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Control cavity

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rstellar13, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. rstellar13

    rstellar13 Sarcastic Panda

    Sep 2, 2012
    Allentown, PA
    I am building my own bass, and I was wondering the best way to drill pontimeter holes, sizes, drill head type any kind of advice?!
    Thanks and much love!
  2. BFleenor


    May 21, 2012
    Waynesville, NC
    I usually mark my locations with an awl, then use a brad-point or forstner bit to drill it out. You can use a standard bit if you need to, but it helps to drill a smaller pilot hole first. I think standard sized pots fit in a 3/8" hole, but some of the smaller toggle switches use a 1/4" hole i think. I usually wait 'till I'm almost done with the body to drill for the pots but you could do it at any stage really.
  3. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I used brad-point bits for the first few builds, and a Forstner for the last one. Forstner (slowly) is definitely the way to go.

    I used a 1/16" bit to drill a pilot, and used the pilot hole to guide the Forstner's tip.

    The five pots I used all required a 3/8" mounting hole, even though they were from three different manufacturers. The two toggle switches wanted 5/16" holes. I didn't have a Forstner for that, so I used a brad point bit. It worked fine, but even going slowly there was a small amount of tear-out at the end.

    Also...I have found the best plan is to drill from the TOP, down into the cavity. It might seem logical and be tempting to drill from inside the cavity toward the top, but don't do it. There is a lot more tearing/chipping as the bit exits the other side than there is as the bit first enters the wood.
  4. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I drill from the top, but only because I suck at measuring ;) I suggest putting down some painters tape before you drill. Helps prevent tear out.
  5. Jandrew


    Nov 15, 2010
    Framingham, Ma
    I do not route the entire cavity to its final depth til I have drilled the pot and jack holes, say leave 3/8 of an inch. I drill from the top into the cavity. Once the holes are drilled, then route the cavity to its final depth. It will clean up any tearout and make the cavity nice & clean.