipped away to match the darker outside, and it would be all good.

I'm mainly concerned about not damaging the structural integrity of the instrument. Though, I am going to do everything I can not to junk up the finish or chip wood either.

I am not looking for people to tell me to purchase a $60 reamer from stew-mac unless this is truly the only way. If there are other acceptable and commonly practiced ways to do this, please let me know!

Thanks!!! =)
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:07 PM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
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Drilling a hole properly, in any material, with any type of bit, is a matter of maintaining the proper speed/feed rates. A tapered bit will work fine, but I'd recommend practice on a piece of wood of similar density and thickness. It's a skill that comes with experience. Masking tape over the hole will help prevent tearout.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:11 PM
BuckMahoney BuckMahoney is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Spivey View Post
Masking tape over the hole will help prevent tearout.
allot of masking tape.just to be safe
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:52 PM
SKYHIGH SKYHIGH is offline
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I have a tool that works as good or better than the Stewmac reamer...but I'm not tellin... It will cost you $60
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2009, 04:55 AM
Bruce E Bruce E is offline
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A local luthier uses a Unibit.

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Old 02-20-2009, 05:08 AM
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rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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I bought an end pin reamer from Martin but I have enought guitars coming/going to warrant it. I would be scared of a powered reamer, just a few hand turns is all it has ever taken, slow and easy.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:02 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Spivey View Post
Drilling a hole properly, in any material, with any type of bit, is a matter of maintaining the proper speed/feed rates. A tapered bit will work fine, but I'd recommend practice on a piece of wood of similar density and thickness. It's a skill that comes with experience. Masking tape over the hole will help prevent tearout.
Not in this case, believe me.

Any drill bit is pulling the material up as it tries to draw itself into the wood. No amount of masking tape, no amount of practice, no-nothing will work, especially seeing as the wood at this location of the guitar is very thin.

In a perfect world a board laid over the object to be drilled will work very well, provided it is flat against the object surface. However, in this case it is very difficult to do safely. The board laid over the piece is referred to as a caul.

A tapered reamer is the best tool, but I have done it with a rotary file, like this one: http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(rr...aspx?SKU=21081

You will still need a pilot hole if there is none to begin with, but there is much less danger drilling a 1/4" hole, where none exists, especially if you use a brad point, or Forstner type bit that cut the rim as well as the center.

Regards,
Howard
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:10 AM
bsktgrvy bsktgrvy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brockgl View Post
I saw the stew-mac end-pin reamer, but I don't want to spend $60 on a tool I'll only use once. I am hoping my 1/2" reamer attached to my drill (at a low speed) will do; are there any other tools I will need to drill this hole, or am I good just to slowly drill it out?

Any advice is very appreciated!
I paid just about that much to have an undersaddle pickup and an endpin jack installed by a qualified guitar tech.

I briefly considered adding the jack myself but I did not want to end up with a problem like the one in the picture in the second post.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2009, 06:11 AM
Marshall Marshall is offline
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Yeah. I've done it any number of times with a regular drill bit. Masking tape helps. A little bit of veneer splitting is usially covered by the end pin collar when it goes in. With a little bit of care it's and easy job.

Also of concern is to keep the drill pit going in perpendicular to the guitar. I drilled one in once that looked pretty good, until I insalled teh jack and realized the collar wasn't meeting the back square, because the hole went in a little ****-eyed.

The guitar works fine. Play on !
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2009, 06:19 AM
PWoolson PWoolson is offline
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This is the right tool for this job:

1/2" spade bit. Probably $3.79 at any hardware store.
Use the inner drill spade as a pilot and the outer spades to ream the hole. There are two advantages to this bit: 1) the points on the outer spades score the hole before the spades actually drill it. and 2) it doesn't pull material toward you so it won't want to lift the fibers of the hole (see photo of tearout above) It wouldn't hurt to put some tape on area first just in case it gets away from you a little.
Slow and steady wins the race.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2009, 06:58 AM
TaylorMade110 TaylorMade110 is offline
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I debated for 2 weeks what to do about getting the endpin hole drilled. I only had normal drill bits, and I kept reading advice like the above. Use the reamers, use special tools, get a pro to do it. I have a Taylor 110.

I was not about to pay $60 for a tool I would use one time in my life. Hell, the pickup I was installing was only $80 (K&K PWM). So in the end, I masking taped the area to be drilled. I took out my 1/2" drill bit, and my cordless drilled. I took my time lining the drill bit up straight, made sure my guitar was secure (just used my free hand for that, and I drilled the 1/2" hole. Took less than 45 seconds, and there were no issues at all.

I do mean to disrespect any advice by any luthier, and of course I would not blame a soul for taking luthier advice over mine. But after doing it, there is not too much to be worried about. If you can hold a drill straight, and just take it slowly, it is simple, clean, and finished in under a minute.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2009, 07:01 AM
gordee gordee is offline
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If you don't already have any hole at all or one that's just a pilot then the spade bit that Paul mentioned is a good choice.
If you already have the standard strap pin hole though it can be a bugger if your not good with a drill to keep the outer points of the spade bit from digging up the finish before it's properly seated into the wood.
A reamer, whether for a drill or a hand held one works very well and you can be sure of the outcome. I have a hand held reamer and though it works well it takes too long. If you're going to use one get the one for your drill.

http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets/...010_endpinjack
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2009, 07:32 AM
jackstrat jackstrat is offline
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As a long time woodworker I would never use a spade bit on a guitar. Never. For one, it will blow out like crazy on the inside of the guitar.

Also, what good is the reamer if the endblock in the guitar is more than a 1/4" thick? The Stew-Mac reamer will work because it has 1/2" diameter flat. That will work as long as the endblock is thinner than the reamer's flat diameter.

I have drilled for endpin jacks and here is my method:

1. Drill a 1/4" diameter hole with a sharp brad point bit.

2. Enlarge the hole to 1/2" using a sharp standard drill bit.

Period, end of story.

Work carefully, and you should have no problem.

Also, here is a trick for feeding the endpin jack assembly through the hole. Insert a guitar cable that will mate with the endpin jack through the hole into the guitar body. Connect the endpin jack to the cable and pull the cable back through the hole. Voila! Done. Simple.

jack
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