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Best way to drill for ashtray/bridge cover

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by petrus61, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I was wondering the best approach and what size bit to use to pre drill the holes instead of driving the screws right in. I want two clean holes and don't want the paint to chip or crack. The bass will be a post 08 American Standard Precision. I tried this on my 50's classic precision and wound up with cracked finish and some sinking around the holes. Any help would be great. Just want to keep this bass as flawless as possible for as long as I can. Thanks.
  2. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    I've never done this before but I'm thinking if you bore the screw hole first, you could probably minimize the chances of cracking the finish. I don't know but it seems like a decent enough idea. You should probably wait to see what some of the other guys, with experience, have to say. Good luck with your project.
  3. deshi00


    Mar 26, 2010
    columbus ohio
    I just put some painters tape down, set the ashtray where i wanted and put the screws in, No problems no cracked finish. the screws were small enough to where i didnt really feel a need to drill a pilot hole
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    :( Jeez, ALWAYS drill first. Use a bit that is the same size as the shank of the screw; the thinner shaft, not the thread diameter. Always drill first on finely finished wood! Jeez.
  5. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    A thousand times, yes!
  6. klyph

    klyph Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Place the cover on the bass first and make marks through the holes with a sharpie. Acouple of small dots of double sided tape to hold it in place while you check the appearance from a distance wouldn't hurt. Using a drill press (with a non skid pad on the table to protect the back of the bass) is a good idea if you have access to one. You can hold the neck with one hand or detach it to make sure the hole is perpindicular. A 1/16 bit is probably plenty big for a short (1/2 inch long or less) wood screw. You can use the depth stop on a drill press to make sure you don't go too deep. For the cleanest cut, a high spindle speed and slow feed are probably best, along with a nice new, sharp bit. Don't let the bit spin in the hole too much, or you could start burning/melting the surrounding finish. A little wax or soap on the threads makes things go smoothly. Have fun!
  7. Masking tape first, drill second. Prevents chipping and you can mark on it for positioning the holes.

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